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Cool Chloe gets Woodford off to a flier as they battle into top-20 in the six-stage relays

PUBLISHED: 14:30 29 March 2019

Woodford Green senior women at the South of England six-stage relay. Lefto to right  Lund, Phillips, McArdell, Gilbert, Wilby

Woodford Green senior women at the South of England six-stage relay. Lefto to right Lund, Phillips, McArdell, Gilbert, Wilby

Archant

Woodford Green's senior women battled home in a creditable 18th place at the South of England six-stage relay championships on Saturday.

A bright Spring day in Milton Keynes was the venue as the women ran four short legs of 5053 metres and two long legs of 7,664 metres.

Team manager Alex Wardle had worked hard to assemble a squad capable of making the top 20 and she selected 1,500m specialist Chloe Bradley on the opening short leg.

Bradley handed over in a fine sixth of the 34 starters in a time of 18 minutes 18 seconds, which was 10th fastest on the day.

Suzanne Phillips tackled the first long leg and it proved a tough one as she was overtaken by 11 athletes in her time of 31.51.

Another track specialist in Becky Wilby was on leg three and did well enough to fend off the opposition and overtake a Belgrave Harrier in 20.53.

Rachel Lund on leg four lost three positions as Woodford dropped to 19th, while making her senior debut was Louise Gilbert on the short fifth leg.

Gilbert’s job was to hold things together and she did just that with a time of 21.14 as the team dropped one spot to 20th.

Alicia McArdell completed the race in fine style as she recorded a pleasing 19.45 as Woodford finished in 18th overall.

The senior men took part in the 12-stage relay where they eventually finished a slightly disappointing 28th.

They started well as Ed Shepherd clocked a fine 23.46 to hand over the baton in ninth place.

Joshua Entwhistle managed 16.34 as Woodford dropped to 12th and Darren Southcott’s 25.55 saw them in 20th before Peter Caton’s 18.08 saw them hand over in 23rd.

Ahmed Abdulle got one place back, clocking 24.22, while Simon Beedell lifted the team to 20th and Tom Phillips kept them there.

Julian Russell was on leg eight, clocking 18.50 as Woodford dropped back to 23rd, with Tom Beedell keeping them there before Robbie Cox, Daniel Steel and Tony Pamphilon brought the team home in 28th.

The overall winners were Aldershot, Farnham & District, with Highgate Harriers in second and the podium being completed by Bedford.

With a stronger team, Woodford’s men could have competed much higher up the standings.

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