Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Essex girls rule at Southern Intercounties
5:49pm Friday 20th December 2013 in Sport
OUR Essex girls proved to be a class apart at the Southern Intercounties Cross-Country Championships.
Basildon AC’s Gemma Kersey led the way with victory in the senior women’s race – helping her team to a bronze medal in the process – while the under-17 women were team gold medallists and the under-15 girls brought back bronze medals.
Kersey, who is racing in Belgium for England this weekend, warmed up for it with a convincing victory in the senior women’s race at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, finishing nine seconds ahead of second placed Iona Lake (Norfolk).
And Kersey’s run helped her team, which included her Basildon AC team-mate Kirsty Tydeman who finished 35th, place third overall.
If Kersey’s win was individually dominant, then Essex’s under-17 women’s team were collectively unstoppable.
Thurrock Harriers’ Gemma Holloway in fifth and Benfleet RC’s Victoria Hiscock, running superbly as a bottom year athlete in the age group to finish ninth, were south Essex’s representatives in the scoring team with Chelmsford AC pair Georgia Tuckfield (fourth) and Katie Solis (seventh) both also running strongly as Essex got all of their four counters in the top 10.
Basildon AC’s Isobel Ives was the sixth Essex scorer to cross the line in 38th place.
The under-15 girls Essex team was reliant on Chelmsford AC with their four scorers all coming from the green and gold. Khai Mhlanga was second with Canvey’s Jodie Judd 11th and Southend High School for Girls’ Katie Faint 22nd. Rachel Broome was 26th.
Behind them came Basildon AC pair Jemima Walker (30th) and Niamh Smith (39th) with Benfleet’s Sinead Clark 62nd.
Southend AC’s Joanna Rimmington (33rd) and Thurrock Harriers’ Hayley Instance (46th) were both in the scoring Essex under-13 girls team that finished fifth overall.
The under-20 women were also fifth overall, led by an impressive run from track specialist Kaylee Dodd who was 12th. Southend AC’s Hayley Lamkin also had a fine race to finish just three places further back and Emma Houchell, of Basildon AC, was Essex’s third counter in 23rd.
Basildon pair Eleanor Johnson and Emily Bullis were 27th and 33rd with Rayleigh’s Jess Swain 41st.
It wasn’t a bad day for Essex’s men either with wins for Jordan Rowe (Colchester, under-17 men) and Canaan Soloman (Woodford, under-15 boys), but they were just unable to come home with team medals.
In the under-17 men, Eastwood Academy’s George Elliott proved for the second week running that he is coming into form, finishing second Essex scorer behind Rowe in 24th place while Basildon AC’s Laurence Willmore was the final Essex scorer in 34th.
Adam Houchell (Basildon AC) just edged out Southend’s Adam Jordan with the pair finishing 41st and 42nd with Christian Gray, also Basildon, not far behind in 49th.
In the under-15 boys, Basildon AC duo Ben Haynes and Max Jones were the third and fourth Essex counters in 37th and 42nd places, with a third Basildon athlete Mason Webb just behind in 47th and Brandon Thorpe in 65th. Essex finished fifth.
The under-13 boys were sixth with Thurrock Harriers’ Jack Exley getting into their scoring team in 29th spot. Southend AC’s Mitchell Lawrence was 37th and Exley’s Harriers’ team-mate Reece Scott in 41st place. Basildon AC’s James Perkins was 57th.