Juniors Back To Preston Park For More XC Action

The ever popular Preston Park, once again played host for some more cross country action last Sunday. Hundreds of junior (and senior) athletes descended upon the Victorian estate for the 3rd fixture of the NYSD series of cross country races. Not surprisingly, numbers were down a little on what we’re used to seeing; with all the school XC events happening at the moment, I think some of our juniors just needed to re-charge their batteries! For those that were there, though, it was an excellent day of competition.

Under 11 Girls There were no Under 11 Boys here today, but the girls were out in force! Five in total wearing the blue and white vest, including one new face which we’ll come to shortly. First up, with her best result this season, was Savannah Tarn – it must have been that 1st place T&F Award she got at last week’s Presentation Night that’s spurred her on! A fantastic run, finishing in 4th place with an excellent time of 6:09. Before today she was 7th in the overall standings so that result certainly won’t have done any harm!

Just two places behind Savannah was another regular this season, Sophie Banister. An excellent performance from Sophie today, finishing in 6th bagged her another 5 points, doubling her cumulative total to date. An excellent time too, crossing the line in 6.18. The next blue and white vest to cross the line was Freya Talman. Another regular who’s already proved herself this year; today she continued with another point scoring run, finishing in 10th place in a time of 6:43.

Just a couple of seconds and a couple of places behind Freya, was Lottie Graves. This is Lottie’s first season running the NYSD’s; she must be loving it as she’s run every one so far! Another great effort today finishing in 12th place in 6:45. Now onto that new face we mentioned – a big Harriers welcome to Grace Hall, making her NYSD debut today. A fantastic first time out finishing in 22nd place in a pretty impressive time of 7:16. We hope you enjoyed it Grace, and we’ll see you back again soon! ☺ As always, a tremendous effort from our Under 11 Girls, well done to all!

Under 13 Boys Some of our Under 13’s might have had school cross country earlier in the week , but it didn’t stop them turning out again today! After his incredible victory in the Year 7 Schools race a few days before, Alex Boyer was chasing another win today. He was certainly the first Year 1 Under 13 to cross the line, only beaten by two older athletes. Still an impressive 3rd place for Alex today in an excellent time of 10:42. The next blue and white across the line, continuing his excellent cross country season, was Elwood Kelley. He just seems to get stronger and stronger, and added another 3 points to his total today by finishing in 8th place….and it was very close at the finish as he was given the same time as 7th place, an impressive 11:06.

Next up were the two ‘Longfield Lads,’ Ashton Harrison and Matthew Vest, who crossed the line virtually together. Two more vital members of our Under 13 squad with impressive runs from both today; Ashton finished in 16th place in 11.35, immediately followed by Matthew in 17th, just a second behind. And finally, making his NYSD XC debut, a big hand please for, Alfie Bower. Alfie ran in a few of the NYSD track events last year as an Under 11, but this was his first attempt at an NYSD cross country; and what a great effort! He finished in 26th place in an excellent time of 13:47. Nice one Alfie, hope you enjoyed it and we see you back again soon! A great team effort today, so much so, the boys managed 3rd place in the team event as well! Once again, a top performance from our Under 13 Boys, well done to all!

Under 13 Girls Just the one Under 13 Girl today. No Tori Buckley this week as she’s still recovering from her Plantar Fasciitis (we wish you well, Tori), so it was down to Libby Hammond to fly the Under 13 flag for Darlington Harriers. As another Year 1 Under 13, you can always rely on Libby to give it her all and today was no exception. She has two top ten finishes already this season, and today she added a third after finishing an excellent 8th place in a time of 12:13. Another 3 points in the bag! Well done, Libby, tremendous effort as usual!

Under 15 Girls There were no Under 15 Boys here today, but two of our top Under 15 Girls were in action. Mia Wetherill and Emily Vest had both qualified for the County Schools XC just a few days earlier, but they were back here again and raring to go! Still in her first year at Under 15, Mia continues to improve and once again produced another impressive performance here today. She finished in an excellent 5th place, just one second behind 4th, in a time of 16:53, adding a healthy 6 points to her total. Emily, also a Year 1 Under 15 athlete worked her socks off today, in this, her second run of the series. And she managed to add another all important point, with another top 10 finish. She crossed the line in 10th place in an excellent time of 19:07. Well done to both girls, a sterling effort once again!

Under 17 Boys Just the one blue and white running today, in the form of James Roberts; another young athlete running on the back of County qualification earlier in the week. This was his second NYSD run this season, and his best so far. At Acklam he just sneaked in the points finishing in 10th place; today after an impressive performance he crossed the line in 7th place, in a time of 21:47. A nice 4 points in the bag! Great effort, James, well done!

Under 17 Girls You can’t keep a good man (or woman) down, and that’s certainly the case with our only Under 17 Girl today. Millie Grayson is yet another of our young athletes who qualified for the County XC just a few days ago, only this time she’s up against the adults. As with the previous NYSD runs, the Under 17 Girls were grouped together with the Senior Women, and Millie ran a fantastic race producing her best result yet; she was the 3rd Under 17 to cross the line in an impressive time of 28:45, earning her a tasty 8 points. A tremendous effort, Millie, keep up the good work!

It was a great show of strength from our Junior Harriers today; to perform like they did after many of them having such a busy week shows a true sense of character. You should be very proud of yourselves! Well done to all! #UTH!

Photos from Karen Harland can be found here

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