Battling performances at Inter-Counties XC

There were good performances in the Inter-Counties Cross Country championships finals at the challenging Cofton Park course in Birmingham with seven of the Harriers competing in this event for the first time and gaining some valuable experience of a high level national championship.

In the U13 girls race over 3km all the Harriers ran fine races in their first taste of a national championship. Tabatha Walford was the first Harrier home (2nd Northants scorer) running a fine race in 148th position in 12:45, closely followed by Danielle Gaskell who finished in 201st position (3rd Northants scorer) in 13:06, and Rebecca Hughes in 255th in 13:38. All three remain in the age group for another year so will be able to build on this experience.The U15 Girls race was a mixed bag. With Abigail Coleman and Fran Ashworth retiring from the race it was left to Gemma Vaughan and debutant Lauren Mehmet to fly the flag Over the 4km course Gemma ran a solid race as a first year U15 with 246th position (3rd Northants scorer) in 19:35, with Lauren finishing in a respectable 262nd position in 20:03.

Kayli Walford enjoyed one of her best XC races in the U17 girls race over 5km, finishing in a highly creditable 79th position in 21:14 (2nd Northants scorer). Sian Edwards in the senior woman’s 8km race again ran a fine race to finish in 44th position in 30:13 and second Northants scorer behind ex-Harrier Nicole Roberts who finished in 27th place.

In the U13 boys race, Ethan Mehmet ran well in his first national championship to finish the 3km in 188th position in 11:54 (3rd Northants scorer), with Gabrial Smith finishing in a respectable 219th in 12:02. The U15 boys race over 4km saw Josh Cara and Jack Hope (both first year in the age group) finding things tough against the older boys, with Josh finishing in a highly creditable 70th position in 15:15 and Jack  running well for 144th position in 16:34 (both top scorers for Northants) and debutant Edward Cannell finishing in a creditable 259th in 17:44.

The U17 men’s race over 6km saw Josh Coles improving by a massive 161 places from the previous year and finish in a creditable 137th position in 21:09 (2nd Northants scorer), with Liam Kirk also improving his position from previous years finishing in 206th in 22:02 (4th Northants scorer), and debutant Matt Stewart finishing in 232nd in 22:57. David Edwards running in the U20 race over 8km finished in 182nd position. In the senior men’s race Jonathan Goringe was the first Harrier home over the 12km course in a respectable 161st position 40:17 (2nd Northants scorer), with Phil West finishing in 269th in 44:50.

10 of the middle distance now travel to the last race of the season for the English Schools Championships at Ilton, Somerset, hoping to go out on a high?

Good luck to: Gemma Vaughan, Jack Hope, Josh Cara, Ethan Mehmet (Junior age group), Kayli Walford, Fran Ashworth, Abigail Coleman, Lauren Mehmet, Josh Coles & Liam Kirk (Intermediate age group).