Juniors competing at Basildon and Writtle

Last weekend was busy for the Juniors with a double header of Cross Country. Essex League at Basildon on Saturday, and then NESS League at Writtle on Sunday.

Starting with Saturday and a course which included the “Mound” of Gloucester Park. In the U13s race, Hayden Preston enjoyed only having to run twice up the hill finishing in 23rd position. In the same race making her Essex League debut was Simran Dasoar running a fine race in 30th.

In the U15s a sole Harrier, but what a performance, with Rohan Dasoar finishing in the top ten taking 7th place.

U17s saw a full team of three again finish. First Harrier home was Finley Greenleaf in an amazing 5th position, as he continues to climb up towards the podium places. Next was Caleb Lee in 33rd with another measured performance. Completing the team Jake Phillips in 37th position.

The next Essex League race is this Saturday (4th November) at Writtle and is also the Essex qualifier for the Southern InterCounties. You must be registered and entered via “Roster Athletics” as previously mentioned to compete in the Essex League.

Talking of Writtle, on Sunday it was this venue for the first NESS League of the season. A completely different course to the day before, with this course being very flat. Unfortunately, a change to the advertised map meant that a longer section of concrete was included in the junior race as had been expected, and so several athletes would have worn different footwear had they known.

The day before obviously had no ill effect on the first three scoring boys to finish, and maybe the difficulty of the course the day before actually helped all three achieve their best-ever placings on a much tamer course.

First, and yes literally 1st, was Finley Greenleaf, in what I believe was his first race win in the League, and finishing likely around 100m or more ahead of the next athlete. Well done Finley!!

Next was Caleb Lee into the top 10 for the first time with 8th place. Caleb had to be on it as only 10 seconds behind him was sibling Hayden Preston with a great race in 11th position, and will be aiming for single digits during the season.

Max Faulkner in 12th had a superb race and was also first U11. Then closely matched were Harry Jeffery in 19th, Alex Widdowson in 21st, and making his debut after only joining last week Rowan Weir with 24th position.

The girls were changing positions during the race, but first home for the club again was Alice Begg in 5th continuing her fine form into the cross country season. Next and taking a big step up was Ella Simpson in 6th place, this is a huge improvement from Ella.

Next was Jemima Garner in 10th and final scoring position for the club, and then Georgia Banyard in her first club xc in 20th. Izzie Bueggeln was close behind in 26th, and then came Ella Licence in 36th.

There was a club battle to the line for Floriane King and Sophie Jeffery (debut), with Floriane just taking 38th and Sophie 39th. This was great to see, battling to the line, well done girls.

Tilly Clark followed very closely in 42nd, and so we may see a three-way sprint in the near future.

The next NESS League fixture will be Sunday 26th November at Gosfield School, near Halstead, so quite local to most, more details will be posted in the week before the event.

Well done everyone who took part, it was great to see a fair few Juniors there, and maybe at the next race a few more may be tempted to give it a go.