London Heathside young star takes on Farah for the title in final race

London Heathside’s Jacob Phillips is bidding to win the Under-17 men’s title in the North-West London Young Athletes League as he prepares for the fifth and final race at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday.

Phillips, who attends Fortismere School in Muswell Hill, finished second behind Muchta Farah from Ealing, Southall and Middlesex AC in the last contest on January 31, clocking 19 minutes 33 seconds, with Muchta recording 19:17.

Another Heathsider, William Griffiths, was third that day, with the Alexandra Park School pupil crossing the line in 19:48.

However, it will be Phillips and Farah who are fighting it out for the title this weekend – and Phillips goes into the race in pole position, but another victory for Farah would give him the crown.

Meanwhile, Highgate Harriers’ Over-50 men’s team secured silver medals at the Middlesex Masters Championships in Trent Park at the weekend, finishing second out of 54 teams.


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Michael Ussher was the third Over-50 runner to finish, in 32:26, while Highgate’s Alex Davidson was 15th in 32:45 ahead of his team-mates Martin Bright (21st in 34:06), Chris Bailey (22nd in 34:26), John O’Shea (26th in 35:38), Steve Scrutton (36th in 38:59) and Martin Black (48th in 43:20).

Chris Beecham, an Over-40 runner, came third overall across all of the age categories, clocking 30:55, while Harrow’s Jim Cooper was first in 29:37.

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The Harriers’ Over-35 women’s team were fifth at the same event. Louise Faherty was eighth out of the 55 starters in 29:37, ahead of Natasha Cendrowicz (34th in 34:45) and Kirat Nandra (49th in 40:29). London Heathside’s Sue Rust was first in 26:33.

Elsewhere, there was a strong turn-out from Highgate Harriers at the Hampstead Heath parkrun on Saturday, with some of their runners preparing for the upcoming Southern and national road relays.

There were 192 entrants of all ages, and Highgate’s Luke McMullan won the 5k race in 17:20,

while Emma Burgess was the first woman to cross the line, coming home seventh overall in 19:38.

There were a number of strong performances from the Harriers’ young stars, with Adam Stewart – who is in the 15-17 years category – coming ninth in 19:42 and Andrew Collins (18-19 years) finishing 11th, just beating the 20-minute mark in 19:57.

Filip Bastian (11-14) was 19th in 20:48 and Under-11 runner Monte Watson came 26th in 21:41.

Highgate athletes were also in action at the Hackney Marshes parkrun, with five of their members finishing in the top 10 out of the 118 entrants.

Third-placed Robert Wilson and fourth-placed Brahma Pochee both clocked 15:40, ahead of Daryl Davison (sixth in 15:59), Michael Dan (seventh in 16:30) and Tom Christopher (10th in 17:04).

Highgate will contest the Southern road relays this Saturday in Milton Keynes and will then compete in the national relays on April 11 at Sutton Park near Birmingham.

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