Kent County Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch, Jan 4 2020 A FINE WIN FOR OWEN HIND WHILE OUR TEAM TAKE HOME SILVER MEDALS Kent AC had a tremendous start to the new year at the Kent Cross Country Championships. Owen Hind added his name to the illustrious list of winners of the championship, while both our men’s and women’s teams claimed silver medals behind winners Tonbridge. Although in the men’s competition we had a strong team, we are not able to put out the top team that competes in the Surrey League. Eligibility rules mean certain runners aren’t able to run so it’s always going to be difficult to match the formidable team that Tonbridge are able to put out. However, we were by some distance second team in both the six and twelve to score. Owen’s form had been good going into the race. In the pre -Christmas South of the Thames he’d come a fine third on a course that didn’t play to his strengths. It was felt that if reasonably dry the Brands Hatch course might suit him a little more. That proved to be the case although he had to beat some very tough opposition – primarily in the shape of Tonbridge runners Corey De’Ath and last year’s winner, Ben Cole. Owen and the two Tonbridge runners forged a gap quite early on in the race. They remained together for a fair part of the race before the relentless pace they were setting saw De’Ath drop back on the final lap leaving Owen to battle it out with the winner from last year Ben Cole. Owen forced a bit of a gap mid- way on the final lap but Cole showed his fighting qualities by clawing some of the margin back to make Kent AC supporters nervous. However, we needn’t have worried as Owen had just that little bit in reserve and was able to push on to close in on a fine victory. It was another top ten finish for the ever so reliable Jim Allchin (9). Since his switch to our colours at the end of last season Jim’s proved a great asset. We then had three more runners in the top twenty Neil Phillips (15), Niall Stewart (16) and Anthony Johnson (18). Neil and Niall were in close contention for much of the race with Neil just winning out. Neil was by some margin the first V40 runner. It was good to see Anthony gain a top twenty place and show what ability he has. Our final scorer in the six to score was Dave Morgan – just outside the top twenty – Dave was 22nd. After our first six home there were some very strong runs to ensure we were comfortably the second team in the twelve to score. Just outside the top thirty and having a very good run was Barny Day (31). Then after slipping and sliding his way round the Lloyd Park course, it seemed Rowan Crichton found Brands Hatch a bit more to his liking (34). Our ninth scorer was Calum Fraser (37) who was closely followed by Pete Lighting probably missing Rob Laing who he’s made a habit of storming past at the finish of races. As mentioned in the last post it seems Phil Sanders is coming back to form after a period out. Well inside top fifty, (44) and second V45 was another strong run. It was good to see, Arif Merali (60), a regular performer for the club for some years, come in as our final scorer in the twelve. He was in Stuart Beaney’ sights for most of the race but the man formerly known as Party Boy just couldn’t get on terms. Apparently, he was carrying a bit of excess baggage due to Christmas indulgence. Those outside the 12 also ran well including Len Reilly who’s clocked up a good number of appearances in this race. No doubt Len will be able to tell you precisely how many. All in all, an enormously pleasing day. Great success for Owen winning the championship and a resounding second place in both the six and 12 to score. A post on the success of our women’s team will follow shortly. Full results are on the County site. KENT COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS at Brands Hatch, Kent on Sat 4th January 2020 Senior Men 1st Owen Hind 40 15 9th Jim Allchin 41 22 15th Neil Phillips 42 44 Teams: 6 to score 16th Niall Stewart 42 48 1st Tonbridge 34 18th Anthony Johnson 43 05 2nd KENT AC 81 22nd Dave Morgan 43 35 3rd Medway & M 152 31st Barny Day 44 26 34th Rowan Crichton 44 44 37th Calum Fraser 45 05 Teams : 12 to score 38th Peter Lighting 45 12 1st Tonbridge 186 44th Phil Sanders 45 52 2nd KENT AC 325 60th Arif Merali 47 19 3rd Medway & M 619 61st Stuart Beaney 47 28 76th Joe Hartley 49 43 87th Len Reilly 50 25 98th Adrian Dracup 51 11 117th Michael Duncan 53 08 162nd John Greene 58 19
Kent Cross Country Championships – Women’s Race Like their male counterparts Kent AC women achieved a fine second place in the team stakes – both in the three and six to score. Again, the winners of the team competition were the always strong Tonbridge team. The winner of the actual race, Emily Hosker-Thornhill, GB international and Aldershot runner, proved a class apart. She even put some distance between herself and the two talented Tonbridge runners who were second and third. Our second place was extremely pleasing as it was achieved without some who are often key to our success in races. However, someone who has been crucial to our success in recent seasons, Katie Rowland, had an excellent run. For virtually the duration of the race Katie was in a contest with Clare Elms, long term friend of the club and of course multiple masters record holder. Running together proved helpful in some respects as it enabled them reel in runners ahead of them. Towards the end of the last lap Katie did force a small gap, but Clare closed up again before finally having to give way. Both Katie and Clare achieved a better result than last year – Katie was sixth and Clare seventh. In fact, it was a best ever finish for a number of Kent runners in this year’s championships. One of those was Sarah Hanley who finished a fine ninth in the race. Then in the three to score, having a very impressive run – coming (20th) was Eliza Grant. The three that completed the six to score were Ali Farrall (26th), Jen Berg (28th), and debutant Danielle Spencer. Ali is always very consistent and her fine run meant she was second in her age category – where the standard is always high. Just behind her Jen’s run was all the more laudable given the fact that she hadn’t been feeling too well at the start. And Danielle’s first outing for the club was enormously encouraging. She was just ahead of Cath Stibbs who it was great to see competing for us again. Cath was of course one of the early pioneers who helped put Kent AC women on the map. Also putting in strong performances for the team were Zuzana Nemeckova, Nicky Hayes, Claire Sutton, Johanna Mott and Eleanor Parker. So, a very satisfying afternoon for the team – collecting silver medals and having some very encouraging debuts for the club with several of the newcomers enjoying the delights of cross- country racing for the first time! Senior Women 3 to Score 1 Tonbridge 17 :2. Kent AC 35: 3. Medway& M 51 Senior Women 6 to Score 1 Tonbridge 59: 2 Kent AC 120: 3 Medway &M 213 This Saturday (Jan 11th) our women are back in action in the Surrey League. The fixture is on Wimbledon Common, 11 am start.