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Met League 2 U15/U17; English Schools Cup

Despite the absence of athletes representing their schools on the same day, no fewer than 15 Woodies and 7 Woodettes toed the line on a fine day at Wormwood Scrubs. Due to a lot of rain leading up to this race the course was altered to take out the west side of the open parkland course.

U15/17 Boys

We went into this race level on points with Shaftesbury Barnet, so all to play for. A magnificent display of running from all concerned, despite the absence of top runners placed us 2nd, just six points down on SBH. All the athletes, wherever they finished, should be congratulated. The spirit on the coach was brilliant and this carried over to the race itself.

Nate Harding led the U17 team home in 5th place, just seven seconds ahead of William Muffett in 7th place. William smashed his 5k PB in a Chingford league four days earlier. Just four seconds behind William was Joshua Ssempiira, who was closing fast in 8th place.

L to R: Josh, Nate, William

These lads were great, working together for the sake of each other and the club. Great packing indeed. Godwinner Nkembani had his best race ever for 26th. Godwinner gets to Trent Park every Sunday to work with coach Richard Thurston. The other lads supporting these must be commended. Aidan O’Driscoll, improving steadily, was 30th. Joseph Arnold, a true multi eventer, again supported WGEL for 32nd. Credit goes to Max Koschek, who is still recovering from Covid, for getting round for the club in 38th place.

In the U15 race, run alongside the U17 race, we again had great support despite losing four runners to the school event. Oscar Eaton again ran brilliantly. This lad comes straight from football training to support WGEL and was rewarded with an excellent 7th place from 60 starters. Rahul Solanki was next home and had every justification for being happy with his run for 33rd. It is always great to see sprinters mixing it on the country. Well done Callum Clydesdale for 35th. Oliver Brown is steadily getting back to top form with 39th, just ahead of Lucas Freedman in 40th place. Lucas shows great commitment to the club. Poor Stephen Ng carried a stitch for the best part of the race but credit to him - where others may have dropped out he stuck with it to place 41st. Two new members should be commended as they are brand new to this sport. Well done Tyler Mudondo 49th and Ethan Withfield 60th. Some great packing, lads, and one must remember due to our numbers this pushes back other clubs.

Many of our U15/U17 squad

U15/17 Girls

In the Under 15 girls race Evie Mossanya was asked the previous Thursday, "Do you fancy a run out at Wormwood Scrubs?" She more than duly obliged! The Essex county 300m runner placed an excellent 11th on her debut for us. Tess Noblet once again stepped up to support the club despite her football commitments to place 12th - a good run from her. Ella Traynor, another to race midweek, again supported the club. She is showing improvement week by week and placed 19th. Juliet Taylor is another athlete who, like Ella, always turns out to support WGEL wherever that maybe. She placed 23rd. Amber Higgs Smith, another multi-eventer and a great supporter of WGEL, was 36th.

In the U17 race, run alongside the U15 race, Anaand Tratt placed 10th - a good run for someone that is focussing on the shorter track races next summer. What would WGEL do without the great support of Matilda Frith? Always competing, whether it be YDL or Chingford League, Matilda is always there supporting us. She placed 16th.

So both Junior Women teams lie 2nd overall and today the team manager learnt (via Athletics weekly) that we lead in the overall Howard Williams trophy.

English Schools Cup Regional Round at Southend

WGEL had seven runners representing their schools on a flat course that included a lot of switchback.

Inter Boys

Harry Stockill led his school, Davenant, home in an excellent 2nd spot. Harry was left chasing Freddie Rowe, an 8:38 3000m runner who ended up half a minute ahead of our lad. But, in turn, Harry was 27" up on the next runner, so basically had to go it alone. Luka Norden, still short of full fitness following injury, was next home in 16th place. In the weeks ahead we are hoping that Luka will be up alongside Harry. Daniel Arnold, although a bit disappointed with his run, still performed well for 20th place. One must remember Daniel is a year younger than most of the others in this race. Josh Stephenson, new to our sport, had a good run for 31st to ensure all these 4 Davenant boys progress to the final in Suffolk on the 2nd December.

Senior Girls

Running for her new school, Emily Caton had a great run for 6th place - she is coming into form at the right time for the championship races that lie ahead.

Junior Boys and Girls

Running for Forest School, Oskar Prince had a great run for 20th place. Like Daniel, Oskar is a year younger than most of his rivals.

Eva Prince is in the same boat as her brother and must be commended for her 51st place.

So another fine showing from our seven runners down at Southend!