Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Middlesex Cross Country Champs (Jan 2020)

Wormwood Scrubs - January 4th

NICK GOOLAB last ran in these Championship, when winning in the ‘Under 20’ race at Cockfosters in 2008, the year before he won the National Junior Championships at Parliament Hill, Alastair Aitken reports.
This year at the Scrubs, he found the mud a bit tricky but on the flat stretched out, really drawing clear. and then, as they went through the half distance one realized he would be unlikely to lose after that but, the race for minor places was intense with Dylan Evans taking the initiative, several times but, matched by Alex Lepretre, who led Highgate Harriers to a clear team victory with all their 6 scorers in the first 14 home. Lepretre went ahead of Evans just before the finishing straight to gain second place. The group, behind that, for a lot of the time in the race include Will Ryle Hodges, Aramias Zeration, Sean Renfer, last year’s winner Phil Crout and Johnathan Poole.
Goolab who is 30 at the end of the month was looking for fairly low-key races to get in condition to race at top level again.

Gintare Juknyte, who came to England from Lithuania two and a half years ago, was overjoyed to win, what she considered as her best race, although she was pressed by Anna Hollingsworth at the finish, who came through from fifth in the final lap to be one second behind Juknyte at the finish.
Juknyte, who represented Lithuania in the Euro cross, is coached by Mick Woods at St Mary’s, where she is studying. She remarked “Mick is a great coach. He prepares schedules long before you race. He is really professional with his approach”

The Under 17 men were combined with the Under 20’s so, under 20 runner Seyfu Jamal was challenged by Mohamed Ali (U17), who was injured in the summer, but was first M17 in this event.

In the women’s Under 20 the very comfortable winner was Yasmin Marghini, who was 1st last year in the Under 17 age group.

Alastair Aitken

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