Meredith leads the ladies as four-midable Highgate Harriers secure home win

Kate Meredith led the way as Highgate Harriers’ women won the London Cross-Country Championships title on home soil at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday.

Meredith finished strongly to snatch an extra place in the final 10 metres, finishing third out of the 135 finishers in 22 minutes 41 seconds.

Heather Bijman was 11th in 23:17 and Hannah Viner was close behind, coming 12th in 23:22 – the first Under-20 runner to cross the line – and Alexia Trafford completed the ‘four-to-score’ team, finishing 21st in 24:02.

The women’s race was won by Lara Bromilow of Milton Keynes, the daughter of the club chairman Nick Bromilow, in 22:16.

Highgate’s B team were 11th in the event, with Over-45 runner Astrid Wingler coming 31st in 24:59, while Gemma Rous (25:29) and Emma Burgess (25:34) were 41st and 42nd respectively.

Over-40 veteran Natasha Cendrrowiz was 81st in 28:21 and Over-45 runner Kirat Nandra was 131st in 33:55.

Meanwhile, the men’s team were missing several of their top runners, which cost them their usual place in the top three teams on home soil.

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However, Ryan McKinlay was fifth out of the 288 finishers, clocking 32:07 – and the team was also fifth with 115 points behind the winners Thames Valley Harriers (51).

McKinlay was followed by Highgate stalwart Chris Beecham - an Over-40 veteran who finished 30th in 34:59- and Jonathan Deane was 37th in 35:19 while the fourth and final scorer, Tim Gardner, returned to the team after a long injury lay-off to come 43rd in 36:01.

Two of Highgate’s Over-50 runners also impressed in the large field of competitors, with Alex Davidson coming 93rd in 38:14 and Chris Bailey coming 142nd in 40:11.

In doing so, Bailey finished just ahead of the British veteran middle-distance Over-50 champion Dave Wilcock of Barnet & District, who posted 40:13. Chris Smith of Thames Valley Harriers won the race for the third time, clocking 31:14.

Saturday’s event also doubled up as the London Youth Games cross-country race, and there were two outstanding runs by Highgate’s youngsters.

Georgia Fear was representing Camden in the Under-17 girls’ race and she was the runner-up, finishing just one second behind Sophie Parzi Wayne, who was also racing for Camden, out of a field of 121 runners.

Terry Fawden also recorded a second-placed finish for Camden in the boys’ Under-15 race out of 195 competitors.

Elsewhere, Brahma Pochee ran a personal best 10k time in Brighton on Saturday. Having already posted three best times on the track this year, he ran 34:23 to come 41st out of 1,500 runners on the south coast on Sunday.