With Christmas and New Year now just a distant memory, last week saw the cross country season resume at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough. Having already got through their respective first rounds,hundreds of young athletes gathered for the Cleveland County Schools XC Championships, which, of course,featured several of our own junior Harriers.
First up was Libby Hammond in the Junior Girls race. Running for Stockton Schools, she lead from start to finish, steadily increasing her lead as the race progressed. By the end of the race, she had absolutely smashed it and crossed the line as County Champion with a considerable lead. A fantastic performance, Libby, well done!
Next, a talented young athlete who we haven’t heard much from this season yet, Jess Hall. Her friend and training partner, Peta Collins, has struggled with an injury this season, and as the two shared lifts, it’s been difficult for Jess to get to training on a regular basis. However, this obviously hasn’t affected her fitness levels too much, as she ran a tremendous race today in the Year 9/10 race to finish in 2nd place! Another Harrier through to the Inter-Counties, well done Jess! Not far behind Jess was another of our young Harrier talents, Anna Reeves. Anna is a busy young lady with many other sporting commitments, so it’s been difficult to get to training for her also. But it didn’t show today; having already won the Stockton Town race in the first round, she finished 3rd here to qualify for the InterCounties. Nice one Anna,well done.
Our Under 17 sprinter/hurdler/pentathlete, Charlotte Rutter,will be the first to admit that Cross Country running is not her forte! So no one was more surprised than she was (well, perhaps her Mum!) to find herself running in a County XC Championship, yet, having qualified in the 1st round, here she was running in the Inter Girls race. It just goes to show what you can do with a bit of grit and determination, something we know Charlotte has in bucket fulls! Well it seems to have paid off again, as she produced the run of a lifetime and finished 15th, meaning she’s got it all to do again at the Inter-Counties! Apparently she finds the whole thing hilarious and can’t quite believe it! Well done Charlotte, a fantastic result!
One of the most amazing results of the day came from our Under 13 Harrier,Fern Shelton. Still in Year 8, Fern somehow found herself taking part in the Year 9/10 race! Not only did she run against athletes a year and even 2 years older than herself, she put many of them to shame and with a fantastic effort, managed to qualify for the Inter-Counties! An unbelievable performance, Fern, well done! Just make sure you’re in the right race in the next round! ☺
Well done to all those taking part today, and best of luck to all our Junior Harriers running in the Durham County Schools XC Championships next weekend.