There was more exciting relay action from our juniors last Saturday, as they travelled to Graves Park in Sheffield. The City of Steel played host to hundreds of athletes from the north of England for the Northern Athletics Cross Country Relay Championships, and five teams of three from our junior camp battled it out against some of the best young athletes in the country. You may not be surprised to hear that they did rather well!
Under 11 Girls
It was fantastic to see three of our Under 11 girls forming a team for such a big event – and what a great experience for them at such a young age! Hands together please for Zara Jones, Lottie Graves and Savannah Tarn. Zara had the pleasure of starting off proceedings by running the first of the three 1500m legs – and what a tremendous job she did!
Out of the 30 teams taking part, Zara crossed the finish line in 2nd place in an excellent time of 5:20, before handing over to Lottie. Hats off to Lottie, who’s only just started competing for the club and here she’s in at the deep end, running in this high profile event…..and she did herself proud, finishing in 6:03, leaving the team still in a strong position in 6th place.
Savannah took over from Lottie to run a fantastic 3rd and final leg. Up against some tough competition, she crossed the finish line in 5:53 just sneaking inside the top ten in 9th place. What a fantastic effort from all three girls on what was their first time together as a team; we’re sure it won’t be the last! Well done girls…..and congratulations to Zara who ran the 5th fastest of all the legs! Quite an achievement.
Under 13 Boys
We’ve got such an array of talent at this age group that our juniors were able to enter two Under 13 Boys teams. In the ‘A’ team we had Dylan Wilson, Alex Boyer and Daniel Richardson; and the ‘B’ team was Elwood Kelley, Ashton Harrison and Josh Scott.
After an excellent performance at Manchester a few weeks ago, our ‘A’ team were looking forward to competing together again. Dylan Wilson got things off to a brilliant start; with 37 complete teams taking part there was plenty of tough competition around, but he completed the first 1800m leg in an impressive 5:42, leaving the boys in an excellent 5th place as he handed over to Alex.
Before we go any further, a quick apology to Alex: in the last report we said he was in his second year at Under 13; in fact, he’s still in his first – which makes his results look even more impressive! ☺
Back to the race; Alex finished the second leg (probably up against older athletes!) in 6:16, still in a strong 11th place, before handing over to another one of our talented juniors, Daniel Richardson. Daniel had a tremendous run, gaining 6 places on the way! He crossed the finish line in 5:44, the second fastest of all the third legs, to bring the boys home in a fantastic 5th place – an amazing result, well done boys.
And a couple more stats…..Dylan was 8th fastest and Daniel =10th fastest of all the legs. Top running boys!
Now, on to our second Under 13 Boys team, all three of them definitely still in their first year at this age group!
First off was Elwood. We know the XC season is just a few weeks old but his results so far, for club and school, have really impressed us, and today was no different; another excellent run finishing the first leg in 21st place with an impressive time of 6:06.
Ashton took over from Elwood for the second leg and, as always, produced another strong performance. He managed to maintain the boys’ position to cross the finish line in an excellent time of 6:26, before handing over to Josh.
He certainly wasn’t hanging around either and managed to gain a place on the final leg, crossing the line in 20th place after an impressive 6:23 run. A fantastic first effort from our ‘B’ team; the future certainly looks rosy with these guys around. Well done to all.
Under 15 Boys
The boys from Hummersknott were back in action again; brothers Adam and John Russell, along with Dylan’s older brother, Harry Wilson. The first of the three 2k legs was taken on by John.
There was some tough competition here and it was a close run thing as the athletes completed their circuit, with only 15 seconds between 3rd place and John who came home in 17th place. Still an impressive time of 7:16 as he handed over to Harry.
Another tough leg; Harry pushed hard, dropped a few places but still left the boys in a reasonably strong position with their anchorman still to run. He crossed the line in 21st place in a time of 7:51.
What happened next was outstanding. Adam took over for the final leg, ran like it was an Olympic final and gained an incredible 15 places!! With a fantastic time of 6:56, the 3rd fastest of all legs, Adam crossed the finish line in 6th place, just a couple of seconds behind Gateshead in 5th. A tremendous effort from all the boys, well done!
Under 17 Boys
Three more talented athletes from our junior camp turned out for the Under 17 Boys. But with Liam Brittle, James Roberts and Daniel Boyer all still in their first year at this age group, it was going to be a hard battle for the lads today. Liam got things under way with the first of the 2.3k legs. A tough run against some quality athletes but it was a great effort from Liam, crossing the line in 21st place in a time of 7:51.
James took over for the second leg; he had a strong run and managed to maintain their position, coming home in 8:23 and handing over to anchorman, Daniel. Dan pushed hard and managed to gain a position on the way, completing the 3rd leg in 20th place, in a time of 7:59, and a cumulative time of 24:13.
An excellent result for the lads, and one that shows great potential for next year. Well done to all.
All in all, a fantastic day for our Junior Darlington Harriers. With all of the teams finishing in the top 20, and 3 of them in the top 10 top in such a high calibre North of England competition, they really did us all proud!!! Some exciting races as well, with some outstanding individual performances, all backed up by a fantastic team effort and true determination. Well done to all.