What a day for Chelmsford at the Essex Cross Country Championships in Gloucester Park, Basildon.
Of the ten events on the programme no fewer than seven team titles came their way - whilst two of the remaining races saw our colours take individual gold.
Most outstanding has to be from the under 13 girls. The event was won not surprisingly by Brentwood Beagles Summer Smith who already has a 100% record in the Essex League series but then our youngsters took over as Ava King, Heidi Woodley, Erin Kelly and Francesca Phillips occupied places two to five thus wrapping up the team title with 14 points. Not finished then however for Lily Sanford and Beatrix Cook had followed in for six and seven whilst Emma Pickering and Orla Martin with 9th and 10th ensured that we also claimed the silver medals with 32 points. Handily placed as a reserve was Isla Kehoe 12th place.
Staying with the girls but moving up to the under 15 year age group it was a similar story with Brentwood to the fore with Olivia Forrest - another with a perfect record. Daisy Stollery and Ezrah Harrold claimed the silver and bronze medals and with support from Amelie Shipton 6th and Harriet Matthews 9th our total of 20 points gave a comfortable victory.
For the under 17 and 20 women Colchester took the individual honours but Kayleigh Atkinson and sister Kiera came through for the silver medals. In the younger group Sienna Shipton placed 6th, Lucy Nuttall 8th and Emma Cox 10th for 26 points and shading out Woodfords 32. The under 20`s team had Sophie McCullum taking the bronze medal and with Larna Morgan and Sophie McCall 5 and 6 our score of 16 was unbeaten.
There was sound packing from the under 15 boys with Jacob Parrott 6th, Austin Kelly 8th,Ben Smith 11th and Thomas Carter 13th and with 38 points we again edged out Woodford`s 42
On to the under 17 year men and here there was Sam Plummer lifting the title and followed home by Joseph Grange for the silver medal. Not long to wrap up the team title as Gregory Martin placed 5th with Archie Durham 9th to give a score of just 17 points, with Southend second on 34. William Sweeney came through in 14th which would have been a good back up for those scoring.
Moving onto the under 20`s and the old chant of two four six eight who do we appreciate would be appropriate for these were the placings of Joseph Perry, Finlay Rattray, Samuel Waite and Thomas Woodward thus giving a score of 20 points whilst in reserve came Jacob Alexander`s 12th position
Back down to the under 13 boys and Fred Ferman was at his best to take his first Essex title. With Oscar Stollery 24th, Thomas Burgoyne 27th and Khaya Fakazi 35th our 85 points put us in fifth place.
It was the final event of the day which saw our colours to the fore with Callum Charleston a comfortable lead of 50 seconds from Euan Wilson of Charnwood. Fine showing by Zach Bridgeland also to take 8th place from the field of 225 starters. Now we relied on veterans with Peter Waite 66th, Ethan Reilly 70th, Will Parrott 71st and
Thomas Murphy 76th our score of 292 points placed us 7th from the 22 teams closing in. As on over 60 year Peter Tullett was amongst the oldest on this testing course and placed 163rd.
So one event not covered in this report - the senior women - for here Chelmsford could not muster a single competitor but we have nine races with something to cheer about and after 73 years in the sport I can not remember any club equalling that.
Report written by Roy Meadowcroft