Harriers on Top at Hilly Fields

Colchester Harriers made the most of home advantage by coming out on top of both the women’s and men’s races as the Essex Cross Country league came to town for the fourth fixture of the season.

The women strengthened their hold on pole position in the league as they continue to mount a spirited defence of the title they won last year.  Lizzie Wellsted led the way, the 17 year old, fresh from her gold medal success at the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels the previous weekend, securing a fine second place on the challenging Hilly Fields course.  Lizzie was well backed up by strong runs from in-form Lydia Callan (4th), Roanna Vickers (7th) and Kate Creak (20th) with Holly Weir (21st) and Heidi Hogan-Steele (24th) just outside the scoring positions as the women comfortably beat rivals Havering AC into second place.  Other women finishers were Heather Rose (30th), Annette Oakman (33rd), Eleanor Mayne (34th), Denise Morley (36th), Margaret Deasy (38th), Ellie Cumner (45th), Helen Wilson (73rd), Abigail Morgan (83rd) and Jacquie King (97th), and the green vests now hold a 4 point advantage over rivals Chelmsford AC with just one race remaining.

CHAC Women’s top of the league women’s squad
Heidi Hogan-Steele enjoying her return to Cross Country competition

Colchester’s men were also out in force and had their best day in the league for some time, narrowly seeing off both Havering and Southend as they also finished first team and so lifted themselves two places to third position in the league.  Dean Williamson ran a superb race to take the victory with Kim Bowling finishing 10th on his debut for the club.  James Morley was 19th, Ben Whyte 23rd, Andrew Risk 31st with Cameron Humphries completing the scoring team in 33rd position.  Nate Filer (40th), Chris Sellens (41st), Andy Jobling (80th), Andy Summers (84th), Harry Swinbourne (86th), Paul Clifford (87th), Allen Smalls (88th), Ram Osman (90th), Colin Ridley (91st), Ollie Gifford (95th) and Jon Nears (98th) all made the top 100 in what was a large, high-quality field.  Other finishers in green were Tim Ballard (104th), Paul Spowage (107th), Pete West (108th), Jason Gunn (112th), Dan King (114th), Kev Higgins (117th), Barry Frost (127th), Stuart Harris (133rd), Chris Edwards (143rd), Jerry Walder (149th), Paul Dellar (168th), Dan Summersgill (172nd), Paul Weightman (173rd), Ian Rattray (178th), James Plant (186th), Paul Clark (211th), Andy Raynor (212th), Simon Morgan (213th), Kev McAlinden (220th), Nigel Eden (235th) and Jon West (243rd) as Harriers had an impressive 38 men complete the course.

Harriers’ men out in force

There were also some excellent performances from Harriers’ junior runners.  In the U17 men, Finley Greenleaf came home 8th, Alfie Cox was 13th, Sean Eales 17th and Caleb Lee 28th with the team finishing fifth on the day.  Alice Begg finished 7th in the U17 women, Rohan Dasoar 11th in the U15 Boys, Jemima Garner 21st in the U15 girls whilst Paolo Valente (14th), Harry Jeffery (31st), Rowan Weir (37th) and Elliot Frost (38th) combined for fifth position in the U13 Boys event and Ella Simpson (14th), Sophie Lee (25th) and Simron Dasoar (32nd) were the sixth placed U13G team.