What a day in the sun for the women and girls teams in Lloyd Park, Croydon, on Saturday! HW rounded off the Surrey Ladies Cross Country League in exhilarating style to finish as the only club in the first three in all four age categories. Top of the tree were the outstanding U15 Girls, who took the overall team title, led in by Georgie Clarke. Now fully recovered from a heel injury, she was able to properly showcase her talent, starting cautiously, but moving ahead a third of the way around the 4km course to win emphatically in 15:21, 11 seconds clear of the second placed athlete, and clinch the overall individual title. Ellen Weir followed her home in second place in 15:42 with Millie Thorpe third in 15:44, and Millie Doyle completing the scoring team, taking 10th place in 16:36.
Team honours on the day also went to the Women’s U17 team, securing second place overall for the season. They were led in by Johanna Tofte who posted her best performance of the series of matches to finish second in 16:22, followed by Niamh Thomson, fourth in 16:44, Selma Hegvold, fifth in 17:23, and Georgia Hanley, 13th in 19:07.
The Senior Women went into the final match lying in fourth position, 20 points behind Clapham Chasers, and knowing that only a strong turnout and a sterling performance would do. And that is exactly what all five scorers delivered. Claire Grima was the first HW athlete home, finishing 11th of the 209 runners in 31:15. Claire – who was fourth woman (and second W40) in the Wokingham Half Marathon the previous Sunday in 1:19:20 – was also the leading veteran athlete overall. Eileen Toomer, in her final race before flying off to join husband Ben in New York, finished strongly in 17th in 32:44, with Gina Galbraith 22nd in 33:08, Victoria Johnston 39th in 34:35 and Lisa Thomas 60th in 35:39, so it was mission accomplished and time to celebrate.
Underlining the strength in the depth of the U13-U17 squads coached by Anne Hegvold, 45 of the athletes in action were competing in the U13 Girls 3km race where the team also finished third overall. They were led in by Lauren Armitage who was 12th of the 61 runners in 13:08, just eight seconds ahead of Indira Ferree who was 16th with Ore Adewale 26th in 13:41 just ahead of Bailey O’Leary (27th in 13:43), Sophie Thorpe (29th in 13:49) and Anya Montgomerie (31st in 13:51).
Saturday, 2 March: Start Fitness Surrey Cross Country Ladies League
Henry Silverstein headed home a 530-strong field in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday in 17:52. Fellow teenager Finlay White was seventh out of 693 runners in Newcastle in a pb of 17:49, taking 17 seconds off his previous best time set last October. Robbie Hynes was fourth out of 554 runners in Burgess Park in 17:05.