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Cross Country Section

Race 2 of West Yorkshire Cross Country League

Harriers take Home advantage

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Holmfirth Harriers were in action last Saturday in the second fixture of the West Yorkshire Cross Country League. The races – jointly hosted by Holmfirth and fellow Huddersfield club Longwood Harriers took place at Fartown High School, an excellent cross country venue the challenging compact course a treat for spectators as the runners wound their way up and down the hillside.

Star individual performances, and there were no shortage of these from a Holmfirth perspective came through the age groups. Once again we had individual winners in the shape of Katie Walshaw in the Senior Women’s race winning an amazing tussle with Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley Harriers and Lewis Byram imperious in the U13 boys race with a winning margin of 30 seconds over club mate Seth Waterman who had an excellent strong run for 2nd place in this hard fought category. In the U13 girls race, Erica Byram ran her socks off for 2nd place, a really excellent performance as were the third placings of Jimmy Burke in the U11 boys race, Keelen Fitton U11 girls and Helen Berry in the Senior women. In all 16 Holmfirth Athletes finished with a top 10 placing on the day a real reflection on the strength of the club in cross country.
The dominance of the club really came apparent with the team placings. Of the 10 races Holmfirth athletes took 1st place in 5 and in addition had a 2nd and 3rd placing. The first 4 races of the day saw 4 consecutive team gold performances. In race one, U11 boys, Jimmy Burke third, Nicky Farquhar 10th, Arron Gill 11th and Fionn Kerry 13th for the team , backed up by debutant William Johnson with an excellent race in 16th , Bailey Bedford 25th, Daniel Howatson 30th, Owen Dawson 32nd, Tiras Waterman 34th, George Hobbs 36th, Joel Page 39th and Harry Hobbs 43rd.

U11 girls also finished first team Keelan Fitton (3rd) with Libby Shepherd in 13th and Sunnivah Waterman 14th. Charlotte Eastwood 15th, Amy Kettlewell 21st, and Holly and Emmy Bailey-Taylor 35th and 36th also ran well.

Such was the strength of the Holmfirth U13 boys that had the club been able to finish a “B team” it would have placed 2nd behind the A team. With Lewis and Seth in 1st and 2nd Bradley Bedford with really strong run in 6th and Daniel Levitt in his first season of cross country finishing in 16th the 1st team position was assured. The other boys for Holmfirth in this category Ben Dickinson 17th, Andrew Farquhar 19th, Aaron Kettlewell 20th, Lewis Bartholemew 24th, Shea Kerry 30th, Joe Williams 33rd, Sam Gabbitas 36th, Isaac Shepherd 40th, and Luke Page in his 1st race 47th.

Not to be outdone by the boys the U13 girls also put up a commanding team performance, Erica in 2nd, Sister Lucy Byram 8th and Amira Mellor 9th for the team placings, these girls backed up by Megan Lamb in 15th, Daisy Hinchliffe much improved in 19th and Genevieve Durrans 33rd.

With 3 athletes finishing in the top 10 the U15 Holmfirth girls were disappointed to miss out on top team spot but they were just pipped by Wakefield Harriers. Harmonie Waterman ran really strongly in a hard fought race and finished 4th, Ruby Sykes fresh off the boat from holiday in Holland had a great run in 8th place and Sophie Spencer found her form and finished hot on Ruby’s heels in 10th. Supporting these team finishers were Lucy Farquhar 22nd, Sophie Williams 41st and Jessica Gabbitas 42nd. The boys at this same age group improved on their team placing from the last fixture and finished in 6th place, Aaron Arthur first back for the team in 24th, Eddie Hinchcliffe running strongly in 28th, Michael Booth 38th and Robert Hinchliffe 43rd.

Holmfirth’s 2 representatives in the U17 boys race ran well over a longer course than they had faced in the last race. Max Kaye running strongly finished in 4th place and Max Lawton improved to 16th in a stronger field after placing 19th in the last race.

Senior Harriers in Action

Race 2 of the four race series saw a stronger senior men’s team take to the fields around Fartown High School. The senior men had to complete a challenging 10k course which was fortunately in pretty good condition at the end of the days racing.
First home for the men was Matthew Pierson who ran a well judged race to finish in 9th place quite amazing as he was back in 50th at the end of the first lap. Next back for the team was Richard Anderson in 17th place who also ran a really strong race showing he is in good form ahead of a duathlon next weekend. Third harrier home was David Turnbull in his comeback race after surgery in 24th place closely followed by Richard Smith in 27th place. Alistair Langron was fifth place harrier in 68th place followed by the final team counter David Williams in 96th place. Other Harrier finishers were Nathan Martin in 98th place, Wayne Byram in 118th, Phil Hobbs 126th and Andrew Kerry in 142nd place. The men’s team finished in third place a vast improvement on their 9th place in the last race and can look forward to another improved performance at Bramley in three weeks.

The Ladies continued to dominate the league with another team win, though this time it was a close fight for team honors with Bingley Harriers. With both teams having 3 counters finishing in the top 8, Holmfirth athletes each 1 place in front of the Bingley athlete, it was up to the final Holmfirth counter to make the difference.

Katie Walshaw set off at an incredible pace to lead the field but Bingley and GB international, Victoria Wilkinson, gave chase to take the lead for more than one lap of the 3 lap course. Ladies Captain, Helen Berry moved up into 3rd place and gradually made ground on the leading athletes. Katie was not to be beaten and worked hard on the final lap overtaking Wilkinson to win by a margin of 14 seconds, with Helen a further 7 seconds behind. Kath Farquhar had an excellent race finishing in 7th place and first V40. The team was backed up by strong run from Claire Leaver who picked up vital team points by passing 5 athletes in the final stages of the course.

Lucy Griffiths put in a solid performance to finish 21st. Rachael Mellor and Lesley Ewart who were both absent from the first league race gained valuable points for their respective vets categories, finishing 2nd (31st overall) and 1st (34th overall) respectively. Zoe Storr made a huge improvement from race 1, finishing 49th. The 'B' team would have finished a credible 8th team. Debbie Hall showed consistency with a similar position (54th) to race 1 and Karen Sinkinson, who by her own admittance is more comfortable with a longer fell race, found the pace rather rapid but did well to finish 65th.




About Us

Roger BradleyX-C secretary

Roger Bradley







Welcome to the Cross Country pages of Holmfirth Harriers AC. If you’re new to cross country or just thinking about having ago then Holmfirth competes in the WYCC league. This is a series of 4 races, usually in October, November and December (see Race Calendar on Website) and these races are suitable for runners of all abilities. Races start in the morning for juniors, with the senior women usually running at about 1.00pm and the senior men at about 2.00pm. Races are usually in parkland settings but in wet weather can be very muddy when studded shoes or ideally cross country spikes should be worn. In very dry conditions trail shoes can sometimes be used. If you are interested in having ago then talk to Roger Bradley, John Ewart or Helen Berry a.s.a.p. The entry sheet is on the Cross Country notice board and the cost is £7 for all 4 races.


Holmfirth Harriers also compete in the Yorkshire, Northern and English National CC Championships plus the YVAA CC Championships (see Vets Pages) which usually take place in January / February.


In order to get a Cross Country Page up and running on the website I (Rob K) am putting this together but really have more than enough to do with the Vets so if anyone would like to take over and put info., photos, race reports or whatever you like onto the page, then please contact me (contact on Vets page). It is only a short season with one or at the most two events in a month from October to February.


Can't find what you're looking for on the new site? The old site is still available here