North of England XC Championships

Plenty of Junior Harriers travelled to Bedale for another big event on the cross country calendar – the North of England XC Championships.

For the first time, the event was held within the magnificent grounds of the Camp Hill Estate, which proved to be the perfect setting for such a big competition. Hundreds of athletes from the Northern half of the country descended upon the estate, ready to do battle against each other around the impressive surroundings.

There were no Under 11’s today, but plenty of action for our Under 13’s, Under 15’s and Under 17’s to get stuck into. The usual culprits were taking part!

Under 13 Boys

You’ll all be aware of the fantastic cross country season that Alex Boyer is having; stringing together one win after another, whilst his overall performance has been nothing short of outstanding. Today, however, was going to be a real test for him, competing against some of the best young athletes in the country, from some of the biggest clubs.

However, as usual, he looked strong from gun to tape, never faltering throughout the 3k circuit, and timed his run perfectly to win by 4 seconds in a time of 9:32. Once again, outstanding!

Next up, another young athlete who’s certainly made a name for himself since joining Darlington Harriers; Harry Lyons. He’s had a busy season so far, with a list of impressive results that continues to grow, and And today he added another by finishing in an excellent 22nd place out of 186 competitors, completing the course in 10:04.

Not far behind was our third Under 13 boy, Elwood Kelley; another young talent who’s come on leaps and bounds this season with plenty of excellent performances to his name. As always, he worked hard crossing the line in 10:27, along with the 4 other athletes who were given the same time!

Just a few seconds behind was Louis Brett; always a strong contender and he put up a great battle against the tough competition today. He finished in 70th place in a time of 10:33. And finally, another fantastic effort from Matthew Vest; another regular in our U13 squad who always gives 100%, as he did again today. Matthew crossed the line in 175th place in an excellent time of 12:19. A great performance from all the boys which earned them a commendable 5th place in the team event. Top running lads, well done!

Under 13 Girls

There were also five girls from our U13 squad running today; an excellent turnout as always from this age group.

Zara Jones is another young athlete with bags of natural talent that she’s certainly put to good use this season! With an impressive list of victories to her name already, she was hoping to do well today – which, of course, she did. Another outstanding run brought her home in 10th place in a time of 10:31; a top 10 placing at this level – a fantastic result, especially as there were 210 taking part!

Next, a young athlete who continues to go from strength to strength, Savannah Tarn. She always gives it her all and has subsequently produced some tremendous results this season. Today was another, finishing in 129th place in a time of 12:02.

Our 3rd U13 to finish was Freya Talman; a real tough cookie who’s just coming to the end of her first year at this age group, so she’s still got bags of potential. She’s had some real strong performances for club and school this year and she put in another great effort here. Freya crossed the line in 152nd place in a time of 12:17.

Next up, our talented multi-eventer, Tori Buckley. Unfortunately, Tori wasn’t feeling well before the race, but in true “Buckers” style, she gritted her teeth and got on with the job in hand. An excellent performance, considering, finishing in 162nd place in 12:28.

Finally, a young lady who was at a distinct disadvantage today as, officially, she’s still an U11. Nevertheless, Lottie Graves put up a fantastic battle, and beat many that were older than her in the process. She crossed the finish line in 178th place in a time of 12:46.

A tremendous performance from all, which also meant 20th place in the team event. Great job girls, well done

Under 15 Boys

We had two of our U15 boys in action today.

Known more for his multi-eventing, we haven’t seen much of James Wilcock on the club cross country scene over the last few seasons. So it’s been great to see him getting out there and getting muddy with the rest of our endurance gang; he’s impressed us with some excellent performances so far. Today he put in another great effort against the tough competition and finished an excellent 104th out of the 167 taking part.

Alongside James was one of our regular endurance runners, Dylan Wilson. A real talent amongst our junior group who, like James, is still in the first year of this age group. So bearing that in mind, finishing in 129th place is a tremendous result, which certainly bodes well for next year. Dylan completed the 4.6k course in an excellent time of 16:02. A fantastic effort from both boys, well done!

Under 15 Girls

The girls maintained the DHAC battle with four of them running today.

Without wanting to repeat ourselves, Marissa Boon has really impressed us this season. She joined us last year and soon showed what great potential she had on the track, but throughout the cross country season she has excelled with a growing list of impressive results. Today she worked her socks off once more to finish in 34th place out of the 182 competitors, in a time of 16:07.

Next to finish was Mia Wetherill. Always a battler, she showed true grit and determination today as she worked her way round the 4.6k course. Another fantastic effort brought her home in 94th place in a time of 17:19.

Next up, and not far behind Mia, was teammate, Macy Kelly. Another relatively new athlete who joined DHAC at the start of last year’s T&F season, and has soon established herself as one of our top endurance runners. She produced another top performance today, finishing 112th in 17:36.

Finally, another young athlete who always gives 110%, Emily Vest. She put up another strong battle today, pushing hard to cross the line in 173rd place in a time of 21:02. Overall, an excellent performance from the girls, earning them 16th place in the team event. Great job girls, well done!

Under 17 Men

There were five of our Under 17’s running today.

First up, and as strong as always were twins, Adam & John Russell. It was a tough race with some quality competition but the boys looked strong and, as usual, there wasn’t much between them. This time it was John who got the upper hand finishing in 38th place in a time of 21:15. Adam wasn’t far behind in 46th place, crossing the line in a time of 21:27.

Next up, and making his debut for DHAC was Tom Smith. We first saw Tom putting in a great performance for Hummersknott at the Darlington Schools XC Championships back in October. Well he was in at the deep end today up against some of the country’s best, but he performed admirably, finishing in 118th place in a time of 24:23. Hope you enjoyed your first outing with DHAC, Tom!

Not far behind was another of our regulars, Harry Wilson. Like the previous three, this is also Harry’s first season at U17, but he pushed hard against the older competition as he worked his way around the tough 6.2k course and finished in 123rd place in 24:48.

Dan Boyer was our 5th U17 taking part today, but was feeling a bit under the weather today. Unfortunately, he had to pull out of the race. Hope you’re ok now, Dan!

Some top running from the boys today, earning them 11th place in the team event. Nice one lads!

Photos can be found HERE (Credit: Adrian Royle)

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