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Why selectors turn to Basildon for multi eventers


GOLDEN BENNETT! Basildon hurdler strikes gold in the Bahamas

Senior Women take Essex Relay title

Essex County AA 2017 Indoor Championships Saturday 3 February 2018 Sunday 4 February 2018 Lee Valley Athletics Centre Edmonton N9 0AR Online Entry is now available at Entries can be made online at ÂŁ9 per event for Masters, Seniors and Juniors (U20) and ÂŁ8 for all other age groups. Essex athletes will automatically be entered into the Eastern Counties Championships. Separate medals will be awarded for each championship.




Coverage of the autumn road season, Southern Athletics League review, Southend 10K and all the other news from around the club. COMING UP




January is set to be a busy month for Basildon athletes with championships being contested both Indoors and on the Country. BasMag looks ahead to the Essex and Eastern Indoor Championships, the Essex Cross Country Championships and the South of England Championships.




Basildon took seven teams to this year’s Saucony National Cross Country Relays in Mansfield. We report how they fared and document all the dramas of the day.




A diary of forthcoming cross country, indoor and multi-terrain events, covering local, regional and national competitions.

CONTENTS Autumn 2017






 BasMag catches up with Commonwealth Youth Games champion Sam Bennett and looks ahead to his forthcoming season. Having achieved so much already, what’s next for the young Basildonian? COMBINED EVENTS SPECIAL





Most of Basildon’s young Combined Events squad travelled to Boston for this year’s English Schools Championships. BasMag reports on how they performed and considers what we can expect in 2018.

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B A S M A G / AU T U M N 2 017 3


Results / Achievements / Performances / Club Events / Training Updates / Gossip / Developments / Success


SMITH LEADS JUNIOR PACK HOME IN SOUTHEND-ON-SEA HARRISON Smith set a new lifetime best and was the first

Under 20 home at this year’s Southend 10K in October. The Basildon athlete was less than three minutes behind the Senior Men’s winner Adam Hickey and a minute clear of Southend’s Toby Wright, who was the second Under 20 home in the age group. Fellow Basildon athlete, Joe Payne, was the third Under 20 across the line in 40:55. Smith’s performance puts him 51st on the Under 20 10K list for 2017 and gives him an “all age groups” UK ranking of 665th at the time of writing. A former English Schools silver medallist in the decathlon, Smith has gone on to clock up a series of Triathlon titles in 2016, becoming the British Sprint Triathlon Champion and the ITU World Duathlon Champion in the Under 20 age group. Earlier this year, he also added the ETU European U20 Duathlon title to his collection. While working towards impressive triathlon performances, he has also turned out in club colours many times during 2017, winning the Essex County Championships and picking up valuable points running an 800m at the Southern League match in St Albans.

BASILDON PREPARE FOR ANOTHER SEASON IN DIVISION 3 CLUB hopes of escaping the bottom tier of

track and field competition in Southern England were dashed as the 2017 season came to an end in August. The team's valiant efforts during the summer left the team agonisingly close to promotion from Division 3 North of the Southern Athletics League, having achieved the required number of league points. Sadly, in a competitive flourish to the season, Orion Harriers finished on the same number of points, but with a better match difference and snatched the prized third promotion spot from Basildon. Two points above them were Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, who had executed a strong campaign throughout the summer, beating Basildon at their home ground at Mile End. 4 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

Topping the table were St Albans AC who had enjoyed a far more favourable fixture list than Basildon, competing against bottom-of-the-league Mornington Chasers twice, when Basildon hadn’t faced them once. The team performances throughout the season were excellent, with Basildon winning three fixtures and coming second once. Ultimately, it was the third match, that the club needed to win, while facing St Albans and Orion Harriers in one fixture. But it proved a step too far, with Basildon finishing third. There looks to be a more promising future for Basildon, however, if this season’s progress is anything to go by. Gaps in the team sheet in 2017 were few and strong

athletes are coming up through the ranks. League executives had been considering the prospect of reorganising the league structure before the 2018 season, but a vote among the membership clubs dismissed these ideas. For Basildon, it means the rivalry with 2016 relegation rivals Bexley will be renewed in 2018 as the South-East London club fell through the trapdoor. Also returning to life in Division 3 are Serpentine. The Serpies leapfrogged Basildon at the end of the 2016 season, but a poor season left them rock bottom of Division 2 in 2017. Bexley and Serpentine will be joined by Dacorum & Tring, who also finished the summer a couple of points from safety.


BASILDON’S SENIOR WOMEN TRIUMPH AT COUNTY CROSS RELAY CHAMPIONSHIPS BASILDON’S senior women took the Essex County Cross Country relay title at this year’s event in North Ockendon. Rachel Wiseman, Gemma Kersey (pictured, right) and Emma Houchell obliterated the competition, finishing nearly a minute clear of their nearest rivals, Springfield Striders. Chelmsford’s A team took the bronze. Kersey had the second fastest time of the day (16:02) in the women’s competition, just a second ahead of Wiseman. Meanwhile, Houchell jointly had the fourth

fastest time of the day (16:05) with Emily Bullis, who was running in Basildon’s B team. On another day, Basildon’s second team could have also squeaked into the medals, with Bullis, Nicola Bredin and Emily Ballard finishing just a minute outside of third spot. In the senior men’s race, Basildon’s young quartet of Harrison Smith, Mitchel Cox, Max Jones and Brandon Thorpe – all under 20s - held off a strong Ilford team to clinch the bronze medal. Smith’s first leg run of 13:59 ensured that the

men’s team were in a strong position from the off, tussling with Havering and Southend for the title. Southend would eventually take the silver, with star man Adam Hickey completing his leg in a blistering 12:41. Havering, meanwhile had a string of quick times over the first three legs and mounted a strong challenge on the final leg when masters athlete Rob Warner put in a time of 13:30 to ensure they took the gold. Overall, Smith ran the 8th fastest time of the day, Jones 13th, Thorpe 14th and Cox 23rd. In the age group races, Basildon’s Under 17 women’s A team took bronze, while the U15 girls’ A team and Under 17’s men’s team both took gold. • See how the teams performed at the National Cross Country Relays on pages 17 and 18.

News in brief

Snippets from around the club and country across all disciplines


Lee Valley has released details of its 2018 open meeting schedule, starting with an event on 1 January. Details:

INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP DATES This year's South of England U15/U17 championships will take place on 6th and 7th January


Club entries have opened for this year's London Marathon. Basildon will be awarded places based on the number of athletes registered over 18.

COMBINED EVENTS SET The National U20/Senior Indoor Combined Events Championships will take place in Sheffiled on 6th and 7th January 2018.

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Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Open Meetings WINTER 2017/18 PROGRAMME

Sunday 3 December 2017

60m, 60m hurdles, 300m, 600m, Long Jump, Pole Vault, High Jump

Monday 1 January 2018

60m, Shot Put, 300m, 400m, 200m, 800m

Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 January 2018

London U13, U15, U17 Indoor Games

Saturday 27 - Sunday 27 January 2018

London Indoor Games - Under 20 and Senior

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Middle Distance Evening



Findlay clocked a lifetime best at this year’s Chelmsford Marathon, eclipsing his previous best, set at the same venue last year. Findlay finished 93rd of the 572 finishers, clocking a new personal best of 3:29.19, beating the time he set last year by more than half a minute. His finishing time put him one place outside the top ten athletes in the M50 age group, with Grange Farm’s Gerard Geurts taking 10th spot, a mere 26 seconds in front of him. It was the first long distance race that Findlay has tackled,

so far, this winter and was more than three minutes quicker than the time he set in London back in April. There had been signs that Findlay was running well in recent weeks, having run his 5K leg of the Essex County Relay Cross Country Championships in 18:34, quicker than his lifetime best for that distance on both the track and the road. Elsewhere in the field, Basildon coach Ricky Lee came home in 330th, running for his first claim club Billericay Striders. Also running in the M50 age group, Lee made the top 50 finishers on the day.



the 2018 season with the first championships in Cross Country and Indoor athletics being contested. Saturday 6th January will be the first opportunity of the year for cross country medals when the club’s Under 17s, Under 20s and Seniors travel to Braintree for the Essex County Cross Country Championships. The club will be looking to build on last year’s Championships which saw Basildon’s Harrison Smith narrowly edged out of the medals in the Under 20s category. Smith finished in fourth position, behind Chelmsford’s Callum Charleston, Ilford’s Ahmed Abdulle and Havering’s Ben Davis. Max Jones was also within 40 seconds of a medal, finishing in eighth spot. In the Under 17’s event, Issac Brown was just three places outside of the medals last time around, racing in his first year in the age group. This time, he’ll be looking to edge out Orion’s Joseph Owen and Chelmsford duo Elliot

Cordery and Connor Page. Basildon’s Senior Women – who have already enjoyed such a strong start to the season – will be looking for a reward for their continued run of form with a team victory and some individual glory too. Last year saw Emma Houchell the first

lady home for Basildon in fifth position and a mere 16 seconds away from the bronze, taken by Southend’s Kerry Holland. In the Under 17 women’s event, Abby Rex gets to go again in the age group, having put in a gutsy first year performance in 2017, finishing in 12th

spot. The same weekend also sees the beginning of the indoor championship season with the South of England Under 15 and Under 17 Championships at Lee Valley and the Under 20 and Senior Combined Events Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. Under 17 Kiera Bainsfair (pictured, left) will be looking to go one better than her two silvers last year. Bainsfair was placed second twice at Lee Valley in the 60m Hurdles and the 400m, where she clocked a personal best of 59.71. Joseph Harding, meanwhile, will be looking to pick up medals once more as he steps up to the Under 17 age group from the Under 15s, where he won gold in the 60m Hurdles and Long Jump last year. This year’s Under 17 Men’s Long Jump is likely to be a tantalising prospect for spectators with Harding to face last year’s Eastern champion – Dominic Ogbechie, from Highgate – who jumped 7.04m at the 2017 championships.

B A S M A G / AU T U M N 2 017 7

PROFILE / Sam Bennett

Golden Bennett Having taken gold at this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games, Basildon’s international rising star believes there is a lot more to come...


ummer 2017 will go down as a season to remember for Sam Bennett. In his final year as an Under 17, he took four county championship titles, one indoor regional title, an indoor area title, a national championship title and one county schools title, excluding an impressive collection of other, lesser, mementos. For most people, this would have been a season beyond their wildest dreams, but these achievements were very much in the shadow of a performance in mid-July, which saw Sam Bennett travel to the Caribbean as part of Team England.

athletes in the lead up to big national competitions, but his captaincy allowed him a treasured opportunity to learn how other elite competitors in different sports prepare. “I learnt a lot about varying precompetition rituals, emotional states and daily routines,” he recalls. “Some people lock themselves away for the entire day with earphones in, until they get to the warmup track, and others - more like myself - prefer to engage in as much social contact as possible.” For Bennett, this social interaction, he says, helps him not fixate on the imminent task ahead of him. In the Bahamas, this approach would prove invaluable, as MAJOR PROGRESS athletes would be hanging around for The invitation to the national squad for long periods in the day. Races in Nassau the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games didn’t start until 5pm due to the humid was Bennett’s first major international call climate. up, but he had contested minor internationals previously. In fact, in June, ON YOUR MARKS he had travelled to the World Schools On the 22 July, Bennett took his marks for Championships in Tomblaine, France what would become the standout and, in March, had finished third at the achievement of his career so far. Welsh Athletics International. But this was Racing over 110m Hurdles at the Under a far bigger occasion, with far more 18 height, he went on to take gold for responsibility. England in a time of 13.71 seconds. The Commonwealth Youth Games was Fellow countryman Jack Sumners (13.85) Bennett’s first taste of being a part of a took silver and Denvaughn Whymns of world-class team with elite sportsmen the Bahamas, bronze (13.88). and women across multiple disciplines, For the elated Basildonian, it would with the true feeling of a “major event”. have been easy to have forgotten events And, if that wasn’t enough to increase the that led to his position at the top of adrenaline levels, he shouldered the podium, but thankfully, the race was added responsibility of being selected as streamed across the web and many of his the boys’ team captain. training buddies retweeted animated gifs, As a frequent competitor, Bennett was showing the full race. already familiar with the behaviours of When asked what it was like to stand 8 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

on top of the podium at an event like that, Bennett admits that his recollection of this is also a hazy. “If I am completely honest, I have no idea,” he says. “It is very much a blur in my head. However, I do know that I could not stop smiling and it is was a feeling that I hope I experience many more times in my life. “Never before have I had the honour of standing on the podium to listen to our own anthem which, for me, was a huge deal as I was also able to share it with another English athlete.” The Gloucester Park athlete explains that he was “simply overwhelmed by both the vast support”, the shouting from his fellow team members and “the flashing of cameras everywhere.”


He was very nearly able to experience that feeling a day later when he linked up with team mates for the 4 x 200m mixed relay, where England took silver by the slightest of margins, finishing in 1:31.77, behind the Bahamas in 1:31.50. As Winter training gets underway, Bennett has already set out his plans for the coming season and a taste of victory on the international stage has triggered a

hunger for more success. Having achieved so much at just 16, it means he will still be eligible for the European Youth games next year in the Under 18 age group. His initial target, therefore, is to compete in the qualifiers and make the team for the games which take place in July in the Hungarian city of Györ. The event takes place between 5-8 July 2018 and is open to qualifying athletes from all

European countries who were born in 2001 and 2002. While his sights maybe set on European glory next summer, he also hasn’t lost sight of the new domestic challenges which are on the horizon, having moved up to the Under 20 age group for the national championships. He says: “I am hoping to potentially have some success at national level after moving up an age group into the Under

20s and adjusting to the new specification of 110m Hurdles.” If this year’s performances are anything to go by, it looks like there is plenty of scope for further celebrations in the new age group. With so much to strive for, it helps to have the expertise of a former national champion as your coach. Back in 2002, Bennett’s coach, Steve Surety was the national U23 champion AU T U M N / 2 017 B A SM AG 9

PROFILE / Sam Bennett

over 400m Hurdles, the British Universities champion and the Inter Counties champion. Like Bennett, he was nippy over the flat too, boasting a 47.52 400m best and a 10.6 seconds 100m. Bennett says the coaching relationship with Surety is one of mutual trust and he recognises the benefit of his coach’s previous achievements. “I trust in him and his knowledge, to get me prepared for all competitions be they small or large,” he says. “I think that Steve trusts me to follow the process and keep my head in the game. “Training with Steve… allows us [the squad] to have a greater understanding of the technical aspects of our events.”


Bennett acknowledges that he competes for himself, but says that the support from his coach, his family and his team mates all makes that possible. His training group, which includes Michael Shields, Kristian Brown and Jack Avery, helps instil the spirit needed to win, he says. “It’s good to have likeminded people around you to push you, and work hard, in training to make competitions easier. “My normal week has a mixture of hurdle- specific training and sprint training to improve both aspects of the hurdles

race.” While Hurdles remains the main focus for Bennett as he looks ahead to what could be an impressive senior career, he still finds time to show his talents in other disciplines. In addition to his performance record in single events, he has also shown a strong aptitude for multi-events, being selected to represent the county at the English Schools Combined Events final in Boston this year. His sprint performances, in particular have shown an athletic ability that goes beyond hurdling, having made the prestigious “All Age Group” lists this year

in the 100m (361st), 200m (350th) and Long Jump (311th) - at the time of writing. So, with so many achievements already clocked up at such a young age, what other achievements beyond the Commonwealth Youth Games does he remember most fondly? “I look back on many races such as my first English Schools final as major landmarks on my way to where I am today,” he says. But he has absolutely no intention of stopping there, concluding that these are “only a stepping stone” to a future where there is “much more to come”. Pictures courtesy of Team England. Page 9, top: 110m Hurdles CYG final 2017, bottom left: Bennett finishes in first place, bottom right: Bennett with silver medallist Jack Sumners. Page 10, top: Bennett strikes a pose with England team mates, bottom: Team England gather for photocall.

10 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

We train to win...

Multiple County Track & Field Champions.

Multiple Essex Schools

Track & Field Champions.

Multiple Eastern Counties Track

& Field Champions. British Masters

Indoor Pentathlon Champion. British

Universities Indoor Bronze Medallist.

National Indoor Combined Events Bronze

Medallist. Essex County Cross Country Relay

Champions. National Record Holder, Pentathlon.

World Mas ter s Bronze Medallis t and the

C o m m o n w e a l t h Yo u t h C h a m p i o n

Basildon We are

Review / Combined Events


Basildon produced combined eventers in every age group this season, laying the foundations for an impressive squad in the years to come...


LOUCESTER Park’s multi-events squad excelled this summer, despite some of the most talented athletes being unable to compete in the major championships due to injury. The high point came in September when the English Schools Championships headed a month-long bill of multi-event competitions. With Basildon’s growing pool of talent in the combined events discipline, the county schools selectors turned to our athletes to wear the Essex vest at the national championships in Boston, Lincolnshire. While some had shown promise from way back at the start of the indoor season, others were coming to combined events for the very first time. This made for two tantalising and fascinating days of spectating for their team managers, coaches and peers. From a Basildon perspective, the odds-on favourite for gold was Under 15 Boy Joseph Harding, who had already collected the Essex Schools, East Anglian Schools, Essex County and national indoor titles in the pentathlon ahead of the event. Sure enough, Harding’s dominance over the five events proved to be too much for his rivals once again and he became English Schools Combined events champion in the Under 15 Pentathlon with a score of 3,258 points, ahead of Scunthorpe’s Archie Yeo (2,964 points) and Jami Schlueter of Yeovil Olympiads (2,943 points). His 80m Hurdles was just a fraction outside of his best at a blistering 10.55 seconds and his High Jump 12 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

“...the county schools selectors turned to our athletes to wear the Essex vest at the national champs...” was 1cm short of his best too at 1.68m. The highlight of the day, however, was a massive Long Jump, which many a senior athlete would be proud of. His leap of 6.87m was a huge best, albeit wind assisted at +2.4. He also used the event to set a new personal best in the 4kg shot, with a throw of 11.79m. Harding’s next challenge will be stepping up an age group to the Under 17 Men’s category where he will have to contend with higher hurdles and eight events if he continues with multi events in the 2018 season. Harding had plenty of company from the Basildon squad up in Lincolnshire. The club’s second highest scoring pentathlete in the U15 age group was also in attendance. Joe Fischer first burst on to the scene at the Essex County Schools championships last year, running a modest 100m. Since then he’s been making something of a name for himself, finishing second, behind Harding at the Essex Schools Combined Events Championships in May. His score of 2,539 would have placed him 18th in Boston out of 45 athletes, but he clocked up a slightly smaller total in Lincolnshire (2,359), which left him in 26th.

Pictured: Jack Broadbent on his way to a 6.14m leap in the decathlon long jump.

Decathletes eye 2018 return For the club’s other combined eventers, injury prevented what had looked like a promising season for two of Basildon’s decathletes. Under 20 Kristian Brown had looked in fine form in April, with good performances in the Long Jump (6.07m), 6kg Shot (11.79m) and 100m (11.81) at the Medway & Maidstone Open. Brown had also clocked a 15.45 second 110 Hurdles at the U20 height at Lee Valley in April before a hamstring injury cut his season short. Previously an English Schools winner in the Octathlon in 2015, Brown’s first season

competing over ten events was strong, winning the East Anglian Schools Combined Events Championships with 4,867 points even without a height in the Pole Vault. Also out was World Masters bronze medallist Clint Nicholls (pictured, above). Nicholls looked set for a terrific summer in the Decathlon. However, a hamstring injury prevented any meaningful championship competition. He has since commenced winter training with a view to surpassing his Decathlon best of 5,262 in 2018.

Still a commendable performance for his first full year as a multi eventer. Having run 100m in 11.8 earlier in the season and long jumped 6.11m, there is plenty of potential for Fischer to improve still further as he steps up to the U17 age group next season. Basildon’s third ranked pentathlete in the age group, Cameron Ellis, scored his best at the Essex Schools Combined Events Championships, where he was just 121 points shy of a medal. His score of 2,322 points ranked him sixth out of the 34 athletes attempting to make the Essex squad for the East Anglian championships

Fellow Masters athlete Joe McGrath (pictured, above with Sutton’s Jordan Mitchell) used the Yorkshire Combined Events Open for a new Decathlon best in August. Throughout 2017, he had been seeking the required 3,500 points qualifying standard for the National Championships. While his poor throwing made this challenging, his improved Hurdles meant he scraped the mark by just 12 points in Cudworth, allowing him entry to the England Senior Championships in 2018. AU T U M N 2 017 / B A SM AG 13

which followed. Ellis’s 5.99m Long Jump and 11.7 seconds 100m, show there is scope for some strong performances in 2018 as he too steps up an age group. This year’s English Schools Combined Events Championships was almost a sideshow for Basildon’s male Under 17 icon Sam Bennett. Having nipped over to Tomblaine in France for the World Schools Championships in June and Bahamas in July for the Commonwealth Youth Games, the trip up to a drab looking Lincolnshire could have been an anti-climax. However, Bennett’s commitment to competition kicked in and he put in an admirable shift to earn a new personal best of 4,607 points in the eight-event Octathlon. This represented a 300-point improvement on the previous year’s English Schools final and enough for 12th out of 39 athletes. In the Under 20 Men’s category, there was nothing with which to compare, for Jack Broadbent, who had only come to combined events for the first time this year. It was impressive then, that he managed to progress beyond the East Anglian Schools final at all. Back then, at his first ever competition as a multi-eventer, he grabbed a bronze with 4,811 points for the Decathlon. But, with another three months’ training in the bag, Broadbent was certain that a personal best was possible when he was selected for the Essex team for the nationals. He didn’t disappoint, clocking a new best of 5,020 points in Boston, with a clutch of individual event

bests along the way. His wind-assisted (+2.7) 100m nearly dipped under the magic 11 second marker at 11.03 while he also smashed his best for the 110m Hurdles at the U20 height, finishing in 15.44 seconds. There were new bests too in the High Jump (1.76m), Long Jump (6.14m), 6kg Shot (9.54m), 1.75kg Discus (25.81m), Javelin (26.7m) and Pole Vault (2.90m). His final position of 18th out of 34 athletes didn’t truly do him justice, however, having picked up a leg injury during the Pole Vault. This led to a disappointing 1500m and put an end to his challenge for a top 10 finish. Broadbent’s training group buddy Charlotte Skeggs had already broken her lifetime best in the Under 20 women’s category at the East Anglian Schools Combined Events Championships in Bedford back in June. Her impressive performance in the seven event Heptathlon had led to a silver medal and a score at 3,827 points there. Like Broadbent, Skeggs had not competed in a multi-events championship since the regional schools’ championships some three months earlier but this did not impede what was another consistent performance. Sophie Domingo was the only woman to have beaten Skeggs at the East Anglian final, but she wasn’t on the starting line for the event in Lincolnshire, meaning that the path was clear for Skeggs to claim the crown as the best athlete in the region. Her 12th place performance from 29 starters was sufficient to do just that, although her score of 3,789 points was slightly down on her June

Pictured: Joseph Harding on his way to gold, (above, left) competing in the Long Jump and (above, right) in the 80m Hurdles. Jack Broadbent (below) takes on the Hurdles in event six of his decathlon. outing. Despite this, a punchy 31.09m Javelin throw was enough to bring a smile to her face, although she was slightly disappointed with an 800m that was some 13 seconds off of her best. In the Under 17 Women’s category, there were grand expectations for Basildon’s Kiera Bainsfair who, like Joseph Harding, had been collecting medals up and down the country for much of the early part of the season. Having taken silver in the Essex County Multi Events Pentathlon in May and bronze at the National U17 indoor Pentathlon in Sheffield in March, onlookers were keen to see what Bainsfair could produce from seven events. She showed promise in her initial outing at Bedford, where she finished sixth out of 15 at the East Anglian Schools Combined Events Championships in June but would surpass her total of 3,943 points when she arrived at the national final three months’ later. Her 22nd placing might have seemed surprising at first glance, but this was a fiercely competitive age group with 46 women contesting the event. Ultimately, her score of 4,256 was a personal best and left her just 376 points away from a top ten finish. With another year still in this age group next season, Bainsfair has lots of positives she can take away from her first year in the competition. 14 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

Review / National Cross Country Relays

Chasing the


An early morning coach trip, a six hour round trip and 12 hour day was worth it for this year’s Basildon team who headed to the National Cross Relays with high hopes. With the Senior Women having triumphed at the counties, Kersey, Houchell and Wiseman would now challenge on the national stage...


asildon’s senior women secured a top 15 finish at this year’s Saucony English National Cross Country Relay Championships in Mansfield, setting the tone for what was a strong squad performance across all age groups. The Senior Women’s trio of Gemma Kersey, Emma Houchell and Rachel Wiseman completed the course in 14th, securing bragging rights over local rivals Chelmsford who gave chase to finish some five places behind. Kersey’s blistering opening leg took her round in 10:36, just one minute behind leader Kate Holt from the City of Stoke club, handing over to Emma Houchell in 23rd. With Basildon in a strong position, Houchell continued an impressive performance, picking off five more teams on her leg before handing over to Wiseman. With all to play for on the final leg, former triathlete Wiseman handled the pressure well, improving Basildon’s standing by a further four places. In the Under 17 Men’s race, Basildon would impress once more. The responsibility of establishing an initial position was to fall to Daniel Riley. The first leg proved to be an exceptionally close affair with Marshall Milton Keynes coming home first in 8:59 and Riley very much in contention, just 40 seconds behind. However, with 43 teams coming through the first leg within a minute of each other, the second leg would be crucial. Isaac Brown kept the team in contention with a solid second leg before handing over to Oliver Lill in 31st position. Lill’s subsequent leg was to elevate Basildon by ten places. Among the clubs to

lose out to Lill’s final attack was Woodford Green, who, at one point, had led Basildon by nine places. The U13 Girls completed their challenge only one place lower ranked than the Under 17 Men, in 22nd as result of solid legs from new recruit Freya Seymour and team mates Fran Turner and Chloe Trew. Only 40 seconds separated the top 40 athletes, with Seymour finishing 38th. Turner used her experience from last year’s event to stage a damaging attack on her leg, taking 18 athletes, and handing over to Trew in 20th. A strong final leg from Trew left them just 30 seconds off of a top 10 finish. For the first time in recent years, Basildon had a female U17 squad at these championships. Grace Burrell navigated a tricky start, hovering in the 50’s for the first half of the race. However, Burrell moved up when it mattered, finishing strongly in a credible 21st place. On the second leg Abby Rex was struck with cramp early on, but ran through the pain for the team, handing over to Beth Ashley who pulled back 16 places to bring them home in 33rd place. So strong is Basildon’s depth in the Under 15 Girls’ age group, that the club was able to take A and B teams to these championships. The A team finished in 34th while the B team in 83rd. However, the final team placings don’t show an error by the officials which cost the B team around a minute in the changeover area. The B team’s first leg runner, Daizy Harris came home ahead of the A team first leg runner, confusing the officials. The melee delayed the beginning of Hollie Rex’s second leg. Maddie Harris would later AU T U M N 2 017 / B A SM AG 15

Review / National Cross Country Relays

pick a clutch of places to ensure the B team finished in 83rd. Meanwhile, the A team were busy making up places of their own. Eastern Counties’ 1500m bronze medallist Keirra Scott brought the team round in 86th initially, before handing over to Hannah Phipps who made up an astonishing 28 places. Basildon’s ascendance was to be completed when Megan Harris moved the team up to 34th on her final lap. In the Under 15 Boys’ age group, Basildon came home in

42nd. Luke Meridew lost his shoe halfway around the course but still managed to bring the team home in 38th at the first change. Jamie Rashbrook enjoyed a strong second leg, bringing the team up to 25th. There very nearly wasn’t a third leg runner after a last minute drop out, but Daniel Houchell agreed to step in, despite being the first year of the age group. His strong contribution ensured the team finished in a credible 42nd.

SAUCONY NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY RELAYS 2017 Results and Basildon performances [Leg Time, (Leg Place), Person]

Under 15 Boys: 1) Woodford Green AC With Essex Ladies 0:06:32.35 (5) S Ward, 0:06:51.50 (2) K Allgood, 0:06:41.50 (1) K Boggon /// 2) Taunton AC ‘A’ 0:06:38.15 (11) S Cobb, 0:06:48.45 (3) S Ponter, 0:06:49.25 (2) J Ponter /// 3) Chiltern Harriers ‘A’ 0:07:03.80 (42) A Johnson, 0:06:35.45 (8) A Aldred, 0:06:38.65 (3) A Williams /// 4) Middlesbrough AC 0:06:28.90 (2) A Lowe, 0:07:11.55 (9) M Somers, 0:06:46.25 (4) D Payne /// 5) Hillingdon AC ‘A’ 0:06:51.80 (26) A Khalif, 0:06:55.80 (12) H Ahmed, 0:06:42.15 (5) M McGarvie /// 42) Basildon AC 0:07:01.65 (38) L Meridew, 0:07:02.35 (25) J Rashbrook, 0:07:39.25 (42) D Houchell Under 17 Men: 1) Aldershot Farnham & District ‘A’ 0:09:07.20 (3) M Shantry, 0:09:24.75 (1) L Van Oudtshoorn, 0:09:38.35 (1) M Heyden /// 2) Cambridge & Coleridge AC ‘A’ 0:09:20.90 (8) D Dow, 0:09:59.65 (11) O Newman, 0:09:07.40 (2) T Keen /// 3) 0Morpeth Harriers ‘A’ 0:09:38.90 (23) D Dixon, 0:09:37.85 (8) T Glover, 0:09:15.20 (3) R Leonard /// 4) Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers ‘A’ 0:09:07.65 (4) T Patrick, 0:10:01.85 (5) F Harvey, 0:09:26.25 (4) D Stone /// 5) Charnwood ‘A’ 0:09:17.45 (7) O Rouse, 0:09:38.50 (2) D Maud, 0:09:44.95 (5) F McAuliffe /// 21) Basildon AC 0:09:39.55 (25) D Riley, 0:10:14.05 (31) I Brown, 0:09:53.60 (21) O Lill Under 13 Girls: 1) Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield ‘A’ 0:07:22.05 (1) R Simpson, 0:07:59.30 (1) G Robertson, 0:07:29.65 (1) E Shipley /// 2) Vale Royal AC ‘A’ 0:07:27.70 (3) G Roberts, 0:08:10.75 (3) A Gale, 0:07:27.70 (2) H Weedall /// 3) Cornwall AC ‘A’ 0:08:15.00 (58) E Devery, 0:07:26.45 (5) M Luke, 0:07:48.55 (3) A Jose /// 4) Chiltern Harriers ‘A’ 0:07:42.05 (13) H Henderson, 0:08:15.80 (10) R Williams, 0:07:43.40 (4) A Henderson /// 5) Tonbridge Ac ‘A’ 0:08:07.35 (44) A Fernandez-Laaks, 0:07:37.45 (6) O Breed, 0:07:58.55 (5) S Slack /// 22) Basildon AC 0:08:02.80 (38) F Seymour, 0:08:15.90 (20) F Turner, 0:08:23.00 (22) C Trew. Under 15 Girls: 1) Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC ‘A’ 0:07:02.75 (2) A White, 0:07:29.20 (1) M Squibb, 0:07:27.35 (1) N Toft /// 2) Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC ‘B’ 0:07:15.85 (4) Z Mossi, 0:07:40.40 (2) A Thomas, 0:07:31.15 (2) E Dolby /// 3) Herne Hill Harriers ‘A’ 0:07:24.05 (17) P McFeely, 0:07:33.65 (3) I Penniceard, 0:07:35.05 (3) M Collis /// 4) Sale Harriers Manchester ‘A’ 0:07:11.10 (3) L Crawford, 0:08:00.00 (8) M Wiseman, 0:07:28.65 (4) J Spilsbury /// 5) City Of Norwich AC ‘A’ 0:07:23.05 (13) K Willis 0:07:44.75 (6) M Short 0:07:36.15 (5) G Jermy /// 34) Basildon AC ‘A’ 0:08:17.80 (86) K Scott, 0:08:20.00 (58) H Phipps, 0:07:50.80 (34) M Harris /// 83) Basildon AC ‘B’ 0:08:09.95 (70) D Harris, 0:09:43.30 (95) H Rex, 0:08:20.50 (83) M Harris. Under 17 Women: 1) Liverpool Harriers & AC ‘A’ 0:08:49.15 (3) E Gordon, 0:09:39.10 (3) J Cook, 0:08:25.00 (1) E McNiven /// 2) Vale Royal AC ‘A’ 0:09:09.00 (7) E Lowery, 0:09:05.85 (1) L Smith, 0:09:06.25 (2) H Smith /// 3) Mansfield Harriers ‘A’ 0:09:15.20 (10) L Coleman, 0:09:26.15 (6) A Scott, 0:08:46.55 (3) A Smith /// 4) Rotherham Harriers ‘A’ 0:08:40.95 (2) M Taylor, 0:09:43.85 (2) E Ball, 0:09:12.10 (4) C Robinson /// 5) Herne Hill Harriers ‘A’ 0:09:22.15 (17) E Griffin 0:09:27.85 (9) K Balme 0:09:11.45 (5) A Brown /// 33) Basildon AC 0:09:31.35 (21) G Burrell, 0:11:30.00 (49) A Rex, 0:10:09.60 (33) B Ashley. Senior Women: 1) Aldershot Farnham & District ‘A’ 0:09:44.25 (3) K Bingle, 0:09:55.85 (1) E Gorecka, 0:10:07.95 (1) E Hosker Thornhill /// 2) Leeds City Athletic Club ‘A’ 0:09:57.45 (4) C Duck, 0:10:14.70 (2) S Stockton, 0:10:30.40 (2) L Crookes /// 3) Charnwood AC ‘A’ 0:09:58.80 (5) J Potter, 0:10:52.15 (10) A Holyland, 0:10:22.60 (3) J Potter /// 4) Cambridge & Coleridge AC ‘A’ 0:10:00.20 (7) C Christensen, 0:10:35.45 (4) V Knight, 0:10:39.95 (4) K Hedgethorne /// 5) Preston Harriers 0:10:01.70 (8) J Fairchild, 0:10:39.65 (6) H Clitheroe, 0:10:35.20 (5) R Rigby /// 14) Basildon AC 0:10:36.05 (23) G Kersey, 0:10:56.10 (18) E Houchell, 0:11:00.45 (14) R Wiseman.

16 B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 017

ESSEX CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE 2017/2018 Saturday 25th November 2017 Apex Playing Fields, Hockley

Saturday 16th December 2017 Hilly Fields, Colchester

Saturday 13th January 2018 Writtle College, Chelmsford

Saturday 10th February 2018 Gloucester Park, Basildon



16-17 December 2017 South of England Combined Events Championships Lee Valley

7 February 2018 British Milers’ Club Open Series Lee Valley

1 January 2018 Lee Valley New Year Open Lee Valley

16 – 18 February 2018 BUCS Nationals EIS, Sheffield

6-7 January 2018 South of England U15 / U17 Championships Lee Valley

25 February 2018 South of England Masters’ Championships (including BMAF Pentathlon Championships) Lee Valley

13-14 January 2018 South of England U20 / Senior Championships Lee Valley 14 January 2018 Welsh Grand Prix Open Cardiff Met University 21 January 2018 Vault Cardiff Cardiff Met University 24 January 2018 British Milers’ Club Open Series EIS, Sheffield 3-4 February 2018 Essex County Championships (including Eastern Counties’ Championships) Lee Valley 3-4 February 2018 Scottish Combined Events Open Emirates Arena 18 AU T U M N 2 017 / B A SM AG

4 March 2018 England Athletics Inter Area Challenge Lee Valley

16 December 2017 Essex Cross Country League Colchester

25 February 2018 Ryston Runners Open League Shouldham Warren

17 December 2017 Reigate Holly Run Reigate

10 March 2018 CAU Inter County Championships Loughborough

6 January 2018 Essex County Championships (U17, U20, Senior age groups) Braintree 13 January 2018 Essex Cross Country League Chingford 21 January 2018 Ryston Runners Open League Shouldham Warren

10 March 2018 British Masters Indoor Championships Lee Valley

27 January 2018 South of England Championships Stanmer Park, Brighton

19 – 24 March 2018 European Masters Indoor Championships Madrid, Spain

3 February 2018 Anglia Schools Championships Holbrook


2 December 2017 Essex County Championships (U13, U15, Masters age groups) Writtle 9 December 2017 South of England Masters Championships Oxford

3 February 2018 BUCS Championships Brunel University, Uxbridge 10 February 2018 Essex Cross Country League Gloucester Park, Basildon 24 February 2018 English National Championships Parliament Hill, London

17 March 2018 British Masters’ Championships Forres, Scotland 17 March 2018 English Schools’ Championships Leeds 18 March 2018 Ryston Runners Open League Shouldham Warren ROAD ROAD 2 December 2017 QEOP Winter 10K Series Stratford, London

3 December 2017 Mornington Chasers 10K Winter Series Regent’s Park, London 10 December 2017 Nice Work Richmond Park 5/10K Series Richmond 26 December 2017 Witham Boxing Day 5 Witham

FIXTURES 28 December 2017 Cyclopark Winter 5 Series Gravesend

18 March 2018 Brentwood Half Marathon Brentwood

7 January 2018 Mornington Chasers 10K Winter Series Regent’s Park, London

25 March 2018 Colchester Half Marathon Colchester

25 January 2018 Cyclopark Winter 5 Series Gravesend

25 March 2018 South of England Road Relay Championships, Kent MULTI TERRAIN

28 January 2018 Hadleigh Legacy 10K Hadleigh

26 December 2017 Crown to Crown 5K Basildon

3 February 2018 QEOP Winter 10K Series Stratford, London

28 December 2017 Phoenix Year End Marathon Walton on Thames

24 February 2018 British Masters’ 10 Mile Championships Denbighshire, Wales

31 December 2017 Twixmas 10K Fareham

25 February 2018 Roding Valley Half Marathon Roding Valley 4 March 2018 Essex County 20 Mile Championships Rochford

14 January 2018 Bath Skyline 10K Bath 18 February 2018 Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon Hampton Court

SOUTHERN INDOOR 2017 COMBINED EVENTS CHAMPIONSHIPS Saturday 16th December Sunday 17th December Lee Valley Athletics Stadium Edmonton, London N9 0AR

Enter online at Entries close Tuesday 5 December 2017

Saturday 16th December U15B & U17W Pentathlon 60m Hurdles, Long Jump, Shot, High Jump, 800m Sunday 17th December U15G, U20W & SW Pentathlon 60m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot, Long Jump, 800m Both Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December U17M, U20M, SM Heptathlon Saturday / Sunday 60m, Long Jump, Shot, High Jump 60m Hurdles, Pole Vault, 1000m

Online Entry Fees U15G/ U15B / U17W / U17M £15.00 U20W/ SW £17.00 U20M/ SM £20.00 Plus £2 additional fee for paper entries

SEAA Competition Limited shall not be liable to the participant for any loss, damage or injury however caused arising out of or in the course of, or in connection with the holding of the event. The Association reserves the right to refuse or limit entries, vary the programme of events and cancel the Championships under extreme circumstances.

B A SM AG / AU T U M N 2 0 17 19

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Proud supporters of Basildon Athletics Club’s Rising Star Award

BasMag | Autumn 2017 | Issue 3  

The magazine dedicated to Basildon Athletics Club. Autumn 2017 edition.