Athletics: Mud no problem for Thurrock Harriers

ROUND 4 of the Essex Cross Country League took place last Saturday on a muddy Epping Forest course.

5 out of the 6 young athletes teams retained their positions in the first 3 of their respective leagues.

Individual star of the match was Amber Pullinger who won the under 15 girls race in commanding style. With Hayley Instance finishing in an excellent 5th place and Lucie Ball a season’s best in 11th, the team retained their runners up spot.

The under 13 boys, without the talented Harry Parker on Saturday, finished 2nd on the day which meant they maintained their comfortable lead over the whole season. Finnlay Lowe 9th, Jamie Mack 14th, Teddy Norcott 23rd, Dylan Harrod 25th made up the scoring team with Sonny Vehitt a useful backup in 32nd place.

The under 13 girls team featured a startling debut by Sarah Blockley in 7th place. Demi Eves ran well in 8th, Leah Brewer 24th, Emily Fall 28th. The team secured 3rd place in the day and remain 2nd in the league.

The under 15 boys featured some fine runs from the 4 man team. None less than that of Leon Wheeler, who finished 3rd. He was backed up by Ben Prior 20th, Henry Willett 24th, Mason Hambleton 31st. This team’s position was affected by Taylor Newell’s dnf with a knee injury. On Saturday the team was 4th maintaining their 3rd place over the season.

The under 17 men were 1 short of a full team but held on to their 3rd place in the league. Sam Smith was 10th, Joe Logan 15th, Oliver Mann 17th.

The senior men’s team consisted of 10 veterans. They managed 10th place on the day. It was good to see Scott Rice back in action in 41st place and fellow v40 Keith Willett produced a pb in 51st place but the worthy performances of this all veterans squad will probably not be enough to save them from relegation.

The other finishers were Don Lawless (v50) 60th, Eamonn Shelley (v50) 77th, Jon Metcalf (v55) 80th, Tim Martin (v35) 92nd, Martin Mack (v40) 97th, Mick Bumstead (v60) 105th, Nigel Instance (v40) 121st, Bernie Johnson (v60) 134th. 170 started this race.

This weekend sees Day 2 of the Essex Cross Country Championships with the senior women and under 17 men in line for medals. International Joanne Wilkinson will claim her Essex heritage to lead the women’s team. Hopefully she will be backed by the club’s strongest squad.

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