Bahelbi leads the way for Highgate Harriers in South of England Championships
Robel Bahelbi was Highgate Harriers’ fastest finisher as a weakened side took ninth place in the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill Fields.
Highgate were missing some regular team members through injury and illness, with others keeping their powder dry for the Metropolitan League finale that takes place a week on Saturday.
But the six Harriers to score produced a respectable performance, with Bahelbi clocking a time of 55 minutes and five seconds as he crossed the finish line in 39th place.
Ryan McKinley was the next Highgate runner to finish in 57th place (56:06), followed by Jon Laybourn (98th, 58:14), Richard Scott (105th, 58:20), Ben Pochee (117th, 58:28) and Tom Christopher (131st, 59:13).
London Heathside’s Tom Aldred produced an excellent run to finish 26th in a time of 54:10, but his team could only manage 16th place overall.
Heathside’s other scoring runners were Steve Monaghan (151st, 59:52), George Stewart (154th, 59:57), Daniel McKeown (172nd, 1.00:31), Andrew Brooker (199th, 1.01:16) and David Hellard (242nd, 1.02:41).
Sarah Swinhoe was the first Heathside athlete to complete the women’s race, clocking 34:14 in 29th place, while Sue Rust came home just three places behind her in 34:26.
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Rebecca Bunting (57th, 35:41) and Bridgit Napleton (95th, 36:50) made up the scoring four, with Ashley Scott leading the Highgate contingent in 86th place (36:27).
The other Harriers to score were Gemma Rous (129th, 37:51, Nora Rossberg (149th, 38:41) and Sophie Sheldrake (161st, 39:05), with the team finishing 20th overall.
But Highgate’s star performer on the day was 15-year-old Georgia Fear, who claimed sixth place out of 151 runners in the Under-17 women’s race with a time of 20:17.
Hannah Viner and Hattie Brock finished 21st and 38th respectively in the Under-20 women’s race, while Sasha Fear (42nd) and Cecily Turner (53rd) helped the Harriers’ Under-13 girls’ team to finish 20th out of 31.
The Under-15 girls came 23rd in their event, with Lillah Fear (92nd) the only Highgate representative inside the first 100, but the Under-15 boys’ team took eighth place overall.
Terry Fawden led the team home in 10th place (16:29), with Dempster Fawden 62nd, while Sam Willis (37th) was the fastest Highgate finisher in the Under-17 boys’ race.
Callum Anderson was the first Harriers runner to finish the Under-13 boys’ race in 124th, while Pierce Boyle was 103rd in the Under-20 men’s event.