Sat 26th October 2019

Kent League Cross Country

Invicta East Kent Athletics Club

Kent Cross Country League race 2/4 – Somerhill School – Saturday 26th October 2019

Saturday saw Canterbury’s own Invicta East Kent Athletics Club perform at the second of four Kent Cross Country League races at Somerhill School near Sevenoaks.  The promised rain held off until the Seniors started racing later in the day giving the younger athletes drier although very muddy race conditions.  Racing commenced at midday and saw the starters horn setting the u13 girls off down the field towards the first loop and ahead of a long upward climb.

The course challenged the hardiest hill racers with Invicta East Kent runners Macey Sawyer putting in a sterling performance to come in 11th, closely followed by Molly Martin in 13th place.   Zoe Vallis came in in 28th place securing the u13 girls’ team a 4th place victory.  Directly behind Zoe, Layla Forrest finished in 29th, Jessica Broster in 48th and Zoe’s sister Ellie Vallis placing 54th.

In the u13 boys race gutsy performances were put in by Oliver Scott and Adam Whitlock in 3rd and 7th place respectively.  The boys tackled the hills with evident determination and refused to give up places to some competitive athletes in the leading group.  Benjamin Hutton placed 19th putting the boys u13 team into 3rd place overall.  Sam Hurst finished in 23rd place, Henry Goodwin in 29th and Joseph Gormley in 42nd place.   

In the u15 girls race Amy Goodhand and Teigan Sullivan fought it out throughout the race coming in a close 4th and 5th place out of a field of 52 runners. Millie Knightly came in 19th placing the girls u15 team in 3rd place overall followed shortly after by Eliza Mills in 31st.

One of the highlights of the day was the boys u15 race which saw the team coming in 2nd place.  After the first three IEK finishers times were combined they were beaten only by 2 seconds by an impressive performance by the Tonbridge AC team.  The exciting race saw IEK athlete Jamie Kier running in the lead group of 5 runners for the whole race finally fighting to claim the title with an impressive win.  He was closely followed by Thomas Hutton in 5th and Leo Carroll in 10th place.  A little further down the field saw Reef Page come in in 19th and Harrison White in 32nd place from a field of 57 competitors. 

The u17 girls put in a great performance in the deteriorating weather conditions and the even more deteriorating course conditions.  Hundreds of pairs of essential spike shoes had turned grass to mud and mud into more mud.  Invicta East Kent’s Maddison Sawyer put in a gutsy performance throughout the race finally placing 9th.  Not far behind Abigail Hope placed 11th and Rebekah Goodhand in 13th to place the u17 girls’ team in 3rd place.  Jildou Chappell came in 16th and Natalie McDonnell in 19th.  

The u20 men’s race saw athletes Cole Gibbens and James Akhurst facing the slippery unrelenting hills to secure 8th and 15th respectively.

More highlights were seen admist the worst of the weather during the Senior Women’s 5025m race and ahead of the men’s 10000m race.  In the women’s race, Invicta East Kent’s Rebecca Weston worked against wind and rain to place a magnificent 2nd with Imogen Amos finishing shortly after and coming in in 8th place.  In the men’s race four athletes competed from a starting field of 372 runners.  The rain poured down on them throughout but unfazed, Charlie Brisley lead the Invicta East Kent men to finish in  superb form in 2nd place.  Tom Storer, and Adam Mckenna spent the majority of their race within mud flicking distance of each other coming in 238 and 59 respectively with Team Manager Gavin Whitlock not far behind coming in in 64 place.

With Invicta East Kent athletes supporting their fellow team members with such affection we can only applaud the sterling performances put in all round, none of which would be possible without the support and organisation of IEK’s Nikki Old and athlete and Team Manager Gavin Whitlock. Congratulations to everyone who raced and thank you everyone who supported the team.