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Farnham-Rose spearheads Kent's medal chase

The triumphant Kent under-15 squad, from left: Alex Newson (Invicta), Adam Gilbert (Medway and Maidstone), Hugo Hayes (Invicta), Robbie Farnham-Rose (Tonbridge)
The triumphant Kent under-15 squad, from left: Alex Newson (Invicta), Adam Gilbert (Medway and Maidstone), Hugo Hayes (Invicta), Robbie Farnham-Rose (Tonbridge)

Robbie Farnham-Rose produced the best form of his career to lead Kent to the under-15 title in the National Inter-Counties Championships and World Trials at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

The Tonbridge AC youngster was always in contention with the leaders over the 4.5km course before missing out on individual bronze by just two seconds.

Consolation came in the form of a team gold with Farnham-Rose being supported by Hugo Hayes (13th) of Invicta East Kent, Adam Gilbert (15th) of Medway and Maidstone and Alex Newson (28th) of Invicta in the victorious Kent squad.

Kent took a team silver in the under-13 boy’s race, where three Tonbridge athletes were the county’s top scorers. Hanro Rossouw produced his best form when it mattered to take 10th place, 17 seconds behind the winner. Sean Molloy (14th) used his finishing speed to sweep by a number of other runners in the home straight, with Corey De’Ath (17th) just behind. Kent took team silver medals behind Hampshire, with Max Nicholls (21st) of Ashford AC completing the quartet.

Alice Wood (24th) of Tonbridge was first scorer in the under 13-girls’ race, where Kent missed team bronze by three points. Wood was supported by Sophie Parkes (40th) of Cambridge Harriers, Amy Ellson (47th) of Tonbridge and Alex Clay (49th) of Invicta.

In the under 15 girls’ race the leading scorer for Kent was Amber Reed (19th) of Blackheath and Bromley. The team finished 11th overall.

Another Tonbridge athlete with a sniff of an individual medal was Andy Combs, who was relishing the dry and fast conditions with the leaders in the under-17 men’s race. With only half of the six kilometre course completed he raised the pace, pulling 25 metres clear before realising that he had made his move too soon.

Despite his misjudgement, Combs (8th) bravely fought on with the consolation of leading Kent to silver medals behind Scotland West. Josh Bentham (29th) and Seb Harding (40th) from Tonbridge were the next two Kent scorers and Jason Prickett (52nd) of Invicta completed the team.

In the under-17 women’s race, Kent finished an excellent eighth overall with Grace Nicholls (8th) of Invicta leading the squad home by a considerable margin.

The junior under 20 men’s and women’s races resulted in eighth and 18th places respectively. The leading scorers for Kent were Sam Bradley (22nd) of Tonbridge and Beth Carter (21st) of Invicta.

The senior men’s championship had 300 runners and Kent were ninth overall. The six scorers were Dean Lacey (35th) of Cambridge Harriers, Will Levett (42nd), Huw Evans (79th) and Julian Rendall (99th) of Tonbridge plus Alex Gibbins (104th) and Peter Tucker (121st) of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers.

The senior women’s race also had just less than 300 finishers, with Kent 18th of the 33 complete teams. Kent vests were worn with pride by Natalie Gray (39th) of Medway and Maidstone, Jennie Butler (89th) of Blackheath, Annabelle Stearns (91st) of Gravesend Runners, Helen Wheeler (119th) of Folkestone Runners, Helena Penfold (130th) of Medway and Maidstone and Ashford’s Janine Brown (221st).

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