TVH men win London Champs at Parliament Hill in tribute to Chris Smith, women finish 2nd and Adela wins U15 London Youth Games race

TVH enjoyed a very successful day winning a full range of medals in Saturday’s London Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill, with the Valley men winning team gold medals, Valley women  winning team silver medals and Michael Cameron winning an individual bronze medal in the men’s race.

There was an emotional start to the men’s race with Phil Wetton leading the athletes in a minutes applause ahead of the start in memory of Chris Smith who sadly passed away a year ago. Chris was a Valley legend who enjoyed great success over many years and especially when racing at Parliament Hill, where he won an amazing number of medals in the London Champs including an incredible 4 gold medals as the 4 times champion.

In the men’s 10km race a strong Valley team of 16 men started the race determined to continue Chris’ medal winning legacy and they didn’t disappoint with Michael Cameron, Toby Clyde, Hugo Cayssials, James Ellis, Niki Faulkner and Oli Newton all making a strong start at the front of the field.

In a fitting tribute to Chris, TVH won the men’s team competition with Michael Cameron amongst the individual medals in 3rd, Toby Clyde 6th , James Ellis 17th and Hugo Cayssials in 20th the scoring four Niki Faulkner in 21st and Oli Newton (who hasn’t missed a race this season) in 26th place in a field of 430 runners. Calum Nicol and Daniel Benton also finished in the top 50 with veteran athletes Gordon Low and Manuel da Silva next home from the 16 TVH athletes taking part in the 10km race.  

James was one of our athletes who regularly trained with Chris and in his first race back for TVH since 2019 he was in great shape after recently completing two ironman triathlons. Michael, Toby, Hugo, Niki and Oli have all been racing well in recent weeks and along with all the TVH athletes taking part were determined to race well in memory of Chris.   

In the 6km women’s race there was good representation from the 6 Valley athletes racing and right from the start Emily Todd, Chloe Baker, Steph Ainley and Jaz Palmer all made a positive start up with the front runners in the race. It was good to see Emily return to the women’s team and she wasted no time in making her mark on the race and had an excellent run to finish in 5th place 16 secs ahead of Chloe in 11th with Steph in 16th and 17 year old Jaz in 31st of nearly 300 runners bringing the team home in 2nd place in a close competition. In a good size women’s race with nearly 300 finishers Fran Lou finished in 149th place and we welcomed Jia Du onto the team who finished in 247th place on her Valley debut.

Emily, Jaz, Steph & Chloe

The London Youth Games borough teams cross country races for U11 to U17 age groups took place before the senior races and it was a great start for TVH in the first race of the day for  U15 Girls.  Adela Svihalkova took a cautious approach early on, content to stay with the lead group before sprinting clear in the home straight to win the 2km race in an impressive time of 7:34.   Although it is a fairly tough hilly course the ground was dry for Parliament Hill / Hampstead Heath and the course is much shorter than league races for the age group, leading to very close finishes with 180 in the race.  There were 15 TVH athletes in the race and next home was Maya Sutaria finishing fast in 21st with just 7 secs separating Maya,  Skye Bishop (28th), Anna Kelly (31st) and Katerina Simakova in 33rd.  Kyra Gulamhuseinwala (after starting at the back and overtaking 135 runners) was the 6th TVH athlete to finish in 43rd place ahead of Orla Grist and Charlotte Brown.

The U15 Boys race saw the next best result for TVH with Cameron McConnon finishing the 3km race in 6th place despite feeling the effects of a hard schools race 2 days before. Reggie Rock and Louis Moore had another close race with Reggie 2 secs ahead and both finishing in the top third of the field.  In the U17 races Luca Zorzi finished strongly pulling 15 secs clear of Morris Rock and Eloise Quickenden had a great race in 25th place ahead of Charlotte Edge in 35th.  In the youngest age groups Jacob Sebbata ran well in the U11 race and Xanthe Greenfields, Zachary Moore and Sunny Jabbar raced in the U13 age group with Zach the highest placed.

Adela winning U15 Girls race

Start Fitness Metropolitan Cross Country League, Welwyn Garden City 13th November 

The TVH men’s team had a great result in the second Met League fixture finishing 2nd on the day, led home again by Toby Clyde in 11th place, Hugo Cayssials (15th),  Niki Faulkner (18th), Conor Kissane-Wood (26th) and Oli Newton (28th) and Chris Thomas (31st ).   The men’s race is a 12 to score competition and with Calum Nicol, Tom Taylor, Daniel Benton, Ryan Keane, Saif Saleh and Victor Steinwand the next 6 home for TVH all well placed leading to the high team score.

In the women’s race over the same course Chloe Baker finished in an excellent 7th place followed by Lisa da Silva in 15th, Lydia Blythe (32nd), Jess Dring-Morris (51st) and Nadia Whittaker (130th) with the team staying in 6th place in the senior women’s competition.

A clash with a schools race led to a smaller turnout for TVH in the young athletes races but there were still some high standard races with best performances of the season by TVH athletes.  Max Bishop finished 9th in the junior men’s race and Skye Bishop was two places higher in the junior women’s race and 4th U15, closely followed by Anna Kelly in 10th (7th U15) and Orla Grist in 17th (11th U15).

In the first races of the day Luis da Silva improved on the October league fixture with 8th place in the U11 race and Jacob Sebbata also improved in 29th place.

Full results at

At the English Schools Cup races taking place at St Albans on the same day Maddie Casey finished 12th in the senior girls race,  Maya Sutaria was first TVH athlete home in the U15 Girls race in 20th place followed by Kyra Gulamhuseinwala in 24th place,  Eadi Solanki-Jackson (30th), Isobel Martin (31st) and Natasha Bennett (35th).