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Queens of the Palace

PUBLISHED: 15:56 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:32 07 September 2010

GOLDEN GIRLS . . . Clare Gibson, Ella Waldman, Tess Newton and Almudena Garcia

GOLDEN GIRLS . . . Clare Gibson, Ella Waldman, Tess Newton and Almudena Garcia

Dieter Perry

LONDON Heathside and Highgate Harriers had to settle for a title apiece as the two clubs dominated Saturday's North London Cross-Country Championships at Alexandra Palace. Hosts Heathside scooped the senior women's crown...

LONDON Heathside and Highgate Harriers had to settle for a title apiece as the two clubs dominated Saturday's North London Cross-Country Championships at Alexandra Palace.

Hosts Heathside scooped the senior women's crown despite Highgate's Becky Penty winning the race.

But the roles were reversed in the men's race as Highgate were clear winners, although Heathside did take second on a memorable day for the Finsbury Park-based club.

Highgate's Henry Dodwell clocked a time of 26 minutes 44 seconds over the five-mile course to take the individual gold for the men, who won team gold with a hefty 90-point lead over their Heathside rivals.

Ryan McKinley was not far behind in third place, while Dale Bickham was fourth and Duncan Burbidge sixth as Highgate dominated the event.

Their scoring six was completed by Jon Deane in ninth and Steve Thompston in 11th, and with Nick Gold and Chris Bailey also coming home under 30 minutes and inside the top 20, Highgate were untouchable.

First home for Heathside was George Stewart in ninth in a time of 28.28 that also saw him win the veterans (over-40) gold medal.

Liam Proudlock (19th), Alex Armstrong (21st), John Flahive (28th), the impressive newcomer Dan Miller (32nd) and Norman Mitchell (33rd) completed the scoring six that finished second to Highgate but ahead of Serpentine.

The roles were reversed for the women though as Heathside's rising star, Ella Waldman, stormed home in fifth place, while team-mate Sue Rust finished just behind her in sixth, and Claire Gibson came in eighth.

With the first four scoring in the women's race, Tess Mewton's 13th place was crucial and gave the trophy to the Heathside girls.

Highgate were left to rue the fact that Penty was a second claim runner on the day and her score did not count.

And, although Kate Meredith, Alexia Trafford, Sarah Bailey and Rhian Hampson-Jones all finished inside the top 15, they were pipped into third place by Serpentine and Heathside.

This Saturday it will be Highgate's turn to host a major event and go for more team and individuall medals, as Parliament Hill will be the venue for the London Championships.

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