Cross County Report - 11th September 2016
Tonbridge Take Win for Seventh Consecutive Year
Tonbridge Athletic Club had a men’s team win the Blackheath and Bromley Will Bolton Memorial Cross Country Relays for the seventh time in a row, on Saturday. The relay, held since 1963 has become the traditional opening fixture for Tonbridge ACs cross country season.
As the overall club’s strength has grown it has enabled them to pitch similar strength squads against each other and on this occasion the men filled the top three team places, with Blackheath and Bromley in fourth.
Teams of four raced over the four kilometre loop of Sparrows Den playing fields and woodland, at West Wickham, with fifty four starting. On the first leg it was Blackheath who held a lead of eight seconds over sixteen year old James Puxty (13.18), running for the Tonbridge A team. Jamie Goodge (13.35) came home in third for the Tonbridge under 20 squad.
The women’s event looked like it could be a close battle between three teams, as Nicole Taylor, for Tonbridge started proceedings with a 14.37 first leg to lead from Blackheath and Bromley. Taylor’s time remained the fastest female lap of the day.
On the second lap Corey De’Ath took the Tonbridge senior team into the lead with the fastest split of the day in 12.39, whilst George Duggan ran 12.40 to move the under 20 team into second. Lucy Thompson’s 16.55 kept Tonbridge second in the ladies’ race , as Kiri Marsh (16.58) and Maria Heslop (15.57), brought the team home as runners-up to Blackheath and Bromley.
Meanwhile the two Tonbridge men’s teams closely contested the lead over the second half of the race. Alasdair Kinloch’s 12.55 timing for the under 20s, narrowed the senior men’s lead to just three seconds, as Kieran Reilly (13.10) handed over to Julian Rendall. Stuart Brown soon pulled level will Rendall and the two ran side by side for a while. Eventually Brown moved away on the second half to win by 17 seconds as he recorded 13.33 and Rendall 13.53.
A junior relay for, under 13s and 15s, was held before the main event and the Tonbridge youngsters also put on a fine display in winning the two boys ‘ categories and the under 15 girls event.
A shorter three kilometre course was used and the overall winners were the Tonbridge under 15 boys, through Fraser Gordon (11.52), Adam Van der Plas (11.54) and Toby Emm (11.57). The under 13 boys were fourth overall and first home for their age, as Matthew Taylor ran 12.13, Henry Taylor 12.45 and Ollie Hill 12.43.
The first girls’ team home was the Tonbridge under 15s, through Katie Goodge (12.51), Tilly Hall (14.34) and Katie Burgess (13.40).
Also at the weekend Max Nicholls ran for the Great Britain team in the World Mountain Running Championships, held in Bulgaria. Nicholls was making his senior GB debut and placed 56th, in the uphill only event.
Next Sunday, 25th September, Tonbridge AC travels to Bedford for the South of England Road Relay championships.