English Schools XC Finale

The traditional Cross Country season Finale, English Schools, saw 14 Harriers competing well with some very encouraging performances in what is the biggest stage of all in the XC calendar.


The races were held at the excellent location of Pontefract park which sits inside the famous racecourse, and conditions were naturally very wet with the record levels of rainfall during February. Areas of the course were firm in places, but these quickly cut up when racing commenced, with the heavy and slightly uphill finish particularly challenging on tired legs on the final run in.


The Junior Girls race over 3,180m saw a total of 7 of the Harriers Middle Distance squad in Action, with most their first opportunity to compete in the most prestigious xc race of the season. Cambs athlete Clara Booth run a superb race to finish in the highest squad position on the day in 96th place in 12:22, in a well-paced race Booth continued her fine winter form both over XC and indoors, with fellow Cambs athlete Tiggy Guthrie-Brown, also enjoying a terrific race to finish just behind Booth in 107th place (12:26). Harriers 2nd claim athlete Peyton Almound also had a fine race to finish just 2 seconds behind Guthrie-Brown in 115th place, competing for the Northants team Almound was the 2nd scorer for the team. Perhaps the surprise of the day was a fine run by Sabina Lawton to finish as third Northants athlete in 195th place (12:55), Lawton starting at the back of the Northants pen in 8th place managed to make great ground in the later stages, perhaps helped with a forced slower start. Millie Sharp, advanced into the Northants team following a withdrawal also enjoyed a fine run in 237th place (13:11), with fellow 2nd claim athlete Amalie Heron finishing in 288th (13:26), and Elsie Bennett, who make a late decision to race despite some growth related niggles, finishing in 309th place (13:48).


Clara Booth (left) & Tiggy Guthrie-Brown both had excellent races and were the highest placed athletes on the day.


The Inter Girls race saw a superb performance from Iona Ellwood to finish top Northants athlete in the 3,540m race in 195th place (15:02). Elwood was locked in battle with fellow Northants athlete Alexa Brownlee in the final 1.5k and she just managed to out sprint her rival on the line. Maggie Gancheva was the only other Harrier in action with a solid race in 290th place (15:52).


Iona Ellwood had a superb race to top score for the County in the Inter Girls race.


Alice Bennett also enjoyed a fine race to finish just outside her pre-race target of a top 100 finish, in 107th place. Bennett, an 800m track specialist, dug deep in the race over 4,135m and was well outside of her comfort zone to complete the race in 17:37.


Alice Bennett just outside of the top 100 with a great race to finish in 107th place


Dylan Ransom continued his good form over this XC season with a fine race to finish in 157th place (third Northants athlete) in the Inter-Boys race over 4,495m in 17:09, with Evan Willis in 215th place (17:54) also enjoying a good race to finish as 5th Northants scorer.  


Dylan Ransom with a fine run to finish in 157th place


In the Junior Boys race Harlee Hooker, with his first taste of English Schools competition, put in a fine performance to finish in 289th in 11:53, over the 3,180m course to finish as 5th Northants scorer.


In the Senior Boys race, Joseph Pickering also ran well to finish in 207th place (5th Northants athlete) in 22:47 over the 5,970m course.


Most athlete will now be taking a short break over the next few weeks before starting their Track campaign.


Well done to everyone who ran.