Kent XC League 2016 Sparrows Den - Report


The athletics world was rocked this week when two of Britain’s young bright stars tragically lost their lives in a road traffic accident, whilst doing the sport they loved, something thousands of our young athletes do week in week out throughout the country.

Stacey Burrows and Lucy Pygott both from Aldershot, Farnham & District Athletics Club were on an early evening training run when the accident occurred and the athletics world paid tribute to them both, at various running events this weekend.

At Sparrows Den, Blackheath and Bromley HAC home Kent league fixture a memorial wreath was laid at the start of the U17 girls race before a well observed, poignant minutes silence. Many of the clubs’ athletes, officials and supporters also wore black ribbons in tribute to the two girls who will be sorely missed.

The sombre mood and a clash of events including county inter counties and regional rounds of the English schools cup saw fewer numbers braving the rain and the tough hilly, wooded course that Sparrows Den is renowned for.

However, BBHAC had a good degree of success winning five of the nine races contested with an emphatic victory in the senior men’s race from BBHAC’s Olympian Scott Overall.

Ellie Dolby got winning ways off to an early start by powering her away to victory in the U13 girls race. A strong run from Daniella Harper in 4thand Amarisa Sibley in 5thensured a good team win. Strength in depth is massive in this age group as a further ten BB’s girls finished well. Lily Meers was a strong 8th, Olivia Berry 12th, Heidi Forsyth 13thand Ella smith 17th. Kelsey Pullin had her highest finish to date in 21stas did Hanna Clark finishing 25th. Zara Aslam made her club debut finishing well in 29thwith Isabella Louth crossing the line in 33rd, Sofia Elliot was 46thand completing the impressive numbers was Amelie Willars in 55th. With one fixture remaining the U13 girls are currently top of their league.

Not to be out done our U13 boys were equally impressive with a victory and large numbers running, finishing with five in the top seven and eight in the top twenty. Great to see the field flooded with Blackheath and Bromley vests. Sam Reardon and Tom Brash battled together all the way around with Sam winning the sprint but Tom was just a second behind in 2nd. Thomas Penlington finding his old form again finishing a great 4thwith first year boys Ben Campbell and Max Gregson running hard to finish 6thand 7th. Matt Smith will be pleased with his highest position of 12thas will Oliver Robertson in 14th. Jamie Sears with two more years in this age group was a strong 20th. Sam Stuart making his full BBHAC debut ran really well crossing the line in 28thjust in front of Callum Carlton in 30thand Jake Anthony in 33rd. Like Jamie, Oles Chaban has two more years in the U13s and did well finishing 38thjust a head of Nick Paddington running well in 39th.Good to have Josh Buddle Smith back running after a short break in 45thcompleting a very strong U13 boys squad who currently lie 2ndin the league.

Morgan Squibb continued her fine form finishing a clear winner. Zoe White, not put off by her fall at the start of the last Kent league fixture had her best run of the season finishing a really strong 6thwith Lily Tappenden only four seconds behind in 9th. Niamh Milmo had a good run in 17thjust ahead of Jess Neal in 18thwith Abbie Leeves 22nd, Emily Davis 24thand Issie Bridge 25th,  completing the U15 girls squad efforts leaving them top of their league, albeit by only one point.

Eight U15 boys toed the line for their 4.2k course and Peter Guy will be pleased with his great 5thposition just seconds behind the leading few. Ben Gardiner had a good run in 16th, Robert Suckling worked hard finishing 20thwith Cameron Swatton and Keir Lundy battling down the home straight, finishing 22ndand 23rdrespectively, one second apart. Jake Leng was 34thjust ahead of Luke Simpson in 35thand Charles Winton having his strongest run of the season finished in a great 37th. The U15 boys are currently 5thin their very strong league.

The U20 and U17 combined women’s race saw a strong victory from our sole U20 Jess Keene and a season’s best run for Amy Leach had her crossing the line in a solid 4th. Millie Smith was 6th, Lottie Weitzel 7th, Grace Scopes 10th,  having already coached our youngsters in the rain in the morning and Jess Sellar 13thand great to see Charlotte Fairies 23rdmaking her club debut finding time to run after also coaching at our young Bees academy in the morning. The U17s top their league table.

The U17 boys age group is dominated by Tonbridge AC placing 1- 5 but Lewis Mills and Michael Eagling held their own and did well placing 7thand 8th. Oscar Hussey was a good 14th, Callum Myatt 22nd, Charlie Andrews 29thand Finlay Brannan making his club debut did well despite falling on a muddy section, to finish 30thwith Lewis Warren completing the squad in 37th. The U17 boys are currently second behind the strong Tonbridge team.

All our U20 men decided to double the distance they had to run by lining up with the seniors. Olympian Scott Overall was overall winner (no pun intended) but a great showing from the U20s saw Marco Arcuri and Charlie Davis high up the field finishing 25thand 27thonly four seconds apart and that was after both had spent the morning coaching our under 11 endurance athletes in the rain.

James Crawley looked strong finishing 53rd with Tom Desborough just behind in 56th and ever present Scott Bulmer had his best run so far this winter in 173rd and the icing on the cake was beating his dad Nigel.

This home fixture also doubles up as our young athletes cross country club championship and so gold, silver and bronze club champs medals were awarded to


                           Gold                    Silver                   Bronze


U13 girls    Ellie Dolby           Daniella Harper    Amerisa Sibley

U15 girls    Morgan Squibb   Zoe White             Lily Tappenden

U17 girls    Amy Leach          Millie Smith          Lottie Weitzel


U13 boys   Sam Reardon     Tom Brash           Thomas Penlington

U15 boys   Peter Guy           Ben Gardiner       Robert Suckling

U17 boys   Lewis Mills          Michael Eagling   Oscar Hussey


BBHAC were responsible for the running of this fixture and that was in no small way thanks to many BBHAC members, parents and friends and special thanks go to Nic Corry who turned up in a free 30 minute window to help despite no family members running, John Reardon arriving early and leaving late to put up and dismantle the tent, Nic Swatton and Mick Keene for their help with the tent, Peter Lovell for all his help all day in the rain and ‘track’ Steve who turned up just to help dismantle the tent because he knew we would need help. A true team effort made light work of what can be a difficult job, especially in the rain.

Further afield BBHAC members were racing in various other meetings. Niamh Bridson Hubbard and Will Fuller were on International duty running for England in Atapuerca, Northern Spain where Niamh finishing 10thand Will 13thin their respective races.

At the English schools cup SE regional final race at Tonbridge, Sophie Hoare won the inter girls race, Tola Pearse was 2nd and Rosie Allen was 18th. Amelia Middleton was 15th in the junior girls race while Rowan Fuss and Joe Georgiadis were 13th and 14th in the inter boys with Oscar Heaney Brufal just behind in 19th. Barnaby Corry was our only representative in the junior boys race and finished 64th.

Amy Miller ran well to finish 6th in the schools inter counties in the West Midlands running for Surrey.

The British cross challenge series started in Milton Keynes and U13 Naomi Toft ran well finishing 5th with Madolina Samoila crossing the line in 31st in the U17 girls race.

The next club fixture is the final Kent league at Danson Park on 29thNovember when all the individual and league tables will be completed. Hope to see you all there.