LEIGH on Sea Striders have been crowned South Essex Cross County Division One champions for the very first time.

Striders headed into the last event, at Hadleigh Country Park, sitting top of the table, just one point clear of Billericay Striders but both clubs were out in force.

The aim for each club is to get as low a score as possible, calculated by the finishing positions of the first seven men and first four ladies.

When the points were added up this time, Billericay achieved a super low score of 116, which would have won on any previous fixture.

However Leigh managed an incredible low score of 86, which has never been achieved in the history of the league!

They did this by having first place for the men and women - Gus Withers and Eleanor Johnson respectively - plus four men and three women finishing in the top 10.

This awarded Leigh the victory on the day as well as the league title.

Chairman Mark Dobson said: “What a team! Congratulations to our amazing runners, marshals and supporters for delivering a final race to be proud of. We got the team fixture win, first place male and female and a Team LoSS first ever season win! Truly brilliant!”

Billericay had to settle for second place this time, with Benfleet in third and East Essex Tri finishing fourth in the top division of the South Essex XC league.

Club captains Dean Ovel and Katie Spicer led by example, both finishing in scoring positions of 13th and 15th respectively.

Echo: Captains - Katie Spicer and Dean OvelCaptains - Katie Spicer and Dean Ovel

It was even more impressive because as Leigh were hosting the race, they also had to supply marshals, meaning less people to run.

Men results: Gus Withers (1st), David Raffelli (5th), Mati Matibini (6th), Jim Dodsworth (9th), Damien Harvey (11th), Dean Ovel (13th), Lukasz Sacharzewski (15th).

Ladies results: Eleanor Johnson (1st), Stephanie Migliorini (3rd), Sarah Griffith (7th), Katie Spicer (15th).

In total 105 Leigh Striders took part in one or more of the races with Amelia Howe, Claire Downham, Fiona Walker, Jo Bolter, Katie Spicer, Lukasz Sachaezewski, Nick Hill, Stuart Cable and Tina Reeve taking part in every one.


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