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15th Feb, 2024, Alastair Aitken

For the eleventh successive year, Highgate Men's team headed the Metropolitan League, on the 10th of February. Having won the first 4 league matches the club wondered if they could win the 5th match with Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, having a 'solid' team to challenge them.  

5 of Highgate's top cross-country runners unavailable, which included two times Met league winner this season,  Roger Poolman, who was getting married that very day!

Of the 24 clubs Highgate was also victorious on that last and fifth match, drawing further ahead. The first six clubs on the day, at Trent park, Cockfosters, were Highgate 1416; Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 1357; London Heathside 1264; Harrow 820; Woodford Green & EL 806;  and Thames Valley Harriers 740. The undulating course had very tough, muddy patches throughout and, it was good to see Terry Fawden of Highgate Harriers move through to 3rd at the finish, behind the winner Oscar Bell of Herts Phoenix (26:27.08)  with his clubmate Brett Rushman next home,  Out off 390 finishers Highgate's 12 scorers were 3 Terry Fawden (26:54,11); 6 Charlie Haywood (24:47.89); 9 Lewis Greaves (27:52.80); 15 Alex Jackson (28:18.05)17 Pete Chambers (28:22.08); 19 James Ross (28:28.74); 21 Charles Cooper (28:31.39); 40 Ash Chambers (29:40.42); 41 Jon Layborn 29:44.30); 43 James Barber  29:51.95.; 70 Aviv Boonin (31:00.86) 83 Sam Burgoyne 31:26.99. Leading the rest of the Highgate runners was 86th  Michael Dan (31:38.30).

In the Under 17/15 race Felix Kent was in the frame again. He came in 3rd, as first Highgate runner in 14:10.61. The winner for each league in that category was Luke Dunham of Herts Phoenix in 13:48.21. In the women's side won by Liz James, an Ex National Champion, from Herts Phoenix in 29:13.21 from London Heathside's winning women' s team member, Emma Bunting of London Heathside (31:04,92).  Emma Butcher of Highgate came 7th in 32:51. 33  and 2nd W50  was Natasha Cendrowicz in 36:15.39.   77th was Lucy Hughes in 39:30.14. 132 competed