ESAA Cross Country Cup – Regional Final

More Mud For The XC Cup
Having already qualified from Round 1 a few weeks ago, several of our Juniors were competing for their schools once again at the North East Regional Final of the Cross Country Cup – just one race away from the National Final. If you recall, this is a team event where up to six team members can compete, with the first four to finish counting towards their overall points score.

Our DHAC athletes were part of the Carmel College and Hummersknott teams. The conditions so far this season have been pretty horrendous and, although it was a bright, sunny morning, the overnight rain had made it really soft and wet underfoot . All those pounding feet just made things worse so when it came round to the final race the mud was flying everywhere!

Inter Girls The first race of the day was the Inter Girls, which are basically Year 9 and Year 10. Our two girls competing here were Lily Large and Olivia Bell representing Carmel College; both still in Year 9 so a year young here. The course was set out around a wooded area of the park with gradual uphill and downhill sections throughout.

The girls had to complete 2 laps (approx. 3.7k) , before peeling off to the final downhill section to the finish. Lily was the first of our duo to cross the line in 30th place, with Olivia not far behind in 36th. Not bad considering they’re a year young so we look forward to seeing what happensnext year. Great effort girls, well done!

Junior Boys Next up were the Junior Boys (Years 7 & 8) and two of our regular endurance runners, Alex Boyer and Josh Scott. Both were running for Carmel who’d finished an admirable 2nd overall in Round 1 with Alex winning the race comfortably.

Josh wasn’t available in the last round so this was his first appearance in this competition. Today, Alex ran with his usual confidence and shared the lead with the Gosforth athlete for most of the race. He bided his time then kicked with a tremendous sprint to the finish, crossing the line in 9:55 to take 1st place once again. Josh worked hard, giving it all he had, but today wasn’t his day as he battled against some tough competition. He finished in 38th place out of the 57 taking part. Top running boys, well done!

Inter Boys With no Harrier interest in the Junior Girls race, we’ll move on to the final race of the day, the Inter Boys (Years 9 & 10.) We had a trio of talent competing in this race; Nat Bell and James Wilcock for Carmel, and Dylan Wilson for Hummersknott.

By this time the course was a bit of a mess and very soft underfoot. Nat had his ankle strapped up after another set back to a recent injury so he was keeping his fingers crossed everything would hold out. The boys ran very well over the three laps (approx. 4.8k) and were never far away from each other, and at one point all three ran side by side.

But in the end it was Nat, the oldest of the three, who pulled away to finish in 22nd place out of the 54 competing. James wasn’t far behind in 27th place with Dylan following closely in 30th. Well done lads, an excellent performance.

Synchronised steps: L-R, Dylan, James and Nat run in unison

A valiant effort from our Junior Harriers. Unfortunately, neither Carmel nor Hummersknott made it through to the final this year, however, there’s plenty of cross country still to come so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from our Harrier Heroes yet! Photos of the day can be found here