Congratulations to the TVH senior ladies A-team, Victoria Carter, Tracy Barlow and Sarah Johnson, who won silver medals at the relays on the scrubs on Saturday. Victoria started strong in a very competitive first leg and brought the team home in 13th position. Tracy chased down the other 2nd leg runners and, with the 2nd fastest leg of the day, came back in 3rd position. Finally, Sarah ran hard to bring the team back 2nd overall and only just shy of a gold medal.
There were 4 other complete teams also working hard to show off the extensive depth of the TVH ladies team. Despite a last minute re-shuffle of the team order we still managed to bring home 2 more teams in the top 20 and 21st and 29th.
Once again the first Met League at Claybury Park in Woodford was held on a beautifully warm October day, and we were fortunate that the storms that appeared later in the evening missed the racing completely. Not as dusty as in some years, the lumps and bumps along the grassy paths nonetheless presented a challenge for the unwary.
Even if slightly fortunate, Zakia Mossi won her first Metropolitan League race. With some confusion at the end of the race her closest rival ran towards the boys finish which led to Zakia being the first girl in her race. We like to think that Zakia would have won the sprint finish, anyway. This win followed up her NW London YA win two weeks previous. Following her in the Under 13 race, Lily Dafter was trying out different tactics of not starting too fast. This paid off as she finished a very good 12th. Mabel Salkeld 45th and Camille Rousset 49th were near the back of the race but their valuable points enabled TVH to finish 5th team out of 17.
The under 17 women’s race brought two of our best runners up against each other for the first time. Both leading at the end of the first lap Charlotte Buckley (u15) broke away half way round the second lap of their 4000m race and went on to win by 20 seconds. Kosana Weir (u17) held on to second place and was pleased to beat two girls who were faster than her in the recent Southern road relays. Melina Duer was 12th overall and 5th placed under 15. Philippine Poupart-Lafarge chased her all the race and her 15th place was rewarded with being 7th u15 and helping us win the team race by two points from Shaftesbury. It looks like we will have a tough battle to win the trophy especially as the next race at Stevenage clashes with schools cup events. We must not forget the ‘B’ team for their tremendous achievement in finishing 11th out of 20 teams. Lily Salkeld was well place in 28th place (17th u15) with Nimah Murphy also improving every race in 35th (21st u15). Another best performance came from Capucine Rousset who is now beginning to move up the field and she was 49th (29th u15) out of 65 runners.
The strength of the TVH girls teams show that we will be serious contenders in the near future.
Out Under 17 Women’s team once again showed that we have some great athletes. After last year’s sixth place in the National Road Relay we hoped to equal our recent Southern Relay position of 12th. Again without India Weir we exceeded our target by finishing a superb 10th. Alice Harray coming back to form after a broken toe had a great first lap to run over a minute faster than last year. Her 13th place set up Kosana Weir to have a nice set of runners to chase round the 3800m course. Making up seven places she brought the team home sixth. With the pack now chasing Verity Walker she had to give way to four faster girls and still brought the team home a creditable tenth.
Tenth place for the under 15 girls was also a remarkable achievement. Charlotte Buckley ran 16 seconds faster than last year when she finished fifth. This year her seventh position was two seconds faster than her previous best lap of this course. Although she lost eight places, Lily Salkeld did not disgrace herself and in fact left the girls in front nicely lined up for Ava White. Not only did she get the team into 10th place but she was also 9th fastest girl in the whole race. For the ‘B’ team, Philippine Poupart-Lafarge with a time of 15:24 was 1min 46sec faster than last year. With a growth of 12 inches what does that equate? Having her first relay, Niamh Murphy is also getting back from injury. Unfortunately we didn’t have a third runner.