National Silver for Davey!

Four of the up and coming Harriers youngsters took part in the National Primary Schools Cross Country championships at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough on 25th March. With over 170 competitors in each race, runners came all over England and NI to take on the challenging, hilly course which was run in classic cross country wet, muddy conditions.

Running in the Year 7 boys race Rafferty Davey’s tactics were spot on and he capped off a fine winter by picking up a sensational silver medal taking some notable scalps on the way.


Rafferty Davey with a superb Silver Medal at a National Championship


The race started off at a frenetic pace with Davey keen to ensure he was well placed, he was in the lead group of 12 runners going into a downhill section, 600m into the race he had worked hard to move into 6th place. UK #2 over 800m Oliver MacDonald (Herts) moved clear of the chasing pack after 1k and was the eventual winner of the race.


The other medal places were all still up for grabs and as the race went on Davey continued to work hard for a podium placing and on the final long hill his determination was evident as he reeled in the National Fell Running champion from Cumbria as well as the 2022 cross country champion from Norfolk to move into 2nd place. His work was not over though as he had Eoghan Gallagher from Northern Ireland who had gone through the field with Davey and was now hot on his tail.

In the past 12 year Davey has often seen bigger & older rivals outsprint him in the closing stages of the race, so with this knowledge to fend off Gallagher he would need to do it the hard way and with 350m to go Davey kicked Hard. The Northern Irish youngster appeared determined to stick with Davey but the determination and grit was unrelenting and the Harrier youngster refused to buckle and held off Gallagher to take a brilliant Silver by 10 metres.


Despite the muddy, hilly conditions Davey showed terrific pace averaging 3m 41s per kilometre over the 3k course and will await the track season with great eagerness.


Coach Shane Smith said: “Rafferty has been working really hard in training over the winter and his performance level has improved significantly; I can always rely on Raff to show terrific fight and this medal is testament to all the hard work he has put in paying off”.


Also running in the Year 7 Boys race was Oliver Smith who never stopped tussling throughout the race to work his way through the field finishing in a terrific 48th place (2nd Northants athlete) with Harry Ambury finishing a commendable 128th.


Harriers Rafferty Davey (left) with Oliver Smith


Competing in the girls Year 7 race was Clara Booth and Viola Mazura. Booth has had a full winter competing in cross country and road racing and her much improved form was clearly evident when she finished a magnificent 24th position. Booth who has also seen her indoor 800m times tumble this winter enjoyed the muddly conditions and this was her most impressive XC race to date.  Mazura is far less experienced but will take great confidence in her 108th position.


Clara Booth terrific run for 24th place


This is the final XC competition this season and the Harriers now look to switch focus as the track season beckons.


Well Done to everyone who raced.