Harriers secure English Schools Places

There were some superb performances over the weekend from the Harriers competing in regional County Schools Championships, and BUCS cross country for athletes currently in University. The main action was with athletes running in Northampton’s Abington Park at the x5 County Anglian Trophy where the Northants team selections are finalised for the Northants English Schools teams.

A total of 12 athletes from the middle distance squad secured their places in the upcoming English Schools Championships in March, being held at the iconic Wollaston Park course, which is a fantastic return from the squad.

Not all the races progress to English Schools, the U13 races effectively finish at the regional level but there was non the less some terrific performances at this age group. One of the standout performances of the day was from Rafferty Davey who powered his way to an impressive third place (Bronze medal) in the U13B racing for Cambs, Rafferty managed to stay with the leading group throughout the 3km course, and produced his trademark fast sprint finish in a high quality field of 67 athletes. Oliver Smith also finishing strongly for a fine 20th place finish (5th Northants), while Harry Ambery finished in 60th place.


U13 Rafferty Davey with a brilliant run for third place in a high quality field

In the U13 Girls race Clara Booth top scored with an impressive race for 13th place for Cambs with a strong performance, with Viola Mazura running a terrific race for 20th place (5th Northants) and Sabina Lawton also running well for 31st place. Tiggy Guthrie-Brown had to withdraw due to breathing difficulties while in Bronze medal position.

The first of the squad to secure their qualifying slots in the Senior Girls race was specialist 800m athlete Alice Bennett who ran an outstanding race to finish top Northants scorer finishing in 14th place. Bennett who missed County Schools due to indoor commitments returns indoors in a weeks’ time competing in the England athletics U20 Championships over 800m. Pippa Moore who finished 7th Cambs athlete ran her best regional race ever to finish in 18th place overall, with Abi Thayanithy also running a great race for 27th place (4th Northants) both qualifying for English Schools.


Alice Bennett with an outstanding run for 14th place and top scoring for Northants

In the Senior Boy’s race Rio Carr enjoyed another brilliant race to qualify in 10th place overall and cement his dominance shown at the County Championships as the 1st Northants Athlete in. Lucas Mansell also ran a fine race for 18th place (3rd Northants athlete) with both qualifying for English Schools, while Ellis Johnson ran well for 60th place.


Rio Carr brilliant running to finish in 10th overall & top scorer for Northants

Dylan White will hope 8th place finish in the Northants squad is enough to qualify (only the first 7 guaranteed, 8th is selected after considering appeals). White ran another solid run in the in 42nd place in the Intermediate Boy’s race, with a cluster of KTH athletes just behind, Joseph Pickering 51st, Dylan Ransom 60th, & Evan Willis 64th.

In the Junior Boys race George Sharp just reeled in club colleague Finley Brooker on the line to sneak through to ES qualification as 7th Northants qualifier in 35th place overall, with Brooker facing an agonising wait to see if he makes 8th qualification place as club colleague Zachary Scott appealed due to sickness on the morning and will also be in contention for the place, Harlee Hooker nursing a slight injury finished in 67th place.

Junior Girl Iona Ellwood ran a fine race for 29th (5th Northants Athlete) and will qualify along with Intermediate Girl Maggie Gancheva who was County Champions but not able to run due to sickness. Also competing for Leicestershire and qualifying for the Intermediate Girls was Chelsie Locker who also prefers her specialist 800m event, but finishing in a fine 7th place Locker will use the final Xc race of the year to build her endurance for the summer months.

Further afield Jemima Davey, whilst still a very much a “Harrier”, after gaining a sports scholarship at Millfield School in Somerset in September. Millfield School is the largest co-educational boarding school in the UK and boasts world class sports facilities with an alumni to match.


In January Davey comfortably won the Junior Girls Somerset Schools XC champs and the South West equivalent awaited with attendees from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Avon and Wiltshire taking on Somerset’s best.

The venue for the SW champs was Blaise Castle a large park just outside Bristol with Junior Girls running 3.5k. Davey used her good pace to hit the front at the start was content to sit in amongst a group of 6 runners. At 2k a long hill greeted the lead group and Davey made her move to open up a 5m lead on the group, but with 300m to go and the lead group fighting for the medals Davey found herself back in 6th place and despite heavy legs managed to put in her traditional kick to reel in 3 runners to finish in a fantastic 3rd place.


Jemima Davey great finish to her race to take the Bronze Medal 


This was a terrific run from Dilly Davey and will give her huge confidence in the coming weeks as preparation continues for English Schools Finals in Nottingham.

In the BUCS short course being held at Pembrey Country Park, Wales, Emily Marmion-Williams ran a fine race to finish in 26th place in a field of over 400 athletes. Williams who earlier in the week had ran her fastest ever indoor 800m, and her quickest time since 2019 with 2:11.08 at an inter University Varsity competition, competing for Birmingham University. Williams who has had an excellent winter will next race in the British Indoor Championships over 1500m in 2 weeks.