Junior Success At NE Premier XC Comp

Last weekend, hundreds of athletes descended upon Cardinal Hume School, Wreckenton for one of the North East’s most important meetings of the cross country calendar. Club runners from all over the North East were brought together to battle it out at the 113th Annual NECAA XC Championships, and it goes without saying that DHAC were represented in all age groups. A couple of hard hills, mixed terrain and fairly strong winds combined to make it a tough course on the day, but as usual our juniors gave it their all.

Under 11 Girls There were four of our Under 11 Girls competing today in a field of 53 young athletes, including one new DHAC member. The first three to complete the 1.5k course were a repeat of most of the NYSD events this season, and we’re happy to say our very own Zara Jones was amongst them. She added to her already successful season with another impressive run today, crossing the line in a fantastic 2nd place in a time of 6:44. Next up, another young athlete who has continued to impress us with a string of excellent performances this season, Savannah Tarn. She added to that today with another, by finishing in 16th place in an excellent time of 7:46. Not too far behind Savannah was a new name to Darlington Harriers, Emma Carter. Emma also competes with Darlington Triathlon Club, and today crossed the line in an excellent 21st place, in a time of 8:05. And not far behind Emma, another regular of ours this season Lottie Graves. This is Lottie’s first cross country season and she’s certainly made her mark, especially at the NYSD meetings. It was another great performance today, finishing in 27th place in a time of 8:11. Well done to all four girls, a tremendous effort from all. There were no Under 11 boys here today, so it’s straight on to the Under 13’s…….

Under 13 Girls There were three of our junior girls who started the race, but unfortunately only two of them finished. Poor Tori Buckley, who hasn’t had much luck recently with injuries, was forced to retire from the race due to a groin strain and foot injury. She had started really well and things were looking good, but as she hit the hill she over stretched and pulled her groin, which was already feeling a bit tender! Better luck next time Tori, we wish you well and hope for a speedy recovery. ☺ So it was left to two more of our top Under 13 girls to do their stuff! Whether it’s track, field, road or cross country, Sophia Hill can turn her hand to any of them, and she was the first of our girls to complete the 3k circuit. A fantastic effort brought her home in 14th place in an excellent time of 14:47. Next up was another of our all rounders who’s still in her first year at Under 13. Libby Hammond ran with all the determination we’ve come to expect from her, and crossed the line in 26th place from a field of 66. An excellent time too of 15:25. Well done girls, a fantastic performance.

U13’s Tori, Libby and Sophia with team mates Mia and Emily from the U15’s

Under 13 Boys There were four regular faces from our Under 13’s competing today in a 77 strong field of young athletes. It was another impressive run from Alex Boyer who completed the 3k course in 6th place. It’s easy to forget that he’s still a Year 1 U13 athlete; in fact the top 18 in this race were all at least Year 2 athletes apart from Alex! That’s quite an achievement – and a fantastic time of 12:53, just one second off a top 5 position. The 2nd Year 1 U13 to finish was another DHAC junior, in the form of Matthew Vest. A tremendous result for Matthew who continues to grow in confidence and improve in ability, and that showed today as he crossed the line in 19th place, in a time of 14:03. Two more strong performances came from our other two U13 boys today; Dylan Wilson, always a great competitor finished in 32nd place today in a time of 14:42, and some top running from Ashton Harrison brought him home in 47th place, in 15:16 – which was, incidentally, the 11th Year 1 U13! A tremendous effort from all the boys, and with the top 3 counting towards the team event, our DHAC boys finished in 4th place! Great stuff lads, well done!

Under 15 Girls There were just the two of our Under 15 girls here today, both still in Year 1 of their age group. Mia Wetherill has had a great season so far and today she produced another fantastic performance, completing the 4k circuit in 19th place, in a time of 16:07. Not too far behind was Matthew’s older sister, Emily Vest. Emily always gives it 100% and has put in some strong runs this year; today she added to that and finished 29th out of the 58 taking part, crossing the line in 16:52. Great effort girls, well done!

Under 15 Boys More talented athletes from our DHAC junior camp for you here. Two thirds of our Under 15 Boys team was taken up by brothers Adam and John Russell. An outstanding season from both boys, and today they added to their impressive track record. Adam completed the 4k circuit in an excellent 4th place, taking just 12:44 to do so. And just a few places behind in 7th place, was John with another fast time of 13:09. Making up our talented trio was team mate, Harry Wilson. Harry put in a great effort up against some tough competition, and managed to finish in 43rd place out of the 65 finishers. An excellent time too of 15:19. Fantastic running, boys! Then to top it all, the threesome also finished 4th in the team event. Result! Well done lads.

Under 17 Girls There were three of our U17 girls competing in this U17/U20 race. Not happy with her previous performances this season, India Pentland’s race plan today was to win unequivocally, hopefully up to a minute ahead of the next runner. This time things went well; she pushed hard from the off and lead the race from gun to tape, crossing the line in 1st place in an impressive time of 24:59 – which was 1:23 ahead of Morpeth’s Holly Peck in 2nd place. Job done! Congratulations India ☺, a fantastic achievement!

Next up with her first outing of this cross country season was another of our top U17 athletes, Catherine Roberts. Always a serious contender, Catherine tackled this race with her usual guts and determination, and completed the 6k circuit in 5th place overall, which was 3rd place for the U17’s. Another impressive time of 27:00 exactly. And running her first ever NECAA XC Championship was Millie Grayson. As one of the youngest athletes today, still in Year 1 of the Under 17’s, Millie was up against some tough competition today. But she produced an excellent performance, crossing the line in 36th overall, the 26th Under 17, in a cracking time of 35:21. And it was a great result in the team event too; the girls finished in 4th place, just missing out on 3rd by 1 point! A fantastic effort girls well done!

Under 17 Boys It was left to Daniel Boyer to do his stuff as the only U17 boy from DHAC today. As another athlete still in Year 1 of his age group, he was up against the older competition. But as always, Dan gave it his all and crossed the line in 23rd place, in an excellent time of 25:26. Nice one Dan, well done

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