Abel heads Highgate Harriers’ list of success at Middlesex Championships

Highgate Harriers' Svenja Abel

Highgate Harriers' Svenja Abel - Credit: Archant

aHighgate Harriers’ Svenja Abel continued her resurgence with a comfortable victory in the senior women’s race at the Middlesex Championships on Saturday.

Abel, who only returned to cross-country in October after a six-year absence and also suffered an accident while cycling shortly before Christmas, triumphed over the 8,000m course at Wormwood Scrubs.

Her time of 28 minutes 43 seconds rounded off an excellent day for Highgate, who scooped a total of five team victories as well as a silver medal.

That tally did not include the senior women, with Emma Burgess (33:10) the only other Harriers athlete to finish the course after Ashley Scott-Wilson was forced to drop out with a back injury.

It looked as if the senior men’s side would be celebrating an individual success, with Chris Rainsford out in front for some time – but he had to settle for second place behind Serpentine’s Richard Phillips.


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Rainsford (39:50) was backed up by Robert Wilson (40:34) and Robel Bahelbi (41:00) in seventh and eighth places respectively to ensure that Highgate took the team honours.

Jon Laybourn (17th, 41:56), Dominic Smith (18th, 41:58) and Guillaume Cribier (22nd, 43:14) completed the scoring six, while another half-dozen Harriers also finished the course.

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They were: Victor Mound (38th, 45:34), Alex Davidson (62nd, 47:49), Joseph Lowe (92nd, 51:07), Emmanuel Lumineau (108th, 52:39), Steve Scruton (124th, 54:09) and Nick Stockman (151st, 58:32).

Highgate claimed both individual and team success in the Under-17 men’s race over 6,000m, where Terry Fawden repeated his 2015 victory with a run of 23:24.

Louis Griffin, who came fourth in 24:39, and fifth-placed Aurel Sinke-Uribe (24:49) made up the scoring trio, followed by Arun White (25:38) in ninth, Dempster Fawden (14th, 26:14), Charlie Smith (29th, 29:23) and Farid Sousou (30th, 29:32).

Georgia Fear (19:30) and Hannah Viner (19:51) filled the first two spots in the Under-20 women’s race over 5,000m while Esther Pigney (10th, 23:14) was the only Harriers runner in the Under-17 event.

Both Highgate teams picked up victories at Under-15 level, with second-placed Oliver Haddad (13:43) leading the way for the boys, backed up by Austin Harris (14:01) and Abel Sinko-Uribe (14:25) in fifth and seventh places respectively.

Phoebe Littler (sixth in 15:59) and Sasha Fear (seventh in 16:05), aided by Emma Williets (14th, 16:54), secured victory for the girls’ team.

Harriers’ scoring three were separated by just seven seconds in the Under-13 boys’ race, with Patrick Kyle (13:10) finishing sixth ahead of Roland Somogyi (13:13) in seventh and Monte Watson in eighth (13:17).

The Under-13 girls’ team took second place overall, with Ava Mulhill (14:11) finishing fourth ahead of Ellis Gilmore (14:43) in ninth and Ellen Donald, who was just three seconds behind in 10th.

Although there were no scoring teams at Under-11 level, Highgate’s Jack Bailey ran well to finish the 1500m course sixth in 7:08, while fourth-placed Siena Thompson (7:55) was the leading runner in the girls’ race.

Highgate are back in Metropolitan League action this weekend, when they compete in the fourth race of the series at Perivale.

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