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Mehretab's the pride of London

PUBLISHED: 15:52 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 September 2010

KING OF THE HILL . . . London Heathside's Mehretab Solomon pulled off a shock win in the London cross country championships at Parliament Hill on Saturday

KING OF THE HILL . . . London Heathside's Mehretab Solomon pulled off a shock win in the London cross country championships at Parliament Hill on Saturday

Dieter Perry.

TEENAGE athlete Mehretab Solomon became Heathside's first London men's champion in more than 30 years on Saturday - despite only entering the race as a junior. Eritrea-born Solomon was officially running in the Under-20 catagory...

TEENAGE athlete Mehretab Solomon became Heathside's first London men's champion in more than 30 years on Saturday - despite only entering the race as a junior.

Eritrea-born Solomon was officially running in the Under-20 catagory at the London cross country championships at Parliament Hill, which was run in tandem with the senior men's race.

However, he stormed into the lead ahead of the 262 other runners, and stayed there all the way to the end to win in a time of 32 minutes and 23 seconds, becoming the first Heathsider to win the title since current chairman Jerry Odlin way back in 1977.

Meanwhile, Highgate Harriers won the men's and women's team awards, while Becky Penty was second in the women's race and David Bruce was third runner overall.

In the women's race there was a cat and mouse battle between the experienced Julia Bleasdale and Highgate's Penty, and the result was not concluded until within a mile from the finish line, when Bleasdale surged ahead to win in 21:24 ahead of Penty in 21:33.

Svenja Abel, who has had to battle recurring injuries all season, ran brilliantly to come in fourth in 22:19, and Kate Meredith was the fourth scoring team member, finishing 31st in 23:45.

Other Highgate runners in the race were first London veteran Astrid Wingler in 39th (24:00), Sarah Bailey (49th in 24:22), Alexia Trafford (65th in 24:55), Jenny Turner (26:12), Natasha Cendrowicz (26:41), Sonja Saqui (27:46) and Sarah Chapman (30:10).

In the Under-17 race Aimee Jane-Potter was 65th in 24:24 and in the Under-15 race Isabel Barnes was 66th in 18:14 and Francesca Simpson 73rd in 18:41.

The final standings saw Highgate Harriers finish on 49 points, Serpentine 57 and Met Police 61.

Other Highgate runners to finish well inside the first 115 were: Henry Dodwell (10th in 34:13), Dale Bickham (17th in 35:05), Glenn Saqui (19th in 35:25); Peter Downie (24th in 36:13), Nick Gold (32nd in 36:51), Chris Beecham (35th in 37:00), Jonathan Deane (42nd in 37:10), Steve Thompson (53rd in 37:56), Chris Bailey (59th in 38:11) and Max Coventry (67th in 38:45).

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