Tough conditions for Sussex League

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Despite the late switch of venues for the second of this season’s Sussex Cross-country League events to Stanmer Park and the inclement weather, numbers held up well and over six hundred runners raced on Saturday.

Conditions were much more unpleasant and tougher than the first match, a few weeks earlier though times were generally a little faster in the older male races, which would suggest a slight variation in the course. The races were largely organised by Maureen Stephens and the Worthing Club though many other helpers, from across the County stepped in to make sure the event went ahead.

More than half of the main winners on Saturday had not won their races in November. This makes the eventual League battles very interesting in February particularly if the County is unable to arrange a fourth fixture in March.

In the senior men’s race Stephen Ferroni (Brighton & Hove) 28:16, who was runner up in November proved a convincing winner over club mate Kevin Moore who clocked 28:36 with Crawley’s Paul Navesey clocking 28:48 in third place and Ferroni also led his Brighton & Hove team to victory in the team event scoring 42 points to Brighton Phoenix’s 154 points and Haywards Heath’s 195 points.

Chris Smith (Haywards Heath) who finished eighth in 29:19 was the first Master to complete the course while Brighton & Hove’s Tomer Tarragano filled tenth place in 29:38 to lead the U20s home.

Lizzie Clarke from Hastings, who missed the first race, had a steady run to win both the U20 and Senior women’s race in 20:01 ahead of Horsham’s Annabelle Morton (third in the first race) in 20:14 and also second in the U20 event while Hastings team mate Louise Nash who clocked 20:22 took third place.

Hastings won the team event with 25 points to Hailsham’s 57 and Arena 80’s 69 points while Alex Richer (Horsham) was the first U17 performer finishing sixth in 21:09 and Julie Briggs (Arena 80) was seventh in 21:15, the first Master.

Another Hasting athlete who missed the first event was George Pool but he made amends by steaming clear of club mate Isaac Elam to win the U17 race in 18:04 to 18:15 with Atticus Mohapi-Dobouny from Lewes clocking 18:20 in third place while Hastings won the team event with 12 points Crawley’s 24 and 41 for Lewes.

Brighton Phoenix won the U17 girls team event with 24 points to Brighton & Hove’s 38 and Crawley’s 40.

In the U15 age groups Bethany Cook and Daisy Burton of Bodyworks repeated their one/two of the first match in 15:01 and 16:22 with Poppy Palmer-Malins (Brighton & Hove) clocking 16:23 in third place and Bodyworks taking the team title with 14 points just one less that Brighton & Hove with Chichester scoring 23 points in third place.

For the Boys it was Horsham’s Matty Smith turning in an impressive victory in 14:14 ahead of Crawley’s Thomas James’s 14:29 and Carlos Neito (Hastings) third place in 14:23 and team honours for Crawley with 23 points to Worthing’s 32 and 36 for Lewes.

Crawley’s Miles Waterworth repeated his U13 victory after a neck and neck battle in the boys' race with Louis Goodwin (Lewes) though both were credited with 11:33 with Horsham’s Charles Ferris who clocked 11:47 in third and Crawley took the team title with 13 points, just one less of Lewes with Chichester in third spot with 34.

Lauren Wormley (Crawley) took the top position in the U13 girls race in 12:16 with Brighton and Hove's Dulcie Yelling in second in 12:51. Ellie Mclean (EBR) was third with 13:21. Brighton and Hove took the team title with 13 points and Crawley second with 17 points. The Brighton and Hove 'B' were third.

The U11 races were again won by Barney Hasting (Lewes) and Katie Foss (Crawley).