Weekend News Report - 13th/14th October 2018

League Season Opens With Team And Individual Victories

The Club opened the Kent League Cross Country season by winning the men’s and women’s individual and team races, at Nonington, on Saturday. There was similar success in some of the younger age groups. Unseasonably warm, but windy conditions met the runners, who competed on the testing, undulating grounds of Beech Grove Academy, near Dover.

The men’s race was run over ten kilometres and featured a good quality field at the sharp end, who matched each other in the early stages. However, over the second half Corey De’Ath and Ryan Driscoll of Tonbridge started to stretch away and finished in that order, with De’Ath claiming his first ever senior race win in the league in 33.31. He was eighteen seconds clear of Driscoll, with Jamie Bryant 4th and Sean Molloy 5th of the 221 finishers. Tonbridge won from Medway and Maidstone and also took the twelve to score category.

The Tonbridge women’s team won from eighteen clubs, aided by Maria Heslop and Sian Robertson finishing first and second. Robertson has recently located to Tonbridge from Spain and was making her first appearance for Tonbridge. Claire Day finished 19th to complete the scoring team, whilst the club also won the six to score contest.

Tonbridge also took team wins in four of the other six races, with victories in the under 13 boys and girls, the under 15 boys and the under 17 men contests. In the under 13 girls’ race Tonbridge filled the first three spots through Olivia Breed, Lily Slack and Sophie Slack, whilst Beatrice Heslop had an excellent race in 6th, of 61 finishers. Albert Kreuzberg won the under 13 boys’ race by five seconds, run over three kilometres and was backed up by George Hopkins in 4th and Tim McLain in 11th.

Matthew Taylor had a race long battle with Louis Small of Ashford, but had to settle for second place, finishing just two seconds behind, over four kilometres. Fenton Davoren had his best race to date, as the second scorer and finishing 4th. Henry Taylor finished 6th to give Tonbridge a large victory from ten clubs. The club also had a convincing win by the under 17 men, with James Kingston (3rd), Fraser Gordon (4th) and Adam Van der Plas (7th ) scoring.

The Tonbridge under 17 women’s team finished second to Blackheath, with NoĆ©mie Thomson 6th, Meghan Watson 11th and Elizabeth Heslop 12th. Annabelle Hales (21st) led the under 15 girls’ team to 4th place, supported by Angela Ward (27th) and Taliyah Dahdi (38th).

Tonbridge host the next league fixture, alongside The Schools at Somerhill, on Saturday 27th October.

Elsewhere there were some very strong performances from Tonbridge distance runners. Nicole Taylor mixed it with some established internationals to finish 6th in the women’s race at the Cardiff Cross Challenge meeting, on Saturday. In the USA James West and Chris Olley were in action for Oregon and San Francisco, respectively, at the Wisconsin Pre Nationals Meeting. Both were in top quality, but separate 8km races, held at the same venue. West finished 17th in his race in 24.14, whilst Olley very nearly won his, finishing 3rd in 23.54, just half a second behind the winner.

On Sunday Alex Howard finished 13th in the Manchester Half Marathon, recording an excellent 68.40, to become the fifth Tonbridge male to run under seventy minutes this year.

Please click here for Videos from the event.