January saw the start of a whole series of Championship events in the UK cross country calendar, writes head coach Darrell Smith.
First, the Southern XC Champs held on 28th Jan at Beckenham Place Park. In the U15Bs, first home was Ryan Alford Smith in 114th. Next Andrew Simmons in 150th and then new addition to the Club, Luke Bridges in 154th. With just 2 of our medal winning U15Gs team from the Kent Champs we did not have a team, but Ella Baker was 37th and Amelie Jones 161st. In the U17W Eliza Nicholson was 4th, a precursor for what was to come later.
Then came the South East Schools XC on 4th Feb in Ardingly. Following her run in the Kent Schools where she placed 8th,Holly Diprose (pictured) had to go to the SE Schools at Ardingly and “get something” to defend her place in the Kent Team for the English Schools XC Champs on March 18th. Holly showed real grit to do just that placing 29th. She now joins Ella Baker (SAC) in the Kent Team for the biggest race of the year. Add to this Eliza’s run at the London Schools we now have 3 competing at the English Schools.
The biggest Club race in England, the National XC Champs in Chester on Feb 25th saw 3 of our most committed runners make the trip. Eliza Nicholson’s 8th place was the standout performance as she continues to improve. A 95th by Holly Diprose and 114th for Ella Baker (coming back from injury) were good runs at this level and good preparation for the last few races of the season. Ryan Alford-Smith ran a well-judged race placing 213th.
Our 3 top Female Juniors were performing again on March 11th at the UK inter-Counties in Loughborough. Ella Baker improved on her 114th at the National with a 69th in the UK Champs. She seems to be coming back after injury and Holly Diprose fought bravely to come in 198th. Both Girls compete for Kent next week and I believe both will finish on a high.
Finally, just when we thought Eliza Nicholson couldn’t improve on her 8th place run at Nationals she did just that with a 6th place. This despite, by her own admission, having a pretty bad start. In the 50s after 200m she had moved up to 20th by halfway. Then seemed to go into another gear and was in 12th with a mile to go. Moving up to 6th up the final hill to the finish.
Eliza Nicholson (U17) and Ella Baker(U15) won Silver and Bronze at the Kent Cross Country Championships held at Brands Hatch on 7th January 2023, writes head coach Darrell Smith.
In very windy conditions, Ella Baker went straight to the lead and was leading until 300m to go of the 3K course. Passed by 2 runners she held on for Sevenoaks ACs first ever Medal at this level. Ella headed the U15 team which came home second placed Team.
Later in the U17 Women’s Race, Eliza Nicholson ran a measured Race catching the leading group with a kilometre left of the 6K course. Passing two runners in the last 500m she finished 2nd.
Sevenoaks AC also completed teams in the senior women's and under-13 girls categories, in both cases finishing sixth. The full SAC results were as follows:
23 819 Caroline Fenwick (W45) SEV 38:01
34 821 Hannah Sangan SEV 39:04
36 820 Rebecca Pickard (W45) SEV 39:22
42 817 Laura Bestow (W35) SEV 39:54
6 Sevenoaks AC 93
2 296 Eliza Nicholson SEV 23:48
3 179 Ella Baker SEV 18:02
6 180 Holly Diprose SEV 18:17
15 182 Isabel Morris SEV 19:33
29 181 Amelie Jones SEV 20:52
37 183 Lucy Oberman SEV 21:27
2 Sevenoaks AC 24
25 39 Lauren Copp SEV 14:47
32 42 Lydia Wilson-Beales SEV 15:49
38 40 Ella Mackay-Bayliss SEV 17:20
6 Sevenoaks AC 95
176 622 David Hale (M55) SEV 60:50
23 239 Aidan Moore SEV 17:20
24 238 Ryan Alford-Smith SEV 17:22
37 102 James Ross SEV 13:13
67 101 Fraser Reid SEV 15:29
The full results are here.
17 SAC juniors took part in the second Kent League cross country race of the season in Somerhill School on Oct 29th, writes head coach Darrell Smith. Star performer was Eliza Nicholson who won the women’s U17 race with a dominant performance, following her win in the first race in Swanley.
Charlotte Daniels placed 5th and Harper Williams 9th in the U11 girls’ mile race and William Kenyon won the boys’ U11 mile. In the U15 girls, Ella Baker finished in 7th place following her 4th in Swanley, and Holly Diprose was 9th, having placed 8th in Swanley. Both look on target to gain Kent selection later in the season.
Athletics - Up until 2021 Sevenoaks AC had never won a medal at Junior County level but this Summer the Club added 10 to the previous 6 won last year with four Athletes winning their respective events. This included James Beecroft and Eliza Nicholson (3000m) who both went on to qualify for the English Schools Championships in Manchester with James winning the U15 100m.
And as a Team, going into the last Kent Young Athlete League Match it was still touch and go as to which Team would gain promotion to Division 1 next Summer. But consistency throughout the four matches paid off and Sevenoaks AC came out clear winners and secured a League win.
Sevenoaks AC’s U15 Girls Cross Country Team placed 6th at last weekend’s National Cross Country Champs held at Parliament Hill Fields, London, reports head coach Darrell Smith.
Although the sun shone conditions were wet and the course soon turned to mud even before the first race.
With over 500 runners from all over the country the race started straight up a testing hill.
After the first 500m of 4K race, the Sevenoaks Team was well placed with their leading runner, Eliza Nicholson in 50th and her two teammates Ella Baker and Holly Diprose lying, not far back, in the 60s 70s respectively. Our 4th and 5th runners, Isobel Morris and Amelia Jones, were in the 150s.
“At that point things were looking good and we were on our way to a top 10 team place, which had been our target” said Coach Darrell, “Then something happened. They all started moving through the field as one”
Into the downhill finish Eliza Nicholson had moved up to 41st, Ella Baker having her best race so far this season was 54th with the fast finishing Holly Diprose 76th.
However, it was our last two runners Isobel Morris (132nd) and Amelie Jones (205th) who secured 6th place for the Team.
Sevenoaks AC’s team were the first Kent team home, backing up their Kent Champs win in January. The full results are here.
This Race was the last Club race of the season but some of the team will be representing their respective counties at national competitions in March.
On Saturday 15th January, Sevenoaks AC athlete, James Beecroft, added the U15 South of England Indoor 60m Sprint title to the 200m title he won during the summer, writes head coach Darrell Smith.
Competing at the at the Lee Valley Indoor arena, James cruised through the heat and semi-finals, saving his best for the final with a clear win in a time of 7.26. This is currently the 2nd fastest time in the UK so far this season. A really impressive performance.
At the same event three Sevenoaks athletes competed in the High Jump. In the U15 Girls event Emma Windsor and Ava Algar placed 8th and 9th and Harry Thorburn placed 2nd, adding a Silver medal to the bronze he won at the Kent Championships last Summer.