Essex Cross-Country Championships
Saturday 9 January 2016
Ilford AC’s Ahmed Abdulle produced a marvellous run in wet and slippery conditions to take the Essex under 17 title at Claybury Country Park on Saturday. Staying with the lead group on the first lap the Ilford man started to make his move on lap 2 with Woodford’s Canaan Solomon in close pursuit. Ahmed judged his finish to perfection coming home with 9 seconds to spare and well clear of the rest of the field.
The Senior mens team were at full strength for their 12km championship with Tom Gardner continuing his good form coming home in a storming 13th in 41m 37s to lead the Club to an excellent 5th place in the team competition. Malcolm Muir showed he has regained fitness after injury to finish 19th with 42m 48s and Blair McWhirter battled through the field to finish 24th in 43m 18s. Paul Holloway had a strong run recording 45m 22s, with Steve Philcox next home in 46m 47s for place 60 and Sam Rahman completed the scorers in 67th with 47m 43s. Neil Crisp and Kevin Wotton were close together throughout the race with the former just edging the decision in 78th with 48m 40s. Wotton was next over the 12th January line 4 seconds later. Completing the team for Ilford were Robin McNelis (94th 50.52) and Terry Knightley (129th 54.53).
The Senior ladies squad were understrength in the 8km ladies race missing both Krystle Balogun and Mel Jones but nevertheless put in a good account of themselves to finish as 10th team in the county. Captain Jenni Sheehan led the way in 41st spot in 38 mins 36 secs, with the ever reliable Bree Nordin next in 49th with 40m 22s. Nicola Hopkinson came a determined 61st with 42m 30s and Nicola Chester stepped up to complete the team scorers recording 50m 15s for place 94. Julia Galea was one spot back with 50m 38s and Doris Gaga came home 103rd with 54m 22s.