Team Kennet started the Junior Cross Country Season of with awesome individual and team performances in the first round of the Basingstoke Destination Cross Country League held at Wellesey Park in Aldershot, over a undulating park course with a wooded finish, that saw 5 individual victories from 8 races and 3 team wins, the best ever in team kennet at a cross country event.
The conditions on the day were perfect and also underfoot, Team Kennet had registered over 80 athletes in the league, and a strong turnout would set good results early on in the season, first up was the under 9 girls who hold the team title, Praiya Forman meant business from the gun as she set of to take the lead, Matilda Saunders followed in pursuit, these two led the field in to the woods where Foreman was just the slightly stronger to come out and take the win, with Saunders second, Matilda Hogg made a good debut coming home in 9th and with Evelyn Pedersen 10th this brought the A team home as team winners, Evelyn Barker was 11th and Isla Cooke 12th
The under 9 Boys were out in force, and made sure they also won their team race, Chester Bailey was the first clubs runner home in 3rd place pushing himself through the woods , William Moloney ran a good race for 5th place with Toby Hartley 7th and Idris Gaye 8th they were certain to take the win on the day, Seb Lauder-Clarke was next home in 13th, Jacob Williams 14th and Max Burt 17th the other club runners.
The under 11 Girls just had the clubs biggest turnout of 13 runners, last years team winners, the girls wanted to retain this, after the summer season, Ella Larkin made sure she was going to win as she stormed off to take the lead, a big clutch of team kennet girls followed in the second pack of a field of well over 40, Larkin came out of the woods with a 20 second gap to win the race, with Penelope Lyth charging down the home straight to take a brilliant 3rd place, Maisie McCurtin was next in 6th working hard through the woods to gain several places, with Matilda Clare in 11th the girls took team victory.
The B team was led by Alice Stratford 12th, Affra Bailey 13th, Ella Parsons 26th and Gracie Cooke 27th secured a top 5 team placing, The C team was led by Penelope Gorbold 29th, Matilda Pedersen 31st, Grace Hogg 35th and Orlagh Stratford 37th.
The under 11 Boys race is always tough with Aldershot and Basingstoke in the league, Malik Gaye ran a superb race taking over 6 athletes in the hilly woods section to come out to finish in 2nd place, another surprise was Samuel Atkins who ran his best race ever to take 3rd place in a field of over 50, Flynn Sanderson was 21st and Joshua Bailey 31st saw the team finish in 4th place, Joshua Kuijten came home in 34th, Connor O’Riordan 38th, Miles Phoenix 41st and Toby Clay 43rd saw a top 12 team finish for the B team.
The under 13 Girls were also last years team winners, getting stronger as the season went on, this looks like it will be same again, as team came 2nd on the day missing a few key runners, this didn’t stop Harriet Saunders as she settled in the race in third place and as the race went on she moved through to storm through the woods to come out in the lead and take another girls race victory, Anna Hall had a great run to finish 5th and with Ella Cronk in 7th secured that team second.
The under 13 Boys saw the biggest field of the day with well over 50 runners, 12 coming from Team Kennet, Oskar Larkin was the clubs first in, with 12th place, hot on his hills was Harry smith 13th, Elliot Bell 17th and good debut run from Arthur Patterson 18th saw the team home in 3rd place. The B team were led by Charlie Adams 24th, Henry Bell 25th, Josh Brian 27th and Ben Doherty 28th for top 6 team finish, the C team Frank Edwards 29th, Harry Barnett 33rd, Noah Lauder-Clarke 34th and Rueben Kuijten 38th saw their team home in top 12
The under 15 Girls race saw Charlotte Bailey have no pressure with all TK girls winning, so she set of with a fast pace taking the lead to pull further away over the 3 lap course, ensuring all the TK girls won all four races, Chloe O’Riordan came home in 14th and Lola Mitcham 15th for 2nd placed team.
The under 15 Boys saw only two runners from TK, Ethan Kuijten ran a complete mature race, as he stalked two runners who took the early lead, on the second lap he pulled up with them, and halfway around the last lap, one of the athletes tried to pull away with a change of pace, Ethan stayed within 5 metres until he changed his pace going in to the woods where his strength showed and pulled clear to win the race and team kennets 5th victory of the day, Max Adams also ran well in 7th place.