Chiltern Harriers had their best ever day at the Southern Cross Country Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday.
There were four team wins – for the U13 Girls, U13 Boys, U15 Girls and U17 Men. The Senior Men took part for the first time and came an excellent fifth and there was an eighth place finish for the U15 Boys.
Conditions were pleasant and sunny at the fast and flat course at the scrubs but recent rain made the woodland section fairly muddy. U13s and U15s ran a 2k circuit, U17s a 3.1k loop, and Seniors 4.4k.
First off were the U15 Girls and it was a great start to the meeting with team gold for the Chiltern A team. Alice Brown led off and ran a great leg of 7.34 to come in third. Abbie Henderson took over and ran the equal fastest leg of the day (7.23) to take the lead. Holly Henderson ran 7.35 to take the win by ten seconds with Windsor second and Guildford third. The B team ran well for 18th thanks to Ellie Shield (8.10), Charlotte Docwra (8.24) and Hannah Ashby (8.09).
The U15 Boys put in a good performance to be eighth from 38 complete teams, with the B team 20th. Nathan Sweeney ran 7.07 on first leg for the A team to come in 16th. Thomas Redmond ran 6.54 to move up to 7th and Oakley Denson had a good run of 6.59 to lose just a place. The B team featured Angus Stoneham (7.37), Laurie Gawne (7.31) and Matt Aldred (7.03). Sammy Bennetts (7.43) and Felix Palmer (8.38) were an incomplete C team.
Zoe Gilbody ran the fastest leg of the U13 Girls race (7.23) to lead off. Lesedi Nkoane took over on leg 2 and ran the third fastest leg of the day (7.38) to extend the margin and Frankie Baxter ran 7.28 (second fastest) to complete an easy Chiltern win. The B team were a very good seventh thanks to Marea Logan (7.57), Lucy Wilkinson (8.11) and Lily Jessop-Tranter (8.19). The C team also ran well to be 22nd form the 36 complete teams – Olivia Clarke (8.27), Beth Togneri (8.46) and Izzy Martin (9.00).
The U13 Boys made it win number three courtesy of Euan Pinder (6.58), Max Baxter (7.22) and Alden Collier (6.54). The B team had a great run to be fourth – Isaac Jessop-Tranter (7.22), Archie Pinder (7.17) and Rowan Gawne (7.34). Also running well were the C team – Callum Powell (7.55), Leon Doran (7.49) and Gabriel Strutton-Smith (7.47) – coming in tenth. George Fotherby (8.28) and Sammy Whibley (8.25) were an incomplete D team. There were thirty teams in total.
The U17 Men and U20 Men ran together and the Chiltern U17 Men took an unexpected but welcome victory. Alex Johnson (10.33), Alex Aldred (10.41) and Angus Williams (10.49) all ran well. The B team were 21st from 31 due to good runs from Ben Jackson (11.25), Ben Hunter (11.58) and James Palmer (12.08). Luke Martin ran 11.48 in an incomplete C team. The U20 Men were sixth in their race with Cameron Reid (10.41), Ed Watson (12.08) and Cam Hathaway-Enright (12.45) comprising the team.
The Senior Men had not entered this event before but a young team of Richard Slade, Will Perkin, Adam Day and Aran Davidson ran very well to finish as fifth team from 36 finishing teams.
The course was billed as 5k but runners advised it was closer to 4400m. Richard ran first leg and came in eighth in a good time of 14.01. Will Perkin made up several places to bring the team in third after a good lap of 13.57. Adam Day ran 14.59 to be fifth and Aran Davidson ran 15.07 to maintain that position.