South of England Relay Medals for Young Athletes

Roy Clarridge reports:

Thames Valley Harries under 15 girls team came away with third place medals in the South of England cross country relay championships. The home course was extremely dry for this annual event and for once we had our top trio of girls available. On lap one, Ava White was in confident mood as she went off with the leading starters. She soon took the lead and finished her lap in 7:14 which was the second fastest lap of the day. Then Melina Duer who runs better on tougher courses bravely tried to hold on to the seven girls who passed her. Her seventh place finish gave Charlotte Buckley a chance of catching back some of the girls in front. She managed to get up to third place with the fastest time of the day but the Norwich and Walton girls had just too much lead to be caught. Her performance brought TVH home comfortably third. To have the fastest two girls in the race was a great boost for TVH.

The U15 girls ‘B’ team also did well to finish 27th On the first lap Nimah Murphy finished 29th and then Lily Salkeld held that place. Arianna Alonso-Bizzi then had a good run to bring the team home 27th.

The under 17 women were not quite so lucky. With Alice Harray just behind the leaders in 8th place, Amelia Casey improved the team’s chances of medals by finishing 5th. Then Kosana Weir passed two athletes only to be passed by a West Suffolk runner which left the Valley in fourth place. Rose Barkle ran the first lap for the ‘B’ team and finished 15th.

On lap one of the under 13 girls relay, Zakia Mossi had ambitions to break away at the front of the field. Unfortunately this did not happen and she slipped back to 5th place. Lily Dafter was unable to get TVH back to the leaders and brought the team home 7th. Then Kaisa Hanni, who is only just 11, lost places to bring the team home 14th. For the ‘B’ team another 11-year-old, Angel Acheampong was having her first cross country race for the club and did remarkably well to finish 22nd on the first lap. Mabel Salkeld, also 11, ran well to finish 24th but didn’t have a third runner to hand over to.

It was good to get a full under 17 men’s team for the Valley. Lucillo Burrell had an ambitious start but faded later in the race to hand over to Max Buckley in 10th place. It was a bonus to get Max in the team because of half-term he didn’t have school commitments. He managed to gain one place. Likewise, Jake Hooley, who is in his school rowing squad was able to run the third lap. He slipped back and brought the team home in 10th position. Oliver Weintraub fought hard for his 21st place and Nicholas Duer ran steadily for the second lap in a non-finishing team to end up in 17th position.

Our only under 13 boys available were Basil Rock and Charlie Rollo. Basil managed to put his foot down a hole on the course and limped home in 12th place and Charlie had a steady run to finish 17th.

SEAA Cross Country Relays, Wormwood Scrubs, Oct 22, 2016

Under 13 Girls, 3 x 2000m
5, Z Mossi 7:56; 7, L Dafter 9:22; 14, K Hanni 8:59. Team 14th.
22, A Acheampong 8:33; 24, M Salkeld 9:32.

Under 13 Boys, 3 x 2000m
12, B Rock 7:37; 17, C Rollo 8:25.

Under 15 Girls, 3 x 2000m
1, A White 7:14; 7, M Duer 8:10; 3, C Buckley 7:13 (fastest lap).  Team 3rd.
29, N Murphy 8:15; 29, L Salkeld 8:35; 27, A Alonso-Bizzi 8:28.Team 28th.

Under 17 Women, 3 x 2500m
8, A Harray 8:51; 5 A Casey 9:31; 4, K Weir 8:51. Team 4th.
15, R Barkle 10:03.

Under 17 Men, 3 x 3000m
10, L Burrell 10:52; 7, M Buckley 12:03; 10, J Hooley 11:48. Team 10th.
21, O Weintraub 12:12; 17, N Duer 12:33.