Croydon Harriers’ hopes of a return to the top flight of the 2XU Surrey men’s cross-country league hang in the balance after a fourth place finish at the latest Division Two meeting.
Having entered the third race of four at Reigate in the overall lead, Croydon’s fourth leaves the squad in the second of the two promotion berths, just 30 points adrift of leaders Reigate but only 32 clear of third placed Wimbledon Windmilers.
David White led the Croydon challenge with a third place finish over the five-mile course in 30 minutes 25 seconds, to add to his third and fourth places achieved in the first two races in the league this season.
Brendan Murphy returned from injury in style finishing seventh in 30:51, while Oxted pupil Harvey White (22nd, 32:26) was the first U20 home and he was closely followed by David Brown (30th, 33:01), David Chambers (44th, 34:18) and Alan Burn (48th, 34:31).
The remainder of the scoring 10 was completed by Ian Wright (third M50, 63rd, 35:12), Neil Aikman (67th, 35:28), Colin Oxlade (76th, 36:02) and Mark Maginn (87th, 36:22).
There were a further seven Harriers in action and 161 runners completed the field.
The league’s final fixture of the season is on the February 8 at Lloyd Park.
In the young athletes' race, Joshua Haasz finished runner-up over the 2.5 mile course in 15:35.
He was well supported by Omar Harhara (fifth), Christian Lee (seventh) and Dane Lawrence (13th) with the scoring quartet finished joint first with Dorking and Mole Valley.
Deadly duo: David Chambers and Neil Aikman in action
Young prospect: Omar Harhara was fifth in the juniors' race
In the U13s, Robbie Tambling (12th) and Matthew Maginn (13th) completed the Croydon contingent.
Elsewhere, at the Surrey women’s league, Misheel Suvd finished 29th out of 56 finishers at the Surrey girl’s cross-country league at Roehampton Vale.
In parkrun action, Jake English made it two wins in as many weeks at Crystal Palace, finishing the 5km course in 17:59.
At the South of England indoor championships, Edwin Miles reached the U20 men’s 200m final with an indoor best of 22.89secs.
Marcelle Rowe was fourth in the U17 men’s 400m final in 52.56secs, while Ricardo King reached the semi-finals of the same event.
Brandon Mitchell ran 24.39secs in his U20 men’s 200m heat.
Feeling the heat: Croydon Harriers' Alan Burn