Saturday saw the fourth and final matches of the Surrey League for what has been an enormously encouraging season for our Junior squad. At Wimbledon, despite the typically miserable February weather, we had four of our stalwarts turn out to compete on what was probably the toughest, and muddiest course of the four Boys races. First home was an ever improving Zayd Addicott, 8th U15 in 15 minutes dead.
Zayd moves up an age category next season to join Joseph O’Clery, who as ever turned up to represent his Club and declared afterwards that he thoroughly enjoyed the race. I have yet to hear Joseph complain or say that he didn’t have fun, regardless of the weather or the conditions. Joseph is exactly the type of athlete who makes our team what it is. As good as he is, Joseph always focuses on the taking part on behalf of his Club as well as the winning. Joseph was one of a cluster of athletes just behind Zayd, 11 seconds back and placing 11th U17.
Next athlete home, and 26th U13 in 17:30, was Hector Sheppard, who ran the last 400 with a look of sheer grit and determination on his face. It was without doubt Hector’s best race of the season. And only two places and 16 seconds behind him was Henry Shippey, who competed despite an ongoing calf niggle which had turned into a little bit more than that by the time he had finished. Well done to all of our boys.
Across at Coulsdon at the surely inappropriately named (at least for our Junior Girls) Happy Valley Park, our only representative was Allison Dalgleish in the Girls U15 race, finishing 19th. Allison deserves huge plaudits for turning out. After missing the first match at Nonsuch Park, Allison has been at every cross country race that Belgrave Juniors have been eligible to compete in, including the County and Area championships, and she has always given her all. Again, she is a shining example of the taking part and not just the glory of winning.