Best ever season in the NW London Young Athletes Cross Country League

TVH’s Young Athletes showed what a great club they are by winning three age group trophies and retaining the overall girl’s trophy. This is the clubs’ best ever season in the North West London Young Athletes Cross Country League.

Roy Clarridge reports:

The Valley were off to a great start when winning the Under 11 Girls race and the ‘B’ team were 4th out of the 14 teams. Newcomer Myra Sularia was signed up after her fine run in the H&F mini-marathon trials where she finished fifth. She showed her pedigree by finishing second in her first outing for TVH. Behind her the Sky battle was renewed with Skye Bishop finishing fifth just one second in front of Skyla Robertson. Anna Kelly led the ‘B’ team home in a good 11th place. With Emmeling Low 18th, another newcomer, Farrar Ceric was 22 out of the 35 finishers. If the event had been on March 3rd Farrar would have been too young to race. She was nine on the 23rd March and was far from last in 22nd place with 13 girls behind her. Well done!

Unfortunately in the Under 13 race, Kate Price was injured and unable to run. If she had been running she would have won the trophy for this event. Even so, the girls that were there finished in second place on the day, only four points behind the winners, Cookham. Charlotte Edge was fifth and will still be in this age-group next winter. Angel Acheampong had her best run of the season to finish in seventh place. The surprise of the day was that Aramay Robertson was in front of Lily Dafter for 9th and 10th places. On reflection, Lily prefers longer races and Angel and Aramay do mostly speed training. This 2000m suited them. Again showing our strength in depth, the ‘B’ team were 4th with Zenia Gordon 13th and Sofia Cappelli just behind her. Another newcomer was Freya Sularia having her first race. She showed promise when finishing in 16th place, although tired at the end. It was good to have Analesse Schoenen and Grace Oldfield having a run. Let’s hope to see them get involved on the track this summer. By the way! The Under 13 Girls won the League Title and received the new cup donated by TVH.

The Under 15 Girls also won the League Title. For those watching this race there was a pack of TVH finishing in 4th to 8th places. They were also second team home. It was good to see Melina Duer back to leading TVH home in fourth place. Olivia Colegrave also had a great race to be in front of Niamh Murphy perhaps for the first time this season. Capucine Rousset has also had a good season and has improved a lot since last year. She has even recruited her friend Manon Hannay to join the Valley. Manon had her first race on Saturday and was only 30 seconds behind Capucine. Lilly Salkeld seemed to be short of confidence at the moment but perhaps a run in the London mini-marathon will inspire her. Although being a member since 2003, Ellie Power was making her debut on the country. Well done. This race really looked like a club championship with seven of the 14 runners TVH.

Winning the Under 17 Women’s race, Amelia Casey did a great service to the club. By always running in this event it enabled TVH to win the overall girls trophy for the second time. It was good to have Lily Cheshire backing her up in this race with a good third place.

Under 11 Boys. Led home again by Reggie Rock in sixth place the team were without several runners. This led to Highgate dominating the event. I’m sure that if we’d had a full team out, we’d give them a good run for their title. Henry Turner was 11th but Wilf Howard-Vyse had a great run to be just behind him. Unfortunately we had to wait until 29th for our forth scorer. Boys have four to score, girls three. Is this fair?

The biggest surprise win came from our Under 13 Boys. Throughout the season we have been short of boys. But on this occasion we had five taking part. Charlie Rollo had a blinder to be fourth in a race of 39 boys. With Sol Inglis and Max Bishop also having good runs for sixth and seventh places it needed Morris Rock to have a good day. This he did, when finishing 15th. Jifar Ahmed who has missed a lot of training was 37th. In a race in October, Jifar had helped Morris to even finish a race in Welwyn Garden City.

The last time that the Under 15 Boys had won the League Title was in 2013. This season we were favourites right from the second match at Kingsbury where we had 1st, 2nd and 4th finishers. This time the opposition was much tougher but we still won by eight points. Abdikafi made the mistake of thinking it was a one lap race only to find that he had to go round again. Live and learn. In the event he managed to hold on and finished third. After a recount, he was declared the Under 15 League Champion. Well done in his first season of cross country. After two recent disasters with losing shoes in major championship races, Shami Umashankar upped his game and finished a very good seventh. Also liking the home course, Basil Rock did well to make the first 10. The revelation was Baqar Abamecha finishing 14th. This was by far his best run of the season and helped the Valley to the win. Andrew Schoenen was having a rare run but did well to finish 23rd but Aidan Ferrand had a bad time and finished 27th.

Last but not least. Nicholas Duer had to pull out of the Under 17 Men’s race at the end of the first lap. He limped to the first aid with a torn ligament in his upper left leg. Let’s hope it’s not too serious and he’s able to take part on the track in the summer.


U11 Girls 1200m. Team 1st. 35 Finish.
2 M Sutaria 4:45; 5 S Bishop 4:58; 6 S Robertson 4:59; 11 A Kelly 5:11; 18 E Low 5:34; 22 F Ceric 5:41

U13 Girls 2000m. Team 2nd. 29 Finish.
5 C Edge 7:45; 7 A Acheampong 7:54; 9 A Robertson 7:58; 10 L Dafter 8:09; 13 Z Gordon 8:12;
14 S Cappelli 8:16; 16.F Sutaria 8:29; 22 A Schoenen 8:57; 26 G Oldfield 9:14.

U15 Girls 3000m. Team 1st. 14 Finish.
4 M Duer 11:06; 5 O Colegrave 11:11; 6 N Murphy 11:21; 7 C Rousset 12:01; 8 M Hannay 12:31;
12 L Salkeld 12:58; 13 E Power 14:07.

U17 Women 4000m. Team 2nd. 11 Finish.
1 A Casey 16:45; 3 L Cheshire 17:09.

U11 Boys 2000m. Team 3rd. 40 Finish.
6 R Rock 7:51; 11 H Turner 8:14; 13 W Howard-Vyse 8:16; 29 O Serji 9:08.

U13 Boys 300m. Team 1st. 39 Finish.
4 C Rollo 10:16; 6 S Inglis 10:25; 7 M Bishop 10:28; 15 M Rock 10:47; 37 J Ahmed 13:59.

U15 Boys 4000m. Team 1st. 27 Finish.
3 A Abdi 14:19; 7 S Umashankar 13:45; 10 B Rock 14:57; 14 B Abamecha 15:04; 23 A Schoenen 15:58;
27 A Ferrand 16:29.