A very cold and overcast day greeted our four Under 17 runners for their first race of the year.
The race was a combined affair but injury had ruled out two of our runners in the Men's race. It was a highly competitive race over 5k with just over a minute covering the first fifteen runners. Kai Boggon, Thomas Adolphus and Rhys Edwards gave their all with 13th, 14th and 18th places. As bottom Year runners, Kai was 3rd home and Rhys 6th. Thomas had a much improved run from last year.
Kai Boggon early in the race
In the Girls race over the same distance, Wren McLean-Jackson came through strongly in the final stages to claim a good 8th place which may give her selection to run for Essex in the CAU XC Champs in March.
Wren McLean-Jackson: finished 8th
The next day at St Albans, brighter skies and a slightly milder climate greeted our four runners.
Tilly Major, the reigning U11 champion last year, got away well but had to give way to the outstanding St Albans runner Phoebe Gill. Tilly was magnificent, placing a fine 2nd, 150 metres down on Gill but 100 metres ahead of the Barnet runner. This performance may give Tilly a chance to run in the London Mini Marathon at the end of April.
Evan Johnson was next away on the same 3k course, which was a very close affair with less than 20 seconds covering first to 8th. In 8th place, Evan will more than likely join Tilly in the CAU Champs in March.
Ben and Sam Sloan had to face a tough 6k course which took in many hills. The highly rated Imroth got away early but Ben kept in touch with the next group until Brett Rushman got away for second, 30 seconds ahead of Ben who was first bottom Year U17 to finish. Sam was not that far behind in 9th place and fourth bottom Year U17 to finish. Ben will join Tilly at Loughborough and Evan will probably join them and Sam sits as first reserve.
Sam Sloan, Evan Johnson, Ben Sloan, Tilly Major (photo: Sally Chapman)
Our young athletes now face the Start Fitness Met League next Saturday with confidence that all the leads they have can be maintained.