14 February 2019
Kent League 2019
2019 - Kent League - Norman Park
The final Kent League fixture of the season brought
out the best in everyone as 12 men toed the line for a Blackheath organised
event at our very own Norman Park in gale force winds and a surprising
amount of mud.
Making a welcome return to racing after disgracing himself by guesting in
the Surrey League, team manager Ross Braden patiently worked his way through
the field to place 10th after a desperate charge for the line in a group of
five. Alex Gibbins followed him home in 14th for his highest finish for the
season, a fitting way to seal the masters league title, even if it was,
ironically, his worst finish in the masters category of any league race this
Gareth Evans was Blackheath's third man in 23rd for his best finish of the
season, clearly indicating the benefits of marathon training. Following on
Ben Cockburn completed the scoring 4 in 28th as his fitness shows signs of
improvement after a bad patch over Christmas.
Luca Ercolani was the next man over the line in 38th to crack the top 40 for
the first time this season in his best finish. Tom Desborough ably supported
him in 41st after gamely battling a cold and a hamstring niggle. After a
mid-race battle with Tom, Jon Vintner joined them in the top 50 by coming
Slightly further back, another good battle played out between Paul Sharpe
and Steve Hough with the former winning in 74th to the latter's 77th.
Steve's was also notable for being a massive improvement on his first
In a promising first senior cross country race, Ifetobi Salako displayed a
Pete Tucker-esque sense of punctuality to reach the start line 5 minutes
before the start and come 107th. Steve Pairman closely followed in 112th in
his league debut for the season and club stalwart Richard Byford rounded off
the dozen Heathens in 116th.
The combined efforts of everyone brought third places in the 4 and 12 to
score categories, a feat matched in the overall 4 to score standings as
Tonbridge ran away with it. Unfortunately, we could only manage 6th in the
12 to score overall standings because this was only the 2nd one that 12
Special thanks to Alex, Gareth and Tom for running in all 4 fixtures and
being the backbone of the team, particularly given the inability of the team
managers to get fit.
Up the Heath!
Ross, Dan and Chris
Photos from Paul Byfield
24 November 2018 - Kent League - Foots Cray Meadows
Photo of the 'happy' U15B medalists by Paul Brash
Sam Reardon - silver, Tom Brash - gold, Matthew Smith - bronze
BBHAC young athletes completed the Kent league cross
country season at an overcast Foots Cray Meadows, running the last of the
Many prizes, individual and team were on offer,
(including our own internal “Club Champs”) and our athletes finished the day
with two team victories, five teams in the top three and had six athletes
finish in the top three individually.
The U15 girls again dominated packing the top end finishers. A great run
from Daniella Harper saw her finish in 2nd for her highest place finish of
the season and this was good enough to finish fourth in the individual
overall table (IOT). Olivia Berry had her highest placing in a great 3rd,
finishing fifth IOT. Ellie Dolby continued her great season with a 4th place
finish on the day completing the season in third IOT. Hanna Clark was spiked
in the foot in last weeks LYG and was slightly hindered at Foots Cray but
still managed a respectable 7th and this combined with the three other
strong races, placed her second in the individual overall table. Heidi
Forsyth, Ella Deighton and Amelie Willars all competed in all four Kent
league races and were rewarded with great overall positions of 8th,14th and
24th. The squad had a very consistent season with great depth of athletes
and were well worthy winners of the Kent league team title.
The U17 girls were equally as impressive dominating the season and picking
up o the Kent league title and team trophy. Ellie Osmond added another great
2nd on the day to see her lift the individual title. Jess Neal, despite
stumbling early on, recovered well to finish strong, placing 3rd and
securing second in IOT. Zoe White was rewarded for her consistency with
third overall after placing a fine 5th on the day.
The U15 boys had good numbers running, despite some of them being up late
the night before, representing our young athletes at the annual Club dinner.
They were led home by the focused Tom Brash, pushing hard from the gun but
tired towards the finish but still crossing the line in a solid 5th place
and impressively placing him 4th in the IOT. Sam Reardon is clearly back fit
and in form after a recent ankle injury and ran well closing in on Tom at
the finish, placing 6th on the day. Matt Smith completed his fourth Kent
league placing a strong 19th and tenth overall. Year young George Shaw ran a
sensible, determined race finishing well just behind Matt in 21st. Returning
to form after an injury break, Max Gregson is firmly getting back to
business with a solid run in 23rd and just behind was the consistent and
ever reliable Will Andrews finishing 25th but placing very high up in 11th
individually. Another regular Jake Anthony completed the series in 32nd and
this was good enough to see him placed a fine 17th overall in the IOT. Ted
Marston had a great run in 35th and good to see Sam Stuart cross the line,
placing 40th. The fantastic squad of U15 boys combined well to secure second
place in the Kent team challenge, a great result against a very strong
Tonbridge side and many strong Kent clubs.
The U17 boys went into the last fixture in 3rd place overall bur were good
enough on the day to jump up to second, again behind a strong Tonbridge but
in front of rivals Invicta East Kent AC. Matthew Francis, in his first Kent
league race looked strong placing a fabulous 5th. Cameron Swatton finished
well to claim 12th on the day and seventh individual, rewarded for competing
in all four KL races. Joe Georgiadis was a good 13th, and just behind in
15th Justin Strover had his best run of the winter and saw him end up 15th
in the IOT, an impressive result. Alex Davis was 16th and Jake leng 20th.
Bailey Marks completed the series with a 34th finish but pleasing 18th in
The U13 girls finished the series with a third team placing. Amie Gould had
her best run of the season finish well in 6th, just in front of Carys Firth
in 7th but having done all four races was high up the individual table in a
great 4th. Cara Gould, Aime's sister kept the BBHAC pressure on placing 8th
and and a strong starting Emily Deveney finished 9th, her best finish of the
year. SP Maher matched her best run of the season crossing the line in 22nd
and placing a good 17th in the IOT. Olivia Magee Brown was rewarded for her
consistent season placing 25th on the day and 15th overall.
The U13 boys were led home by Arthur Starvis in 14th giving him a fine 7th
in the IOT. Josh Healy was a great 17th on the day placing him 12th overall
and Jamie Sears completed his series in 26th despite struggling with his
breathing mid race, but did well to recover and finish the season in a fine
10th overall. Nathaniel Brunner started off strong and finished well in
34th. Archie Whitehead was keen and ready to run but made the decision not
to race due to sickness - cross country is hard enough without feeling ill
before the race.The team placed 5th team against some very strong Kent
The U20 men had two running and saw Callum Myatt take a great victory and
Theo Wood finish in 8th to leave him fourth overall in the individual table.
Within this final Kent League race we incorporated our own “BBHAC Club
Championships” and so all our athletes placing BBHAC 1, 2 and 3 were
presented with club Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
Gold, Silver, Bronze
U13 boys Arthur Starvis, Josh Healy, Jamie Sears
U13 girls Amie Gould, Carys Firth, Cara Gould
U15 boys Tom Brash, Sam Reardon, Matt Smith
U15 girls Daniella Harper, Olivia Berry, Ellie Dolby
U17 boys Matthew Francis, Cameron Swatton, Joe Georgiadis
U17 girls Ellie Osmond, Jess Neal, Zoe White
10 November 2018 - Kent League - Danson Park, Welling
Danson Park, Bexley was the venue for the third of the
Kent cross country league races but unfortunately it clashed with the
English schools cup regional finals and so numbers were slightly down. That
said it did give others an opportunity to take advantage and produce some
The U15 boys continue to do well and are a solid 2nd
in the table behind a strong Tonbridge squad Tom Brash ran another brave
race finishing well in 4th. Matt Smith and Will Andrews arguably had their
best runs of the season (so far) placing 16th and 17th. Ben Campbell was a
good 28th, just in front of Max Gregson in 29th. Jake Anthony was 37th, Sam
Stuart 45th and Ted Marston 47th. Sam Reardon went off with the pack early
on but sensibly pulled up when the ankle he turned in Mansfield the previous
weekend, started to hamper him.
The U17 boys squad combined well again to consolidate
their 3rd place position in the league. Joe Georgiadis had a fine run in
10th, followed by Harry Fisher, having his highest place finish to date, in
13th and Cameron Swatton, having another solid race in 15th. Justin Strover
ran well placing 22nd, Jake Leng was 28th, Alex Davis 34th and ever present
Bailey Marks 38th.
Only two U20’s running so no team result but good runs
from Callum Myatt in 3rd and Theo Wood in 9th.
Six U13 boys on the start line with Arthur Starvis
bringing them home in a great 11th, with Jamie Sears in 15th and Josh Healy
in a good 19th. Despite Harry Fage only arriving with minutes to spare,
having dashed from the Bromley primary school races at Crystal Palace, he
was still able to finish high up in 37th. Nathaniel Brunner had another
consistent run in 43rd as did Jasper Brooks in 50th. The team were 4th on
the day and currently sit fifth in the table.
More solid runs from the U15 and U17 girls see them
continue to dominate the Kent league with the U13 girls third in their
One more fixture to go at Footscray meadow on 24th
November and within this race we incorporate the BBHAC club cross country
championships, with gold, silver and bronze going to the first three
Blackheath and Bromley athletes across the line in each age group.
27 October 2018 - Kent League - Somerhill Park, Tonbridge
A cold winters day greeted those that travelled for
the second beacon race down at Tonbridge. Whilst we didn't quite get the
numbers to achieve our lofty ambitions of beating Tonbridge, those that
attended all put in strong performances.
Leading the team home in 6th place was Ross Braden,
who was looking good for 3rd position with a mile to go before fading
towards the end. Next home, in 13th was Jon Vintner doing his best Will Ruiz
impression. A very strong run considering *not* Will Ruiz had been out
injured since July and only been back training in the last 4 weeks. Ever
consistent Alex Gibbins achieved another top 20 finish (20th) to put himself
in the #1 spot in the V40 Kent League standings this year. The scoring 4 was
completed by Chris Tuck, who despite struggling with fitness and a few
niggles put in a strong performance to place 44th. This put us in 3rd place
on the day in 4 to score.
There was some good packing following on from Chris,
Tom Desborough continued to show his form by improving by 16 places from the
first Kent League, he was joined by Luca Ercolani, and after a battle
throughout the race Desborough managed to outsprint Luca. They finished 46th
and 47th respectively. Only a few positions behind was Gareth Evans, who
finds himself in 6th position in the V40 league standings after two races
with a finish of 50th (9th V40).
Next in was Paul Sharpe on his return to form putting
in a stellar effort to get 86th place. Graham Hollingdale snuck in the top
100 (99) as our next runner in and was closely followed by Heath Anthony 4
places back, going from strength to strength in his debut Winter season. The
scoring 12 was made up by good runs by Steven Hough in 112th and Jason Meers
The final runner in was Dan Marks, doing his best Tim
Ayres impression. To make things worse injury struck a lap in causing him to
pull out and being wrongly informed that he was our 12th man, the Tim Ayres
impersonator carried on valiantly to finish in 226th.
A big thank you to everyone that turned up for the
team and the supporters on the day.
Ross, Dan & Chris
Fixture two of the 2018 Kent cross country league was
hosted by Tonbridge AC in the fabulous grounds of the schools at Somerhill.
The start and finish to the course were different to previous years but the
course was still a proper cross country test with challenging hills both up
and down but with going underfoot very good. Great numbers of BBHAC female
and male athletes racing, just falling short of the 50 mark, ensured we did
well in the team races.
The U15 girls and U17 girls continue to dominate and
both currently sit on the top of the table, with the U13 girls performing
well, placing 3rd on the day and are now third overall.
Eight U13 boys toed the line for their 3k race and
young Alex Middleton had an inspired run placing a fabulous 5th, against
boys a year older. Arthur Starvis had another fine run placing 10th with
Jamie Sears not far behind in 13th. Josh Healy seems to be improving in
every race and finished a pleasing 17th. Franco Hillier making his club
debut ran well in 39th and it was great to have Oscar Witcombe back in the
squad after a short injury break, but despite still being in some pain
managed to finish in 44th with great encouragement from team mate Harry Fage
in 45th. Jasper Brooks completed the U13 boys squad in 53rd.The team were
third on the day and are now fourth overall in the table.
The U15 boys had a 10 strong squad and were once again
led home by Tom Brash crossing the line in a fantastic 4th. Sam Reardon had
a solid race placing 13th, Matt Smith had a great run finishing 17th with
young George Shaw just behind in 19th. Will Andrews was a great 31st and Ben
Campbell was 36th. Good to see Sam Stuart back racing and finishing in 48th
place with Jake Anthony 57th, Ben Healey 64th and Thomas Sugden 68th. The
U15’s were second on the day and remain in second overall.
The U17 boys had an eight man squad and a gutsy run
from Oliver Bright on his winter debut was rewarded with a brilliant third
place finish. Peter Guy on his first race this winter also ran well
finishing 12th just in front of Ben Gardiner in 13th and Cameron Swatton in
16th. Harry Fisher ran well finishing in 25th, Justin Strover was 37th,
Bailey Marks 46th and Harvey Blanden 47th. The team were second on the day
but is currently fourth in the table.
Three U20 men made up a scoring trio as Lewis Mills
finished 2nd, Callum Myatt 4th and Theo Wood 8th giving the team victory on
the day and are now top of the league.
Half way through he league and all to play for!
13 October 2018 - Kent
League - Beech Grove Academy Nonington
The Kent league cross country season kicked off this
weekend in lovely sunshine in the Kent countryside. The Bruderhof community
were our hosts, as they opened up their grounds near Canterbury for us to
run, over what was a fairly flat but challenging course, with a long uphill
drag mid lap.
Blackheath and Bromley vest were out in large numbers
as over 70 of our young athletes turned up for the first of the four Kent
The U13’s 3k races were first on the timetable and the 16 girls on the start
line combined well bringing the team home in second place. India Blakey, on
her debut ran with great confidence placing 5th, Megan Slattery went off
hard and was rewarded with a fine 8th and Tallulah Ndikanwu’s hard work paid
off as she finished 10th. The girls team were 2nd.
The U13 boys had 9 warming up but were struck hard as
three were unable to finish. Jamie Sears ran hard finishing a solid 10th
with Arthur Starvis not far behind in 16th. Josh Healy had a great debut run
placing 28th followed by two more making their debuts, Harry Fage in 35th
and Nathaniel Brunner in 38th. Jasper Brooks on his first race for the club
completed the squad in 54th. Archie Whitehead warmed up and was keen to go
but an existing calf problem flared up and so he rightly didn't run. Oscar
Witcombe was going well until a knee injury, picked up during the week,
flared up making it impossible to continue Oles Chaban in his first winter
outing also suffered with an existing injury and did well to pull out before
doing more damaged. The boys were 5th team
The U15 age group provided our largest numbers with 11
boys and 18 girls making for an impressive line of black vests at the
start.The U15 boys teams produced some great results and finished 2nd team
overall. Tom Brash, coming back to great form crossed the line in 5th with
Sam Reardon 7th, Freddy Georgiou 13th and George Shaw 21st. Matt Smith had a
great run placing 24th, Will Andrews was 27th and Thomas Sugden, making his
club debut finished with a flourish in a creditable 31st. Good to have Jake
Anthony back running for the team and finishing 39th and Ted Marston brought
the team home in 45th.
The U15 girls totally dominated their race taking 9 of the top 11 spots,
easily winning the team race. English schools 800m champion Zakia Mossi
powered around the 4k course winning in style with Naomi Toft and Anwen
Thomas and Hanna Clark looking equally impressive in 2nd and 4th and 5th
The U17 girls also dominated their age group
comfortably winning the team race over the 5k course. Ava White ran well
placing 2nd, Sophie Hoare was a strong 3rd, Lucrezia Polloni a solid 4th and
Jess Neal ran a gutsy race placing a great 5th.
The boys U17 team had six toe the line for their 5k effort. A great run from
Cameron Swatton in 14th followed by Jake Leng in 26th, Alex Davis in 29th,
Justin Strover in 33rd. Ever present Bailey Marks ran well finishing 35th
and Harvey Blanden completed the squad in 41st.The team placed 5th.
BBHAC had four U20’s racing, two male and two female.
Lewis Mills won the U20 contest and Theo Wood was 11th but with only two
running, no team placing was achieved. Like wise in the girls race no team
score was recorded but this didn’t stop great runs from Iyata Santos, in her
first cross country, winning the U20 contest, racing with the seniors. Mille
Smith was an impressive 3rd.
Our hosts produced an interesting well marked out
course and provided a BBQ and hot and cold drinks on tap, free of charge all
Without a girls team manger we were very fortunate to
have many parents happy to help, handing out race numbers and walking the
course with the athletes to help prepare them for their races. Many thanks
also go to our President Paul Byfield (normally only seen in the summer!)
and past president Ken Daniel for their help in setting up and taking down
the club tent that was well used throughout the blustery day.
A slightly depleted but always competitive team
arrived in the secluded Beech Grove Academy in Nonington for the 1st Kent
League fixture of the season on the Saturday just gone. The flat and firm
cabbage patch farm was replaced with an equally firm but thankfully
undulating course on an unseasonably warm October day.
First across the line was Rob Donohue on his first
occasion leading the Blackheath charge home in 17th. He was made to work for
it, though, as Alex Gibbins was the point of the Blackheath knife for most
of the race, and it was only a late charge by Rob that relegated Alex to
second and 18th place, albeit at the expense of two South Kent Harriers.
Gareth Evans made his usual strong start to the cross country season by
following them in 35th, and Tom Desborough continued his recent rich vein of
form by finishing in 61st to complete the scoring quartet.
Paul Sharpe followed closely behind Tom in 67th as
part of his preparation to tackle another marathon. Club stalwart Dan Marks
was next in 111th, soon joined by Steve Hough in his first Kent League race
in 13 years in 122nd. Tim Ayres, waving to supporters like a royal, and Rich
Byford completed the Blackheath team after running in tandem for the entire
race to in 162nd and 163rd. It was a commendable effort from both after the
former's parkrun that morning and the latter's impending run at the Royal
Parks Half-Marathon the following day.
The scoring four came 5th out of the 19 complete
teams, but the lack of numbers prevented the 12 to score category being
completed. The only way is up, however, and that is exactly what will happen
at the next Kent League fixture: Saturday 27th October in Tonbridge. Are
athletes are coming far and wide to compete, so make sure your there for the
2nd Beacon race of the season and the chance to beat Tonbridge in their own
Up the Heath!
Ross, Dan & Chris