One of the last major cross country events of the season has taken place at Prestwold Hall, near Loughborough. The annual UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships brought together athletes from England, Scotland and Wales, and for those involved, the meeting incorporated the British Athletics Cross Challenge final, so there were British titles at stake plus plenty of prize money up for grabs!
For our guys though it was just the UK Inter Counties event and five of them had been selected to represent the North East Counties, and proudly wore the NECAA colours of Yellow/Blue/Red/Green.
Given the particularly wet weather and succession of storms lately, athletes and organisers were hoping the conditions would not end up resembling the sea of mud and floods that met competitors at Nottingham for the Nationals a few weeks ago. As it happens, a decent dry spell for the week prior to the event meant things weren’t too bad. Don’t get us wrong, there was still plenty of mud around and conditions underfoot were very slippery in parts, but thankfully nothing like the conditions we’ve seen previously this season.
Each County/Area had a team of 8 athletes, with the first 4 counting towards the teams final score and position.
Under 13 Boys
To have one U13 Harrier selected for the North East team is an achievement in itself, but when you have two in the team it says a lot about the level of young talent we have at DHAC.
Step forward Alex Boyer and Harry Lyons.
Both athletes have had outstanding seasons and representing the North East here is definitely one of the high points.
The boys were up against some tough competition within a field of 293 athletes! They battled their way around the 3k course with Alex being the 1st North East boy to cross the line; he was 51st overall crossing the line in an excellent time of 14:20. Harry wasn’t far behind, finishing 4th, for Durham and 141st overall, completing the course in 15:04.
There were a total of 40 teams taking part and the boys helped the North East team to finish in 24th place. A fantastic effort from both; well done lads!
Under 13 Girls
Another one of our young athletes that just keeps on producing one amazing performance after another is Zara Jones. Her talent has shone through week after week this season and her place in the North East team is rightly deserved.
She was up against a whopping 305 other athletes today, and once again, impressed us with another excellent result; she was the 2nd North East girl to cross the line, 31st overall in a tremendous time of 15:09…..and a huge help to the North East team who took 4th place out of the 40 teams competing. Top running, Zara, well done.
Under 15 Girls
Another one of our young Harriers whose place in the North East team couldn’t be more justified, Marissa Boon, has had an outstanding season with a string of top performances to her name, and today was another fabulous effort up against some tough competition.
In a field of 295 athletes she did amazingly well to finish 70th overall, and the 4th counter for the North East. She battled her way around the 4k course to cross the line in a time of 18:42, helping the North East girls finish in 11th place. Another excellent result, Marissa, well done!
Under 17 Men
Just one of the Russell boys here today, and it was John Russell who donned the yellow NECAA team vest for the first time.
Still in the first year of this age group, he’s done exceptionally well to get selected, but he has certainly proved his worth this season with some remarkable performances; nevertheless, today was going to be tough competing against the older athletes!
As always though, he worked his socks off as he made his way around the 6k course and out of the 265 taking part, he crossed the line in 8th place for the North East and 102nd overall. An excellent result when you consider his age, and one that bodes really well for next year! Great effort, John, well done!
Being selected for the NECAA team to compete in a National competition is a huge achievement in itself, but our DHAC athletes certainly justified their places in the team today. Congratulations to you all, you should be really proud of yourselves