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Blackheath & Bromley Harriers enjoy podium finish at national cross country event

PUBLISHED: 10:04 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:04 06 November 2013

Blackheath & Bromley Harriers enjoyed a successful day at the National Cross Country relays at Mansfield last weekend.

A bumper entry made this one of the strongest competitions on record, yet the club had a number of top 20 finishes and this included bronze medals for the under 15 girls team.

The senior men finished in a very useful 13th place but it could have been higher still had Michael Skinner not been literally hamstrung.

Warming up for the anchor leg, it became clear that a niggle might prevent him from getting round the course. Yet the Great Britain international was not prepared to leave the team incomplete and he not only negotiated the course, but was the club‘s fastest runner with 16.19 moving up from 20th to 13th in the process.

Phil Sesemann had closed in 29th on a very strong opening stage before Ben Harding swept up the 20th on leg two, a position held by Sam Barnes before Skinner’s exploits on last leg.

A “B” team of Alex Gibbins, Andy Rayner, Ross Braden and Daniel Kennedy were 48th, a good effort considering this was out of 157 finishing teams.

The senior women’s team was notable not only for the fact that they finished in a good 34th place but also by the fact that all three are in the veterans age group.

The joint captains Jennie Butler and Jane Bradshaw ensured the team were 38th after two legs before Carole Penlington brought them up to 34th on the closing stage.

The club were not able to field teams in the under 20 races nor the under 17 women’s event, but were most prominent in the under 17 men’s race where after Richard Webb had a strong opening leg with 9.32, Will Fuller moved up to seventh on leg two with 9.26.

Tom Desborough ran another solid leg to bring the team home in 12th place.

As already mentioned, the under 15 girls were the highest placed of the club’s teams with an excellent third place. Naomi Kingston was 5th on the first leg with 7.14 before Kelsey Fuss moved up to 2nd with 7.34.

Despite running a fine 7.26 Jessica Keene slipped a place on the final stage.

For more information, visit bandbhac.org.uk.

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