Chiltern Harriers had a fantastic day at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath on Saturday.
There were individual wins in the U13 boys and girls races for Alden Collier and Frankie Baxter, and team wins for both U13 boys and U13 girls teams. To add to the success the U15 girls won team silver and there were numerous other great runs across the age groups.
The U15 boys were first on the programme and there was a commendable sixth place for the Chiltern team. Thomas Askey continued his great season to be 14th, Mac Nisbet was 17th, Thomas Redmond 19th and Oakley Denson 100th to complete the scoring. Angus Stoneham was 150th, Laurie Gawne 160th, and Sammy Bennetts 217th. There were 317 finishers.
Hopes were high that the U13 girls could achieve highly after second place last year. Despite some injury issues recently Frankie Baxter took her first major championships win to land the gold medal with a committed, positive run Lesedi Nkoane also had a strong run to be fifth and the other scorers were Marea Logan in 29th and Lily Jessop-Tranter in 43rd. Other good runs came from Olivia Clarke (100th), Savarnah Pandya (105th), Beth Togneri (172nd), Izzy Martin (183rd), Jo Snelling (254th), and Rebecca Lawson (272nd).
Next up were the U13 boys and, after an unbeaten autumn, Alden Collier was a strong favourite for gold. After a fast start Alden ended up a comfortable victor, winning by nearly twenty seconds. A large Chiltern team battled hard to gain team success. The other scorers were Archie Pinder (24th), Euan Pinder (29th) and Alex Hughes (32nd) to gain a total of 86 points with South London Harriers second with 103. A big team saw good runs from Max Baxter (35th), Isaac Jessop-Tranter (71st), Rowan Gawne (97th), Callum Powell (118th), Gabriel Strutton-Smith (158th), Alfie Clifford (183rd), and Danny Carruthers (216th).
The U15 girls were the fourth team in action and great packing from the scoring four led to team silver. Abbie Henderson repeated her fifth place from last year, Holly Henderson defeated recent illness to be 15th, Alice Brown was 21st and Maddie Hughes 29th. A score of 70 is very good but the Chiltern girls were beaten by a very strong Windsor team that featured the gold and silver medallists. Also running well were Ellie Shield in 78th and Charlotte Docwra in 133rd.
There was a complete team of four in the U17 Men’s race, led home in 52nd by Max McGarvie. James Watson was 97th, Luke Martin 99th and Ben Hunter, who ran the last km in one shoe, 108th. The team was a creditable 13th. Alicia Bushell and Ella Watson ran in the U17 women’s race with Alicia 49th and Ella 145th. Edward Watson was 98th in the Junior Men’s race, and Hannah Wardley and Fiona Williams tackled the 8k Senior Women’s race. Hannah had a good run to be 134th with Fiona 549th.