Winning two titles and just missing a third on count-back the Valley girls had a great day at the county championships. The under 17 women also had the individual winner, Kosana Weir. She kept the title in the family after sister India won it last year. Leading throughout the race, Kosana never looked troubled as she won by four seconds. Also showing great form, Alice Harray had one of her best runs for a long time when she finished sixth, Just behind her, India Weir who was suffering from a cold was in seventh position. Even if she had had a bad run, Verity Walker in ninth position would have scored in the winning team. With the strong back-up of Olivia Olsher, Isabelle Ellis and Amelia Casey finishing 11th, 12th and 13th we could also have had second team place if allowed.
The under 15 girls also had an impressive win. Led home by Charlotte Buckley in second place she was strongly supported by Melina Duer who beat several girls who were ranked higher for her eighth place. Philippine Poupart-Lafarge also ran well for her 17th place. Ever improving Niamh Murphy was just one second behind Philippine in 19th place. In 23rd place Arianna Alonso-Bizzi also won a sprint finish for her place. Not up to her best form, Lilly Salkeld is waiting to have her tonsils removed and would have normally been higher up the field than 28th. Losing a shoe in the mud, Capucine Rousset did well to finish in 40th place. Further down the field, Lily Cheshire and Charlotte Cooney-Quinn were not at their best after Christmas celebrations and their positions could have been better.
Last year’s under 13 girls champions were unfortunate not to have retained the trophy. Although they had the same number of points as VPH&TH their third scorer was in front of ours. Individually, Zakia Mossi was a magnificent third, 14 seconds in front of fourth place Maayan Radus who won this event last year. Having her first run in Valley colours, Maddie Casey did very well to finish 18th. While Olivia Colegrave and Lily Dafter had their own private battle to finish in the same time with Olivia given the verdict. This was unfortunate for Lily as she missed out on a winners medal. Angel Acheampong who still runs in the U11 races in the leagues was very impressive with her 28th place. The other new 11-year-olds, Olivia Sparks and Kaisa Hanni also ran well over the longer distance to finish 46th and 47th out of 62 runners.
Our shortage of boys was very apparent but at least we had a representative in all the races. Max Buckley was 16th in the U17 race and Matthew Forster was 36th in the U15s. We had a team in the U13’s and Basil Rock is getting over an injury and finished 25th. But 26th place for Charlie Rollo was a good effort in the field of 57. Sprinter Noor Eldin Mahmoud was a surprise scorer for the team in 44th place and Andrew Forster and Ben Moon gained a lot of experience by taking part. In the under 11 race, Jai Sarkar was 16th and Kirin Bhatnagar, who started late, was 20th.
U11B, 1500m. 16 J Sarkar 8:28; 20 K Bhatnagar 10:29.
U13B. 3000m. Team 9th.
25 B Rock 12:28; 26 C Rollo 12:29; 44 N Mahmoud; 52 A Forster 14:19; 54 B Moon 14:39.
U13G. 3000m. Team 2nd.
3 Z Mossi 11:44; 18 M Casey 13:05; 22 O Colegrave 13:15; 23 L Dafter 13:15; 28 A Acheampong 13:40; 46 O Sparks 14:58; 47 K Hanni 15:01.
U15B 4000m. 36 M Forster 14:34.
U15G. 4000m. Team 1st.
2 C Buckley 15:28; 8 M Duer 16:27; 17 P Poupart-Lafarge 16:59; 19 N Murphy 17:00; 23 A Alonso-Bizzi 17:29; 29 l Salkeld 17:51; 40 C Rousset 18:57; 42 L Cheshire 19:13; 43 C Cooney-Quinn 19:45.
U17M. 6000m. 16 M Buckley 24:13.
U17W. 5000m. Team 1st.
1 K Weir 18:31; 6 A Harray 19:15; 7 I Weir 19:58; 9 V Walker 20:21; 11 O Olsher 20:39; 12 I Ellis 20:45; 13 A Casey 21:01.