The South of England Cross Country Championships were held at a hilly Stanmer Park. It was a cold day but the sun shone and the ground was nice and firm.
Roy Clarridge reports:
The first race of the day was the under 15 boy’s 4500m. Unfortunately we had two of the team drop out on the day with injuries. Even so, we still had six competitors. Lucillo Burrell finished a magnificent 14th out of the 232 boys in the race. Next home was Jake Hooley finishing 82nd. Then there was a gap where our two absentees should have been before Finlay Watson came home 159th. George Goodhart was only a few places behind him in 163rd place. Improving every race, Oliver Weintraub was well ahead of Nicholas Duer, 217th, who has been in front of him on less hilly courses. Even so, the team finished a respectful 18th out of 35 teams.
With Charlotte Buckley having been sent home from school not feeling well the day before she decided not to risk having a poor run and is saving her come-back for the London Schools Championships on Wednesday. This led to Freja Schaap leading the Valley home in 90th place. She was closely followed by Helena Findlater in 93rd. Philippine Pourpart-Lafarge was too cautious at the start and found that she was too far down the field to have a good result. But Charlotte Cooney-Quinn really enjoyed herself and her 189th out of 247 was a good result. The team finished just outside the top half in 25th place out of 42 teams. Our lone under 13 boy, Basil Rock was 150th but still has two more years in this age group.
After finishing eighth in the under 15 girl’s race last year the opposition was much harder this time and seventh place was a good result. Eight more places gained by the girls would have put them in fifth spot. Led home by India Weir in 14th place who had another great run there were too many athletes home in front of Kosana Weir who was disappointed with her 38th place. Behind her, Verity Walker, 51st and Olivia Olsher, 60th ran to form but would have liked to be a few more places up. Having a good run after several health problems, Alice Harray had her best run for a long while and was only 18 seconds behind Olivia at the finish. In 90th place, Rosie Vallance didn’t perform as well as expected.
Our lone finisher in the men’s under 17 race, Karim Mahiddine didn’t feel well before the start of his 6000m race but after starting slow, he moved through the field to finish 55th. Unfortunately Abraham Mendes Da Costa was also struggling and dropped out before half-way. Another drop-out was Izzy Dye in the under 17 women’s race. She was up with the leader in the very fast start and it was unfortunate that she dropped out because the other three members of the team all ran very well. Maddy Turner was running really well in the mid-30s but lost a few places in the sprint finish to be 41st. Then came Eve Goodhart having a solid run for 55th place. Newcomer Clover Godsal was having her baptism to running and after the mad start got into her rhythm and finished 66th out of 145 runners.
Under 13 Girls 3000m. Team 25th.
90 F Schaap 12:37; 93 H Findlater 12:39; 156 P Pourpart-Lafarge 13:19; 189 C Cooney-Quinn 13:38.
Under 13 Boys 3000m.
150 B Rock 12:09.
Under 15 Girls 4000m. Team 7th.
14 I Weir 15:01; 38 K Weir 15:34; 51 V Walker 15:52; 60 O Olsher 16:02; 71 A Harray 16:20; 90 R Vallance 16:36; 186 M Ferrand 18:10.
Under 15 Boys 4500m. Team 18th.
14 L Burrell 15:47; 82 J Hooley 16:53; 159 F Watson 18:04; 163 G Goodhart 18:07; 194 O Weintraub 18:40; 217 N Duer 19:24.
Under 17 Women 5000m.
41 M Turner 19:47; 55 E Goodhart 20:10; 86 C Godsal 20:40.
Under 17 Men 6000m.
55 K Mahiddine 22:49.