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Cookham Running Club teams impress under the shadow of Wembley's arch in North West London cross country league

Peta Bee

Siena Brancato, Cara Terry, Jemima Ridley


Cookham Running Club teams rarely finished outside of the top three in the North West London cross country league meet in Kingsbury on November 2.

The club’s juniors were in excellent form as they ran under the shadow of Wembley’s famous arch, with William Howes leading home the u11s boys’ team in sixth place.

Four of the club’s runners came in the top 11, with Archie Charles finishing just behind Howes in seventh and Fabien Mormech and Luke Rice completing the team. Cookham’s B team of Henry Smith, 28th, Toby Holmes, 31st, Samuel Nicholson, 36th and Lucas Dolphin, 37th, also claimed a respectable eighth place.

Ottillie Shemilt ran outstandingly well to come third in the u11s girls’ race, with strong support from Lola Sherwin, 11th, Divya Therakluthy, 18th, and Grace Colley, 21st, as the team came second overall. Tremendous packing from Holly Harrison, 24th, Daisy Ackrell, 26th, Amelie Shemilt, 31st, and Eva Carsberg, 35th, meant the B team finished third ahead of 11 other clubs.

Jacqueline Heller continued her strong start to the season with a second placed finish in the u13s girls’ race, leading the team of Natalie Matthews, 15th, Eva Bartlett, 16th and Honey Fitzgerald, 26th, to third place overall. Will Dart was first home for Cookham’s u13s boys’ team in 10th place.

Cara Terry’s improvement continued with a second placed finish on an undulating course. Jemima Ridley was fourth and Siena Brancato ninth as Cookham finished second in the u15s girls race.

It was a feat repeated by the club’s u15s boys who were led home by Frank McGrath in second place. Edwin Isted was seventh, Callum Bleazard 16th and Henry Johnston 17th. Ben Reynolds finished just outside of the top 10 in a strong u17s men’s field.


Two of the club’s athletes also distinguished themselves at the British Cross Country Challenge at Teardrops Lake in Milton Keynes on Saturday (November 12).

In his first year at the u13s boys age group, Harry Charles finished in the top 10 with Jacqueline Heller coming 11th in a strong u13s girls field.

Five Cookham juniors also represented Furze Platt School in the South West Regional Final of the English Schools Cup on Saturday. Frank McGrath ran well to finish third in the boys intermediate race. Honey Fitzgerald also helped Dr Challoners Girls School team progress to the national final after strong packing in their qualifier in Banbury.

Elsewhere Joe Challis set a new boys u11s 5k club record with his time of 21.18 at the Marlow parkrun on Saturday. He was marginally fasted than eight-year-old Archie Charles who ran 21.22 at Braywick Park. Jemima Ridley also bettered her u15s girls club record with a time of 20.15 at Woodley.

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