Harriers in Cross-Country Action
Colchester Harriers enjoyed a successful weekend as the winter’s cross-country season got into full swing.
The Essex League fixture at Writtle on Saturday saw the women’s team strengthen their grip on top spot with an excellent all-round team performance. Lydia Callan celebrated her recent call up for Essex with a superb fourth place in what was a highly competitive field, and she was well backed up by excellent performances from cross-country stalwart Emma Burgess (13th), season debutant Heidi Hogan-Steele (17th) and supervet Margaret Deasy (18th and 1st V55) as the green vests held off both Southend and Havering to take victory and secure maximum points. There were also encouraging runs just outside the scoring positions for Denise Morley (25th – 2nd V50), Annette Oakman (34th) and Ellie Cumner (35th).
Adrian Mussett was again in great from for the men, finishing seventh overall and convincingly winning the V50 category. Jon Nears (54th), Colin Ridley (73rd – 1st V60), Luke Orrin (89th), Kev Higgins (115th) and Simon Colclough (121st) all had strong runs and filled the other scoring positions with James Plant (147th), Simon Morgan (168th) and Ian Rattray (172nd) the other finishers in green. Colchester’s men finished seventh on the day and consolidated their mid-table position, now lying sixth after three of the five events.
Harriers’ juniors were also represented at Writtle with Finley Greenleaf securing an excellent third consecutive eleventh position in the U15 boys event, whilst Stanley Mason was eleventh U13 boy. Beatrice Sivyer (13th U15 girl) and Amelia Green (26th U17 girl) also had competitive runs. In the under 11’s race Harry Jeffrey finished in an excellent 9th place.
Then on Sunday onto Gosfield where overnight and morning rain had made for particularly challenging conditions but, thanks to a strong turnout for both men and women, Harriers won both categories and remain in first position overall after two events. There were particularly notable performances from Lydia Callan, who followed up her Essex League success by winning the women’s event, with Jenniifer Lovelock hot on her heels in second place, Becky Cooke in seventh and Lily Gilby the final scorer coming home in fourteenth. Ram Osman won the men’s race and was joined in the scoring team by Theo Gardiner (7th), Andrew Lovelock (14th), Matt Shaw (16th), Tim Ballard (23rd), Harry Swinbourne (25th), Rob Smith (37th) and Alex Elliot (42nd).
The juniors were also out in force at Gosfield with boys and girls both finishing second, Lyla Belshaw winning the girl’s event, with Sophie Bolton ninth and Finley Greenleaf (2nd), Harrison Leek (4th) and Sean Eales (8th) all making the top 10 in the boy’s event.
Elsewhere four Colchester runners were also competing in the second round of the Suffolk Schools’ selection event in Ipswich with Isla Widdowson finishing second in the junior girls’ race and Caleb Lee, Hayden Preston and Alex Widdowson all also safely through to the next round of the boys’ events.