Weekend News Report - 3rd/4th November 2018

Women Cap Sensational Start To Season

The women’s team of Nicole Taylor, Lucy Reid and Ashley Gibson produced the most sensational team performance in the club’s history on Saturday, when they stormed to victory at the National Cross Country Relay Championships, on Saturday. Racing over three legs, each of three kilometres, they pulled away from Aldershot in the second half of the race, to win by thirty-four seconds, at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield. Conditions were possibly the driest in the history of the championships and helped produce fast times.

Nicole Taylor came home in second place, of the one hundred and thirty-nine starting teams, with a 9.34 split, on the slightly shorter first leg. She trailed GB international Emily Hosker-Thornhill, of Aldershot, but set Tonbridge up to make a real impact. Taylor has also been selected to race for an England team, in Spain, this coming Sunday. Lucy Reid took off on the second leg and straight away made inroads into the Aldershot advantage, finally giving Tonbridge a lead of around twenty-four seconds. It was then down to Ashley Gibson to maintain her composure and bring the team home. She did this in fine style, clocking 10.01 to take the win, ahead of Aldershot, with Rotherham in third.

Earlier in the day the under 13 girls’ team had snatched victory, at the very end of their race, over three legs of two kilometres. Lily Slack ran 7.14 on the opening leg, which put the team eight seconds behind the leaders, St Albans. Sophie Slack kept the team in second with 7.39, but dropped a further ten seconds behind.

This left Olivia Breed to run the final leg and somehow she clawed her way back towards the leader, finally catching her up the final hill, with around two hundred metres to go. Breed ran 7.17, the fastest time of the longer second and third lap runners, to win by just one second in 22.11.

Tonbridge came very close to a third win, as the under 20 men took the lead on the final leg of three in their race, but lost out to Morpeth by ten seconds. Jamie Goodge ran 8.57 on the opening leg, which put the team 22nd, although within sight of many teams ahead. In-form Alasdair Kinloch then set about making gains and his 8.48 clocking brought the team right up to 5th place. At this stage a few seconds separated several teams and James Puxty started chasing hard, eventually taking the lead at around halfway. However, Rory Leonard, from Morpeth, was racing strongly from behind and eventually took Puxty with about a kilometre to go. Puxty ran 8.55 to win the silver medals for Tonbridge.

The men’s team was run over four legs of five kilometres each and Tonbridge put up a very respectable performance in trying to defend the championship, which they had won last year. However, on this occasion, they just missed out on the medals and finished fourth behind Leeds, Aldershot and Birchfield. Dom Brown ran 15.14, Corey De’Ath 15.19, George Duggan 15.30 and Ryan Driscoll 15.32, as almost two hundred teams started.

The under 13 boys’ team of Albert Kreuzberg (6.47), Tim McLain (7.26) and George Hopkins (7.02) finished 4th and twelve seconds away from the bronze medals, in their championship.

The under 17 men finished an excellent 5th from ninety-six teams, over three laps of three kilometres, with James Kingston (8.59), Toby Emm (9.30) and Fraser Gordon (9.17) being in the squad. The under 15 boys were 8th over the two-kilometre course, through Matthew Dubery (6.47), Matthew Taylor (6.25) and Henry Taylor (6.47). The under 17 women finished 32nd and the under 20 women 21st.

Please click here for Videos from the event.

This coming weekend there is a Kent Cross Country League fixture at Danson Park, Bexleyheath.