Thursday, December 7, 2023

Athletics: Impressive performances by Thurrock Harriers in Cross Country league

While many of us were taking a break from storms Eunice and Franklin last weekend, Thurrock Harrier’s Jayne Elvin was creating a storm of her own, winning the Final senior women’s Essex XC League race of the 2021-22 season by a strong margin. Jayne is still an under 17 athlete making this even more remarkable and it has led her to achieving an unofficial 3rd place individual senior finish for the season.
Conditions seemed too good to be true on Writtle College’s grass based course on Saturday, and without too many hills it wasn’t until the heavens opened for the women’s race that the rain provided some further challenge for the competitors.

It was another good outing for the Thurrock women’s team as Jayne was given good back up, firstly by Kathryn Spring, who by securing 10th place meant she had been a top 10 finisher in all 5 league races this season, this excellent consistency led to a 2nd place season finish and silver in the v40 women’s category.

Next for the women was Toni Radley who had another good run for 21st place. Victoria Peacock and Jodie Farrell then packed well to finish 42nd and 45th respectively. Jodie’s position secured her status as v50 women’s champion, another fantastic accolade for her. Gloria Bullen rounded out the team with a 94th place finish. All of this success for the women meant the team finished 5th on the day, giving them an overall 4th place finish in division 1. The team also scooped more silverware by coming second in the veteran women’s league overall for the season. A great year for the team.

Earlier in the day in the junior races, Thurrock started with more success in the under 13 girls, who secured an overall 3rd place team finish for the season. The squad on the day was made up of Olivia Forrest in an excellent 5th place, her sister Isabel Forrest finishing just behind in 7th – Isabel has another year to look forward to in this age group too. The team was completed by the reliable Nicole and Katie Hawkins who managed 20th and 24th place respectively.
The final individual league finishing positions for the under 13 girls were: Olivia 4th, Isabel 8th, Nicole 17th and Katie 18th.
In the Under 15 girls Sophie Matthews came off of the indoor track from last weekend and onto the cross country this weekend, she finished 18th and this meant she earned 16th place overall in the individual standings.
In the under 15 boys Thurrock had a full team out and were led home by another good run from Harry Wyatt who was 4th on the day and finished 4th overall for the season.
Ryan West was next home, he will be pleased with a strong showing in finishing 16th. Asa Hicks then showed how well he’s doing in his maiden season, he’s a year younger than a lot of the runners in this category and he did well in finishing 23rd. Lucas Willett then made sure it was a complete team by finishing 35th, Lucas was solid 22nd overall in the final individual standings.
The boys were 5th on the day and finished the season as the 4th team overall.
The final race of the day was the senior men’s showdown and things were a bit wet and soggy by this point. Roared on by excellent support from the rest of the squad the threadbare senior squad managed to produce their best performance of the season and their best in recent history (certainly their best for over 6 years and likely for much further back than this). Leading the charge as ever was Taylor Newell whose 12th place on the day meant he was 8th overall in the senior individual standings. Ben Prior then had his best ever league finish to be close behind in 15th place. Harchander Dhillon’s consistent season continued as he was next home in a joint best 20th place. Chan’s run put him in bronze position in the under 20 category. Alec Finch was next in 31st and he was chased down closely by Toby Draper in 32nd. Toby finished the course “wishing there was another lap” – not many shared the same sentiment on the day but it showed how well his Marathon training is going. Finishing the scoring team was under 20 athlete Sunny Vehit in an excellent 34th place, new to the senior team this year Sunny showed excellent promise in this performance. Scott Thrush was next and by keeping his spikes on this week it meant he could finish the race much stronger, he was 69th on the day. Chris Applegate showed his mettle too, coming a credible 114th place and this meant Chris was a very strong 4th overall in the v60 men’s individual standings.
The senior team were 3rd overall on the day, just a few points off of 2nd, this lifted them to a 5th placed finish in Division 1 overall. The team score of 144 points would have hopefully pleased club legend David Staines who would say 200 points is a good benchmark. The men’s veteran team finished 11th of the 28 teams overall for the season.


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