A tremendous turnout for our last but one Met League fixture, at Wormwood Scrubs, saw our young athletes sail into a 17 point lead in the Howard Williams Trophy and retain healthy leads in five of the six age catorgories. 53 young athletes toed the line across the six races, with us achieving three winners and a second spot too. However our success is all about supporting the club in these fixtures, whereever you may finish.
The weather overcast was dry once again but with a keen westerly wind blowing across the course which was, for the most part, dry underfoot. This obviously suited our track runners.
Isabelle Kyson: U11 Girls race winner (photo: Scott Kyson)
We had ten Woodies from the 56 starters. Once again Gregor Samson, now over his foot injury and more able to train, placed a fine 5th. Next home with yet again another improved run was Sebastian Reid, who reached his target of the first ten. However, Sebastian is giving two years to his older rivals so it was a fine run indeed. A welcome return for Oliver Brown, who again showed his paces with 15th. Another welcome return was Yuwan Kuma who also had a good run for 21st. Rhodri Morgan was next in, having a fine run for 25th. Wasp member Thomas Kirkland made his debut for 32nd. He was swiftly followed by another debutant, Jacob Branch in 33rd - a great run for another year 4. Nursing a slight injury, Leo Everitt was 36th, and yet another Year 4, Oskar Kyson, was 38th. In 43rd was another Year 4, Jude Purser. This was tremendous packing from lads so young and it yielded a great result on the day as the team won and increased their lead to 82 points.
Again we had 10 Woodettes on the line from 66 starters. Isabelle Kyson was asked by her coach to "sit and wait" before kicking for home. Isabelle was magnificent as the increase of pace on the home straight gave her a four second advantage at the end. Such was her run that would have placed her 4th in the boys race. Much to our surprise and delight, Molly Sherrin put in a tremendous burst over the final 100 metres to come from 5th to 2nd to give us a good old "one-two". Not that far behind was Amana Oguntuga in an excellent 6th place. Our next runner was an excellent debut for us with Jasmina Caras, coached by Steve Cody on a Wednesday in Harlow, placing 17th. Autumn Le Chevallier, a year 4 student from Harlow, was close behind Jasmina in 20th. Wasp member Caitlin Hancock was 23rd with fellow Wasp member Eliza Bridges in 26th. Right behind was yet another Wasp member, Megan Wright, in 27th. A much improved run was Mayo McNelis in 33rd, coached by Sue Edwards. Returning after illness, Megan Allin was 50th. So another tremendous all-round performance gave the girls victory on the day and a 70 point lead overall.
U11 Girls: Autumn, Caitlin, Megan (Wright), Amana, Isabelle, Molly, Mayo (photo: Scott Kyson)
Once again we had 10 Woodies on the start line, from 64 starters. Jimmy Geller again bided his time before breaking for home for his 3rd consecutive win by 8 seconds from Harry Glynn. Next home was Evan Johnson, producing an excellent run for 4th place which will have pleased coach Steve Cody. Nathan Wright had another sound run for 6th with Luca Gormley just behind in 7th. Reuben Fabian was 14th with Ben Savidge, who is improving all the time, in an excellent 18th. Sid Cody, recovering from illness, was 25th. William and Thomas Kok would have pleased their coach Alex Bird with 28th and 32nd, while the game and great club lad Rafferty Groat was 56th. The lads won on the day, and they lead by nearly two hundred points with one race remaining.
This time, 11 Woodettes started with 60 runners on the line. Abigail Reid said she had a bad start but once she got going on this fast parkland course she put 150 metres between her third league win and the Hillingdon runner in 2nd place. Behind Abigail was Kezia Beeton, who was in pain with a stitch in the latter part of the course, which took her out of a podium place position to 4th at the end. Tilly Major arrived with 60 minutes of netball in her legs before the race and, together with a course that was not her cup of tea (she likes the hills), did well for 5th. Rosemary Kelly may have been a bit short of training over Xmas but she again proved what a great talent she is by placing 7th. Emily Caton, another bottom Year runner, ran well for 14th. Larna Morgan is one of our most committed members and she placed 25th. Rose Grady, who has an important Schools race next Friday, was 31st, while Bronya Overington, who is now enjoying training with Richard Thurston on a Sunday at Trent Park, was 34th. Emily Millward, carrying a slight injury, was 45th, while the ever-dependable Alice Caton was 48th and Molly Wain 50th. So yet another win for our girls, who remain 171 points clear with one race to go. This is a group of girls who get on so well together and support one other.
We had just five starters on the line due to two racing for their school and two been asked to miss this event with the Essex Schools coming up next weekend in order to restore confidence. Pride of place goes to Joe Geller, who agreed at the last minute to step in without hardly any training to ensure our lead was kept in contact for this age group. Ben Sloan placed 8th overall from 100 starters - a great run in the circumstances with international runner Mo Ali heading the field home just 50 seconds ahead. Sam Sloan also excelled for 12th with Videsh Weerakkody, still not able to train fully following the accident at the last league match, in 24th. Then Joe Geller. gallant as ever, placed 33rd, and Fred Taylor, reliable as ever, was 35th. In the Under 15 boys, held in conjunction with this race, Jacob Hardy was 13th from 64 starters. Despite the fact we were missing key runners the lads were 6th on the day but only 30 points behind the winners. More importantly, they retained for us the overall lead for this age group by 77 points with one match to go.
We had five girls on the start line from 64 starters. Miya Maeda had another fine run to place 16th overall (9th U15) with Wren McLean- Jackson, right in the middle of exams, placing 27th (14th U17). Like her younger brother, Ellen Savidge is in good form these days and she was 31st (17th U15), with poor Hollie McArdell still nursing slight injuries but a gallant finisher in 36th (20th U15). Jessica Adams, coached by Sue Edwards and Alex Bird, competed in her first ever club race to place 54th (24th U15) and she she should be proud of herself for getting round.
The girls were 6th on the day but remain 6th overall.
I must thank the parents who step in to give the numbers out - what a great job they are doing. At the end of the afternoon the atmosphere was excellent, and made better with a certain score line from the Olympic Stadium which sent many athletes home with a smile on their faces.
So the Essex Schools is next on the horizon, then the big test, in particular for the Under 13 teams, as they strive for high team placings in the South Of England Champs. And they did their cause the world of good today by packing both scoring teams in the top seven - great packing!
We also look forward to the final fixture next month and in all honesty it will take a miracle to stop our young athletes retaining the overall trophy and the 5 age category leads we have.