Yorkshire Cross Country Championships

On Saturday 4 January 2020, thirty-eight athletes from Holmfirth Harriers AC took part in the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships and managed to win gold and bronze team medals plus an individual bronze medal.

hhac girls

A gold medal for Holmfirth's girls

At the start of the day Florence Jones tackled her first County Championship race over a distance of 2550m. Florence did really well to finish 55th (11.46) in a strong field of Under 13 girls where she was one of the youngest competitors. The Under 13 boys raced over the same course as the girls, Declan Levay had a great run to finish 12th (9.21) just ahead of Jack Sunderland 13th(9.24), Jamie Stewart finished 27th (9.44), Harry Gilligan 42nd (10.09) and Alexander Gilligan 86th (14.13) and the boys finished 5th team. The Under 15 Girls raced over a distance of 3900m, Imogen Wolf was one of the leading athletes fighting for a place in the Yorkshire team in the early stages. As the race unfolded Isabel Richardson moved into 6th place where she finished and claimed a Yorkshire place in a time of 15.10. Imogen finished 10th (15.40), Elena Inch 13th (15.53), Annie Mclean 27th (16.27) and Libby Pringle 48th (19.39). This was an excellent team performance for Holmfirth with the girls comfortably winning gold medals (29 points) ahead of Rotherham Harriers (45 points) and Hallamshire Harriers (50 points).

olivia dyson

Olivia clinches a place in the Yorkshire team

The Under 15 Boys raced over a distance of 4450m, Rory Bryant finished 18th (16.13) just ahead of Joseph Minchella 19th (16.18) but needed two further teammates for a team placing. The Under 17 Women raced over the same distance as the Under 15 Boys saw Olivia Dyson put in her usual gutsy performance to clinch a place in the Yorkshire team with 5th place (16.48) and an excellent run by Lydia Throssell to take 18th place (19.25), but again there was no third counter for a team placing. A former regular member at the club, Archie Hall currently living in the Netherlands wore his amber and black vest with pride as the sole Holmfirth athlete in the Under 17 Men’s race who ran a distance of 6350m. He was a little disappointed with his run but finished a respectable 24th place in 22.40.

The Senior Ladies race was a distance of 8250m dominated by a strong performance from Leeds City who claimed 1st team with only 11 points. Bronwen Owen (Leeds City) won the race in 28.22 ahead of teammates Claire Duck (29.15) and Jennifer Walsh (29.17). Holmfirth’s first counter was Katie Walshaw in 9th (30.20), followed closely by Ruby Sykes in 13th (30.48), Erica Byram 19th (31.26) and Claire Leaver-Hewitt 32nd (32.43) who claimed bronze team medals behind Leeds and Hallamshire. The team spirit amongst the Holmfirth ladies was excellent Helena Croft was 65th in 35.52 and Cara Bintcliffe 91st (38.07). Unfortunately, Julia Jagger who started well developed an injury during the race and was unable to finish.


Mark runs a solid race to take bronze

The final race of the day was for Senior Men who ran the start lap and five medium laps a distance of 10320m. Holmfirth drew the outside pen at the start, furthest away from the inside of the course and with a tight left turn within 80m they were unable to get an inside line. Mark Buckingham led the Holmfirth challenge and was placed just outside the top 30 on the start lap with Chris Law, Lewis Byram and Kai Sunman not far behind. Andy Heyes of Hallamshire Harriers went into the lead on the first lap and remain there until the finish winning in 30.59. Graham Rush of Leeds City won the silver medal in 31.27 and Mark Buckingham managed to make his way to the bronze medal in 31.36. Buckingham had won the title in 2006 at the age of 20 and again in 2010, but his commitments to the sport of Triathlon make it difficult to race cross country on a regular basis.

Chris Law was the second Holmfirth counter with a good run for 15th (32.55), Kai Sunman had another good performance to finish 32nd (34.03), Lewis Byram a little disappointed with his run was 38th (34.25), Sam O’Shea had another solid run for 72nd (36.14) and Joe Law 74th (36.33) gave the team a very respectable 4th place behind Hallamshire, Leeds and Rotherham. Steve Berridge was 142nd 40.18, Gareth Humphries 151st 40.40, Chris Beadle 169th (41.26), Damian McQueen 171st (41.37), Karl Dransfield 188th (42.38) and David Milton 230th (44.48) to place the “B” team 24th place out of 37 complete teams, a great performance. Club President Rob Kersey was next home in 234th (45.07), Jason Haigh 289th (49.14) and Ken McGuire 316th (1.04.35).


Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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