Hickstead X/C report(February 25, 2017)
Saturday 11th Feb saw the final round of the Sussex Cross Country League, hosted by Haywards Heath Harriers, at Hickstead Showground. Despite last minute changes to the course due to the weather conditions, the event ran smoothly, mainly thanks to John Gill and Andy Carter and the many volunteers from the club.
The first race of the day was for the U11’s where Maia Bliss-Tomlinson finished 5th in the girls’ race and Oliver Mamoany 8th and Henry Francis 25th in the boys’ race.
Next was the U13 girls race and there were great runs from Lily Bliss-Tomlinson (21st), Fionnuala Lingard (26th), Harriet Dray (31st)and Sophie Thorne (40th), the team finishing in 9th place on the day and 11th over the four fixtures. The U13 boys were out on mass with Harvey Bashford-Dickens (39th), Patrick Stedman (40th), Tom Spensley (52nd), Ryan Armstrong (58th), Ewan Kemsley (64th) and Louis Henry (68th), the team finishing in 14th place.
The U15 Boys of Adam Dray (18th) and Paddy Thorne (31st) finished 11th team on the day and 11th overall in the league. The U17 Men were represented by Daniel Blain (10th) and Cooper Sommerville (20th) finishing 6th team on the day and 8th overall.
In the U17/Senior/Veteran Women’s race, there was all to play for with the senior team lying in 3rd place in Division 2 with the top 2 teams promoted to Division 1. The team of Emma Navesey (24th), Katherine Buckeridge (56th) and Amy Mitchell (57th) finished in 5th place on the day, but that was enough for them to finish 2nd in the league overall and gain promotion to Division 1. There were also good runs from Jacqueline Barnes (60th), Gina Hobson (64th) Sarah Hamilton (70th), Michelle Holdstock (73rd) and Jenny Denyer (75th), ensuring the B team finished 11th, the C team 16th and the Vets team 11th overall.
The thrilling end to the fixture was the Senior/Veteran Men’s race where the Harriers Senior Men’s team were 3rd in Division 1 going into this fixture and the Veterans team were leading the Veterans category. The Harriers started their challenge with a race win for Chris Smith, who was well supported by James Skinner (8th), John Kettle (12th), Ben Gibson (13th), Marcus Kimmins (19th) and Tom Mullen (22nd) ensuring a league win on the day and overall team silver. The Veteran Men’s team of James Skinner, John Kettle and Marcus Kimmins finished 1st Veterans team and therefore won the overall Veterans League title, picking up Gold medals. Chris Smith also won the Overall SM title and James Skinner equal 1st Veteran Men’s Over 40 title. The Club’s Paul Cousins (34th) picked up the Gold Medal for the Over 50 Veterans. There were also great runs from Russ Mullen (29th), Matt King (31st), Matt Cook (60th), Barry Tullett (70th), Tim Hicks (76th), Julian Boyer (77th), Richard Cole (78th), Phil Scott (79th) and Carl Bicknell (96th), enabling the Men’s B team to win Division 2 on the day and finishing 3rd overall in Division 2.