Beagles are aiming for European glory

NEWHAM & ESSEX Beagles men s team have qualified for the European Club Cross Country Championships. The east London club secured their place in Bilbao, Spain in February next year with victory at the European Cross Country Trials at Sefton Park, Liverpool

NEWHAM & ESSEX Beagles men's team have qualified for the European Club Cross Country Championships.

The east London club secured their place in Bilbao, Spain in February next year with victory at the European Cross Country Trials at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday.

Many of the weekend's runners were seeking selection for Team GB's European Championship team in Dublin, Ireland in two week's time.

Beagles took a six-man team to Merseyside knowing that only the top four would score in a triangular match with Swansea Harriers and Shettleston Harriers.


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Moumin Geele, Kairn Stone, Sam Farah, Nathan Riding, Lee Merrien and Rory Chesser tackled the 9.8km course at the waterlogged Sefton Park.

In unforgiving conditions Newham's elite were put to the test, but with one lap to go the east Londoners edged in front with Chesser putting in a determined shift.

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With the finishing line in sight, Geele made his bid for individual glory, but he was narrowly beaten by Blackheath & Bromley Harriers' competitor Mike Skinner.

In order to guarantee European qualification, Newham needed Merrien to claim a top 10 finish - which he did, if only to miss out on a place in the Team GB squad for Dublin.

Next home was Chesser in 26th, then Stone in 48th, Farah 88th and finally Riding in 133rd.

Beagles were also in action in the London City Runner Metropolitan League at Wormwood Scrubs.

In the men's race, J Clarke was Newham's highest finisher in 19th place with a time of 28.19.

Two places behind him was H Abdi with a time of 28.23. The next home was J Mohamed who finished in 29.10.

Recording a time of 31.03 was K Goodwin who finished 90th. Further back was L Dale in 219th, who completed the course in 35.15 and J Crispin in 223rd in 35.20.

The last Beagle to cross the line was M Pelak in 286th from the field of 336 runners, with a time of 38.11.

In the under-17s women's race, Beagles newcomer Eleanor Bounds claimed first place in 16.18. N Pla crossed the line in 36th position with a time of 21.52.

Competing in the under-17s men's category N Iddirisu raced home in 14.27 to finish third, closely followed by T Bower in fifth who completed the course in 14.31.

Claiming 33rd place was D Kail in 15.55. A Russo was the next to finish in 16.56 for 46th position. He was followed by M Sammon in 20.25 for 59th place. J Fodder finished third in the under-13s boys' race with 13.32 and I Anderson-Whittington came 16th in the under-13s girls' category with a time of 16.55.

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