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Kent Cross-Country Championships 2020: Kent AC's Owen Hind wins senior men's title while Tonbridge excel in team events

Tonbridge AC proved they are the team to beat at the annual Kent Cross-Country Championships at Brands Hatch on Saturday.

As usual, the 10 categories were fiercely contested with 10 team wins for Tonbridge.

From left, Ben Cole, from Tonbridge AC, came in second, Owen Hind, from Kent AC, the winner and Corey De' Ath, from Tonbridge AC, came in third in the senior men's race at the Kent Cross-Country Championships Picture: John Westhrop FM25930169
From left, Ben Cole, from Tonbridge AC, came in second, Owen Hind, from Kent AC, the winner and Corey De' Ath, from Tonbridge AC, came in third in the senior men's race at the Kent Cross-Country Championships Picture: John Westhrop FM25930169

Owen Hind of Kent AC won the senior men's event after completing the 12,000m course in 40min15sec. Benedict Cole (40.29), Corey De'Ath (40.43) and Cameron Payas (40.52) took second, third and fourth – enough to give Tonbridge victory in the six-to-score battle.

Three more top-10 finishes sealed the 12-to-score honours, too.

Tewelde Menges was the leading Medway & Maidstone runner, with fifth (41.00).

Tonbridge's senior women made it a team double with three and six-to-score success. Lucy Reid led their charge with second place overall in 31.22, but Canterbury's Emily Hosker-Thornhill, running for Aldershot, Farnham & District, took the ladies' title by more than a minute as she completed the 8,350m distance in 30.20.

Emily Hosker-Thornhill, 27, from Canterbury won for Aldershot, Farnham & District in the senior women's race Picture: John Westhrop FM25930166
Emily Hosker-Thornhill, 27, from Canterbury won for Aldershot, Farnham & District in the senior women's race Picture: John Westhrop FM25930166

Invicta East Kent joined the winners' circle with an under-20 men's one-two for Matthew Stonier and Charlie Brisley. In a close finish, the clubmates were separated by just three seconds but three top-10 finishes for Tonbridge, led by James Kingston (20.47), gave them the three-to-score team title.

Tonbridge's under-20 women were also three-to-score winners despite another top-two finish for Invicta East Kent via Alexandra Millard (23.45) and Imogen Amos (24.35).

The Tonbridge dominance continued in the under-17 men's race. Oliver Bright of Blackheath & Bromley was first home in 20.23, but Matthew Taylor (20.42), Alexander Beeston (21.13), Fraser Gordon and (21.17) and Henry Taylor (21.29) secured four-to-score honours.

Katie Goodge led the under-17 women home. The Tonbridge runner clocked 24.14 but Blackheath & Bromley's second, third and fifth places made sure of three-to-score success.

Matthew Stonier on his way to victory in the under-20 men's race at the Kent Cross-Country Championships Picture: John Westhrop FM25930044
Matthew Stonier on his way to victory in the under-20 men's race at the Kent Cross-Country Championships Picture: John Westhrop FM25930044

Jamie Keir set the pace in the under-15 boys' race. The Invicta East Kent member timed 15.13 but once more team glory went Tonbridge's way with Joshua Prendergast (15.48) flying the flag in fifth along with three more top-10 displays.

M&M's Anna Palmer made strides in the under-15 girls' race. Her 17.46 was enough to beat Tonbridge's Sophie Slack by five seconds. Three-to-score success, however, went to Blackheath & Bromley Harriers.

Thanet Road Runners boasted the under-13 boys' winner in Alex Dack. With three out of the top four places this was the club's best event, however Tonbridge's strength in depth gave them the four-to-score crown led by Thomas Daly (11.50) in sixth.

Cambridge Harriers took the under-13 girls' title after Abigail Richards (12.13) denied Lily Slack (Tonbridge) victory by six seconds. Tonbridge still had the edge in the team event, with three-to-score success after two more top-10 efforts.

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