Harriers have a Golden County Schools

The Harriers were out in force on Saturday in the County schools Cross country race held at frozen Corby West Glebe Park, with some superb performances culminating in three championship winning performances, and a record number of 23 athletes qualifying for the prestigious Anglian Trophy on 07th Feb, and a chance to represent their county. This was an improvement on the NAA county championships where we missed out narrowly on Gold in a number of races.

Jack hope who always seems to be in better shape for the county schools fixture got things off to a fantastic start by winning his 4th consecutive schools title, and his first as a senior. It was a case of sweet revenge as Jack set off in a determined mood and set about reversing the defeat he suffered at the hands of Jack Bond in the NAA county Championships, and so it was with a superb run where Jack pushed the pace throughout the 6km course, and he had opened up a 20m lead after 2km which he managed to maintain to the finish to take Gold. Also running in the Senior Boys was Edward Cannell who run a typical solid race to finish in a fine 8th, with Matt Brookes also qualifying in 11th position. In the U17 boys race over the same distance Ethan Mehmet run within himself to comfortably qualify in 5th, Jake Trent had the misfortune to pull a muscle during the race and had to retire, his fate sealed with a late appeal which he anxiously awaits the result off?

In the mixed U17/ U19 girls race there was plenty of the Harriers in action over the 4km course. Jess Gorden showed her great current form and wiped away the agony of pulling out of the NAA county champs race with a slight hamstring strain to take her first ever Gold medal in a XC race with a superb victory. Jess sat back on the first lap and kept early leader Kirsty Goddard in her sights, it proved a good tactic as Goddard tired into the second lap, and Jess never looked back once she hit the front controlling the race and cruising to a comfortable victory, also running a steady race to qualify in 6th was Fran Ashworth. In the U17 girls race it was a much closer affair with a group of harriers battling for positions throughout the race, Elana Albery continued her fine form to finish first from the harriers contingent in a fine 5th place, with Sophie Moss reversing the NAA county defeat to Chloe Hearn to finish ahead of her in 6th, with Chloe hot on her heels to finish just behind her in 7th. Other Harriers qualifying in a fruitful age group was Ella Palmer who continued to show her improved endurance to finish in 10th just a single place in front of Hannah Winstone who struggled to get going but still qualified well in 11th. Two other Harries qualified on appeal, Beth Gordon (virus) and Claudia Nevett (recovering from a foot injury).

In the U15 Girls race over the short 3km course bottom year Jennifer Robinson qualified with a fine run in 7th, and Danni Gaskell also running a strong race to qualify in 10th place. Emily Williams also qualified on appeal following her recovery from a fractured metatarsal.

The U13 boys race saw the third championship win with a superb victory for the in form Dylan Bowley, who lead from the start, and set a scorching pace early on over the 3km course to build a 100m lead which he comfortably held onto until the finish to take his Gold medal in style. 10 year old Ollie Read showed his great potential by beating many of his 1-2 year older competitors to finish in a superb 7th position to also qualify comfortably for the next round.

In the U13 girls race there were three Harriers in the mix, with daisy Robinson making good progress following a foot injury which saw her out for 6 weeks to run a strong race to finish in a fine 8th, with the fast improving Freya Batkin also running well to qualify in 10th, and Millie Toseland also qualifying with a strong run in 13th place.

The last race of the day saw the U15 boys in action with Henri Codling still struggling to shake of a virus and clearly not at his best running well to finish in 8th, and ensure he qualified for the next round, and Fynn Batkin also ensured he was not outdone by his younger sister to qualify in 13th place.

All 23/24 qualifiers face a stern test at Anglian Trophy meetings at the Royal Hospital School in Ipswich where places are up for grabs for English schools championships in march, good luck to all the athletes.

Shane Smith XC Team Manager