Hare & Hounds twice beaten at Magog Down

30 October 2008

The build-up to the this year’s Cross-Country Varsity showdown got underway this weekend as Cambridge Hare & Hounds faced a stern test in the shape of the Eastern Athletic Association and the RAF.

The hilly Magog Down course provided a demanding test of stamina against the stunning backdrop of the city.

In the women’s race, a strong EAA team took the top two places, with Cambridge’s Naomi Taschimowitz claiming third on her debut for the club. Polly Keen held off a strong surge from two EAA athletes behind her to cross the line sixth, while Emma Figures narrowly edged out team mate Jane Mackey to claim Cambridge’s third scoring position.

However, with several of the fastest Cambridge ladies missing through injury, the result was never in doubt as EAA scored a resounding victory.

The men’s race turned out to be a much closer affair, though once again, Cambridge missed out on the top spot.

Club Captain James Kelly continued his run of good form as he recorded a comfortable victory to follow his performance at the Birmingham Relays.

The industrious Will Mackay took fifth with an impressive display of aggressive running while Matt Clark, returning to the fold after a lengthy absence, finished tenth with a run that further affirmed his huge natural talent. A strong second lap from James Gill enabled him to finish close behind Clark before Jon Cook and James Chettle rounded off the Cambridge scoring.

Despite Cambridge’s strong performance, the RAF came out narrow victors with EAA 3rd. Cambridge’s strength in depth was emphasised by the second team who, led by Alastair Cliff and Maz Firouzi, edged ahead of the EAA.

Given the number of runners missing with injuries, Cambridge will be bouyed by these results ahead of the much anticipated Varsity clash.