Harriers Impress at Cross Country Opener

Mid October signals the start of the XC Season, and the season opener held in bright and sunny conditions at Derby Markeaton Park proved to be a good start for the Harriers. With a lot of overnight rain, conditions were very wet underfoot and the course proved to be challenging particularly with the later races with ankle deep mud in places.

First off were the U15 Girls and the sole representative form the Harriers, Beth Gordon ran an excellent race over the 3.1km course to finish an impressive 15th in 14.27.

In the combined race of U15 Boys & U17 Girls over 4.7km, the boys got off to a great start with Josh Cara running an excellent opener and finishing an impressive 5th overall in 15.17, Superbly supported with Jack Hope in 8th (15.58), and Edward Cannell in 15th (16.48) and Ethan Mehmet in 23rd (17.27). The Boys team finished in an excellent 2nd position overall behind Leicester Coritanians. Over the same 4.7km distance the U17 girls were not to be outdone, and so it was when Kayli Walford secured the highest position of the day for the Harriers with an excellent 4th position in 17.56, with an impressive debut over the XC distance from both Claudia Kelsell in 8th (18.52), and Jess Gordon in 9th (19.05), with Lauren Mehmet in 19th (20.08), the U17 girls also finished in 2nd position overall behind Chesterfield, again an excellent team performance.

In the Senior Men’s race over 10km, Matt Steward making his debut over this longer distance showed real improved over 2011 finishing top Harrier in an excellent 72nd position in 38.44, Matt was supported in the men’s’ team race with David Edwards in 92nd (40.20), Dan Thompson in 97th (40.36), with Martyn Winstone in 130th & Paul Young in 188th. The Men’s team finished in a respectable 14th position.

The U17 men defending their title they won in 2011/12, will find it tough going with only two scorers this year. Josh Coles was top scorer with a superb individual run over the 6km course to finish in 5th position (24.17), with Liam Kirk finishing in 22nd (26.09).

In the U13 girls race Rebecca Hughes found the 3km course tough going, finishing in 30th position in 12.29, and young Henri Codling making his KTH debut ran an excellent race in the 1.5km U11 race to finish in 10th

Well done to all who competed, the next round in at Kettering Wicksteed Park on 10th November which should see an increased number of KTH athletes competing. Make a note in your diary!

Shane Smith