Road Running & Cross Country Team Events, November 2002 - February 2003
National Cross Country Champs., Parliament Hill, 22 February 2003.
Jonathan Blackledge targets a World Cross place
Cockerell takes the "Parker Bowl"
In his first year in the under 20
age-group Jonathan Blackledge had a tremendous run to place 5th and keep
alive his hopes of a place on the GB team in the World Cross Country
selections had already been made but three further places were left open
to see what happened in the National and English Schools Champs.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Jonathan and hope that he can
join Mark Miles and Spencer Barden who have already been named for the
senior men’s team.
Conditions under foot were pretty
good (although there are always some muddy spots on Hampstead Heath) and
keeping to the right hand side of the broad starting stretch, Jonathan was
already well up as the runners went over the top and onto the course
proper. The leaders were
strung out after one circuit with Mohamed Farah of Windsor well clear. Our
man was 5th and one felt confident that he would be able to maintain that
place – and he did. The
period of poor health that hit Jonathan aroung the beginning of the year
now seems to be behind him and quite apart from any World Cross
pretensions, we look forward to seeing him carve a place for himself now
in the road relay teams.
It was a low key day for our two
senior teams – although our women’s team were eager to see if they
could gain a more forward placing than the men.
Angela Walker headed our squad and in the process leapfrogged over
Tilly Heaton in our Plate competition. There were no such changes in the
men’s Plate competition where Will Cockerell at last gained the
20-pointer he’s been looking for to hold on to that Plate for a second
year – and get his name engraved on the prestigious “Parker Bowl” as
our first National man home. It
was by no means cut and dried, for Roger Alsop, working for a while in
Bratislava, managed a weekend home and showed that his marathon training
is going well with his best ever run in the National. Roger might have
been closer still had it not been for a fall. Knut Hegvold also ran
particularly well but our aims to consistently place among the top ten in
the senior men’s race took a huge knock when after four good years we
found ourselves only just scraping into the top 30! The
stats. make interesting reading: Will
has shot up the list of those with consecutive National runs; Don
Anderson, who closed in our six, goes to the top of the list of those
with the most “Nationals” under their belt; Steve Zealey came home 200
places better than in his last National outing in 1988!
Senior Men’s 12 km. 1 M.Smith
(Tipton) 41:54; 2 A.Caine (Tynedale) 42:00; 3 H.Lobb (Bedford) 42:08; 92
W.Cockerell 46:08; 106 R.Alsop 46:29; 167 K.Hegvold (M40) 48:12; 319
S.Zealey 51:08; 334 P.Carstairs 51:23; 886 Don Anderson (M45) 1:01:06;
Teams: 1 Leeds City AC 181; 2
Morpeth H &AC 206; 3 Tipton H 275; 28 Belgrave H 1904.
Junior Men’s 10 km. 1 M.Farah
(Windsor SE&H) 33:20; 2 M.Lole (Coventry Godiva) 33:49; 3 T.Humphries
(Cannock & Staffs) 34:42; 5 J.Blackledge 35:22; 131 finished.
Senior Women’s 8 km. 1 H.Yelling
(Windsor SE&H) 32:18; 2 J.Kezisey (Woking) 33:57; 3 J.Porter
(Charnwood) 34:05; 86 A.Walker 39:01; 153 J.Whittington42:36; 256 A.Pike
46:45; 311 C.Eastham 49:33; 399 finished.
Teams: 1 Chester-le-Street 48; 2
Sale H Manchester 54; 3 Bristol 81; 31 Belgrave H 802.
“Sweatshop” Men’s Surrey CC League Division One Match Four, Farthing Downs, Coulsdon, 01 February 2003.
Youths and Boys top Surrey League - Senior Men Third
1 D.Taylor (Herne Hill) 28:20; 2 M.Normington (Herne Hill) 28:52; 3 D.Naylor (Thames H&H) 29:18; 5 A.Zawadski 29:32; 7 K.Nash 29:38; 11 W.Cockerell 29:54; 19 K.Hegvold (M40) 31:07; 26 S.Kennefick 31:18; 42 W.Lynch 32:36; 50 S.Zealey 32:56; 62 L.Catley 33:35; 72 P.Carstairs (M40) 34:45; 92 M.Webb 35:18; 95 R.Marcus 35:29; 114 A.Cowmeadow 37:33; 128 Don Anderson (M45) 38:55; 142 R.Bale (M50) 42:45; 148 E.Asiedu 45:48.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill 169; 2 Thames H&H 197; 3 Belgrave 359; 4 South London 386; 5 Aldershot F&D 504; 6 Guildford & G 565; =7 Reigate Priory 593; =7 Ranelagh 593; 8 Guildford &G 602; 9 Dulwich 729.
Final league result: 1 Thames H&H 747; 2 Herne Hill 841; 3 Belgrave 1420; 4 South London 1722; 5 Aldershot F&D 2071; 6 Ranelagh 2151; 7 Reigate Priory 2269; 8 Guildford &G 2447; 9 Dulwich 2712.
Under 17 Men/Under 15 Boys.
1 D.Seddon (Belgrave) 16:00; 5 J.MacRae 18:05; 7 R.Collier 19:13; 9 D.Stephens 19:44; 10 N.Ambrose 20:12; 12 C.Ferrer 21:28.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 30; 2 Guildford &G 75; 3 South London H 90.
Final league result: 1 Belgrave 161; 2 South London 351.5; 3 Guildford &G 434.5; 4 Herne Hill 435; 5 Ranelagh 441.5.
Under 13 Boys
Final league result. 1 South London 97.5; 2 Guildford &G 367; 3 Ranelagh 386, 4 Belgrave 426.
Women’s Surrey CC League Division One Race Four, Lloyd Park, 01 February 2003.
Belles also in bronze
1 E.Fisher (Shaftesbury Barnet gst) 27:13; 6 M.Heaton 28:52; 14 A.Walker 30:46; 25 L.Cooper 31:38; 33 H.Alsop 32:34;46 A.Pike 34:27; 57 C.Eastham 36:14; 67 N.Mills 38:31 .
Teams: 1 South London 61; 2 Ranelagh 75; 3 West 4 114; 4 Herne Hill 122; 5 Belgrave 124; 6 Dulwich 135; 16 Belgrave B 379; 18 teams closed in.
Final league position. 1 South London 298; 2 Ranelagh 358; 3 Belgrave 439; 4 Thames H&H 534; 5 Herne Hill 551; 6 Dulwich 703; 16 Belgrave B 1746; 28 teams scored.
15. 1 K.Mertens (Woking) 14:56; 2 L.Collier 14:56; 6 I Ainsworth
Under 13. 6 K.Burns 16:12.
SEAA Cross Country Champs., Bicton College, nearExmouth, Devon, 25 January 2003.
Much had been made of the fact that the “Southern” was to be held in the far west of the Southern Area and that the entry was sure to be decimated. Well, although the number of men taking part did drop by around 25%, it was not the sharp end of the field that suffered. The rolling Devonshire countryside also provided a pleasant respite from the traffic problems and mud of Parliament Hill Fields. It’s a shame that the race doesn’t get moved around the country a little more often.
Tilly Heaton made a strong start in the women’s 8km race, placing in the low 30s after the first short lap with Tania Sturton not far behind. Unfortunately that enthusiastic start by Tania proved to be her undoing as her asthma problem struck early in the second lap and she had to pull out. Losing a little ground throughout the rest of the race, Tilly nevertheless finished well on a par with her previous year’s 45th and moved into the lead in our Cross Country Plate competition. Angela Walker and Louise Cooper were never far apart and it was Louise who came out on top on this occasion.
Our men’s team were once again unable to break out of the rut which has seen them place 16th, 6th, 9th and 14th in the previous four years – but that rut is considerably better than the preceding few seasons when we didn’t even finish a complete squad.
Will Cockerell set out determined to hang on to the Endurance Cup, awarded to first Belgravian home, but in the end performed a little below par, maybe hampered by a mild bout of “sniffles” during the week. As second man, however, he took good points in the Plate competition and although he barely needs to bother with the remaining two races, we’ll bet he does, in his quest to achieve at least one “maximum-pointer”.
Hassan Raidi was Will’s Nemesis on this occasion; he had returned from Morocco with some solid training under his belt, determined to earn a place in the Inter-County/World Cross Trial in two week’s time. Hassan closely trailed the leading group for the first third of the race but gradually fell away to 15th – our best since Paul Freary’s 6th in 2000. Veteran Knut Hegvold was a minute down on Will but shot up the Plate points table while Warren Lynch, training hard for the London marathon, ran way above his normal cross country form to keep alive our aim of a team position in the top ten.
Men’s 15km. 1 J.Downes (London Irish) 37:15; 2 M.Normington (Herne Hill) 37:25; 3 D.Mitchinson (Newham & Essex) 37:30; 15 H.Raidi 38:43; 42 W.Cockerell 39:47; 70 K.Hegvold (M40) 40:51; 126 W.Lynch 42:41; 170 L.Catley 43:52; 209 P.Carstairs (M40) 44:44; 211 M.Byansi 44:46; 524 Don Anderson (M45) 53:18; 628 finished.
Teams: 1 Newham & Essex Bgls 148; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 180; 3 Blackheath H 256; 10 Belgrave H 628; 55 teams closed in.
Women’s 8km. 1 S.Morris (Bedford) 23:29; 2 C.Hoyte (Arena 80) 23:55; 3 L.Watson (Medway & Maidstone) 24:21; 50 M.Heaton (Belgrave) 26:28; 97 L.Cooper 28:32; 102 A.Walker 28:44; 266 finished.
Teams: 1 Windsor SE&H 64; 2 Bedford & County AC 79; 3 Highgate H 105; 31 teams closed in.
“Sweatshop” Men’s Surrey CC League Division One Match Three, Petersham, Richmond Park, 11 January 2003.
Young Belgravians head the league with a match to go
As the seniors prepared for their event they were heartened to see a resounding victory in the Youth’s race by our YA Captain Dale Seddon. A pupil at Alleyn’s School, Dale has often run well for us in NYAL steeplechases and last we were able to see what he can do “over the country”. He led his team to second place on the day but overall our Youths head the league – and may well be our only league champions at the end of the winter.
There were no surprises in the men’s race as all the teams in the top half of the competition ended the day in their expected positions. The snowy conditions of the preceding days had cleared but after a heavy overnight frost the ground had only just about thawed for the earlier events and by the time the senior men set out at 3pm, a silvery rime was once again stiffening every blade of grass.
Nursing a tight hamstring, Stephen Sharp looked every inch a winner with only half the distance gone. He was some 15 metres up on Reigate’s Junior International Ed Prickett as they set out on the second circuit and without over extending himself, Stephen gradually increased his lead to about 50 metres and eased through the funnel with no trouble from his “niggle”. Will Cockerell was always our second man but with spikes scrunching on the crisp surface he found himself under attack from Roger Alsop as the finish neared, Roger running to his best ever position in the league. Will is now the clear leader in the Plate Competition.
In his first ever run for as as a harrier, 21 year-old Tim Bayley gave the team a boost by coming home just outside the top 20 – superb running from a 21.81/200m, 47.52/400m man. But then he started off his athletics as an 800 metre running schoolboy and now has plans to return to the two lap event with cross country providing some key winter conditioning. Coached by Jon Bigg and with a second place in the Sussex League already under his belt, Tim’s return to the track in a few months time should be worth watching.
Veteran Phil Carstairs was delighted to get into the scoring ten again. A few months ago, with seemingly never ending knee troubles, he had given up all idea of ever returning to our main team and was even wondering whether he’d have to quit running altogether. It was also a pleasure to see Stephen Kennefick back in action, having strung together some weeks of good training, and the team was closed in by Mike Webb – how often he has filled that role for us.
1 Thames H&H 176; 2 Herne Hill H 226; 3 Belgrave H 323; 4 South London H 461; 5 Ranelagh H 528; 6 Guildford & Godalming AC 552; 7 Reigate Priory AC 558; 8 Aldershot F&D AC 584; 9 Dulwich Runners 687.
After three matches: 1 Thames H&H 550; 2 Herne Hill H 672; 3 Belgrave H 1061; 4 South London H 1336; 5 Ranelagh H 1558; 6 Aldershot F&D AC 1567; 7 Reigate Priory AC 1704; 8 Guildford & Godalming AC 1854; 9 Dulwich Runners 1983.
1 S.Sharp (Belgrave) 28:23; 2 E.Prickett (Reigate) 28:39; 3 S.Major (SLH) 28:51; 10 W.Cockerell 29:45; 11 R.Alsop 29:49; 21 T.Bayley 30:23; 24 R.Tubbs 30:41; 34 K.Hegvold (M40) 31:19; 37 S.Kennefick 31:30; 58 S.Zealey 32:39; 73 P.Carstairs (M40) 33:17; 77 M.Webb 33:29; 80 L.Catley 33:38; 84 R.Marcus 33:52; 106 G.Reid (M40) 34:59; 155 E.Asiedu 44:24.
Under 17/Under 15. 1 South London H 51; 2 Belgrave H 66; 3 Ranelagh H 84; 4 Herne Hill H 102; 5 Guildford & Godalming AC 112.
After three matches: 1 Belgrave H 131; 2 South London H 261.5; 3 Herne Hill H 295; 4 Ranelagh H 301.5; 5 Guildford & Godalming AC 359.5; 6 Dulwich R 414.
1 D.Seddon (Belgrave U17) 16:58; 2 D.Hooper (SLH U15) 17:45; 3 R.Sim (Ranelagh U15) 18:15; 9 P.Cowling (U17) 19:29; 10 R.Collier (U17) 19:30; 15 D.Stephens (U15) 20:33; 16 finished.
Under 13. 1 South London H 18; 2 Guildford & Godalming AC 69.5; 3 Ranelagh H 86; 4 Belgrave H 12.
After three matches: 1 South London H 59; 2 Guildford & Godalming AC 275.5; 3 Ranelagh H 276; 4 Belgrave H 293; 5 Dulwich R 411.5.
1 P.Humphrey (SLH) 17:17; 2 N.Farrell (SLH) 17:52; 3 D.Bassett (SLH) 18:33; 6 T.Ashby 19:16; 14 finished.
Women’s Surrey CC League Division One Race Three, Petersham, Richmond Park, 11 January 2003.
Belles still in the frame
After a lacklustre 4th team position in match two the Belles came back at the opposition with a fine second place at Petersham, led home by Maria Sharp. However, with Ranelagh Harriers at full strength on their home ground our squad surprisingly dropped a place in the overall classification. It’s all very tight though and a strong Belgrave turnout for the final match could see us move back to second although surely unable to reach South London Harriers.
Although out of the scoring team, Nina Mills moved into the lead in the Plate Competition, the only runner to have taken part in all three league races this season. But the eventual winner could well be Tilly Heaton who lies in equal second place and heads off down to Devon in two weeks time to tackle race four in the competition – the “Southern”.
1 Ranelagh H 56; 2 Belgrave H 70; 3 Thames H&H 72; 4 South London H 97; 5 Dulwich R 145; 6 Dorking &MV 174; 20 Belgrave H ‘B’ 459.
After three matches: 1 South London H 237; 2 Ranelagh H 283; 3 Belgrave H 315; 4 Thames Hare & Hounds 350; 5 Herne Hill H 429; 6 Woking AC 481; 27 teams.
1 L.Watson (Thames H&H) 21:21; 2 L.Hassells (Thames H&H) 21:34; 3 C.Diss (Herne Hill) 21:37; 5 M.Sharp 21:53; 9 M.Heaton 22:39; 14 J.Clark 23:23; 18 L.Cooper 23:56; 24 H.Alsop 24:22; 65 C.Eastham 27:15; 77 N.Mills 29:23; 97 finished.
Under 15 Girls. 1 Sutton & Dist AC 33; 2 Woking AC 34; 3 Hercules Wimbledon AC 83; 5 Belgrave H 88; 11 teams.
After three matches: 1 Sutton & Dist AC 89; 2 Woking AC 168; 3 Hercules Wimbledon AC 225; 8 Belgrave H 329; 13 teams.
1 K.Mertens 14:51; 6 L.Collier 15:38; 20 H.Gates 18:55.
Under 13 Girls. 1 Ranelagh 48; 2 Guildford & Godalming AC 54; 3 Kingston & Poly H 68; 9 Belgrave H 103; 9 teams.
After three matches: 1 Ranelagh H 165; 2 Guildford & Godalming AC 174; 3 Redhill & SB 228; 7 Belgrave H 306; 12 teams.
1 A.Hook (Ranelagh H) 15:08; 10 K.Burns 16:32; 21 finished.
“Sweatshop” Men’s Surrey CC League Division One, Match 2, Wimbledon Common, 16 November 2002
Depleted team struggles on the Common
This race was always going to be a struggle, clashing as it did with the following day’s European Cross Trial at Margate. However, the team became a little more depleted when Lloyd Catley was unable to get away from work until late and drove all the way from Southampton, only to just miss the start, and Mal Byansi turned up on the wrong side of the Common and also missed the race. Add to that the fact that we lost Bruce Barton in mid-race with a turned ankle and Phil Carstairs also came out with knee trouble, although admittedly out of the scoring ten, and one can see that we were lucky to place 4th! It was our worst score since 1999 and after two races we have a running total of more than our score for the whole of last season.
But there are always highlights. It was good to see Al Stewart back in action after his stress fracture – he was just ahead of Roger Alsop at the finish – while Padraic Buckley goes from strength to strength and had a good go at getting into the frame. Will Cockerell was again well to the fore – he now takes a well earned break after an amazing sequence of races over the past few months – but perhaps the most outstanding was Rob Tubbs who was up to 32nd spot after having to pull out of the previous week’s South of Thames.
Once again some “good ol’ boys" took the opportunity to fill out the scoring ten with Matt Landmeier achieving that distinction in his first outing in our colours.
South London's Stuart Major always had the race under control and nobody begrudged him his first Surrey League win in over ten years of competition. Meanwhile, AW correspondent Martin Duff's comment that "Belgrave continued their recent slide" brought hoots of laughter from a team manager who knew we had six men in the Reebok Cross looking for berths in the GB&NI team for the European Champs. – with three of them achieving their target. We were second team at Margate with only the Midland Counties ahead of us!
Kim and Paul Collier are to be congratulated for again turning out a good contingent of youngsters. Although we didn’t provide anyone in the first three home in either age group, our depth ensured that we again provided the winning team in the under 17/under 15 race and also repeated our under 13 team runners up slot.
Thames Hare & Hounds 188; 2 Herne Hill H 201; 3 Aldershot F&D AC
325; 4 Belgrave H 442; 5 South London H 456; 6 Ranelagh H 530; 7 Reigate
Priory AC 625; 8 Guildford & Godalming AC 664; 9 Dulwich Runners
Women’s Surrey CC League Division One, Match 2, Wimbledon Common, 16 November 2002
Tilly steps in - Belles hold on to second league spot
Eleven of our senior runners made it to the start line but the Belles set the pattern for the afternoon by placing fourth with two runners having to drop out during the event – both of these proceedings being uncannily matched by the men’s squad a couple of hours later. Actually, we say eleven made the start line but Louise Cooper only made it after the field had actually set out; she was still putting her numbers on as the runners streamed away from the Thames clubhouse and ran with her trainers on.
Tilly Heaton missed the opening match but stepped into the team this time to lead our squad home with Angela Walker just five places and 30 seconds further back. But unfortunately both Tania Sturton and Syreeta Stracey had to pull out of the race through injury and illness so we had to dig deep to complete the scorers with Louise just scraping into the “five” after her late start.
So, fourth on the day but still second overall at the halfway point. We have the team to pull back those 50 points on South London – but can we do it?
We were thin on the ground in the younger age groups but Kirsty Burns had a fine run to place 4th in the Under 13s.
South of Thames “Junior” 5 miles CC Race, Sparrow’s Den, West Wickham, 9 November 2002.
Individual "silver" for Tania and Padraic
Three laps of the playing fields and woods of Sparrow’s Den was the order of the day. Our small men’s team had hopes of getting into the medals while it was left to Tania Sturton to keep the flag flying for the Belles.
Kent’s talented Junior Jermain Mays was tipped by most spectators as the likely winner but after the first circuit of the rugby pitches it was Belgrave's Roger Alsop leading the field with the front part consisting almost entirely of navy blue Kent AC vests, the ‘Heath’s black and our own claret and gold. Padraic Buckley was around 6th and Will Cockerell was just a little way further back and maybe feeling the effects of a week in the United States and the accompanying flights. Soon Mays took control and while Roger slipped back a little, Padraic made good ground and was into third place . Will was also coming through and our 4th man Rob Tubbs was just about in the top twenty. Although we were going to be unable to match Kent’s score, we seemed to be clearly second. And weren’t we delighted to see Tania heading the women’s race – although Walton AC’s Williamson was ominously close behind as they set out on the second lap.
Mays went clear on the second circuit but Padraic was looking comfortable, now in a medal position and the only man who could stop a Kentish clean sweep. Will moved ahead of Roger while Rob responded to our supporters' calls by picking off a few more men. Tania was unable to stop Williamson coming past but was secure now in second place and destined to become our first female medallist in this event.
So to the finish. It all looked pretty cut and dried – but it wasn’t! Mays was untroubled, but Padraic had now shaken off the third man and seemed to gain a few metres on the leader as they looped around the playing fields. Kent had three home in the first four but then came Roger, making a big effort to retake Will, so it was Belgrave 2, 5 and 6, surely too much for anyone else to take silver medals away from us. But where was 4th man Rob? It soon became apparent that something untoward must have happened and sure enough we found that he had been forced to pull out on the last lap with his heart beating nineteen to the dozen. Unknown to us beforehand, we learned that Rob suffers with a heart problem which will necessitate an operation in the next month or so. He knew he was in trouble on that last lap and although full of sorrow at having to do it, also knew that his race, on this occasion, was over.
Veteran Don Anderson closed in for the Bels – and although we slipped back to 4th, had consolation in the form of “County” medals, being first unplaced team from Surrey.
Four to score: 1 Kent AC 16; 2 Blackheath H 60; 2 Crawley AC 66; 4 Belgrave H 75; 15 teams closed in.
Eight to score: 1 Blackheath H 171; 2 Kent AC 172; 3 Crawley AC 207.
Surrey County medals: Belgrave H.
1 J.Mays (Kent AC) 26:20; 2 P.Buckley 26:43; 3 A.Dunwoody (Kent AC) 26:52; 5 R.Alsop 27:22; 6 W.Cockerell 27:24; 62 Don Anderson (M40); R.Bale (M50); dnf R.Tubbs; 90+ finished.
1 Brighton & Hove AC 26.
1 S.Williamson (Walton) 32:10; 2 T.Sturton 32:53; 3 V.Mitchell 34:40.