Highgate Harriers are running Parliament

HOST club Highgate Harriers dominated the London Cross Country Championships on Saturday, with their men’s A team winning the event and the B and C sides both finishing in the top six out of 45.

And an outstanding day continued at Parliament Hill Fields as Highgate celebrated an individual victory from Becky Penty, who finished first out of the entire field in the senior women’s race.

The men’s A team finished with 40 points – the combined placings of their first four finishers – with Shaun Dixon the top scorer over the 10 kilometres as he finished fifth in 32 minutes and 56 seconds.

Dixon was followed by Henry Dodwell, who was eighth in 33:13, Ryan McKinlay (12th in 34:07) and Dave Russell (15th in 34:27), and that was enough to beat Serpentine Running Club, who finished second with 42 points.

Herne Hill Harriers were third but the fourth-placed team overall was Harriers’ B team, who scored 95 to overcome a number of A teams from other clubs.

Glenn Saqui came 17th in 34:29 and he was followed by Richard Scott (20th in 34:51), Chris Beecham (24th in 35:05) and Nick Gold, who clocked 35:49 to finish 34th.

Herne Hill Harriers came fifth overall but, again, they were followed by another Highgate team, as the next four Harriers men bagged a sixth-placed finish for the C team.

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Jonathan Deane was 36th overall in 35:52, finishing three places ahead of Stephen Whiting, who was 39th in 36:01.

Further down the table Dale Bickham, who was running his last race for Highgate before going home to Australia, was the first runner home in the 17th-placed D team when he finished 56th in 37:15.

In the women’s events Penty continued her good form and capped a great day for Highgate by winning the women’s race over six kilometres.

Penty led from the outset and was never overtaken, winning easily in 20:38 to lead the Harriers’ second-placed women home.

Highgate’s A team totalled 49 points to finish behind Serpentine’s ladies, who had three runners in the top seven overall.

Penty was followed by Highgate team-mates Tessa Hill (sixth in 22:13), Sarah Bailey (20th in 24:07) and Lindsey Kehoe (22nd in 24:14).

Highgate’s B team of Astrid Wingler (35th 25.05), Becky Long (40th 25.28), Natasha Cendrowicz (47th 25.48) and Alex Goodwin (58th 26.29) were 12th.

Meanwhile, Highgate’s younger athletes ran well in the London Youth Games event, which drew 700 runners from 29 London boroughs to Parliament Hill.

Saturday’s highlights included an individual victory for Michael Callegari in the boys’ Under-17 race, and he also led the Under-17 boys’ team to victory in their age-group.

Highgate’s Stanley Harrison, who was running for Hackney, was seventh in the Under-15 boys race in 10:07 and Amy-Jane Cotter (Camden) was 29th of 73 in 13:11 in the Under-17 girls’ race.

LONDON Heathside were also present at the London Cross Country Championships, with their women’s A team coming fourth out of 23 teams with 93 points, while the Bs were 14th with 240.

The Heathsiders also had five men’s teams in action, with the As coming ninth with 173 points, ahead of the 24th-placed Bs, and three other sides.