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February 24, 2024
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Athletics: Harlow AC’s George Watkins strikes Gold at Essex Cross Country Champs


THERE was plenty of heart and effort at both the Hertfordshire and Essex Cross Country Championships from a small band of Harlow AC athletes. On the line, beyond personal bests, was a top eight finish and selection for county teams for the national championships in February.

On Saturday, Gloucester Park, Basildon, played host to the Essex Championships and four Harlow athletes were involved. Ben Tucker represented the club at U13 level and was 36, in a field of sixty athletes. He completed the course in 13.57 minutes.

A further three athletes took part in the Under 15 race. Kamal Ricketts was twenty-eighth in 19.20 minutes, and Manny Richards was nineteenth in a time of 18.02 minutes.

Leading the way, and saving his best performance, positionally speaking, of the season was George Watkins. He won the competition in a time of 15.28 minutes and will now lead the county team at the national championships.  

On Sunday, Westminster Park, St Albans, hosted the Hertfordshire County Championships. Unlike Essex, Hertfordshire runs a competition for Under 11 athletes. Harrison Dodwell ran in the boys’ race and was twenty-second in a field of over eighty athletes.

Isla and Hayden Garrett were in action at Under 15 Girl’s and U17 Men’s levels respectively. Hayden was twentieth in 25.32 minutes and Isla was agonisingly ninth in her race. Her time was 19.55 minutes, and she was edged out by three seconds for the all-important eighth position.

The final competitor in Harlow colours was Eilidh Malcolm in the Senior Women’s competition. She was forty-ninth in a large field, eighty-seven competitors, and her time was 45.18 minutes.

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