Yorkshire top team in Intercounties Cross Country Championship


The cross country season in the Bristish Isles reached its climax on Saturday with the Intercounties Championships held once again at Coften Park in Birmingham. The event sees athletes from the 4 corners of the British isles coming together to race representing their local county or region having gained selection via their local championship. This is the only race in the cross country calendar that requires pre-selection and as a result is renowned for the quality of the field of athletes and the fast pace of the races. The sun was shining on Saturday and the hard ground and mild conditions meant that the pace of the racing was faster than ever.

Running in Yorkshire vests, eight athletes from Holmfirth competed and contributed to a Yorkshire triumph with the team clinching the prestigious overall title ahead of every other county in the British Isles. Holmfirth athletes also contributed to team success in the age group races no one more than Thomas Travis-Pollard and Max Kaye in the very first race of the day. Thomas finished an excellent 29th in a time of 26.40 in the 8km U20men's race, with Max 39th out of a total field of 196. the boys were 3rd and 4th counters for the Yorkshire team, which clinched team gold medals. The race was won by Zak Seddon from Berkshire.

The Yorkshire team also took home medals in the very next race the U13 boys race. Holmfirth's Seth Waterman had an excellent race coming home in 59th place, out of 306 finishers in a time of 11.52 for the 3km course. In the U13 girls race of the same distance the girls team just missed out on medals finishing 4th team but Holmfirth's Olivia Sykes did the club proud finishing first Yorkshire counter in 11th place in 11.35 just 30 seconds behind race winner Sabrina Sinha of Kent. Lucy Byram also ran well to finish in 166th in 12:52 out of a field of 300.

thomas-travis-pollardThe 4.5km U15 boys was won by Euan Gilham of Scotland West in 14:26. Holmfirth's Lewis Byram moved through the field and finished 86th in 16:06.

In the senior races Holmfirth had 2 representatives Helen Berry in the women's race and Matthew Pierson in the men's. The women's race was won by English National Cross Country Champion Gemma Steel of Leicestershire in 26.48 after a real tussle with Steph Twell – former world junior cross country champion. The Yorkshire women secured team bronze medals with their performance Helen with a strong run in 73rd place 30.50. The men's race like the women's included a host of famous names. Keith Gerrard won the race and added the Intercounties crown to that of English National Champion that he won 2 weeks previously in London. The first Yorkshire finisher was triathlete Jonathan Brownlee with a superb run in 5th place, Holmfirth's Matthew Pierson finished strongly – pleased with his run after a winter plagued by injury.


Photos: courtesy Adam Kerfoot- Roberts. Top - Olivia sykes. Bottom: Thomas Travis-Pollard



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