Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Metropolitan League No 5 in February (April 2020)

DYLAN EVANS won his third successive Metropolitan League race of the season, at Trent Park Alastair Aitken reports.
Over a course with a few sticky patches but, in bright sunshine, Roger Poolman, went ahead after the initial start, followed by Dylan Evans and Liam Dee, running together. Coming up to half way Alex Lepretre, second in the Southern, who had been biding his time in the group behind, went straight ahead and pushed on, opening up a 70 metre lead over Evans, who gradually cut down Lepretre's advantage and, in fact, worked hard in the last mile to win.

The first Under 20 runner Sefu Jamal finished well to take third place with Dee, Poolman and Thomas Butler not far behind. Highgate Harriers had their record 8th consecutive year of victories in the league, with their 12 to score at Trent Park, all within the first 51 of 426 finishers and, their 'B' team topped Division 2 and will join the 'A' team in Division One next season. Highgate also won the senior Howard Williams Trophy for men and women combined, on count back, as the 44 points score was totaled as 44 to Highgate, London Heathside and Victoria Park &Tower Hamlets.

Liz James who was third in the Southern and was, a few years back in 2006 the National cross country Champion, won all her 4 senior league races with consummate, what appeared to be with ease, which was good considering she has to look after three children and can only manage one hour a day of training six days a week. One must not forget an equally convincing run was by 2nd placer Nina Griffith who ran a 2:42 marathon in Malaga. She explained" I ran as a kid but gave up from 22 to 30 (now 34) then had three years off with injuries". Khahisa Mhlanga who was a clear third as a first Under 20 said "I'll keep doing cross-country because I love it." One who impressed me was the first W60 Fiona Kennedy, who came 61st of 218 finishers.

The Junior Howard Williams Trophy went to Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, narrowly ahead of Shaftesbury. Woodford's Abigail Reid who goes to Forest School won all her league races and won the Essex Schools cross country on the Wednesday.

Regarding Shaftesbury Barnet victories. They won the Under 11 boys race with Arthur Phillips, who is at Moss Hill Junior school and, won his age group in the Middlesex clubs and coached by Ty Holden. He is 10 years old and, looks forward to running the 800/1500 in the Summer and Posie Shaw won the Under 11 girls race in every Met League meeting this season. Under 17 Joanne Miranda, won her last 4 Met Leagues, which included this one and was part of the club relay team that were 2nd in the National cross country relays at Mansfield, and Giano stubbs was another to win for Shafesbury as an Under 13 winner of all his Met leagues so, I put to established and top official of Shaftesbury Barnet Bryan Smith, that he must be very pleased with the results of the Shaftesbury youngsters with a good future his reply was 'Yes  but they tend to all go off to University and we lose them "

Alastair Aitken

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