Harrow Athletic Club produced one of its best ever displays in finishing seventh in the South of England Road relay at Aldershot on Saturday, writes Tony Bush.
The Bannister-based outfit was boosted by the return of former 1,500m international Richard Ashe, who finished 11th of 90 teams on the opening 6,000m stage, clocking a good time of 18.49.
British steeplechase champion, Adam Bowden, produced a strong run to gain eight places and move to third spot on leg two. His time of 18.03 was the eighth fastest of the day, a good showing as he has only just resumed training after an end-of-season break.
Oxford student Richard Franzese produced his best ever time of 19.08 to finish in fourth spot. Peter Norris was caught by several top internationals and had to settle for ninth place, with a personal best of 19.49.
Matt Addison impressed with 18.49 to gain one place while Ben Warren anchored the squad to seventh place with 19.13, on his club debut.
Harrow have qualified for the national road relay on October 18, when the team should be reinforced by the inclusion of Beijing Olympian Andy Baddeley.
The veteran's (over 40) team matched the senior's performance by finishing seventh. Evergreen Chris Finill, almost 50, finished an excellent fourth on the opening 6,000m stage, clocking 20.16. Julian Critchlow started too fast but held on to fourth spot, with 20.08, the 12th best time of the day.
Mark Cursons dropped one place with 20.39, while Terry McIntyre finished seventh with his best ever time of 22.47.
Meanwhile, Harrow AC's Sky Draper underlined her huge potential by recording the fastest time in the South of England Young Athletes' Road Relays in Aldershot on Sunday.
The 12-year-old star ran the first of three 2,000m stages in the under-13 event and finished in first place with 8.04, a time unmatched by any of the 200 girls taking part in the major championship.
Aisling Draper and Kate Watkins helped the team to 29th place while Sophie Edwardson ran a brisk 9.50 for the B team, which finished 49th.
Harrow's boys team came 14th in the under-13 event. Oliver Hurcom placed 21st on the opening stage in 11.19. James Francis and Kai Hammond held 20th spot before Lewis Hawkins gained six places on the final stage, with a fast 11.08.
The under-15 girls' team placed 38th, headed by a good 11.49 by Schae Antoine on leg one. * The latest installment of the annual Metros' BJ Challenge took place in Roxbourne Park last Saturday morning. This running event, now in its 29th year, consists of three consecutive races to make up a 10 kilometre distance. Metros runner, Nigel Rackham, continues his rich vein of form, winning in a total time of 34.20. Honours for the ladies were divided with Jackie Cope victorious in the 4k and Jane Hudson in the full challenge.
Several youngsters also competed. Eleanor Murray completed the 2k in 10.09 while Ben Jackson won in 7.25 in the same age group. At the opposite end of the age scale, Bob Davidson, now well into his 70s, completed 4k in 24.15.