Friday, April 12, 2024

Athletics: Medal rush at X-Country champs for Thurrock Harriers

THURROCK Harriers’ athletes earned 22 medals at Day One of the County Cross Country Championships at the weekend. Held on the Garrison Course at Colchester on Saturday the U13, U15 and Veterans’ championship were held for both males and females.

Individual medals were won by Harry Parker and Amber Pullinger. Harry won the U13 boys race in majestic style. With some testing races facing him Harry should be equal to their challenges.

Amber is consistently excellent this season, and toughed her race out to finish 2nd.

Both led their teams to medals. The under 13 boys were 3rd. Jamie Mack 11th and Dylan Harrod 19th produced season’s best runs while it was good to see Teddy Norcott make the scoring team for the first time and with it a hard-earned County Medal. Also finishing was Sonny Verhitt 38th.

Amber was backed well by Hayley Instance 9th, Lucie Ball 14th, Amy Raven 35th who ensured the team took silver medals – a pleasant and very welcome surprise for the Harriers management and coaching team.

The under 15 boy’s team earned bronze medals. Taylor Newell 8th, Leon Wheeler 9th, Sarab Dhillon 18th and Ben Prior made up this podium quartet – all with excellent runs. This strong section of the Club also included Mason Hambleton 35th, Henri Willett 37th and Ellis Swindell finished 41st.

The under 15 girl’s team finished 5th with Holly Dowsett-Ward 12th, Demi Briggs 18th, Hannah Peacock 26th and Leah Brewer 39th.

The men’s V50 race brought the club still more medals, again bronze. The Green brothers made their first competitive appearance for many months and joined club stalwarts Eamonn Shelley and Don Lawless to win the medals. The V50 section in Essex is incredibly strong so Don Lawless 17th, Paul Green 18th, John Green 20th and Eamonn Shelley 21st can be proud of this achievement. Also in the race Jon Metcalf finished 30th and Bernie Johnson was 69th. Most frustrated finisher was Mick Bumstead 38th overall, but 4th in the MV60 section only 12 seconds behind the silver medalist.

Unfortunately the women’s team was one short of a team. Nonetheless Toni Noble put on a great performance to finish 15th. Jodi Farrell was 28th overall and 7th in the FV45 age group. Victoria Peacock ran a controlled race to finish 43rd.

Disappointingly only 2 Thurrock runners appeared for the MV40 competition. Toby Draper, making a rare cross country appearance, ran well to finish 31st, closely followed by the ever improving Keith Willett.

Away from championship and league duties 5 Harriers competed in the Thurrock Park Run. Back from University Alec Finch recorded the fastest ever time for the event to win with 16m10s. Other finishers were Jodi Meredith 17m39s, Oliver Mann 18m16s and Sam Smith who finished 4th. First lady was Charlotte Edwards in 23m27s.


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