Highgate Harriers men seal eighth straight Met League title as Lepretre leads way
- Credit: Archant
Highgate Harriers men made it a great eight Start Fitness Metropolitan League titles in a row after a dominant display in the final round on Saturday.
Their 12 scorers all finished inside the first 51 in a field of 426 at Trent Park to ensure a total of 6,937 points and top spot ahead of Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets (6,557).
Talented cross-country runner Alex Lepretre led Harriers home in second place in 25.33, with Robel Bahelbi (26.23) eighth and Chris Rainsford (26.30) in 10th place.
Rob Wilson (26.46) was 13th, as Charlie Haywood (16th, 26.55) and Sean Renfer (18th, 27.05) also made the top 20.
Pete Chambers was 24th in 27.21, with Jon Laybourn 39th in 28.10, Dominic Smith 42nd in 28.13, Ash Chambes 48th in 28.24 and Alex Crossland 51st in 28.29.
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London Heathside finished third in the final standings on 5,415 points while Shaftesbury Barnet had the individual winner of the final three league races out of five, as Dylan Evans claimed victory just five seconds ahead of Lepretre in 25.28.
Highgate's B team topped the Division Two table to make it a memorable double for the men.
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Meanwhile, the women ended their campaign in third place behind London Heathside and Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets.
Nina Griffiths ran a superb race to finish second in a field of 328, in 29.59, with Hannah Viner and Molly Renfer absent.
But Griffiths, who ran a 2:42 marathon in Malaga after several years out of the sport, was some way behind race winner Liz Hanes (28.34), a 2006 National cross-country champion who runs for Herts Phoenix.
Highgate's Vicky Walker was seventh in 31.28, with Jess Anderson 13th in 31.35.
And their three other scorers were all inside the top 50, as Rachel Baker finished 33rd in 33.57, over-50 Sabina Russell managed 45th in 34.57 and W40 athlete Louise Faherty clocked 35.04 in 47th.
The club will now focus on the National Cross-Country, Southern Road Relay and National Road Relay events in the next couple of months, where the men and women hope for more success.
Final standings, men: Highgate Harriers 6,937; Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 6,557; London Heathside 5,415; Woodford Green 5,265; Serpentine 4,001; Ealing Southall & Middx 3,825; Hillingdon 3,694; TVH 3,457; Shaftesbury Barnet 3,381; Trent Park 3,059; London City 2,843; Barnet & District 1,637.