Yorkshire County Cross Country Championships 2017

Lightwater Valley, near Ripon, Saturday 7th January

Holmfirth Harriers had a very successful day at the Yorkshire County Cross Country Championships recently. The event doubles up as the selection race for the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships which will be held in Loughborough on 11th March. Eight Harriers gained selection for Yorkshire and many others contributed to some excellent team performances.


Aaron Kettlewell

Holmfirth’s junior athletes excelled themselves. In the U13 races Isabel Richardson was first home for the girls finishing in 7th and securing her place in the Yorkshire team. She was closely followed by Elena Inch with a fabulous run to finish 11th, Mollie Scaramuzza and Amelie Stewart were closely matched in 64th and 65th and Libby Pringle in her first race as an U13 finished in 84th, with the team finishing 6th out of 25 teams.

In the boys’ race Kristian Green also had a great run to finish in 10th place. The boys’ team was made up of Callum McFarlane in 49th, Soljai Waterman 52nd and Henry Parkin 78th. All good results at this level of competition.

In her first race for the club Olivia Wolf ran exceptionally well to finish in 21st place in the U15 girls, Zara Tyas was next back in 32nd, Sophie Kettlewell 35th, and Olivia Dyson 38th with Alice Shelbourne finishing strongly in 50th. The U17 women continued their great form of the cross country season so far and secured team silver medals, Juliette Branford first back for Holmfirth in 6th also winning her first Yorkshire vest, Cara Inch with a great run in 11th, Amy Kettlewell 14th and Lizzie Deacon 28th.

The Under 20 and Senior Women set off together, with the younger age group running one less lap of the course. The amber vests dominated the race, with trio Olivia Sykes, Erica Byram and Lucy Byram finishing 4th, 5th and 6th respectively and taking the team Gold. All three will represent Yorkshire in March.

In the Senior race, Katie Walshaw was to the fore from the off, challenging the leaders of Julie Briscoe of Wakefield and Georgia Malir of Leeds City. Malir had to pull out with injury, leaving Katie chasing Briscoe, who stretched her lead to nearly 30 seconds by the finish. Katie finished in silver medal position, one up on last year’s Championships. Helen Berry made a steady start within the top 30 or so, gradually making her way through the field with to finish in 7th place which was good enough for her to join Katie in the Yorkshire team selection. With strong runs from Ruby Sykes in 21st and Mum, Margaret Sykes, who is running very well this season, in 27th, the Holmfirth women secured team bronze medals behind the ever dominant Rotherham Harriers and Leeds City. Conditions were drier underfoot than last year, making for faster running, with minutes being knocked off 2016 times.

Holmfirth’s ‘B’ team finished an impressive 13th out of 28 full teams, led home by Helena Croft, with Kath Farquhar, Zoe Storr and relatively new club member, Sophie Fodden.


Holmfirth Women

Women’s results:

1 Julie Briscoe 30:24 (Wakefield)
2 Katie Walshaw 30:53
7 Helen Berry 31:43
21 Ruby Sykes 34:28
27 Margaret Sykes 34:58
33 Helena Croft 35:35
35 Kath Farquhar 35:42
83 Zoe Storr 40:09
143 Sophie Fodden 49:33

The Senior/Junior Men’s race is also run together with the Junior men running one lap less. Unfortunately, potential medallist, Chris Law was unable to start the race due to an Achilles injury, which left Aaron Kettlewell leading the way for Holmfirth. Aaron started strongly and put up a good challenge to finish in 7th place (28.31) and secure a place in the Yorkshire Cross Country Team. Also running well was Lavell Pierre who finished in a respectable 19th (32.14).

Making his debut in the senior ranks was Lewis Byram who had an impressive run to finish in 10th (35.23). Stu Sharp was next home in 35th (37.14). Veteran Dave Watson ran a solid race to finish 41st (37.28) while Kai Sunman, another senior debutant, chased hard to finish in 58th (38.10). Continuing his good form, Dan Shaw worked hard for 77th (39.19). The final counter for the team and securing 6th team place was Steve Green in 104th (40.54).

Other Holmfirth placings: 113th Craig Boggon (41.41), 142nd Dan Stewart (42.31), 152nd Jonny Sykes (42.57), 154th Mark Law (43.04), 206th Simon Barrans (46.33), 235th Kevin Yewlett (49.09) and 242nd Rob Kersey (49.44),



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