Inter-Counties Mud Bath!

The Harriers produced some outstanding results in the Inter-Counties National cross country Championship with three athletes featuring in the top 5 placings for the county squad with Emily Williams the leading Northants athlete on the day.

The conditions at the impressive Prestwold Hall grounds in Loughborough following the thawed snow and a night of heavy rain were the worst I have experienced for many years with ankle deep mud for much of the challenging course making the going really tough for the 14 Harriers selected to compete for their county.

Top placing was bottom year U17W Emily Williams who battled hard to secure a top 40 placing in conditions which again did not suit her long stride length. Williams got away to her customary good start, and was prominent throughout the 5km course but found it hard to really get going, finishing in a superb 37th place in 24:29, leading the team to a credible 31st position. Poppy Carmichael who again is delivering her best performances when it matters had her best race of the season to finish in a fine 155th (27:15) and finish 2nd Northants scorer, and Harriett Jolley also ran a solid race to finish in 249th place (30:33).

Emily Williams battled hard to finish in a superb 37th place

U17M Fynn Batkin, fresh from qualifying for the East Midland Virgin Mini Marathon tem the week earlier, produced a very strong race to finish in a fine 57th place in 22:48 taking places throughout the 6km course, almost certainly suffering from his poor pen position at the start after failing to race at the county Champs due injury. The U17M secured the best team position of the day with a fine 20th place. Josh Cannell a late substitute enjoyed a solid race finishing in 238th (26:14), his best placing in the Inter-Counties championship.

Fynn Batkin County U17M top scorer for a fine 57th place

Also securing her best ever Inter-Counties finish was U20W Claudia Nevett who enjoyed a terrific race to finish in 58th place over the 6k course in 30:01 despite confusion in the pen placings placing her at a disadvantage, with Nevett coping well with the treacherous conditions underfoot.

Claudia Nevett with another career best placing in 58th.

U15B Dylan Bowley struggled with conditions but produced a strong performance to finish in a very credible 116th place, completing the 4.5k course in 20:12 and helping the team to 25th place. For the U15G Freya Batkin enjoyed a good race and coped well with the conditions finishing the 4k course in a respectable 233rd (23:17).

The U13 Boys gave a great account of themselves with Lucas Rogers again enjoying a fine race finishing the 3km course in 14:12 as 2nd Northants scorer and just 4 seconds behind R&N Arthur Tilt. The two bottom year athletes Jacob Asher-Relf & Dylan White also ran well and gained valuable experience finishing in 259th (15:17) & 266th (15:28) respectively, and all there athletes will be able to compete in the same AG in 12 months’ time.

U13B Jacob Asher-Relf, Lucas Rogers & Dylan White all have another year in the AG

The only seniors in action for the Harriers was Stephen Thompson who managed the gruelling 12k course in a fine 56:40 for 268th place & late substitution Edward Cannell running well for 279th in 1.01:35.

Elaine Fairbrother was the only women in action and she enjoyed representing her county with a very credible performance over the 8k course in 257th place (46:06).

For the juniors the final race of a tough XC season is the English Schools championship in Leeds in a week time where the shorter distances and hopefully better conditions underfoot will better suit them.

Well done to everyone who competed in one of the toughest races for many years.