U11 Harriers prominent in National XC final

Four of the Harriers “Next Generation” of Middle Distance athletes were in action in the season ending National Junior XC championships for year 5/6/7 schools children. This was a great opportunity for them to represent their county and compete on a National stage and gain valuable experience for similar races which will be their targets as they move through the U13/ U15 AG.

The Northants team consisting mainly of R&N athletes was boosted by the Harriers quartet who had to don their rivals vests for the race rather than the Harriers red & white hoops, with County vests perhaps being sorted for future years.

The event held in the grand surroundings of Belvior Castle in Leicestershire was held in damp conditions which proved difficult for the year 5 athletes and the ruling that No Spikes could be worn, which made for slippery conditions for the younger athletes.

Top placing for the Harriers on the day went to Y5 Alfie Frayne who ran a terrific race to finish in 20th place overall out of a field of 171, completing the 2km course in 9:51, and identical time to 19th place Northants top scorer Jenson Buttrick. Also running well for the Harriers was Lucas Rogers who finished just 1 second adrift in 9:52 for 35th place; such was the charge towards the finishing line where the smallest of margins make a huge difference.

The sole female competitor was Y5 Lauren Hewitt who also enjoyed a fine race despite being at the rear of the pen and not getting away too well, she finished top Northants runner in a superb 24th place in the 215 strong field, managing to weave her way past slower traffic over the short 2km course to finish in 10:20. The slippery conditions which saw many athletes falling over, is ironically perhaps more risky than wearing spikes which would have helped with traction, perhaps something the organisers will take on board in future years?

The final Harrier in action was Y6 Ben Brooker who did have the advantage of being able to wear spikes which helped him to a fine 43rd place overall, and third Northants scorer over the 2300m course in 10:50 in the 176 strong field.

Well done to all the U11 Harriers competing!