Hastings athletes record fine finishes in cross-country races

Athletes from HY Runners and Hastings AC have been out and about recording some excellent cross country times - and great finishes in other events.

Hastings AC athletes at Ardingly...
Hastings AC athletes at Ardingly...

HY Runners took good numbers to Snape Wood in Wadhurst for the second in the series of the Sussex Sunday Cross Country League – and had a successful day on a demanding hilly course.

Two laps around Snape Woodland were ordered, each featuring a steep gravelly hill and undulating sections on a sunny but very cold day.

HY Runners had four in the top 14 spots, with star of the show being HY’s OCR king Barry Buchanan.

... and at Snape Wood

He started strong and came into the last turn in thrd place before an incredible sprint finish, claiming first prize with just 15m to go.

William Carey, David Ervine and Oliver Carey all crossed in the top 14.

Also running for Hy at Snape Wood, in finishing order, were Sam Brown, Jonathan Hatch, Gavin Oakley, Carl Adams, Benji Symes, John Badrock, Jason Wright, Paul Baxter, Mathew Isden, Deborah Read, Glenn Cooper, and Daniel Russell.

HY head coach Terry Skelton said: “The 16 runners we took did themselves and us proud, and there was some gritty performances.”

HY Runners at Ardingly

On the same day HY’s Penny Braker was taking on the daunting South Downs endurance half marathon.

Having not run for a while she was chuffed with being 26th female to finish. She took seven minutes off of her last endurance half.

Her official time was 2:03:52 for tenth in her category, female 40-plus.

Back on the cross country scene, HY Runners were at Ardingly for the latest Sussex League fixture.

... and at Snape Wood

Sporting the largest attendance with near-on 50 runners, it was no surprise that Hy were the leading local club.

Isobella Buchanan was star of the show in the U11 girls’ one-mile event.

She settled into third place where she sat for most of the race, before overtaking the second-placed runner to claim second in a creditable time of 8:24

Florence Tewksbury produced a stunning run to come home fifth, while Olivia Collins was eighth and Tera Buckland 15th.

Also in the U11 race were Ava Morrisey (21st), Amellia Skelton (23rd), Alyssa Cornford (28th), Elsie Harmer (31st) and Halle Gorman (32nd).

In the U13 girls, Meghan Hopkins Parry was first home for HY, 14th overall.

Sophia Collins (19th), Daisy Welch (24th), Jessica Harmer (33rd) Sophia Sims (34th) and Layla Harmer (35th) completed the set.

In the U13 boys’ category Zion Okojie was 24th while Theo Booth (29th) and Archie Hatch (40th) ran well.

In the senior women’s 5k race HY had eight runners.

Jenna French was the pick of the bunch in 17th spot overall.

She was followed home by Emma Welch, Emily Sims, Kayleigh Skelton, Fiona Norman Brown, Ivy Buckland, Becky Mabon, Abi O’Toole and Jenna Harmer.

In the men’s senior race Ben Mccallion was HY’s leading man, coming home in the 8k race in 16th in 29:28, closely followed by Sunday league winner Buchanan, 21st in 30:08.

Also finishing were David Ervine, Jonathan Hatch, Andy Edmonds, Dan Isted, Carl Adams, Sam Brown, Benji Symes, Darren Ribs Rogers, Kelvin Horwell, Jamie Webb, John Ralph, Tom Brampton, John Badrock, Steve Booth, Tom Gough, Jason Wright, Danny Cornford, Mark Parry, Stewart Ide and Dean Skelton

In all 22 men donned the HY red vests.


Match two of the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League in Snape Woods brought a great turnout on a sunny morning despite the challenge of a tough hilly course in the biting cold .

Hastings AC was delighted with second place for Olivia Henham in the U11 girls, third for her brother Albert Henham and second for Rae Le Fay in U15s.

In the men’s race Sean Parker-Harding (senior) was 17th and newcomer Nickolaj Kennett was 21st.

There was 75th for Jenna Levett, first lady, putting her second overall, and in the F50 class Mary Sanderson is second.

After two men’s races Kennett is ninth, Parker-Harding 10th; in the M45s fourth is Dave Turner and in the M55 Chris Brandt is second.

The club hosted its first cross country event for Hastings primary schools.

Everyone chipped in to pull the event together and it was a huge success.

Some pupils enjoyed it so much they’ve started attending club junior training sessions, taking advantage of the four free trial sessions.

There was another cross country outing for HAC’s most dedicated athletes in the third Sussex League fixture, at Ardingly showground.

Rae Le Fay (U15) showed consistency, holding the sixth position she has had all season. She has been picked for the Sussex team and is looking forward to wearing the county vest at an inter-counties event this weekend.

Kaitlyn O’Reilly ran well in a high standard U17 race, recording 25.38 for a 5k on big hills and in thick mud.

Elena Crosta gave an impressive performance and was third in the U20 category with 22.29, her last display for the club before she returns to Italy. She will be greatly missed.