Rio puts in a grand performance

U15 Rio Carr spearheaded the Harriers performances at a tough XC course at Shipley Park with a majestic performance to win his first ever XC race and underline his recent improvements in form. There was just a small contingent of Harriers who made the trip to Derbyshire’s Heanor for the latest round of the North Midlands XC League, where conditions were as expected very wet and slippery which added to the difficulty on an already challenging course.

Performance of the day was a first win for fast improving Rio Carr who produced a brilliant run of high quality to win the U15B race over 4.5km, Carr sat in on the leading pack over the opening short lap, and by the start of the second lap there were just four athletes who had opened up a large gap on the chasing pack. Carr stayed on the shoulder of the early leader, Rushcliffe AC’s Archie Bradbury and then produced a powerful surge 1,5km from home in a tricky downhill section to break the field, and storm to his first ever race victory over cross country following up on his fine 2nd place at the Charity Cup a week earlier. Carr finished the 5km course in 18:01, 16 seconds ahead of Bradbury for a victory that he will cherish. There were very good supporting runs from Lucas Rogers & Ben Brooker who finished in 9th (19:57) & 11th (20:15) place respectively to help the team to a fine 2nd place.

Brilliant first ever XC win for Rio Carr in the U15B race

There was a superb second place for the ever consistent Dylan White in the U13 boys race over 3.4km in 14:21 with a terrific run to take his third runner up spot in succession to lead the championship. Also running in the U13B race & making his official KTH Debut was Nathan Lamb who ran a fine race for 4th place, to help the team to 2nd place with just two scorers. Lamb who transferred from Northampton AC showed plenty of ability with no doubt much more to come from the youngster.

Consistent Dylan White with his third consecutive 2nd place in the U13B race

There was also a hard fought second place from U17 Amelia McMurtrie who again produced a top performance full of grit and determination to finish the 5km course in 20:30 to maintain her leading position in the championship (2nd place overall). Freya Batkin enjoyed her best race of the season so far for a fine run for 5th place in 21:27, and Julia Buzuk ran well for 17th position to help the Harriers to a fine 2nd place in the team event.

Amelia McMurtrie within the U17 a fantastic run for 2nd place in the U17 Womens race

Jemima Davey ran well in the U13G race for 3rd place over the 3.4km course in 15:28, and in the Senior Woman’s/ U20 Woman’s race Emily Williams ran a strong race to finish in 7th place overall (3rd U20) over the tough 7km course in 30:44, her best placing this season. There was good support from Elana Albery, who also run well despite a fall in the tricky conditions to finish in 26th place in 34:33, also her best placing. Elaine Fairbrother (58th), Karen Albery (71st) and Val Nix (81st) also ran well to help the team finish in a fine 3rd place in the team event.

Fine third place for U20 Emily Williams & 26th for Elana Albery, her best placing

For the snior Men’s /U20 men’s race Josh cannel was again the top scorer with his best placing so far in the championship for a fine 41st place (40:38) over the 10km course, with Edward Cannell in 54th place (42:05) and JackWatson in 69th place (43:22) also producing their best placings. Rafal Bozuk (70th) & Tony James (86th) were the final two scorers for the team event, helping the Harriers to a fine 9th place. There were respectable performances from Andy Batkin & Anthony Poncia in 104th & 201st respectively.

For the U11's there were three Harriers in action, who all ran well to help the team to a 7th place finish, with Zachary Scott top scoring in 10th place over the 2km course in 7:24, with Finlay Brooker in 19th (7:40) & Rafferty Davey in 22nd (7:42) both running well.

Further afield, U15 Harrier Alice Bennett was competing as second claim for her former club R&N AC as the race day suited her better, and she put in a superb performance to record her best ever performance in the West Midland XC league just 1 second from victory for a brilliant 2nd place behind Halesowen’s Amelia Hartshorn, and top scorer for her former club to help secure a team victory. Bennett got off to a great start and maintained her leading position in the top pack throughout the race, unleashing her powerful finish she was just unable to reel in the leader.

Alice Bennett (left) with her best ever placing at the West Midlands League

With the next XC the County Championship early in the New Year, the squad now concentrating in getting a hard block of training over the Christmas period.

Well done to everyone who competed.