England debut awaits for victorious Becky Penty

BECKY Penty’s third win in the Metropolitan Cross-Country League provided her with the perfect send-off before she joins the England squad in Ireland.

Penty clocked 21 minutes and one second to beat a muddy field of 134 runners at Alexandra Park on Saturday, maintaining her 100 per cent record in the Metropolitan League this season.

Her emphatic victory came just seven days before the Highgate Harrier travels to Antrim, where she will make her debut for England in the IAAF cross-country meeting on Saturday.

Penty’s victory helped Highgate women to secure second place on the day, and the points gained have cemented second place in the league table, which is headed by Serpentine on 1251 points.

Tessa Hill was next home for Highgate when she finished 11th in 23:21. Lindsay Kehoe (21st in 24:18) followed, with Louise Faherty (28th in 24:46), Astrid Wingler (35th in 24.57), Rhonda Munnik (36th in 24:59) and Gaelle Lebray (57th in 6:27) comprising the first six finishers for Harriers.

London Heathside’s women were also in action, finishing seventh, with Sue Rust (right) producing the pick of the performances with her seventh-place finish in a time of 23:07.

Rust was followed home by Claire Morrissey in 32nd place with 24:50, and Edie Fasnidge in 44th in 25:34. Fasnidge was making her cross-country debut and ran impressively.

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Heathside’s top six were Jackie Wastell (25:43), Karen Levene (26:18) and Caroline White (27:10).

Highgate’s dominance of the women’s veterans division continued and they have now amassed 360 points this season, 100 more than nearest rivals Woodford Green & Essex Ladies (260).

Henry Dodwell was the first Highgate Harrier to finish the men’s race with his time of 25:45.Shaun Dixon was eighth in 27:17, followed by Ryan McKinlay (21st, 28:24), Alex Leslie (36th, 29:15), Chris Panayiotou (37th, 29:15), Peter Downie (42nd, 29:31) and Jonathan Deane (51st, 29:52).

A remarkable 37 Heathside men ran the course, and the club recorded an eighth-place finish.

Ed Samuel was first in 30:03 to claim 59th place, while close behind was Mike Stocks (66th in 30:12) and Olivier Le Polain (69th in 30:19).

Michael Davidson was 92nd in 31:08, while Norman Mitchell was one place behind in 31:08. Max Prien was 97th, finishing in 31:25.