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Insley and McGrath get back to winning ways for Cookham Running Club in North London

Olivia Insley and Frank McGrath got back to winning ways at the weekend as both recorded victories in the North West London Cross Country meet. On a testing and muddy course in Trent Park, Insley led home her u11s team of Ottillie Shemilt, eighth, Lola Sherwin, 10th and Divya Thirakaluthy, 14th, with the team also finishing first.

The strength in depth at that age group was illustrated by the B team’s fifth place finish. Grace Colley was 24th, Holly Harrison 25th, Daisy Ackrell 26th and Amelie Shemilt 27th.

McGrath moved to the front in the early stages of the u15s boys race and powered away from Trent Park’s Alessio Ferrari on the steep final hill to win by 14 seconds – one of the largest margins of the day. Edwin Isted also produced a strong run to finish 11th, with Jack Everson-Plant in 13th and Callum Bleazard in 21st as Cookham came second overall.

In the u11s boys’ race Joe Challis finished just three seconds behind the winner in third place and led his team to a convincing victory. Archie Charles, ninth, William Howes 13th, and Fabien Mormech 16th, brought the team home in gold medal position. The B team of Noah Evans 19th, Luke Rice 21st, Henry Smith 30th and Max Phillis 35th came sixth.

Jacqueline Heller recovered from a fall in the slippery conditions to come fifth in the u13s girls’ race. She was supported by Annabel Insley, seventh, Asmi Saha, ninth and Natalie Matthews, 13th, as the team came second.

Will Dart was the strongest of the boys’ u13s team, finishing 13th and closely followed home by Arlo Challis, 20th, and Sam Colley, 21st for a fifth placed finish.

Cara Terry came second in the girls u15s race and was chased to the finish line by Jemima Ridley, third, Siena Brancato, 22nd and Alana Bodell, 42nd. Cookham’s senior men competed well in the Fraternity Cup, with Matt Holmes the first of the club’s athletes to finish.

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