Remarkable Relays From DHAC Juniors

As the track and field season looms ever closer, last Sunday Darlington Harriers played host for the final NYSD meeting this season. No mud here though! The ‘road’ relays were run around the tarmac footpaths of Darlington’s South Park, so at the end, trainers might have still been a bit sweaty, but at least they stayed clean!

The set up today was a bit different to the usual cross country meetings. The Under 11’s still had their individual races as normal, then teams of 3 stepped up for the relays for the Under 13’s and older. Some of our junior members stepped up to help make full teams in an older age group, including the senior teams as you’ll see!

Under 11 Girls Some of our Under 11’s moved up to be part if the Under 13 relay teams today, so numbers in this age group were lower than normal for the individual races. In fact there was just the one junior from our Under 11 Girls – but what a job she did! Savannah Tarn has been a regular at the NYSD events this season and today she pulled out all the stops to finish in 1st place! She crossed the line in a super fast time of 7:10. What a way to finish the season, well done, Savannah, an excellent performance!

Savannah sprints home to finish in 1st place!

Under 11 Boys Numbers were low in the Under 11 Boys race for the same reason but a certain young Christopher Caygill (son of endurance coach, Bernadette) stepped up for today’s run. Christopher is right at the start of his junior athletics, and according to his Mum, he really enjoyed today, so we’re hoping to see lots more of him as he gets older. He had an excellent run today, crossing the line in 14th place in a time of 7:47. Well done, Christopher, a great effort! We hope you continue to enjoy your athletics, and we see you again soon.

Under 13 Girls Relay Under 11, Tori Buckley joined Gabby Hall and Mia Wetherill to form the Under 13 Girls team. Gabby got them off to a great start with a really strong first leg of 6:04, giving DHAC a clear lead over Middlesbrough as she handed the reins over to Tori. It was an excellent run from our Under 11 who put up a fight against the older competitor, but a really strong second leg from Middlesbrough brought them back and just nipped in front of Tori at the changeover.

Mia ran an impressive final leg, but Middlesbrough had left their fastest runner till the end, bringing them home in first place, with Mia maintaining second and crossing the line about 30 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals. A great effort girls, well done!

Top relay runners: U13 Girls, L-R: Gabby, Tori, Mia

Under 13 Boys Relay Two more Under 11’s, Ashton Harrison and Josh Scott stepped up to join Dylan Wilson in the Under 13 Boys team. Dylan, up to his usual standard ran a storming first leg of 5:53 leaving DHAC in first place at the changeover. Ashton ran an excellent second leg, but up against one of the best U13 boys this season, it was never going to be easy! After a great effort, R&Z just managed to sneak in front as Ashton handed over to Josh.

Josh was in the same boat, up against someone very familiar to us at DHAC – former Harrier, Joe Reeve who moved clubs recently. We all know how good Joe is and things haven’t changed! It was a great leg from Josh finishing in exactly the same time as Ashton and maintaining 2nd place. Well done boys, a fantastic effort against a strong R&Z team.

Under 15 Girls Relay Just the one Under 15 Girls team turned out and it was our DHAC Juniors. So, a bit of a training run for the girls with a guaranteed 1st place at the end of it! They didn’t hold back though, running against the Under 15 Boys for a bit of competition.

Harriet Rogers ran a cracking first leg in a time of 6:13, finishing just in front of the Marsh House boys, before handing over to Peta Collins. Peta worked hard to extend that to a comfortable lead before the changeover. Finally it was all down to Jess Hall who ran an impressive anchor leg and maintained their position in front of the Marsh House boys . Top running girls, well done! Next season, the girls will still be in the same age group so hopefully more competition will emerge for them.

Under 15 Boys Relay The boys had a very much expected battle against a strong R&Z team. John Russell started off proceedings with a tough battle in the first leg. He came home a close 2nd only a few seconds behind R&Z before handing over to Liam Brittle. Liam ran a strong 2nd leg and managed to maintain our position before handing over to John’s brother, Adam for the final leg. Adam pushed hard and managed to close the gap and crossed the line just 7 seconds behind R&Z in 2nd place. An exciting race to watch! Great effort boys, well done!

Senior Ladies Relay The rest of our juniors stepped up to help out with the Senior Ladies to form two teams, and run twice the distance! Catherine Roberts and Emma Hart joined forces with junior coach, Bernadette Caygill, while Jade Hutchinson and Megan Noble got together with Ellie’s mum, Sue Phillips.

Two strong teams I’m sure you’ll agree. For ‘Team 1’ Catherine ran an absolute storming first leg to finish in 11:55, just two seconds behind R&Z. Bernadette took over for the second leg and with a show of strength and experience managed to make up the small deficit and build up a lead of 45 seconds before handing over to Emma. An excellent third leg from Emma who maintained that comfortable lead to bring the ladies team home in a very impressive 1st place!

Fantastic effort girls, well done! Jade started ‘Team 2’ off with a strong first leg, completing the circuit in 13:12 before handing over to Sue in 3rd place. Sue maintained that position after an excellent second leg before Megan took the reins for the final leg. A great effort from Megan brought the girls home behind R&Z to finish in 3rd place. Great stuff girls, well done!

Some outstanding performances from our juniors today, especially as most are still at the younger end of the age group. An impressive stat that Bernadette pointed out which is definitely worth a mention: DHAC juniors got the fastest legs in all 4 age groups. Dylan (U13 boys, 5:53), Gabby (U13 girls, 6:04), Adam (U15 boys, 5:22 – joint fastest with R&Z runner) and Harriet (U15 girls, 6:13). Plus Catherine was only 2 seconds off the fastest senior lap! Certainly bodes well for the track season. Bring it on!

Congratulations to our trophy and medal winners today! Every one of them thoroughly deserved.

The final cumulative scores can be found by clicking here

The total point awarded is, of course, down to performance, but also how many of the series of events were entered throughout the season. There were a several impressive final results from our juniors.

Congratulations to all! Another successful cross country season with plenty of memorable performances! #UTH!

Photos courtesy of Karen Harland – more available here

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