Published: 00:00, 30 November 2001
THE third race of the Kent Fitness Series, held in damp and slippery conditions at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, produced a close finish with four clubs competing for the titles. Invicta East Kent AC came out on top and they were boosted in no small measure by the efforts of their women.
Maidstone's Janice Moorekite (Invicta) easily took her second victory of the season by a margin of exactly two minutes from the remaining 70 taking part. Team colleagues Fay Roberts and Liz Batty supported her in fifth and sixth places. The seven-strong male component of the Invicta team packed well in the top places, even though they had no runners in the top 10, and their margin of victory was 18 points over a Paddock Wood AC.
Paddock Wood's best showing this year was helped by the return to form of a previous champion, Steve Roberts, who took fourth and a great run by Robin Cheeseman who finished in 16th place as the leading over-50 runner.
At the front of the field, the race was fought out between three under-20s who meet regularly in this competition and at the halfway stage there was little to choose between Jamie Atkinson (Sevenoaks AC), Andrew Pickett (Dartford Harriers) and Darren Mitchell (Medway & Maidstone AC).
In the second half, Atkinson edged away from the others about a mile from the end and had an advantage of 12 seconds over Mitchell on the finish line. Nevertheless, with Atkinson now a non scorer in the competition, Mitchell took maximum points with and now has a 100 per cent record over all three races completed this season.
Maidstone Harriers duo, David Law and David Davies, had their own private battle throughout the race with Law getting the advantage on the finish line in seventh place overall. Davies was the leader in the over-40 category. Invicta's victory allowed them to close the gap on leaders Medway and Maidstone AC who were back in in fourth place on Sunday. Medway still lead the championship by three points with four races still to come.
The next race is at Avery Hill Park on Sunday, December 30.
Leading men (* indicates non scorer): 1 James Atkinson* (Sevenoaks) 29.53, 2 Darren Mitchell (M & M AC) 30.05, 3 Andrew Pickett* (Dartford H) 30.36, 4 Steve Roberts (Padd Wood) 31.26, 5 David Lee (Sevenoaks) 31.26, 6 Darren Jordan* (Cheltenham) 31.27, 7 David Law (Maidstone H) 31.55, 8 David Davies (Maidstone H) 31.59, 9 Dave Jackson (M & MAC) 32.37, 10 Ray Pearce (Istead) 32.41, 11 Michael Clark (Sevenoaks) 32.50, 12 Phil Smith (Padd Wood) 32.53, 13 Chris Desmond (Sevenoaks) 32.54, 14 Mike Poppy (Sittingb'ne) 33.03, 15 Mike Stacey (Maidstone H) 33.07, 16 Rob Cheeseman (Padd Wood) 33.14, 17 Jonathan Hope (Padd Wodd) 33.18, 18 Paul Ross-Davies (Invicta) 33.22, 19 Tim Orr* (Dartford H) 33.33, 20 Adam Stokes (Invicta) 34.00.
Leading Women: 1 Janice Moorekite (Invicta) 36.13, 2 Alison Wilson (Bromley V) 38.13, 3 Heather Fitzmaurice-Cotton (Sevenoaks) 38.24, 4 Berni Jameson (M & M AC) 38.37, 5 Fay Roberts (Invicta) 38.43, 6 Liz Batty (Invicta) 39.14, 7 Janet Cobby (New Eltham) 39.23, 8 Sally Dawson (Sevenoaks) 39.25, 9 Natalie Bary (M & M AC) 39.31, 10 Jane Frogley (Swanley) 39.31, 11 Jackie King (New Eltham) 39.51, 12 Victoria McGregor (Padd Wd) 40.00, 13 Summer Govan (Sevenoaks) 40.14, 14 Sharon Hawkins (Maidstone H) 40.32, 15 Lisa Campbell (New Eltham) 40.43.
Teams (Combined Men and Women): 1 Invicta EK AC 189pts, 2 Paddock Wood AC 207, 3 Sevenoaks AC 225, 4 Med & Maidst AC 240, 5 Istead & Ifield H 320, 6 Maidstone H 377.
Leading team after three races: Med & Maidst AC 45pts, Invicta EK AC 42, Paddock Wood AC 39, Istead & Ifield H 38, Maidstone H, Sevenoaks AC 37.