After enjoying last years event so much, 42 of our athletes again travelled to Graves Park in Sheffield yesterday to attend the Northern Cross-Country Relays. An impressive 14 teams ranging from u11’s to u17’s battled their way round the challenging parkland course. With team camp set up, our new club Gazebo stood proudly near the start, and we ready for the day ahead. Team spirits were high, as we walked the course, which was quite soft and sloppy in places after all the rain we’ve had recently.
The under 17 age groups opened the programme, with both the Men’s and Womens races running 3 stages over the 2.3k course.
Our first of two teams in the U17 women were made up by 1st leg, Robyn Greenway (9.01) coming through in a impressive 4th position ,2nd leg on form, Hannah Lonsdale ( 9.48) and running a fantastic anchor leg, 3rd leg Hannah Reid, ( 9.00) setting a fine example of how the relays should be run, finishing in an incredible 7th Place from 16 teams. These girls were followed in by our second team, Grace Sullivan 1st leg ( 9.40), Louisa Howden 2nd Leg ( 9.43) and bringing the team home on 3rd leg, Tyla Chalk, who known more for her sprinting, very kindly, with some gentle persuasion, came along to make the team up.
Our U17 Men’s team were out on the course at the same time as our women. On first leg was Caleb Stephenson (7.34) who got us off to a great start crossing the line in 13th position, George Gale 2nd Leg (8.23) worked hard, bringing us in 17th, and a fine last leg performance by Matt Spendlove (7.49) who moved us into finishing a credible 13th position from 28 teams.
Our under 11’s were up next, running 3 stages over a 1.5k course. The girls set off first with Matilda Knudsen running a great 1st leg (6.23) handing over to Molly Best on 2nd leg (7.16) with Grace Lambert 3rd leg (6.44) Bringing the team home to finish 24th. The u11 Boys team started shortly after with Reuben Harris on 1st leg (5.53) Theo Mtowe on 2nd leg (6.50) and Jai Pathak(6.23) on 3rd leg bringing the team home in 22nd place. This was the first taste of the larger events on the cross-country calendar for many of these youngsters, and they all performed incredibly well despite their nerves.
We lined up five teams on the 3 stage, 1.8k course of the U13 boys and U13 girls’ races. I had high hopes for our U13GA team, and they didn’t disappoint. The team, lead by Chloe Phillips ( 6.00) set us off to a very strong start passing in 4th place to Alice Fearn ( 6.33) who stayed strong, and maintained that position to hand over to Tilly (Pocket Rocket) Carrotte ( 6.15) who despite being at the lower end of the age group and towered by many of the girls ran a fine last leg to just be pipped for a medal finishing in a incredible 5th place from 46 teams. The 2nd team consisted Lola Best ( 8.39) Holly Wilson ( 10.17) & Tabby Justice ( 7.20) with Lola on first leg and Holly on 2nd , these two put in strong performances to hand over to Tabby who ran a fine race to bring the girls home. Our 3rd team consisted of Lilly Morgan ( 7.53) Lilly Scrimshaw ( 8.08) & Sally Freist ( 7.38) all these girls have never competed at such a event and ran good solid races.
Our two U13 Boys teams were off next. Our A Team set off hard by George Wilson( 5.31) handing over in an incredible 3rd place to Alfie Burrell (6.43) who battled well passing in 14th place to Jack Wright (7.00) on the final leg who brought the team home to a respecatble 22nd place. The second team started with Harrison Young (7.23) crossing the line in 44th to hand over to Oliver Parker ( 9.34) who despite carrying some pain from a recent fall and never wanting to let his team down, passed to Charlie Cadey (7.27) who very kindly stepped in for me last minute, and despite Xc not being his favourite event, ran a fine last leg improving on is time last year by nearly 20 seconds.
Ella Greenway ( 7.53) started our U15 girls’ A team incredibly well on the 2k course handing over in 2nd place to Charlotte Davies (9.31). Charlotte ran well to pass to Katelyn Howden ( 9.05) who brought out A team home in 18th Place. Our B team was lead by Bella Cadey ( 9.41) Cross country racing not being her favoured event, again very kindly stepped in for me with a little gentle persuasion. She ran a good solid race to pass to Caitlin Bryant ( 10.35) on second leg and Beccy Girdlestone on last leg. Both girls new this this event ran gutsy races and showed determination to do well.
Our last race of the day came from our U15 Boys were we had two teams out in this 32-team race. The 1st team, saw Charlie Burrell (7.38) on 1st leg handing over to Robin Smith ( 8.51) in 18th place, Robin fought hard to maintain this position to hand over in 22nd to our last leg, Joe Carrotte who finished strongly bringing the team home to a credible 19th place. Our 2nd team who all put in fine performances, consisted of Louie Knudsen (7.55) on 1st leg, Ben Edwards (8.52) on 2nd leg, and 3rd leg bringing the team home in 23rd place was Mert Ozgudger ( 8.30)
We had some outstanding individual performances on the day which should be congrataluted. First came from Chloe Phillips who was 6th fastest U13G on the day from 143 athletes, George Wilson, U13B was 3rd fastest from 137 runners & Ella Greenway U15G ran the 3rd Fastest time for a U15G from 155 strong feild.
A mention must go to Joe Carrotte U15B, who improved on last years time by 42seconds, and also to Hannah Reid U17L who improved her ranking from 31st fastest home last year to 11th this.
Well done to all who competed, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, with some outstanding individual and team performances, making it a memorable day for all. We are now all looking forward to National XC Relays on 2nd November, where we are hoping to improve on last years results.
Thanks must go my wonderful team of “Mentors” ( Robyn Greenway, Grace Sullivan, Loiisa Howden, Hannah Reid, Katelyn Howden, Ella Greenway & Charlotte Davies) who were carefully selected to help warm up, guide and support the younger members of the teams. And thanks to Northern Athletics for hosting another memorable day.
Huge Thanks to Graham Stephenson, Steve and Tilly Carrotte for the wonderful pictures of the day