Juniors Head To Barney For Another Cross Country Battle

Race Reports
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Having already hosted the Durham Schools Cross Country a couple of weeks ago, Barnard Castle School was the venue once again for another major cross country event. For those that qualified from the last round, this was their chance to represent their County, in a bid to make it through to the English Schools’ Finals.

It was a cold and wet morning that greeted the hundreds of young athletes taking part…. but the weather didn’t dampen their spirits as they lined up for their races, determined to give it their all, and do the best for their County. As you would expect their were several of our Junior Harriers taking part. After the success of their County runs they now came together to battle it out at the Inter-Counties.

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Minor Boys First up, two of our most talented youngsters, wearing the purple vest of Durham County for the first time, Daniel Richardson and Dylan Wilson. Both boys ran with the confidence of those much older than themselves, and produced a fantastic debut for Durham. Finishing within two seconds of each other, Daniel crossed the line in an excellent 5th place in 9:22, closely followed by Dylan in 6th place finishing in 9:24. What a start to their County athletics! Great stuff boys, and a great contribution towards the Durham Minor Boys as well, finishing 2nd in the team event, well done!

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Top running from Daniel (left) and Dylan (right) to bag 5th and 6th place!

Minor Girls Two more of our Junior Harriers represented their County for the first time in the Minor Girls race, both running for Cleveland. First, a young lady that we’ve been hearing quite a lot of lately, and all for the right reasons. Gabby Hall has had a busy few weeks, producing some exceptional results, and today she proved yet again what a talented athlete she is. She crossed the line in an impressive 3rd place, finishing in 9:49. Next was a young athlete who’s shown great promise this season, and a regular competitor at the NYSD cross country events. Fern Shelton gave it her all and pulled off an excellent run finishing 34th out of the 51 taking part, crossing the line in 10:55. A cracking performance from both, well done girls!

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Another impressive performance from Gabby

Junior Boys Three of our Junior Harriers donned the Durham County vest for this age category. Brothers, Adam and John Russell, along with along with Under 15 team mate, Harry Wilson. There’s never much between Adam and John and that was certainly the case again here, when they finished only 23 seconds apart. Two cracking performances from the twins, with John getting the upper hand this time, finishing in 7th place in a time of 14:57. Just 7 places behind, Adam crossed the line in 14th place in 15:20. Excellent running boys, well done! Another strong performance helped Harry Wilson complete the 4.2km circuit in a very respectable 57th place out of the 77 taking part. He crossed the line in 16:31, an excellent time against some of the country’s best young athletes! Well done. Harry! Some great running from the boys helping the Durham Junior Boys to finish 3rd in the team event.

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A great run by our Durham Junior Boys, L-R: John Russell, Adam Russell and Harry Wilson

Junior Girls Another three of our young Harrier heroes took part in the Junior category, this time all flying the flag for Cleveland. First of them to finish was our Under 15 regular, Jess Hall, who crossed the line after a strong run, in 46th place. An excellent time of 14:06 in this 3.4km race. Well done, Jess! Only two places and one second behind Jess, was team mate, Anna Reeves. This was Anna’s first Inter Counties Championships and for someone who is relatively new to competitive cross country this was quite an achievement. She finished in 48th place in an excellent time of 14:07. Great stuff, Anna, well done! It was only another nine seconds before our next junior crossed the line. Peta Collins pulled off another strong run and finished in 55th place against some strong opposition in a time of 14:16. Great stuff, Peta, well done!

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Great effort from our Cleveland girls, L-R: Jess Hall, Anna Reeves and Peta Collins

Inter Boys Three more of our young Harriers stepped out in the Durham colours for the inter boys run. Daniel Boyer has proved himself as a quality athlete with successful runs in the NYSD, Northerns and in the school competitions as he’s done again here. Today he added to that success with another impressive performance, finishing in 21st place in a time of 21:40.

Less than a minute behind Dan, fellow Under 15 team mate, James Roberts crossed the line. Another strong run from James helped him to finish in 39th place in 22:35, proving himself as a worthy adversary to any of his peers! And not far behind James, completing this trio of talent, Liam Brittle completed the 5.85km circuit in 44th place, crossing the line in 23:01. Excellent running from all three boys….and I think I’m right in saying they are all at the younger end of the Inter age category, which certainly bodes well for next year! Well done boys!

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Durham Inter Boys….. a talented bunch, L-R: Dan Boyer, James Roberts and Liam Brittle

Inter Girls This time four of our Juniors ran for their County, three of them for Durham and one for North Yorkshire. India Pentland would have run here but she’s already qualified for the English Schools finals after winning the County race. The Cumbrian girls dominated at the front of this race finishing first, second and third, but the first of our Harriers to cross the line, and the first for Durham was Catherine Roberts, finishing in an impressive 4th place. Only 29 seconds behind the race winner, Catherine finished in an excellent time of 16:21.

Not far behind Catherine was our only Harrier representing North Yorkshire, Under 15 regular, Emma Hart. Always a strong contender in any cross country run, you can usually find her up there with the front runners….and today she was there again, finishing in 11th place, in an impressive time of 17:15. Only 20 seconds behind Emma was another of our Juniors who’s had an excellent season this year….Ellie Phillips pulled off another strong performance to complete this 4.22km circuit in 16th place, crossing the line in 17:35. And just less than a minute after Ellie, Under 15 team mate, Megan Noble followed her home. Another great run from Megan, who always gives it 110%. This time finishing 31st out of the 70 taking part, crossing the line in 18:33. A fantastic performance from all the girls, which helped the Durham Inters to 2nd place in the team event! Well done girls!

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The fantastic four…… L-R: Catherine Roberts, Emma Hart, Ellie Phillips and Megan Noble

Senior Girls Like India, Lucy-Erin Hunter won the County race so went straight through to the finals. This left just the one Harrier running for Durham, our very own, Stella Jones. One of our most experienced young athletes, Stella has been a regular competitor since her Under 11 days! Another strong performance today crossing the line in 20th place, in an excellent time of 17:55. Well done, Stella, tremendous!
Some cracking performances from our young Harrier Heroes! To get this far is an achievement in itself and they should all be very proud of themselves…..so what next? The English Schools Cross Country Finals – the highlight of the schools cross country calendar…..and who’s qualified? Each County has it’s own selection criteria; in County Durham for example, they only automatically take the winner from the Durham Schools XC, the rest have to compete as they have done here at the InterCounty run. Selections are then made by looking at the best results from both races. Each County take 8 through to the finals, but each is different in the way selections are made.

So…..without going into any more detail, those going through to the English Schools Finals are: –

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Congratulations to all!

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Stella fights against the long incline

More Cross Country News……

Following their success with Darlington Harriers at the North East Championships and then the Northern Championships, the following Juniors have been selected to represent the North East of England at the National Inter County Championships, which takes place at Loughborough later this year

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Back together….Harriers team mates, Ellie Phillips, Emma Hart and Megan Noble

Gabby Hall Dan Boyer Adam Russell as reserve India Pentland Ellie Phillips Lucy-Erin Hunter Jade Hutchinson

Congratulations to you all….an amazing achievement!! #UTH!