The Final Showdown

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Doesn’t time fly!! It only seems like a month or two since the cross country season kicked off with the NYSD Relays at Thirsk. Yet here we are, five months down the line, with the end of the season fast approaching, and the last of the six individual NYSD events is upon us. Richmond was the location for this final showdown, and as usual our Junior Harriers were out in force, eager to do well and make their club proud. Here’s how they got on.

Under 11 Boys The first Darlington Harrier across the finish line was a young man who’s name you will have become familiar with if you’ve followed the results this season. Alex Boyer has produced an impressive record of results throughout this cross country season, and today he added to that with another excellent performance, finishing in 2nd place in a time of 8.00 exactly.

Alex is due to join his brother, Dan at Carmel College in September and we know the head of PE is excited at the prospect of another Boyer competing for the school! Not far behind Alex, was another young Harrier who’s shown real promise this year. This was Josh Scott’s third NYSD run this season, and as with his previous appearances, he produced another excellent result. He finished in 5th place, in a time of 8:31. Well done, Josh, great stuff.

Next across the line was Louis Brett. Although he’s only run at a couple of the NYSD meetings this season, he has done so with enthusiasm and determination which shows in his results: last time he was 5th, and this time just a few places behind in 8th place, completing the run in 8:46. Excellent going, Louis! Keep up the good work. Just a few seconds behind Louis was an Under 11 who’s attended all 5 of the previous NYSD individual runs.

Ashton Harrison was back again today to complete an impressive series of appearances, this time finishing 10th and crossing the line in 8:51. His Mum tells us “Ashton has loved every muddy minute of it and is already looking forward to next season” Well done, Ashton, with an attitude like that, we’re sure you’ll go far….and if you can’t wait for next season, Track & Field is just around the corner!!

Our next Harrier to finish is a young man that’s also been a regular competitor this season. This was Sylvan Tarn’s fourth appearance at the NYSD’s, and once again he produced another solid performance, crossing the line in 15th place in an excellent 9:24. Great run, Sylvan, well done! Next, someone else who plays a regular part in our Under 11 squad, this being his 5th outing this year. Sonny Campbell-Critchley put in another huge effort this time to finish 21st in a super time of 10:18. Well done, Sonny, great to see you here again! Keep up the good work!

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Under 11 Boys, L-R: Josh, Alex, Ashton, Sylvan, Louis and Sonny

Under 11 Girls Four of our young Harriers turned out today eager to prove themselves once again. First of them to cross the line is a young lady that has forged ahead to produce a fantastic set of results this season. Zara Jones has taken part in every NYSD run and always finished in the top 3! Today, she added to that rather impressive record by finishing 3rd in an excellent time of 9:16. Tremendous performance, Zara, well done!

Excellent runs also from our other three Under 11 girls finishing 5th, 6th and 7th. The first of them, finishing in 5th place was Tori Buckley. She started competing in the NYSD runs part way through the season, with Preston Park being her debut run where she finished 4th. Since then she has never looked back and has always been in the top 5. Another great run again today, crossing the line in 9:16. Well done, Tori, top running!

Only a few seconds behind Tori, was friend, and fellow athlete, Libby Hammond. This was Libby’s fourth appearance in this series, and yet again her results are impressive, always finishing in the top 6! Today was no exception, crossing the line, smiling as always, in 6th place in 9:16. Great stuff, Libby, well done! And just 17 seconds behind Libby was another regular face in our Under 11 squad. Savannah Tarn has taken part in all six of the individual runs, and is another young Harrier who can claim an excellent set of results, only once being outside the top 10! A fantastic performance today helped her cross the line in 7th place in a time of 9:36. Great work, Savannah, well done!

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Under 11 Girls, L-R: Tori, Libby, Savannah and Zara

Well done to all our Under 11’s taking part today. You have, once again, done the club and yourselves proud. Special congratulations to Alex Boyer and Zara Jones – after the individual points were totted up from the full series of NYSD cross country events, they both finished in 1st place!! An outstanding achievement and one that deserves a big round of applause!!

We must say how much we’ve enjoyed reporting on the Under 11’s this season. Considering that (for most of them)this was their first series of cross country events, not only have they improved in their ability, but also, and perhaps more importantly, we’ve seen them forge new friendships, support each other and the older Harriers, and really bond as a team. We look forward to seeing them progress even further as they get older and become more experienced…….. who knows where it could lead?

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Memories: Their first NYSD season together…..we’re sure it will be the first of many

Under 13 Boys Just a small field of 13 boys lined up at the start of the Under 13 race, one of them being Dylan Wilson who’s been a regular competitor for Darlington Harriers this season. He’s taken part in various events, including four of the NYSD cross country’s, where he’s never been outside the top seven. Today he added to that impressive tally by finishing in an excellent 5th place, crossing the line in 9:33. Well done, Dylan, another top run!
Under 13 Girls Three of our young Harriers lined up once again for the Under 13 girls. All of them have been keen supporters of this competition, appearing in most of the events this season. If you’ve been following the Junior Reports you’ll know that Gabrielle Hall has been one of our busiest athletes, competing in an array of events for club, school and County.

Today, Gabby was the first of our three to cross the line, finishing in 3rd place, only 2 seconds off 2nd place in a time of 9:52. She has competed in all six individual events, with an impressive set of results, meaning in the overall competition she finished a fantastic 3rd place!! Well done, Gabby, a just reward for all your efforts. Next to cross the line for DHAC was Mia Wetherill. Considering this has been Mia’s first year at competitive athletics, she has produced some impressive results. She has now taken part in four of the NYSD events and finished 11th in three of them, including today! She was only 5 seconds off a top 10 position, crossing the line in 10:47. Well done, Mia, another great effort!

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Gabby and Mia battle their way through as the Under 13 race gets away

Only 2 places behind Mia was another regular face this season, Fern Shelton. Fern, who is also in her first year at competitive athletics and has taken part in all six of the NYSD cross country races. Today she saved the best till last, finishing in her highest position this season! She crossed the line in 13th position in an excellent time of 11:18. Well done, Fern, a fantastic way to finish the competition! In addition, the three girls finished 2nd in today’s team event – tremendous stuff, congratulations girls.

Under 15 Boys A relatively small field of 17 boys lined up at the start of this race. The first two to cross the line seem to be joined at the hip, which isn’t surprising as they’re twin brothers, Adam and John Russell. I’m sure you’ll be aware that the boys have only recently joined the club but have made a huge impact in that short time – they’ve already been selected to run at the English Schools Cross Country Finals! Today they finished, as always just a few seconds apart; Adam in 2nd place crossing the line in 14:52, and John 3rd in 14:55. Well done boys, another cracking result – great to have you on board!

The next Darlington Harrier to finish is one of our most experienced cross country runners, also having previously run at English Schools level. James Roberts ran three of this year’s NYSD runs, his best position being 3rd. Another strong run from James today put him in 6th place at the finish, crossing the line in 15:35. Great effort, James, well done! And next, another young athlete who’s run at all six of the NYSD events this season, and scored points in every one!

Harry Wilson was back again, giving it 100% as usual, this time crossing the line in 9th place, in an excellent time of 17:13. Well done, Harry, another top performance! And well done to Adam, John and James as the first three to finish counting towards the team event today, leaving DHAC U15 Boys in 2nd place. Fantastic!

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Under 15 Girls A small field of just 10 Under 15 girls turned out for today’s race, but among them some quality athletes including our own Emma Hart, Harriet Rogers and Jess Hall. Emma has run in all but one of the six events with some very impressive results; before today she had won three of the races and came second in the other!

Today she added to those amazing stats with yet another win, crossing the line in 18:08. With results like those, you won’t be surprised to hear that in the overall individual points, Emma also came in 1st place! Well done, Emma, terrific news! It was a one, two for DHAC today as Harriet Rogers followed her team mate to finish in 2nd place, in a time of 18:26. This is her third NYSD event this season and her best position so far, and always in the top 8. Well done, Harriet, a tremendous run! Not far behind in 4th place was Jess Hall. She joined the club at the start of this cross country season along with Peta Collins, both coming from Sedgefield Harriers. They have been a huge asset to the club since joining, and have produced a number of impressive performances, as Jess did again here, finishing in 18:52. Great stuff, Jess, well done!

And yes, you’ve guessed it! With the girls finishing 1st, 2nd and 4th, they also won today’s team event!! Tremendous!

Under 17 Girls Running against the senior women was one of our best Under 17 athletes. Catherine Roberts has gone from strength to strength since joining the club only a couple of years ago, and is another Darlington Harrier that will be competing for Durham at the English Schools XC Finals. This was the only NYSD race Catherine took part in this season, but she certainly proved what a quality athlete she is by finishing 1st U17, and 2nd overall, in an excellent time of 19:21. To put that into perspective, the next U17 to finish was over 3 minutes behind Catherine! Like I said, quality! Well done, Catherine, fantastic performance!

Congratulations to all our young Harriers who have taken part in the NYSD Cross Country events this season. There have been some tremendous performances from all the age groups, and you have certainly kept Darlington Harriers up there with the best! So wear your blue and white with pride, and we look forward to seeing you on the track when the weather’s a bit warmer!  #UTH!

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Catherine Roberts