Harriers in action at the Inter-Counties xc

21 of the Kettering Town Harriers Middle Distance Squad were in action at the traditional venue of Cofton Park in Birmingham, on a pleasant spring day which was entirely out of character with the conditions under foot which were very tough in places, so much so the organisers has made the decision to alter the course from previous years.

First race off was for the U20 men with twins Lewis & Jed Hayes in action over the 8km course, Lewis run well to improve by 74 places from last year to finish in 126th position in 29:46, with brother Jed tasting action at this level for the first time running very well to finish in 151st (30:55) out of 180 runners, both scoring for the Northants team (1st & 3rd respectively) which finished in a respectable 26th position.

The U13 boys race saw bottom year Henri Codling racing at the championship for the first time and gaining valuable experience over the 3km distance, Henri finished in a credible 220th in 12:28 out of the second largest field of the day of 300.
The senior women’s race saw former Harrier Sian Edwards getting back to some outstanding form to finish in 13th position overall the Highest Northants position on the day.

Ethan Mehmet ran well in the U15 boys race to finish in 223rd position with a time of 19:11 over the 4.5km course and as 4th scorer to help Northants team to 30th position overall, there were 280 athletes competing.

The U17 women’s race saw five Harriers in action with again the consistent Jess Gordon leading the way with an excellent run improving on the previous year by 57 places finishing in 104th position with a time of 22:24 over the 5km course, and seconds Northants scorer helping Northants team to 24th position. Gemma Vaughan was next Harrier home in 204th with 24:10, with Abigail Colemen in 213 (24:37), Lauren Mehmet 228 (25:30), and Fran Ashworth 243 (26:10). There were 270 athletes competing.

Claudia Kelsall also enjoyed an excellent run in the Women’s U20 6km race by finishing top Northants scorer in 63rd position in 24:20, an improvement of the previous year of 27 places, helping the Northants team record the second highest team position of the day in 17th overall, in a field of 150 athletes.

Bottom year U13 G Emily Williams ran and excellent debut in this competition to record an excellent individual 72nd over the 3km course to record a time of 12:43 and help Northants to a team position of 24th as top scorer for the team. Jennifer Robinson a late substitute in the team gained valuable experience in competing to finish in 295th (15:00) in the largest field of the day with 306 runners.

Josh Cara had a superb run over the 6km course to finish in an excellent 51st position in (19:52) (top squad performance on the day) despite being spiked at the start line and needing stiches later in the day. Josh along with Jack hope in 123rd (20:44) helping Northants to a respectable 26th position in the team competition. Also running Edward Cannell who also go tripped and spiked at the brutal start, finishing slightly below par in 226th (22:16), and Matt Brookes also a first time runner in these championships running well for 228 (22:21) with 268 runners competing.

A large contingent of Harriers were in the penultimate U15G race over 4.5km, with Claudia Nevett running a great race in her first IC championships to finish in a fine 132nd in a time of 20:00 and 2nd Northants scorer, with Rebecca Hughes continuing her recent improved form also running a fine race to finish in 197th (3rd scorer) in 20:57 both helping Northants to 33rd position in the team stakes. Also competing in her debut was Sophie Moss who finished in 209th (21:09), and Beth Gordon 240th (21:38) and Chloe Hearn again a late replacement running well for 241st (21:38). There were 276 runners competing.

The majority of the runners now look forward to the last XC race of the season, the English Schools Championships on 15th March in Castle Donnington, good luck to all competing.