Highgate Harriers achieve best ever result at Southern Cross-country Championships

Highgate Harriers' Andy Maud

Highgate Harriers' Andy Maud - Credit: Archant

Andy Maud withstood the pressure to lead Highgate Harriers to their second successive victory in the men’s Southern Championships at Parliament Hill Fields.

Maud held off international athlete Richard Goodman, as well as former London champion Chris Smith, to secure individual and team success on his home course.

With Highgate’s women finishing second in their race behind Aldershot, Farnham & District, it was the club’s best overall performance in the history of the tournament.

Maud, along with Smith and Victoria Park’s Paul Martelletti, was trailing Goodman by 50m after the first lap of three – but his controlled pace took him clear towards the end of the 15k course.

The Harriers athlete eventually crossed the line in a time of 48 minutes 27 seconds, with Martelletti 15 seconds behind and Smith taking third place in 49:09.

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Highgate’s triumph in the team event was sealed by the performances of Murray Strain, who finished seventh in 49:58, and 10th-placed Chris Rainsford (50:08).

Pete Chambers (30th in 51:47), Robel Bahelbi (34th in 52:15) and Danny Russell (39th in 52:44) completed the scoring six, with Charlie Haywood (67th in 53:44) and Sean Renfer (85th in 54:26) also inside the top 100.

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In the women’s race, Hannah Viner – who is in her first season as a senior – was Harriers’ most improved performer, finishing 12th in a time of 30:33.

She was backed up by the team’s other three scoring runners – Emma Dixon (15th in 30:40), Molly Renfer (16th in 30:47) and Ashley Scott (55th in 33:20).

Highgate’s men’s and women’s teams will both be chasing further glory in the final round of the Metropolitan League at Alexandra Palace a week on Saturday.

There were also impressive runs from the junior Highgate contingent at the Southern Championships, with Phoebe Littler clocking 21:59 as she finished 31st in the Under-17 women’s race.

Harriers’ Theo Machin-Paley also shone in the Under-13 boys’ event, where he finished 80th in 12:14.

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