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Great success for young Harlow athletes in Essex Cross-Country league

Athletics / Mon 14th Nov 2022 am30 11:25am

ORION Harriers hosted Round Two of the Essex Cross Country League, on Chingford Plain on Saturday. Harlow had their best representation for some time, with eighteen athletes making up three teams at U13 and U15 level.

Under 13 Girls didn’t manage to raise a scoring team, but two individuals did well. Ciara Dobson and Lacey Murray were both making their competitive debuts and were twelfth and fifteenth in a thirty-girl field.

There was individual success in the Under 13 Boys as George Watkins won the race, in a time of 8.35 minutes. Not only did he win the race but as this was the race designated for Essex Team selection, he confirmed his place in the team by finishing in the top five.

He was supported by five other Harlow athletes and the trio of Ryan Chapman (10.42 mins), and Max (11.19 mins) and Ben Tucker (10.57 mins) completed the scoring quartet. Their combined total was good enough for fifth overall in the thirteen team standings. Lenny Parker and Luke Tyrell-Price were forty-third and forty-fifth in the forty-nine runner field.

There was team success in the Under 15 Girls, who won the race on the day. This was a great achievement and showed the value of working hard together at training: none of the competing girls finished in the top ten but consistent finishes in the field gave them the lowest score on the day to top the sixteen team standings. Isla Garrett (18.26 mins) was first home in thirteenth place. Abigail Cowling was twentieth (20.11 mins), Faryl Wright twenty-fifth (21.31 mins) with Lola Biddle thirtieth (27.35).

The Under 15 Boys didn’t quite manage to win but finished a strong second. Manny Richards was best placed Harlow runner, in thirteenth and a time of 15.59 mins. Hayden Garrett was nineteenth (16.23 mins) Conor McEwan (17.32 mins) and Thomas Graham (17.36 mins) were twenty eighth and -ninth respectively to complete the quartet. Sonny Mowat and Daniel Hundley finished in thirty-first and thirty-sixth places in the forty strong field.

These performances are not only testament to the hard work of the athletes themselves, but also of a strong group of middle-distance coaches, Paul Schofield, Maria Kouri and Judith Moss who are all involved directly in the teams. They have been supported by Sharon Wright and Adrian Fell, who are nurturing younger talent and getting them ready for competition as soon as they are old enough, aged eleven.

The club received further good news on Saturday as it learnt that its application to re-join the Eastern Young Athletes League had been successful, pending ratification at the League’s AGM later th

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