Athletics: Gemma shines for Thurrock Harriers

CLOSE to fifty athletes ran in the second round of the Essex Cross Country League at Hylands Park, Chelmsford on Saturday.

Top performances came from Palmer’s Student, Gemma Holloway, who has to run as a non scorer in the senior women’s race because she is out of her age group.

She was second on Saturday to Laura Deadman who is a current cross country international but in turn she was some way in front of third place.

Gemma is preparing for a big test in December when she takes on the best in the Southern Inter-Counties Match at Oxford.

Thurrock’s only winner on the day was Hayley Instance who fought off two Cambridge and Coleridge rivals to win a fiercely contested race. The team was also successful, finishing 2nd. Holly Dowsett-Ward 10th, Demi Briggs 14th and Keira Scott 15th all excelled to ensure the very brilliant result.

Harry Parker was 3rd in the same age group where he is at the younger end. This was a most promising effort and hopefully he will do well at County level later in the season.

This group is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. On Saturday they finished 3rd in spite of losing Mason Hambledon at the start after he lost his shoe in the clinging mud. Ben Prior 16th, Finley Lowe 17th and Henri Willett 37th all ran strongly to complete the team. The rapidly improving Ewan Gray was 40th, Ross Livingstone 61st and Alfie Furzedonne, making his debut, 63rd.

Another placed athlete was 10 year old Demi Eaves who was 2nd in the under 11’s race. Her Mum, Sara, was a County runner in her day so she has good genes! Also placed in the top 10 was Elliott Dowsett-Ward.

It was pleasing to see the under 17’s finish 3rd. Jodie Meredith ran strongly for 10th, Sam Smith 13th, Gary Cahill 23rd and Tyler Chu, who took time off from his T&F programme to finish 30th. Luke Strudwicke was 39th. With Oliver Mann waiting to make his cross country debut this team look a possibility for medals at the County Champs.

In the under 15 girls Amber Pullinger caught the eye with an excellent 9th place. She was supported by Lucy Ball 21st and Heather Peters 24th.

Taylor Newell had a very pleasing run in 15th place in the under 15 boy’s event. Reece Scott 26th, Jack Exley 38th and Sarab Dhillon 50th secured 7th for the team.

Other results: under 17 girls – Brooke Mensah 20th, Anna Stancombe 39th. Senior Women Jodie Farrell 40th (6th in the FV45 category). Senior men Alex Houghton 29th, Scott Rice 32nd, Don Lawless 73rd (5th V50), Keith Willett 75th, Jon Metcalf 97th, John Russell 105th, Jason Syrett 110th, Mick Bumstead 120th (2nd MV60), Martin Mack 123rd, Nigel Instance 139th, Rob Doyle 140th, Paul Mitchell 151, Ian Scott 155, Bernie Johnson 160.

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