Highgate Harriers quartet underline strength in depth with victory at Southern Relay Championships

Highgate Harriers underlined their strength in depth as a men’s team missing a number of star performers won the Southern Relay Championships.

Highgate had already made a strong start to the cross-country season, with their men and women both winning their opening Metropolitan League fixtures the previous weekend – and there was more success at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday.

The Harriers’ men’s team comprised four runners and they recorded an overall time of 56 minutes 45 seconds, beating strong opposition in Belgrave Harriers (57:49) as well as Windsor, Slough & Eton (57:58), Herne Hill Harriers (58:21), Thames Valley Harriers (58:47) and London Heathside (58:54).

Jon Laybourn ran the first leg and came eighth out of the 34 club runners that started, clocking 14:17.

Robert Wilson (14:15) then took over and moved Highgate up into third place before Robel Bahelbi (13:49) hit the front, while Sean Renfer (14:24) ran the anchor leg and maintained pole position until the end.

Meanwhile, Highgate’s Under-13 youngsters came eighth out of 34 teams in the Under-13 Southern Relay Championships, posting a time of 21:40.

Theo Machin-Paley (7:39) handed over in 12th place, as did Monte Watson (7:53), and Roland Somogyi (7:33) then posted the quickest time of the trio to take the Harriers up into eighth spot.

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There are further chances of silverware on the horizon. Highgate will be competing at the North of Thames Championships and Liddiard Cup event in Fryent Park, Kingsbury, on Saturday – and they will then travel to Mansfield the following weekend for the England Cross Country Relay Championships.

That is followed by the second Metropolitan League meeting at Stevenage on November 7 and the London Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields on November 14.