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Ilford youngsters are cross-country champions

PUBLISHED: 10:30 10 January 2019

The winnig Ilford under-17 Essex county title winners with vet Tony Nixon who was part of the last winning team back in 1965

The winnig Ilford under-17 Essex county title winners with vet Tony Nixon who was part of the last winning team back in 1965

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Great memories for Ilford vey Tony Nixon

Jordan Hinds of Ilford AC was 12th in the under-20 raceJordan Hinds of Ilford AC was 12th in the under-20 race

Ilford AC made history at the weekend as their magnificent under-17 boys team won the Essex Cross-Country Championships for the first time since 1965.

And it proved to be a great reminder for Tony Nixon, who took part in the vets race at the weekend as he was part of that 1965 team and was then pictured with the winners.

Writtle College was the venue for the race which begins a busy month for Ilford’s youngsters with five races and three championships in the next few weeks.

Ilford had four boys in the under-17 race and prior to the start they thought they were in with a chance of a place on the podium.

Ilford senior women at the Essex Cross-Country ChampsIlford senior women at the Essex Cross-Country Champs

A slight downhill start meant that it was a fast one and the Ilford’s Aaron Samuel, Mungo Prior were in the leading group, with Farris Patel and Bradley Deacon not far behind in the second.

That leading group was reduced to eight as they moved out of sight, with Samuel and Prior still in it and with the others working their way forward the team event looked close between Ilford, Thurrock and Basildon.

On a twisty section, Thurrock’s Leon Wheeler made what turned out to be a decisive move and a battle ensued for second place which was won by Samuel, with Prior in an excellent seventh.

Slightly further back, Patel and Deacon were having their own personal battle, while going through the field at the same time.

Ilford's senior men at the Essex Cross-Country ChampsIlford's senior men at the Essex Cross-Country Champs

In the end they finished in 20th and 21st place respectively to leave the team race very close with just nine points separating the top three teams.

It was Ilford who took the trophy though to complete a magnificent and historic day.

The under-20s race was upped to 8k and Ilford’s sole representative was Jordan Hinds who has never raced so far before.

She made a steady start and even though she found the distance pretty tough, she kept going to finish in an excellent 12th place.

The senior race, over 10k was held on a firm, flat course on a chilly afternoon.

For the women, Carlie Qirem led the team home in 48mins 49secs to be 57th, with Anna Crawley not far behind as she clocked 53.21 to be 79th.

Sharon Honey was 104th in 56.31, with Alison Sale 110th in 57.19 to complete the scoring as the team finished 15th.

Also in action for Ilford were Frieda Keane in 124th and Julia Galea one place further back.

Ilford had a squad of 12 in the men’s race with Tom Gardner leading them home in 24th spot, clocking 35.21.

Next up was Alex Richards in 30th with 35.35, while the reliable Malcolm Muir clocked 36.37 for 47th.

Seb Parris showed great form in 71st in 37.52m while John Crawley was another running well as he came home 95th in 39.18.

Sam Rahman in his first outing over the country this winter closed the scoring six in 124th with 41.10.

Also in action were Dan Holeyman in 131st with Diarmuid Mac Donnell a further five places, while the newly-elected ‘Essex County Athletic Association President’ Andy Catton was 174th.

Trevor Robinson (202nd 49.06) Tony Young (205 51.10) and Ray ‘Sparra’ Everingham (227 61.59), completed the squad as the team finished eighth.

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