Highgate Harriers win the double in London Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields

Highgate Harriers completed a double on home soil as their men’s and women’s teams both won gold medals in the London Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields.

The Harriers’ men maintained their impressive autumn form with a comfortable victory – and the women matched their success, with their four scoring runners all placing inside the top 16.

Hannah Viner was the fastest finisher for Highgate, taking third place in a time of 24 minutes 47 seconds behind race winner Phoebe Law (Kingston & Poly).

Ninth-placed Harriet Brock was the next member of the host club to finish in 25:42, with Ashley Scott (25:52) and Emma Burgess (26:24) in 11th and 16th places respectively.

Three other Harriers also completed the course – Louise Faherty, who finished 41st (28:24), Nina Rossberg (80th in 30:45) and Natasha Cendrowicz (115th in 32:45).

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The men’s team triumphed in a field of 27, totalling 61 points with second-placed Herne Hill Harriers on 86 and Serpentine RC on 89.

Ryan McKinlay (34:44) was the first Highgate runner home in 10th place, closely followed by Jon Laybourn in 12th (34:47) and Fergal Smithwick in 13th (34:52).

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Dom Smith, who finished 26th in 36:19, completed the scoring quartet, although Chris Beecham was not too far behind in 33rd (36:31).

Highgate’s other finishers were Luke McMullen (55th in 38:00), Duncan Burbidge (62nd in 38:25) and Michael Ussher (87th in 39:25).

A number of the junior runners competed in the London Youth Games races, with Aurel Sinko-Uribe (18:31) and Terry Fawden (18:46) finishing 13th and 17th in the Under-17 men’s event.

Lilah Fear (13:48) and Marjolaine Briscoe (13:51) took 25th and 26th places respectively in the Under-17 women’s race, with Ellie Gilmore (8:50) 26th for the Under-13 girls.

Abel Sinko-Uribe (11:38) came 24th in the Under-15 boys’ race, with Dempster Fawden (11:44) 28th and Finlay Sleeman (5:34) 17th for the Under-11 boys.

Highgate will be competing in the North London Championships this weekend at Alexandra Palace.

Highgate stalwart John Wild has announced his retirement following a long career as a field events coach with the club.

Wild joined the Harriers in 1954 and competed as a decathlete before becoming the club’s secretary and managing their Southern League B team. He also coached numerous athletes including international triple jumper Sineade Gutzmore.

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