Double cross-country glory for KTH

Athletes wearing the red and white hoops of Kettering Town Harriers took both the Senior Men's and Senior Ladies' County Cross Country Championships at snowy Wicksteed Park.

Although we say so ourselves, the event was well-organised and our decision to go ahead in difficult conditions was justified by some excellent racing.

This was especially true of the Senior Ladies race, which saw a fine three-way battle between Harriers' Junior International Sian Edwards, former Harrier NIcole Roberts, who picked up numerous County titles as a Young Athlete, and the winner of the last two years, Kirsty Gallagher of Wootton Road Runners. With a gutsy run, SIan held off Nicole by seven seconds to take her first Senior County Gold. With Rebecca Hall finishing sixth and Yvonne Mehmet 18th, KTH were second in the team awards.

The Senior Men's was an altogether more straightforward affair as Kettering's newest recruit, Mathew Almond, who recently joined the club as a second-claim member, retained his title almost effortlessly. Second was another former Harrier, Ben Sharman, who now runs for Birchfield. Damian Carr finished fifth but the KTH men narrowly missed out on the silver team medals, with Jonathan Goringe, Phil West, Steve Giles and Andrew Clawson the other members of the third placed squad.

At Under 17 level, both Jake Waples and Danielle Smith performed very well to take bronze medals and Jake teamed up with David Edwards and Dan Thompson to take the team silvers.

Also taking home an individual bronze was Gina Diaz-Santana in the Under 15 girls' race, whilst Liam Smith, Liam Kirk and Daniel Waples were second team in the equivalent boys' race. 

Abigail Coleman (5th) was the top Harrier in the Under 13 girls, and led KTH to the team silver medals, with colleagues Gemma Vaughan and Francesca Ashworth. On the boys' side, Josh Cara had a thrilling race with Northampton's Jack Murphy, only to be pipped to the gold by two seconds. With Jack Hope finishing 5th and Ben Tierney 7th, the team yet again was second.

Finally, in the Under 11 Girls' race, Tabatha Walford was just edged out for third place, but had the consolation of a team bronze medal, along with Hannah Winstone and Rebecca Hughes. Gabrial Smith ran very well for 6th in the Under 11 Boys' race.

Well done to all the Harriers who competed and thanks to all who helped with setting up the course, marshalling and the many other duties, on a bitterly cold day when all but a handful of counties felt obliged to cancel their championships.