Highgate Harriers are triumphant at North London Cross Country Championships

Highgate Harriers’ women enjoyed another victory at the North London Cross Country Championships, with their first four runners all finishing inside the top eight.

Kate Meredith had finished third when Highgate’s ladies won the London Cross Country Championships the previous weekend – and history repeated itself at Mad Bess Woods in Ruislip on Saturday.

Meredith was third again, clocking 22 minutes and eight seconds, and her clubmates Hannah Viner (22:21) and Heather Bijman (22:56) were close behind in fourth and fifth, while Alexia Trafford (23:10) was eighth.

The combined total of Highgate’s scoring four was 20, and that was easily enough to give them the top spot ahead of Ealing, Southall & Middlesex (74) and London Heathside (87), who secured bronze despite missing their top runner Sarah Swinhoe.

The Harriers also had the top B team, who came fourth overall with 97 points. Sophie Sheldrake was 19th in 24:26, just ahead of Emma Burgess (21st in 24:41), and they were followed by Natasha Cendrowicz (47th in 27:22) and Kirit Nandra (131st in 33:49).

The women’s race was won by Alex Gounelas (21:55), who was representing Eton Manor, but she runs for Highgate in the Metropolitan League and will be a key figure for them at Alexandra Park on December 21.

Meanwhile, there was a tight competition in the men’s race, with Heathside’s Tom Aldred finishing second overall but seeing his team narrowly beaten by Highgate.

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Aldred was closely followed by Highgate’s Ryan McKinlay, who was third in 26:03, while Henry Dodwell (seventh in 26:52), Jon Laybourn (eighth in 26:58), Jon Deane (ninth in 27:18) and Chris Beecham (10th in 27:25) all finished inside the top 10. Alex Davidson also came 37th in 29:14.

That gave Highgate 74 points, just beating Heathside’s total of 78, while Serpentine were third with 126.

Elsewhere, Terry Fawden competed in the high-quality Liverpool Cross Challenge and finished eighth out of 838 runners in the Under-15 race, clocking 9:54 – not far behind the winner, who posted 9:25.

Georgia Fear also continues to impress in the Under-17 age group, having come fifth out of 85 competitors in 15:53.

Shaun Dixon was also in action at the weekend, finishing 50th out of 515 runners in the European Senior Trials and Cross Challenge in 30:51, beating Frank Baddick of Newham & Essex Beagles, who won the last Metropolitan League race at Stevenage.

Highgate also had several runners in the recent Brighton 10k, and Chris Rainsford came fourth out of 2,790 statrters in 31:17, while Robel Bahelbi was 20th in 33:07 and Brahma Pochee was 41st in 34:25.