1st Gold Rush of 2016!

The Harriers produced some outstanding performances to secure no less than 4 County Titles, with 4 County team titles, and many more individual & team Silver & Bronze medals to produce one of the best results for many years. No less than 8 team medals (4 Gold & 4 Silver) & 10 individual medals (3 Gold, 3 Silver & 4 Bronze) were secured which is in stark contrast to 2015 when R&N secured all 10 team Gold’s. 2016 County Championship Titles were secured for the first time by U13 Dylan Bowley, U15 Emily Williams, U20 Jack Hope & SM Jonathan Goringe!

The Championships were held in very wet conditions over a challenging West Glebe park course in Corby, and thankfully the forecast heavy rain held off until all the races has finished, and up for grabs for all the age groups U13 and above were places to represent the County at the National Championships in March which is the most prestigious XC race of the season!

The first race off was the Combined U 17W, U15G and U15B, held over 5km and this produced some fine races and the first Gold medals of the day. The U17W consisted of 7 Harriers and it was Elana Albery who was most prominent in the Harriers red & white hoops with a superb individual run to complete the tough course in 23:25 to secure an individual Bronze medal and selction for the County team. Elana held her nerve despite the strong finish from fellow Harrier Sophie Moss who was closing her down over the closing stages, but the lead she had built up was sufficient to see off the challenge. Sophie Moss ran a super race to finish in her best ever position in the County Champs, a fine 4th place just 5 seconds from Elana (23:30) to help the team position also secure County selection, and third scorer with a very strong run was Chloe Hearne who finished in 6th place (24:31) to also secure her automatic slot for selection for the Inter-Counties race in March. The team Gold was secured with a 13 points, and the race was won well by ex-harrier Tabatha Walford in 21:15, with the only disappointment being the withdrawal from the race of Claudia Nevett, who on appeal secured selection for the County team bring the total to x4 Harriers. Also producing decent performances for the large U17W team were Ella Palmer who finished in 8th on the day 26:01, Amy Robinson 9th (26:03) and Hannah Winstone 11th who make the reserves for the County Team.

The U15G race produced one of the standout performances of the day with bottom year Emily Williams who was totally dominant in a strong field to easily win the race and secure her first County Title over Cross Country with 22:10. Emily had set off at an aggressive pace using some of the U15B to pace her, and had built up an unassailable lead by the first km, allowing her to relax and control the race through to the finish, and was absolutely delighted to win her first county championship with two previous disappointments in the U13 AG (pipped on the line in 2014, and a broken metatarsal in 2015) put firmly behind her now. R&N strong squad finished in the next three places to secure their team Gold by a narrow 3 points, but The Harriers secured a fine Silver Team medal with a terrific performance from Dannielle McCann-Gaskell who ran a solid race to finish in 5th (25:37) to secure her automatic County selection, and new recruit Alice Gammon who in only her second ever XC race produced a fine run to finish in 6th place (25:46) and also secure the last automatic place for the County team selection. Harriett Jolley produced a decent run to finish in 11th place, hampered by losing one of her shoes in the race, and she will occupy a reserve place in the County Team.

Emily William Superb Win and first County XC title in the U15G race

The U15B race also produced an individual and team medal, with Fynn Batkin running a terrific race to break up the total dominance R&N have in this age group to push two outstanding athletes who have won England Vests at Cross Country all the way and secure a fine individual Bronze medal with 19:58, with the winner Adam Searle completing the course in 19:40 This shows how far Fynn has progressed in a year and to run such company so close is a credit to his improving form this year. Supporting Fynn well for the Team silver was Henri Codling who produced a battling performance against Corby A/C’s Adam McCrone who just managed to hold him off, with Henri finishing in a fine 9th (21:54) with huge credit after missing a large chunk of winter training due to injury, with Josh Cannell finishing in 11th place (22:37) who also ran a solid race, and both Henri & Josh occupy reserve slots for the County team.

The mixed U11 B&G race proved very challenging for the Harriers, with the best performance coming from new recruit Lauren Hewitt, who produced a fine run to secure an individual Bronze Medal over the 2km course with 10:31, showing that her few weeks training with the squad have really improved her. Imogen Nix, & Ella Fairbrother put in respectable performances for the Harriers in 26/27th place respectively
The boys fared better securing a Team Silver with a fine runs from Ben Brooker in 5th (9:55), Alfi Frayne 6th (10:01), & Lucas Rogers (10:03) all packing well, with Samuel Barker and Daniel Short also running well for 15th/ 22nd respectively.

The mixed U13 Boys & Girls race over 3km produced the second outstanding performance of the day with Dylan Bowley looking majestic in easily winning the Boys race in 12:15, 45 seconds ahead of local arch rival Corby A/C’s Archie Parkinson. Dylan pushed hard from the start and an unfortunate fall from Archie allowed Dylan to really pile the pressure on, and he was well clear after 1.5km, allowing him to relax and enjoy his first County Title in the established AG. Dylan was extremely please to win the race with such a distance as he had expected to be pushed hard all the way from the talented Parkinson. Also producing a terrific run and securing an automatic slot for the County team was bottom year Oliver Read who is slowly regaining his fitness after suffering a broken arm, Ollie finished in 5th place in 13:32, and team Gold was secured courtesy of new recruit Ben Holborow who also ran well in his debut for the Harriers to finish in a fine 8th place (14:21) making the County team’s final position and securing the Harriers a fantastic 2nd team Gold ahead of R&N, with Oliver Sutton the final Harrier running a solid race for 11th place (14:38).

Dylan Bowley Majestic win in U13B race and first Country Title

In the U13 girls race bottom year Freya Batkin produced another top quality run and is starting to show that she is equally as talented and determined as older brother Fynn, and no doubt secured the family bragging rights with a terrific individual Silver medal with a superb run to finish in 14:15 behind R&N Molly Williams (13:42) and leading the Harriers team to a fine Silver team medal. Bottom year Mia Brockway also produced an tremendous run to secure selection for the County team by finishing in 7th place (14:46) as second scorer, with a solid run from Daisy Robinson finishing in 16th place the third and final scorer for the team. Skye–Lilly Kay was the final Harrier finishing in 23rd after missing many weeks training with a virus.

In the mixed U20/ Senior women’s race over 6km the U20’s Squad showed that despite the challenges of making the transition into University life, with the inherent difficulties in maintaining a quality training regime, the girls all produced some terrific performances to win the U20’s team, and by only the smallest of margins with just 2 points, miss out on winning the Senior Women’s Gold. Top performances and individual medals went to Claudia Kelsall (Silver in 28:24) & Fran Ashworth (Bronze in 29:19) who both ran excellent paced races to show that they are both in great shape, with Claudia doing a lot of her training with the Bath Triathlon team, and Fran’s 6 races already chalked up this season already including an indoor 800m win, more than keeping her going. Jess Gordon produced a good run for her first XC outing this season for 6th U20 (31:10) to secure an U20 team win, and a narrow SW Silver Team Medal. Abbey Coleman was pleased she was encouraged to compete, and showed she has really picked up some fitness in the few weeks back at the Harriers with a fine run for 7th U20 (32:38). All 4 girls were selected for the county team with the older girls (Claudia & Jess Gordon) making the SW team, and Fran/ Abbey making the U20 girls team. The first two places in the race were won by ex-harriers, with Hayley Munn easily winning in 25:46, and Kelly Barnet second in 27:20, with R&N Emma Bond winning the U20 race in 27:31. For the Senior women there were respectable performances from Yvonne Mehmet 21st (33:55), Trudi Pike 23rd (36:06) & Jackie King (37:44).

The U17M race was a quite affair with just one harrier competing, and Ethan Mehmet produced a solid run to finish 4th in the 6km race in 27:12 to earl County selection once again.

In the combined U20 & SM 10km race there was a double individual Gold for the Harriers with the final two outstanding performances of the day with U20 Jack Hope & SM Jonathan Goringe both securing County titles. Jack who seems to forever live in the shadow of great club rival Josh Cara secured his first ever County XC title with a superb run for 39.32 and managed to defeat his arch rival over the longer distance, with the 3x races over the longer 10km distance already this season perhaps proving to be decisive factor? Jack settled into his running and kept Josh in his sights over the first 4km, and then went ahead of his rival and opened up a decent gap, despite a determined effort by Josh to reel him in. Josh ran well to collect a silver medal in 40:06 helping the U20’s to a decisive team win with third scorer Matthew Brookes finishing a fine 4th in 44:28, and Edward Cannell working hard to finish in 8th with 46:00. All 4 boys were selected for the County team,
Jonathan Goringe ran an outstanding race to fend off a stiff challenge from ex-harrier Dave Green to secure his first ever SM title, with Jonathan setting the pace throughout the race, Green mounted a strong challenge on the second lap, but Goringe always had too much in reserve for his rival and stretched the gap to over 20 seconds on the final lap to finish victorious in 37:11. Goringe and the x4 U20’s were instrumental in securing the SM team’s Bronze medal along with Stephen Thompson who finished in 23rd (42:33), and there were solid runs from other Harriers with Kemal Mehmet 37th (46:54), Martyn Winstone 41st (49:01), & Andrew Clawson 43rd (50:30).

Jack Hope first County XC Title for the U20M

Jonhathan Goringe first ever Senior Mens Title

 There was some terrific performances throughout all the AG, so well done to all who competed, with the County Schools/ North Midland league next on the list on the 16th & the Midland Counties on 30th, the New Year has well and truly started.

Medal Table breakdown

Shane Smith XC Team Manager