Highgate Harriers climb to the top of the Metropolitan League

Shaun Dixon and newcomer Pete Chambers picked up top-six finishes at Stevenage to lift Highgate Harriers to the top of the Metropolitan League table.

Dixon, who was up with the leaders for the first half of the three-lap race, eventually finished fifth in 30 minutes 18 seconds, with Chambers just one place and two seconds behind him.

With five other finishers inside the top 30 in Saturday’s race, Highgate’s men’s team now lead the way, 11 points ahead of rivals Woodford Green & Essex Ladies.

Robel Bahelbi was next home for the Harriers in 14th (31:00), followed by Jonny Laybourn (17th, 31:15), Sean Renfer (19th, 31:24), Fergal Smithwick (21st, 31:32) and Robert Wilson 26th, 31:39).

Highgate’s other scoring runners were Brahma Pochee (62nd, 32:53), Alexander Machin-Paley (74th, 33:11), Victor Mound (79th, 33:20), Tom Christopher (87th, 33:32), Michael Ussher (99th, 33:44) and Brendan Donnelly (114th, 34:11).

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Meanwhile, Harriers’ women’s team have increased their advantage at the top of the league after their performance at Stevenage.

Svenja Abel, who had finished second in the first match of the season, repeated that placing with a time of 24:10, while Hannah Viner – who was the second fastest Under-20 junior in the race – came seventh.

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They were backed up by ninth-placed Ashley Scott-Wilson (24:58), Alex Gounelas (13th, 25:17), Esther Evans (19th, 25:46), Emma Burgess (25th, 26:16) and Sophie Sheldrake (31st, 26:32).

Highgate’s other finishers were Noelia Mora (85th, 29:10), Lucy McGuiness (134th, 31:12), Natasha Cendrowicz (136th, 31:15), Emma Wilson (151st, 32:20) and Anna Murray (214th, 39:27).

Highgate’s Under-17 men hold a narrow lead at the top of their group after Oliver Kemp (17:00) led them home in 14th place, with Abel Sinko-Uribe 23rd (17:11) and Adam Stewart (24th, 17:12).

Aurel Sinko-Uribe (17:31) was next in 31st place, followed by Alistair Sleeman (37th, 17:43), Tal Pelmont (41st, 18:40), Dempster Fawden (54th, 18:21), Charlie Smith (65th, 18:24), Chandrasekhar Iyengar (67th, 18:28), Alfie Zac (71st, 18:38) and Raphael Rossiter (77th, 18:49).

Phoebe Littler was the first Harriers runner across the line in the Under-17 women’s race, finishing eighth in 19:20, with Emma Willets (18:11) 18th, Maxine Chapman (20:54) 34th and Esther Pigney (21:20) 39th.

Highgate’s Eve Mulvill battled hard with Ava White of Thames Valley Harriers in the Under-13 girls’ race, but eventually had to settle for the runners-up spot in a time of 14:29. Milly Dunne (16:15) finished 28th.

Theo Machin-Paley (13:59) was Highgate’s fastest finisher in the Under-13 boys’ event, taking ninth place ahead of Lucas Porter (23rd, 14:49) and Jesse Hopkins (28th, 15:20).

Meanwhile, London Heathside’s women – who are defending champions – finished third in their race despite fielding a depleted side.

Rebecca Piggott (26:19) was the first Heathside runner to cross the line in 26th place, followed by Rachel Seckl (26:30) in 30th, Cas Wright (37th, 26:52) and Celine Murray (38th, 26:56).

The senior men’s team finished fifth overall, with Under-20 runner James Wooldridge their highest finisher in 27th place, backed up by Johnny Naylor and Jacob Philipps in 117th and 149th places respectively.

Jem O’Flaherty was the best-placed junior runner for Heathside, taking 20th place in the joint Under-15/Under-17 race. Ruari McGonagle and Arthur Reed were eighth in the Under-13 and 11th in the Under-11 races respectively.

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