KTH lead the way for Northants at XC finale

There were some great performances from the Harriers 10 strong squad competing for Northants Schools in the final cross country race of a long season, with Emily Williams & Fynn Batkin the leading Northants athletes. The race was held at the same venue as 2018, Temple Newsome park in Leeds, amongst the 1500 acres of parkland surrounding the magnificent Tudor‐Jacobean mansion. The weather conditions were horrendous with heavy rain throughout the duration of the event leading to the inevitable mud bath, and with steep inclines & descents to navigate throughout the course it was a true Cross Country test for the athletes.

Senior Girl Emily Williams capped a fine XC season with a superb run to finish in 15th place, top scorer from the 45 strong Northants team helping the SG team to a fine 25th place, the best placing on the day for the county. Working hard at the start to ensure she was in the leading group of athletes, Williams ran a strong race throughout the 4,100m course putting in a strong finish and taking places to the line to finish in 15:48 to finish the season on a positive note, and she will head into track season in in a few weeks’ time in great shape.

Emily Williams Superb run for 15th place in Senior Girls race

Fynn Batkin now back into full training following a broken arm earlier in the season put in a terrific performance in the Senior Boys race to finish inside the top 30, his best ever performance at English Schools. No doubt lacking running miles in his kegs due to his forced layoff, Batkin ran a fine race and was always in a prominent position throughout the 6700m course, looking strong to the finish to complete the tough course in 22:55, one off the leading male performance on the day. Josh Cannell enjoyed a fine run to finish in 247th place (25:56) and final Northants scorer to help the team to a respectable 28th place finish.

Fynn Batkin terrific run for 27th in senior Boys race

Junior Girl Alice Bates capped a fine XC season with a fantastic run for 51st place, her best placing at English schools and a 76 place improvement from 2018, the second highest female position on the day. Bates, who has seen a measured improvement in her short time with the Harriers, got off to a good start but just seems to loose momentum slightly in the mid-section of the race before rallying with a strong finish at the end of the short 3000m course to finish in 11:22 from the 353 strong field. Such was the packing of the athletes a 15 second improvement in time would have seen her finish in the 20’s. Bates will look to build from her fine XC season and switches focus in a few weeks’ time to track where she will be seeking an English Schools track qualification time.

Fast finish from Alice Bates for a fantastic 51st place in Junior Girls race

The Junior Boys race over 4100m saw a great performance from Rio Carr, and perhaps his best race over XC to finish is a fine 217th place in 15:33. Carr, making his English Schools debut was third scorer in the Northants team and ahead of Harriers fellow debutants Luke Cole & Ben Brooker who gained valuable experience in championship racing to finish in 312th (16:25) & 319th (16:35) place respectively.

The Inter Boys race saw two more Harriers making their English Schools debut, Iday Jumbe running well to complete the 5220m course in 242nd place in 19:38, with Josh Geddes struggling in the condition but determined to finish in 295th place (20:30). In the Inter Girls race, Freya Batkin ran well to finish in 262nd place over the 3710m course in 16:08 her best placing in the competition.

With a short rest to recover, the squad will be fired up for the track season, with a traditional 2000m opener scheduled at the Kettering Open on 14th April.

Well done to all who competed.