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Cross Country Section

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There’s SNOW doubt about it – Holmfirth top Cross Country Club in West Yorkshire

Undeterred by the arctic conditions sixty athletes from Holmfirth Harriers braved the cold and snow in the fourth and final race of the West Yorkshire Cross Country League on Sunday in Wakefield.


For most sportsmen or women a fall of snow signals a welcome mid season break, a chance to spend an afternoon by the fire with a hot toddy or two- not cross country runners. With the league titles at stake in all the age groups and individual trophies waiting to be handed out the racing was as fast and furious as always. Holmfirth athletes were on top form in spite of the difficult underfoot conditions and the performances on the day along with the final league standings confirmed the club’s growing reputation as a force to be reckoned with in Yorkshire.


Harriers record Medal Haul


The club came away with 5 league titles out of a possible 10, needless to say more than any other club, also with individual champions in 6 age categories and several others on the podium for the league besides- all in all a record medal haul.

First off and with the responsibility of tramping down the snow for the races to follow the under 11 boys- with the league title still on a knife edge it was vital that the boys finished strongly and that they did. Jimmy Burke once again was at the sharp end of the racing from the gun and finished strongly in 4th, enough win him 3rd place in the league overall. Arron Gill back racing after missing the last race through illness had a great run in 8th place and with Finn Kerry in 15th and Nicky Farquhar 18th the boys were second placed team on the day but were delighted to win the league title. Also running well on Sunday Daniel Howatson 23rd, Owen Dawson 24th and George and Harry Hobbs in 29th and 32nd place.


With the league title already sewn up (having won all 3 of the other fixtures) the girls could have sat back and enjoyed the glory – they didn’t . First Harrier back was Sunnivah Waterman in 8th, closely followed by Libby Shepherd 10th, Talia Johnson 11th , Charlotte Eastwood 12th and Amy Kettlewell 14th all 4 girls racing hard to beat their team mates! Exciting stuff. Holly and Emmy Bailey Taylor also ran well in 22nd and 23rd positions. The girls duly collected their gold medals for league champions.


Like the U11 girls the U13 boys were assured of team gold medals, but with 10 Holmfirth boys in Sunday’s race and 3 finishers in the top 10 there was no suggestion that they wanted to relinquish their grip on the league. Lewis Byram who, with 3 victories already to his name, finished 2nd in a hard race against local rival Josh Schofield, Aaron Kettlewell seemed to thrive on the snow with an excellent run in 4th, Seth Waterman was just a few seconds down in 7th and Andrew Farquhar finished off the team in 12th. Hot on Andrew’s heels were Thomas Dickens 13th, Daniel Levitt 14th, Lewis Bartholomew 16th and Isaac Shepherd 18th and Shea Kerry and Joe Williams finished off the Holmfirth boys in 25th and 26th respectively. The U13s took the league title, Lewis Byram won the trophy for first overall in the league, Seth Waterman won a medal for 4th place and Aaron Kettlewell one for 6th.


So with 3 league titles in the bag and only 3 races down the pressure was on for the U13 girls. Olivia Sykes showed real determination to finish in 4th – finding the heavy going not really to her liking. Lucy and Erica Byram also worked hard and completed the team in 12th and 16th place respectively, to get 2nd team place on the day and enough to just pip Wakefield Harriers for the League title. Megan Lamb had a good run in 20th spot, Genevieve Durrans next home in 24th and Daisy Hinchcliffe the last of the Holmfirth contingent in 31st place. In addition to the league gold medals Olivia also was awarded the individual silver medal. Fantastic results


The U15 girls have performed consistently throughout the league, and their performance on Sunday confirmed their position as bronze medallists. First home for the girls on Sunday was Ruby Sykes in 10th place, Sophie Spencer had a great run in 12th, Lucy Farquhar next home in 19th and Sophie Williams completing the Holmfirth contingent in 28th place, who claimed to have “enjoyed every moment ”.


The U15 boys were glad to be back up to full strength on Sunday. Robert Hinchcliffe toughed it out and held off his team mates to finish in 27th, followed home by Eddie Hinchcliffe 27th, Michael Booth 33rd and Aaron Arthur 35th. The boys just missed out on team medals for the league finishing in a very creditable 4th place overall.


At the last meeting of the league two weeks previously, the U17 men’s race proved to be one of the most exciting of the day and Sunday’s race was equally thrilling. Holmfirth Max Kaye and Thomas Travis Pollard locked once again in combat with Gordon Benson of Leeds City right at the front of the race. Gordon once again managed to hold off the 2 Holmfirth boys – but only just, Max just 6 seconds behind in 2nd and Thomas 2 seconds behind Max in 3rd place. Max Lawton who has improved with every race this season continued this trend and had an excellent run in 12th place. Jake Richardson in his very first cross country race – a real baptism of fire- ran well and finished a very creditable 18th place. Max Kaye’s consistent performances in the league this year were rewarded with the league title and the winner’s trophy.


Holmfirth’s Women League Champions .......again


Despite a somewhat depleted field in the Senior Women's race, Holmfirth managed to field 6 athletes. The challenge to the Holmfirth ladies this weekend came from hosts Wakefield AC, whose star runner Julie Briscoe denied Katie Walshaw an unbeaten run of wins in the series. Katie still ran a great race and secured second place ahead of Spenborough junior athlete Jennifer Walsh. Helen Berry, suffering from bruised ribs after a fall during training the previous weekend, ran well though was disappointed to be overtaken just metres from the finish line by another Wakefield athlete leaving her in 5th place. Katie and Helen had excellent backing from team mates Kath Farquhar and Lucy Griffiths who finished 8th and 9th respectively. Lucy had a fantastic run with her best position to date. It was an unexpected and pleasing result for Kath who had not intended to race until an hour before but was persuaded by the Captain that her result was valuable for the team. And so it was, with the team finishing once again in 1st place with their best score of the series and retaining their title as League Champions. Lesley Ewart finished 29th and secured her title for the Vet 55 category for the series and Yvette Arthur ran well to finish 39th. Katie, Helen and Kath also won their respective age categories (Female 19 - 34, V35 and V40) with Katie and Helen finishing first and second overall in the league. The league has been a great success and an excellent result for Holmfirth ladies.

Senior Men battle it out


The senior men were the last to take to the challenging course and with five laps to tackle it was going to be a physical and mental battle in the snow. First back for the Holmfirth men was Jake Rowlands in sixth place, closely followed by Dave Turnbull in 11th place. Alistair Langron was next harrier home in 28th place followed by Nathan Martin in 64th. David Williams in 85th and Wayne Byram in 93rd were the final counters for the team which finished in fifth place. Other Holmfirth finishers were Kevin Yewlett, 102nd, Andrew Kerry, 109th, and Tim Cock in 144th. Andrew Pearson of Longwood won the race.
In the final standings Dave Turnbull was the highest placed senior harrier and took fifth place over the four race series.

In all over 80 athletes from Holmfirth Harriers have taken part in the league this year braving every imaginable weather condition and wearing the amber vest with pride! With the West Yorkshire League concluded for another year the cross country season is far from over with the Yorkshire, Northern and National Championships taking place in the new year and the trials for the Kirklees Schools Cross country teams this Saturday we look forward to many more reports of Harriers successes.


For full results and all the final league standings go to www.westyorkshireathletics.org.uk






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