Weekend Report - 12th/13th November 2016

Sombre Mood at Kent Cross Country League

The Kent Cross Country League fixture on Saturday was marked by a sombre mood as athletes and supporters marked the deaths of two young Aldershot runners, earlier in the week. Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows had been hit by a car, at traffic lights, whilst training at the Aldershot club, on Tuesday evening. At cross country fixtures, across the UK, their lives were remembered, with many runners wearing black ribbons and a minutes silence being held.

The first poor weather of the cross country season was experienced at Sparrows Den, West Wickham, as all the age group races took place, excluding the senior women, on this occasion. A fixture clash with the English Schools Cup also meant a few runners, in the youngest age groups, were absent for their clubs.

Tonbridge had a stronger men’s team out, than in the previous two fixtures and were able to overcome Medway and Maidstone, on this occasion, finishing first of the eighteen clubs. Corey De’Ath found his best form to lead Tonbridge home, with a second place finish, just twelve seconds behind Olympic marathon runner, Scott Overall of Blackheath. George Duggan (3rd), Jamie Goodge (6th) and Dan Bradley (9th) all made the top ten, in a field of 217 finishers.

The only individual win for Tonbridge came from James Puxty, in the under 17 race, as he led home a clean sweep, with his team mates Bede Pitcairn-Knowles, Dan Blades, Charlie Lindsay and Dan Seagrove, filling the next four places, from 58 finishers.

The under 15 girls’ squad continues to get stronger and on this occasion were able to defeat Blackheath. The three scorers were Katie Goodge (3rd), Stephanie Puxty (5th) and Katie Burgess (7th), the latter two showing their best form to date.

Tonbridge were light in the under 17 and 20 women’s races, although Lucy Thompson (2nd) and Emilia Hope (3rd) performed at their best in the older category. Grace Fleming (11th) and Abianne Coates (14th) were the only two representatives from the club in the younger contest.

The Tonbridge under 15 boys team was hit hard with absentees and dropped to a fourth place finish at this fixture. Finn Harvey led the team home in 3rd , with Fraser Gordon (12th) and Toby Ross (21st) also scoring.

In both under 13 races, Tonbridge placed second to Blackheath. In the Boys race Olukorede Fasina had a race long battle with two Blackheath boys and just lost out in a sprint finish to place third, with Camerod Dymond (5th) and Maxim Bragin (16th) scoring.

Ella de Munck led the under 13 girls home with a 3rd place finish, with Maddie Clark 11th and Angela Ward 13th.

Perhaps the other highlight for the club’s distance runners at the weekend, was in the USA where both Robbie Farnham-Rose and Henry Pearce qualified for the National Collegiate Championships, when they finished 3rd and 11th, at their universities’ respective Regional events on Friday. Both hope to be amongst a strong Tonbridge contingent, who will be competing in the European trials at Liverpool on 26th November.

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