Athletics: Impressive performances by young Harlow cross country runners

Athletics / Tue 7th Nov 2023 at 09:39am

CHELMSFORD AC hosted the third round of the Essex Cross Country at a wet and windy Writtle College on Saturday. Turnout for Harlow AC was better than the previous week across the age groups.

There was still only one Under 13 boy, Ben Tucker and again he ran well. Unfortunately, no time was recorded due to a chip error in his tag. Despite no time, he was seventeenth in a fifty-four-runner field over the 3km distance.

Next in action, over 4km, were the U15 Girls and Boys. In the girl’s race, there were thirty-four competitors. Isla Garrett ran well to finish in fourteenth. Her time of 18.07 minutes was a season’s best for the distance.

Faryl Wright was the only other U15 girl, and she finished in twenty-eighth on her first appearance of the season. Her time was 20.50 minutes.

The Under 15 boys were back up to a quartet and finished third as a team. Despite not having a scoring four last week, they maintain their third place in the overall standings. On this occasion, the four were, George Watkins, Manny Richards, Thomas Graham, and Daniel Hundley. 

Despite the conditions, Watkins improved upon his best set last week by nearly ninety seconds. He was third overall and his time was 13.42 minutes. Harlow’s next man home was Manny Richards. He ran well to record a time of 14.54 minutes and twelfth place. Thomas Graham was third Harlow athlete home in 16.43 minutes, he was twenty-eighth. In thirty-fourth place, out of the forty-eight runners who competed, was Daniel Hundley. He achieved this in a decent 17.14 minutes.

By the time the U17s and seniors were amassing to race, conditions had deteriorated further. In the attritional conditions, it was no surprise that there was a sizeable number of athletes who did not complete their respective courses. Over the 6km distance for U17s, Abigail Cowling was twenty-fourth and the final finisher, thirty started. Her time was 35.20 minutes.

The Under 17 men consisted of three young men. Conor McEwan was first home for Harlow in 26.21 minutes. Just over twenty seconds behind was Hayden Garrett in 26.43 minutes. And only five seconds behind him was Sonnie Mowatt in 26.48 minutes. Positionally, the boys were twenty-second, twenty-fourth, and twenty-sixth respectively.

A decision was made only two weeks ago to amalgamate the U20, Senior and veteran races due to falling numbers of competitors. This may have been a decision regretted by the hosts as 174 women competed over the 7km course! Unfortunately, Lola Biddle did not complete the course due to injury. Sharon Wright, making her first start of the season, did complete the course and was thirty-sixth, in a time of 33.00 minutes exactly.

After three matches in four weeks, the Essex League now breaks until the final two matches in January and February.

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