Last Saturday was another big date on the cross country calendar where the UK’s top club athletes came together for another National competition. Teams had been selected by the relevant governing bodies, in our case NECAA, and five of our DHAC juniors had been chosen to represent the North East Counties at this prestigious event.
Unfortunately for us, and the North East, Daniel Richardson (U13) was unable to run due to an injury. Thankfully he’s now recovered from this as you’ll see later in the report…..so that left Alex Boyer (U13), Adam Russell (U15), India Pentland and Catherine Roberts (both U17); all top athletes we’re sure you’ll agree.
Under13 Boys With Alex Boyer still in his first year at this age group, being selected for the North East Counties team was a massive achievement in itself. So today the pressure was off a little bit, and more about enjoying the experience; but as always, Alex wanted to do his absolute best. He’s been struggling with a flu bug for the last 3 weeks so unfortunately, wasn’t fully fit. But he worked hard around the 3k circuit, eventually crossing the line in 242nd place. A fantastic effort on your first NEC race, so well done Alex! We look forward to seeing you back again next year!
Under15 Boys It’s been a tremendous cross country season for Adam Russell, leaving a trail of top performances in his wake. What’s unusual about this event is he wasn’t running alongside his bother, John. Unfortunately, John was down as a reserve this time (which is another story), so it was up to Adam to do his stuff for the Russell family and the North East…..and of course, he did just that. With yet another impressive run to add to the list he demolished the 4k circuit in a time of 14:11, crossing the line in 44th place out of the 313 finishers. Nice one, Adam, well done!
Under 17 Girls We had two of our top girls running here today . When it comes to quality, they don’t come much better that India Pentland and Catherine Roberts. With India already crowned as North of England Champion, and just 2 seconds off being English National Champion, she was hoping for another good result today. But with the UK’s top junior athletes breathing down her neck, and a strong westerly wind to contend with, it wasn’t going to be easy!
India’s race plan was to stay up with the front runners and kick late, which she executed to perfection. She pushed hard at the finish, staying strong, eventually crossing the line a comfortable 12 seconds ahead of 2nd place rival, Tia Wilson of Bedfordshire. “It was a really good race,” said India. “There was a big pack of us all the way until near the end, when myself and Tia broke away. Then I felt strong and thought I’d give it a go.“ Congratulations, India, on becoming Under 17 British Champion; another outstanding achievement.
As always, Catherine showed her usual strength, battling hard against the tough competition as she worked her way round the twists and turns of the 5k course. She was a little disappointed, finishing 97th out of the 264 athletes – still a tremendous effort in our opinion, especially competing at this level. As it happens she woke up the next day feeling ill so no doubt that was a contributing factor regarding performance. Well done, Catherine!