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Northern Athletics Cross Country Relays

Saturday 19th October, Graves Park, Sheffield

The popularity of the Northern Athletics’ Cross-Country Relays continues to grow at a pace resulting in a record number of teams closing in in what was the 10th anniversary of the event.

The competition has changed very little in the last 10 years, giving competitors a nice opening stint leading into the arduous cross-country season ahead.  A challenge for many Holmfirth Harriers’ athletes before the races even began was actually getting to the venue, when a closure of the M1 meant that many were late arriving at Graves Park in Sheffield, whilst some didn’t arrive at all!

The juniors did all make it for the earlier races, with six teams competing age groups from Under 11s to Under 17s.

First to run on the day were the Under 17 women, with Olivia Dyson leading the team in fine style to record the 10th fastest time of the day in this race and hand over to Lydia Throssell with the team in sixth place. A great run from Lydia kept the team in sixth for the final handover to Mollie Scaramuzza, who ran a solid anchor leg to bring the team home in an excellent ninth place.

With these older athletes showing the rest how it was done, it was over to the Under 11 girls to take their turn. Unfortunately there was only one representative from Holmfirth Harriers in this race, so no final team placing but a good experience for Florence Jones, taking part in her first set of cross country races this year and proving to be one to watch for the future.

Holmfirth Harriers had a complete Under 11 boys’ team, with Callum Noble running an excellent first leg to bring the team through in 13th place at this point. Plucky performances from Alexander Gilligan and Luke Hirst gave the team a final overall placing of 27th.

No Under 13 girls, so it was over to the Under 13 boys, with just two runners taking part in this age group. Declan Levay took the first leg, handing over to Jack Sunderland in 20th position, with Jack succeeding in maintaining that position. These were excellent performances by both boys, in a highly competitive field of 140 runners.

Next up were the Under 15 girls, with two complete teams entered. A strong ‘A’ team of Imogen Wolff, Annie McLean and Isabel Richardson recorded the best junior result of the day for the Harriers, finishing in a fantastic fifth place. Imogen and Isabel both recorded times within the top ten, with Imogen recording an outstanding fourth fastest time and Isabel ninth fastest out of 155 runners. Annie also had a great race to ensure the team’s excellent final placing. In the ‘B’ team, Elena had a good first leg to hand over to Elizabeth Gilligan in 27th place, with Elizabeth having a steady run and Libby Pringle bringing the team home in 38th place.

Under 15 girls

(Left to right): Lauren Hirst (U15 reserve), Elena Inch, Libby Pringle, Isabel Richardson,
Imogen Wolff, Annie McLean, Mollie Scaramuzza, Lydia Throssell, Elizabeth Gilligan

The event clashed with the British Fell & Hill Relay Championships in the Peak District, where Holmfirth were fielding three men’s teams (of 6) and a women’s team (of 6). Naturally the senior amber vests at Graves Park were slightly depleted, but still Holmfirth had three women’s teams out.

The A team has a last-minute change of running order due to the traffic jam, in which Julia Jagger was caught up. The adrenalin rush must have suited her and she had a great run on the anchor leg to bring the A team home in 11th place, with Claire Leaver-Hewitt and ever-green vet Maggie Sykes on the first two legs. The B team of Amy Smith, in her first cross country event, Lucy Farquhar and Kath Farquhar finished 24th and C team of Helen Pettit, Olivia Sykes and Jane Stirling in 31st. All were impressive performances in a high calibre event, of 45 complete teams, and won by the dominant Leeds City AC.

The Holmfirth men weren’t able to complete a team with one runner thwarted by the M1 closure, but 3 of the 4-man team still enjoyed a good race for themselves. Club Captain, Jacob Harman led the team off on leg 1 returning in 37th. Jonny Sykes, Cross Country secretary picked up four places on leg two, and Sean McCaffery picked up a further place on leg three.

 

 

 

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