It was another change of venue for this year’s Middlesex Cross Country Championships which took place at Greenford on Saturday, though the men’s and ladies medal winners had a familiar Valley ring to them.
Once again TVH athletes won a full set of medals, with gold for India Weir in the junior U20 ladies race, silver for the TVH senior ladies team, silver for Sarah Johnson in the senior ladies race, silver for Chris Smith in the senior men’s race and bronze for Jake Hooley in the junior U20 men’s race.
Congratulations to all the Valley athletes on such an impressive medal haul!
Although Kate Price was our only winner at Cockfosters, there were many other good performances. Starting with Skye Bishop our only runner in the under 11 girl’s race doing very well against older girls to finish sixth out of 42. Then Reginald Rock, also a nine-year old, had a great run to finish fifth in the under 11 boys race. Ollie Seraj, another nine-y-o, did well to finish 24th with 42 finishers..
Then came Kate Price in the under 13 race. Running with the under 11 boys, not only was she the first girl, she also beat all the boys except one. Close behind her Charlotte Edge was a very good seventh. Next home, Zenia Nelson ran a lot better than last time out to finish ninth. The team were only two points behind winners Highgate. Mabel Salkeld also improved with her 26th place out of 40.
The under 13 boys were unfortunate to be one short of a full team so were awarded seventh place. With Max Bishop having his best race this winter in eighth place and Sol Inglis also a well placed 12th it was a pity that we were short of boys. Jifar Ahmed did his best to finish 39th but we needed one more taking part.
The girls only needed three to score and Melina Duer who lost a shoe on the course was not one of them! The winning team had Olivia Colegrave making up for her disastrous day at Parliament Fields (her training shoes went missing) having her best run for a long time when finishing fifth. Niamh Murphy was very close behind in seventh place and Philippine Poupart-Lafarge was last scorer in 11th position. She just held off Melina who got back up to 12th place. Lilly Salkeld is working hard to get back to form and her 17th place out of 33 was very encouraging.
After winning the last U15 Boys NWL at Kingsbury, Abdikafi Abdi took the early lead from two promising boys from Hillingdon. Up the last hill they broke away to finish first and second and Abdi then faded to fourth place. Shami Umashankar also paid for his fast start but dug in and finished nineth just ahead of Basil Rock who ran a steady race for 11th place. Baqer Abameacha who prefers shorter races also ran well. He started slowly and moved up through the field to finish 23rd out of 44. With Hillingdon one and two it was great that the Valley won the team race.
It was an excellent TVH turn out for the South of England cross-country relays on Saturday. Conditions were blustery and at times wet making the course saturated and muddy in parts. Three strong senior teams and one under 20 team completed the Wormwood scrubs course.
The under 20 ladies completed 3 legs of a 2.5km course to bring home a bronze medal. India Weir had a good start on first leg bringing the team home 5th (8:22). Alice Harray followed with another solid run that maintained 5th place (9:23) and Kosana Weir completed the team with a good run that lifted their overall position to 3rd team in the U20 category (8:29).