Middlesex XC Championships 2020 (report by Simon Baker of London Heathside)
A sunny Wormwood Scrubs played host to the 2020 Middlesex Cross Country Championships. The ground was soft but the recent dry spell had helped firm up most of the course however the northern section remained muddy with some standing water making the going tough. The team competition was dominated by Highgate Harriers who won the Senior Men, U11 Boys and Girls, U13 Boys and Girls and U15 Girls titles. Among a host of fine individual performances Asmaa Abdirahman (U13G), Lara Mannes (U15G) and Mohamed Ali (U17M) all retained their titles while Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers saw their athletes win 4 County titles (U11 Boys and Girls, U13 Boys and U17 Women). Newly crowned Senior County Champions are Nick Goolab (Belgrave) and Gintare Juknyte (Aldershot).
The medals and trophies presented by County President Clyde Gordon. As always thank you to all the officials and volunteers who gave their time to help organise another successful Championships.
The days racing commenced with the U11 Boys with the course starting over the firm playing fields before the muddy section through the trees. Quickly Arthur Phillips (SBH) and Ben Redland (LH) who are joint leaders of the met league moved ahead of the pack. They continued to battle it out before Arthur established a 3 second lead as they came round the last corner. The battle for third place was closely fought with 3 seconds between Barnabe Lesenne-Ward (Hill) 3rd and 5th place. Highgate easily won the team race with 5 runners in the top 10 with Billy Cooke in 4th their first runner. Hillingdon and Harrow made up the other team medal positions.
1st Arthur Phillips (SBH) 5:31, 2nd Ben Redland (LH) 5:34, 3rd Barnabe Lesenne-Ward 5:56.
1st Highgate (4,5,7) 16 pts, 2nd Hillingdon (3,14,15) 32 pts, 3rd Harrow (13,19,20) 52 pts
The U11 Girls race saw pre-race favourite Posie Shaw stamp her authority on the race early on, with 3 Met League victories this season she led all the way finishing 8 sec ahead of Kiara Corkin (LH) the County U11 Road Race Champion. Debutant Natalie Denley (VPH&TH) produced a superb run to finish 3rd 4s behind. Highgate with 3 runners in the top 10 again convincingly won the team title while London Heathside were runners up with Harrow again 3rd.
1st Posie Shaw (SBH) 5:45, 2nd Kiara Corkin (LH) 5:53, Natalie Denley (VPH&TH) 5:57
1st Highgate (5,7,9) 21 pts, 2nd London Heathside (2,21,25) 48 pts, 3rd Harrow (13,20,22) 55 pts
Running the western part of the course the boys headed into the wind with Zico Jones (SBH) and Louis Reynolds (VPH&TH) able to gradually pull away from the rest of the field. Zico then managed to ease himself away from Louis to retain his County XC title to add to his 100,200 and 800m track titles. Thomas Chadwick (Highgate) ran a strong race predominantly on his own over the closing stages to finish 3rd. Highgate continued their fabulous form with again 3 scorers in the top 10 to take the title from London Heathside and ESM.
1st Zico Jones (SBH) 11:28, 2nd Louis Reynolds (VPH&TH) 11:32, 3rd Thomas Chadwick 11:48
1st Highgate (3,5,9) 17 pts, London Heathside (4,7,11) 22 pts, 3rd ESM (6,12,13) 31 pts
In one of the most dominant displays of the day reigning U13 champion Asmaa Abdirahman (Hill) shredded the field early on to come home 25s ahead of the next runner Ellie Chadwick (Highgate) with Gerance Ferrera (Highgate in 3rd). The team event was much more competitive with 4 teams having two runners in the top 10. However Highgate continued the clean sweep of the day so far with TVH 3nd and VP&TH 3rd.
1st Asmaa Abdirahman (Hill) 12:19, 2nd Elinor Chadwick (Highgate) 12:44, 3rd Gerance Ferrera (Highgate) 12:56
1st Highgate (2,3,12) 17 pts, 2nd TVH (4,5,13) 30 pts, 3rd VPH&TH (6,7,17) 30 pts
Again this race was dominated by a Hillingdon runner with Abdirahmim Hamud stretching the field to come home 15 seconds ahead of Samuel Greenstein (SBH) who out sprinted Sonny Maund over the closing stages. The team competition went to London Heathside who had runners in 6th, 7th and 8th places, Hillingdon were 2nd with Highgate 3rd.
1st Abdirahim Hamud (Hill) 14:29, 2nd Samuel Greenstein (SBH) 14:44, Sonny Maund (St Mary’s) 14:48
1st London Heathside (6,7,8) 21 pts, 2nd Hillingdon (1,9 ,17) 27 pts, Highgate (5,13,14) 32 pts
Blackheath & Bromley runner Lara Mannes successfully defended her title with a great display of front running to secure her victory 30s ahead of the next runner Nicola McGovern (Hill). Daya Baga (Windsor) improved her 4th place last year finishing 3rd. With 2 runners in the top 5 Highgate again won the team competition ahead of VPH&TH and TVH.
1st Lara Mannes (B&B) 16:34, 2nd Nicole McGovern (Hill) 17:04, 3rd Daya Baga (WSEH) 17:21
1st Highgate (4,5,12) 21 pts, 2nd VPH&TH (6,11,15) 32 pts, 3rd TVH (10,13,14) 37 pts
U17 & U20 Men
The U17 Men’s race proved to be of exceptional quality with Mohamed Ali retaining his title from Thomas Archer (LH) who was a minute ahead of 3rd place Seweryn Czapka (ESM) who just piped Jake Evans (LH) on the line. With 3 top 10 finishers London Heathside secured the team title from TVH and SBH.
1st Mohamed Ali (ESM) 20:47, 2nd Thomas Archer (LH) 21:04, 3rd Seweryn Czapka (ESM) 22:05
1st London Heathside (2,4,10) 16 pts, 2nd TVH (7,11,14) 32 pts, 3rd SBH (6,12,18) 36 pts
The U20 race was won by Seyfu Jamal (LH) who has been in fine form in the lead up to the race and has already won the Senior London XC Title this season. He was followed home by last years champion Jem O’Flaherty (LH) with Elias Ahmed (ESM) 3rd. No club managed to field more than 2 runners so there was no team competition this year.
U17 Women & U20 Women
The U17 race was won by Maayan Radus (SBH) improving on her 3rd place in the U15 Girls last year finishing ahead of Mimi Blake (LH) who has won all the NWLL races this year and was 7th in last years race. 3rd place went to Belgrave Harrier Maddy Whiteman who finished 5th in the U15’s last year. With 3 placed in the top 10 SBH won the team competition with London Heathside 2nd and VPH&TH 3rd.
1st Maayan Radus (SBH) 24:49, 2nd Mimi Blake (LH) 25:10, 3rd Maddy Whitman (Belgrave) 25:35
1st SBH (1,5,10) 16 pts, 2nd London Heathside (2,14,17) 33 pts, VPH&TH (9,12,16) 37 pts
The U20 Women’s race saw Yasmin Marghini (Herne Hill) last years’ U17 champion win by a convincing margin of almost 1 and a half minutes from Charlotte Buckley (TVH) and Isabelle Franco (TVH) who with Jasmine Gray ensured TVH won the Team competition.
1st Yasmin Marghini (Herne Hill) 23:53, 2nd Charlotte Buckley (TVH) 25:17, 3rd Isabelle Franco (TVH) 25:24
1st Thames Valley Harriers (2,3,5) 10 pts
The Senior Women’s race came down to the closest finish of the day with Gintare Juknyte (Aldershot) just piping Anna Hollingsworth (Serp) on the line. Izzy Dye (TVH) a former U20 County Champion securing the bronze medal. Host club Thames Valley Harriers easily took the senior women’s title with 3 of their 4 scorers finishing in the top 10. Trent Park secured 2nd place with last years champions London Heathside 3rd.
1st Gintare Jukntye (Aldershot) 33:45, 2nd Anna Hollingsworth (Serp) 33:46, 3rd Izzy Dye (TVH) 34:02
1st TVH (3,5,9,10) 27 pts, 2nd Trent Park (7,8,13,18) 46 pts, 3rd London Heathside (12,14,16,30) 72 pts
The Senior Men’s title went to Nick Goolab (Belgrave) a former Junior English Champion ran away from the field to record a 50 second lead over 2nd placed Alexander Lepretre (Highgate) to match his position last year. Just behind was Dylan Evans (SBH) on the back of his Met League win at Uxbridge to secure 3rd place. The team competition was convincingly won by Highgate who had 6 finishers in the top 15 with London Heathside in 2nd and TVH 3rd. VPH&TH won the 12 to score competition for teams not finishing in the top 3.
1st Nick Goolab (Belgrave) 41:14, 2nd Alexander Lepretre (Highgate) 42:04, 3rd Dylan Evans (SBH) 42:10
1st Highgate (2,6,9,10,12,14) 53 pts, 2nd London Heathside (11,17,19,23,25,36) 131 pts, 3rd TVH (13,24,26,32,34,38) 167 pts