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2013 Yorkshire XC Championships

Category: Cross-country Published Date Hits: 3677

With Alistair Brownlee injured the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships held on Saturday 5th January at Lightwater valley near Ripon could never be a repeat of last years thrilling duel between Yorkshire Olympian brothers. However the promise of the Brownlee brothers appearance brought the crowds flocking to witness the finest athletes Yorkshire has to offer do battle in the grounds of the rather aptly names “Ultimate” roller coaster ride and they weren’t disappointed , and were treated to the spectacle of Jonathan Brownlee battling hard for third place in the senior mens race.

Celebrity athletes aside the racing itself provided ample excitement for the Holmfirth fans the clubs athletes coming away with 4 individual medals, 3 sets of team medals and 6 of the clubs  athletes selected to represent Yorkshire at the Intercounties Championships in March.

8353937530 88a112f545 bThe U15 girls race proved to be the most thrilling event of the day from a Holmfirth perspective. Olivia Sykes taking up the chase of early leader Ella Eadon of York. Behind Olivia Both Erica and Lucy Byram were moving through the field and as the finish line approached the Holmfirth trio were lined up in second, third and fourth place. Lucy agonisingly missed out on an individual medal but with Olivia and Erica won team gold medals and also Yorkshire team selection. Daisy Smith had a good run in 39th.

In the U15 boys race Holmfirth athletes also excelled. Lewis Byram managed to make it a family clean sweep of medal winners clinching a bronze medal for the race overall after a hard fought race with  Jonathan Shields of City of Sheffield and Emile Caries of Bingley. The boys 3 boys shared the lead for much of the race Lewis just losing touch on the final lap. The strength of the Holmfirth team was evident in this age group, Lewis was followed home by Aaron Kettlewell in 13th place and Seth Waterman in 15th completing the Holmfirth A team and clinching bronze medals for third team. Lewis Bartholomew with a brilliant run in  19th place, George Green in 24th and Alex Robinson 30th completed  a  “B” team which finished 5th overall and the “C” team of Lavell Pierre (31st), Isaac Shepherd (49th) and Shea Kerry( 63rd) finished 11th.

The U13 girls race kicked off the proceedings with a short fast 2km loop.  Sunnivah Waterman running in this age group for the first time was first home for Holmfirth with a great run in 12th, Sophie Allan was close behind in 17th Libby Shepherd next home in 47th sprinting for the line with team mate Amy Kettlewell 48th.  In the U13 boys race also a short 2k loop Jimmy Burke was first back in 15th, Nicky Farquhar just behind in 16th and Harry Shelbourne 3rd team counter in 24th the team finished fifth.  Ollie Rees was next back (32nd), Freddie Wilkinson in his first run in this age group (39th), Fionn Kerry next back (61st), Daniel Howatson  (63rd), Alfie Field in his first ever cross country race 71st and Harry Hobbs (79th).

The club were represented by just 2 athletes in the U17 women and mens race. In the womens Lucy Farquhar was home in 21st with Sophie just behind in 26th. In the mens Eddie Hinchcliffe finished 36th with brother Robert 47th.

Seniors take Silver medals

8355483958 2dd6c34f95By the time the Senior Ladies race started, the somewhat uneven and tussock-filled course had at least been flattened by previous races, making the going good and fairly fast.  Holmfirth’s ladies, fresh from their West Yorkshire League title claimed in December, exceeded expectations amongst tough competition to claim silver medals; their first County Championship medals since 2005. The rules were changed in 2011 from having 3 athletes to count for a team, to 4. 

Katie Walshaw lead the team home in a superb 5th place (22:17), which secured her selection for Yorkshire to run in the UKA Inter Counties Championships in Birmingham on March 9th. Close behind and having a very determined run was Helen Fines in 12th (23:07).  Helen Berry ran slightly below par following illness over Christmas to finish 17th (23:38) and Claire Leaver’s recent half-marathon training paid off as she came home in an excellent 25th place (24:19) and final counter for the ‘A’ team.

Club stalwarts Kath Farquhar and Lucy Needham secured valuable points for the ‘B’ team, finishing in 32nd (24:56) and 41st (25:36) respectively.  With Julia Johnson, back after injury, in 56th (26:23) and Lucy Verrill who continues to improve in 66th (27:19), the ‘B’ team finished an impressive 8th place from 19 teams.  The race was won by Leeds City’s Susan Partridge in 21:22 and Rotherham Harriers won the team event, with athletes in 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th places. 

The Senior men’s race proved to be  a fast and furious encounter which saw a group of six athletes, including International James Wilkinson and World Triathlon Champion Jonathan Brownlee, break clear of the field. The leading pack was then reduced to three for the final stages and it was Sheffield’s Meles Okbazghi who put in a final kick to outsprint Wilkinson to the line by five seconds with Brownlee trailing in third. The Junior Men’s race, which was combined with the senior race, was won by Tom Baines (Hallamshire Harriers) with Holmfirth’s Thomas Traviss-Pollard having a superb race to grab silver medal position. The best Holmfirth Harrier’s senior performance was Richard Anderson (15th) who just held off a strong challenge from Dave Watson (16th). Matthew Pierson, returning from injury, finished a creditable 26th. Alistair Rees had a solid run for 61st as did Alistair Langron in 70th. The final counter for the team which secured an excellent 4th place just out of the medals place was Craig Boggon in 84th. Other Holmfirth placing’s were: Jonny Sykes (133rd), David Williams (144th), Chris Beadle (181st), Kevin Yewlett (183rd), John Field (225th), Simon Edwards (232nd) & Matthew Rose (235th).

Many thanks to Norman Berry for the photographs.

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Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012