"On a dull, cold February afternoon, Highgate Harriers senior women won the Metropolitan League with another emphatic team win at Verulium Park, St Albans. Such was Highgate's lead, that they did not need to compete in the final match. But true to form, the Hampstead based club ran out easy winners, finishing all of their scoring runners in the first 18. This fifth team victory was matched by Astrid Wingler's second individual title in the Met League series. Such has been Wingler's dominance, that she was also able to claim the individual title for 2002/03. The cold weather ensured a ferocious start to the 2 and a half mile race, with Jenrick and Wingler struggling to match the early pace. However, as the race settled down, Wingler was able to assume control, with only Lisa Elmore from Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers threatening to spoil her day. Finding herself in the lead in the final mile, Wingler timed her run in to perfection to finish comfortably 9 seconds ahead of Elmore. The 2001/02 Met League champion, Kate Jenrick finished third, 6 seconds behind Elmore. The undulating course took its toll on team manager Natasha Cendrowicz, who was outsprinted to the line by team mate Sally Hannah, who was 12th in 16.06, with Cendrowicz 13th in 16.07. Enjoying her best Met League performance, Sarah Nicolls, moved through the field to finish 15th, in 16.15, with Rhonda Munnik snatching the 6th scoring position in 18th. Harriers were well supported by Maria Psatha, making her Met League debut in 32nd, and Karen Wright making a welcome return to racing, in 49th.
69 points ahead of London Heathside on the day, Harriers increased their overall lead in the league to 479 points. In only their second serious season in the Met League, Highgate were pleased to wrest the title from their North London rivals. Harriers can now look forward with confidence to the Nationals, which will be taking place on home territory at Parliament Hill fields on 22 Feb, where the club will be boosted by Sula Young. Harriers finished 4th in the 2002 Nationals at Bristol."NC