Highgate Harriers sweep the board at North of Thames cross-country championships

Highgate Harriers swept the board with a devastating display at the North of Thames cross-country championships in Kingsbury on Saturday.

The men’s team’s scoring eight won the North of Thames trophy plus the Liddiard Cup, the Middlesex Cup and two other medals as the best four-to-score and six-to-score teams.

The women’s side also lifted their Liddiard Cup, and the Harriers had the top masters side out of the 10 clubs who were competing at Fryent Park.

Highgate only fielded only one of club members who recently competed in the national six-stage road relay – Ryan McKinley.

He was suffering with shin trouble but nonetheless kept up with Portuguese international Antonio Silva of Queen’s Park Harriers and Orlando Edwards (Shaftesbury Barnet) for much of the race to come third in 26 minutes eight seconds.


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Highgate’s Jon Laybourn was fourth in 26:09 and Kerr Millar came sixth in 27:18, while Tom Christopher finished eighth in 27:47 and Over-45 runner Chris Beecham was ninth in 27:57.

John McKeane was 13th in 28:13 ahead of Luke McMullen (20th in 28.23) and Duncan Burbidge (22nd in 28:25) as Highgate’s eight-to-score team all finished inside the first 22 places out of the 132 runners.

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The Middlesex Cup was given to the best 12-to-score side, and Highgate took that home as well thanks to Michael Ussher (35th in 29:11), Richard Stewart (42nd in 30:07), Dave Gilbert (44th in 30:12) and John O’Shea (65th in 31:34).

Highgate’s masters team also saw off their rivals, recording 27 points to beat London Heathside (54) and Ealing Southall & Middlesex (61) – the first three teams with the main result of eight to score.

It was left to the ladies to round off a stunningly successful day for the club. Hillingdon’s Mack Eva won the race in 18:10 but she only got the better of Highgate’s Emma Burgess (18:15) in the final 200m.

With Joanne Pemberton close behind in her first cross-country race – third in 18:31 – ahead of Louise Faherty (ninth in 19:13) and Natasha Cendrowicz (34th in 23:01), the Harriers’ women secured the Liddiard Cup.

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