Northern Athletics Cross Country Relay Championships

22nd October 2016

Holmfirth Harriers ladies demonstrated their strength in depth last weekend when they fielded four teams in the Northern Athletics Cross Country relays at Graves Park in Sheffield, three of which finished in the top 20 teams.

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Olivia Sykes

With recent success in the Autumn road relays (3rd place Yorkshire Champs, 6th place Northern Champs and 35th place English National Champs) the women were well placed to make their mark over this fast and undulating 2 mile cross country course.

18-year old Olivia Sykes got the ‘A’ team off to a great start in 10th place. Elder sister, Ruby Sykes, took over on leg 2 and picked up two places, though by now the field was very spread out. Ladies’ Captain, Helen Berry gained a further two places in the first few minutes of the final leg and pushed hard to try and close a huge gap between on the fifth placed team.

The ‘B’ team was also very strong and consistent throughout, beating many other ‘A’ teams, finishing in 12th place. The Byram sisters, Lucy and Erica, now in the Senior ranks at this event for the first time, were well supported by veteran Maggie Sykes who has been running strongly after a successful summer on the track.

Helena Croft, a late stand-in for the ‘C’ team, picked up 3 places to 16th from Jordan Mullinger and with Harmonie Waterman running well, the team came home in 18th place. Junior Coach, Kath Farquhar still had some energy left after managing the Junior teams in earlier events, to lead the ‘D’ team off to 23rd place. Debbie Beck and Hilary Robinson put in fine performances in 36th and 43rd respectively.

The ladies race was won by Lincoln Wellington AC, with Rachael Burns of Liverpool Harriers running the fastest time in 11:37. 51 complete teams finished.

Full ladies results

6th ‘A’ team: Olivia Sykes; 12:26 (10th), Ruby Sykes; 12:40 (8th), Helen Berry; 12:23 (6th)

12th ‘B’ team: Lucy Byram; 12:51 (13th), Margaret Sykes; 13:25 (13th), Erica Byram; 12:54 (12th)

18th ‘C’ team: Jordan Mullinger; 13:27 (19th), Helena Croft; 13:39 (16th), Harmonie Waterman; 13:49 (18th)

43rd ‘D’ team: Kath Farquhar; 13:52 (23rd), Debbie Beck; 16:59 (36th), Hilary Robinson; 18:26 (43rd)

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Aaron Kettlewell

In the Senior Men’s race Holmfirth were able to field 3 full teams and, with some strong individual performances, finishing in 12th, 31st & 50th respectively. It was Lewis Byram who led out the ‘A’ team and, after a tough leg, returned in 18th (10.40) to hand over to Aaron Kettlewell who continued his superb form to pull back 7 places to finish in 11th (10.46). Stu Sharp, the only senior (over 20) athlete in the ‘A’ team, took over on 3rd leg and ran solidly to finish in 13th (11.15) before handing over to Alex Robinson (11.08) who pulled back a place and held off a late challenge by Rotherham Harriers to bring the team home in 12th position.

The men’s race was won also by Lincoln Wellington AC, with Joe Steward of East clocking the fastest time in 9:49. 62 complete teams finished.

Full Men’s results

12th ‘A’ Team: Lewis Byram 10.40 (18th), Aaron Kettlewell 10.46 (11th), Stu Sharp 11.15 (13th), Alex Robinson 11.08 (12th)

31st ‘B’ Team: Niall O’Connell 12.01 (46th), Seth Waterman 11.54 (41st), Phil Hewitt 11.43 (37th), Steve Green 11.47 (31st)

50th ‘C’ Team: Joe Law 11.31 (39th), Wayne Byram 13.27 (48th), Jonny Sykes 12.52 (46th), Jason Haigh 14.24 (50th)

Incomplete Team: Andy Shelbourne 12.59 (57th)




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