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Yorkshire Cross Country Champs 2014

Saturday 4th January 2014

Holmfirth ladies Yorkshire Silver Medalists Helen Fines Maggie Sykes KatieWalshaw Helen BerryLightwater Valley theme park near Ripon once again played host to the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships held on Saturday. The park provided an excellent venue for the event with a challenging undulating course, understandably muddy in places.  Holmfirth athletes were out in force urged on by a considerable team of supporters who were treated to some excellent individual and team performances from the club’s athletes.

Highlights for everyone were the results achieved by the clubs senior athletes in the final races of the day who achieved silver medals in both men’s and women’s event for the first time in the club’s history. In the women’s race Katie Walshaw finished in second place just seconds behind GB Marathon runner Susan Partidge of Leeds City, whilst in the men’s Mark Buckingham just missed out on a sprint for the line for third place, finishing in fourth.

U15G YorksChamps 2014The U15 girl’s team of Olivia Sykes, Erica Byram and Lucy Byram continued their excellent season, becoming U15 Yorkshire champions for the second year in a row. Olivia battled hard throughout the race finishing in 3rd (13:00) for the individual bronze medal and Erica was just ten seconds behind in 5th (13:10). Lucy lost one of her shoes at the first bend in the race and showing amazing resilience she completed the rest of the 3.5km course in her sock. In spite of this she managed to come home in 9th position (13:36). Amy Kettlewell and Daisy Smith also ran strongly to finish in 49th and 55th respectively.

Lewis Byram lead the U17 boys to bronze team medals finishing in 4th (24:30) position in a hard fought race. With 9 Holmfirth athletes competing at this age group the race was a treat for the supporters the team placings were completed by Lavell Pierre 18th (26:46) just outsprinting team mate Chris Law 19th (26:51). Alex Robinson was next back for the boys 24th (27:00), Aaron Kettlewell 27th (27:21), George Green 28th (27:54) to complete the B team which finished in 7th. In his first outing for the club Kai Sunman ran well to finish in 32nd (27:54), Eddie Hinchliffe 40th (29:27) and Joe Law 44th (29:51).  The club was represented by Lucy Farquhar and Sophie Spencer in the girls’ race at this age group. Both ran strongly in these tough conditions, Lucy finishing 17th and Sophie 26th.

The club completed full teams in the other age group races. The first race of the day saw the youngest athletes competing in the U13 races. In the girls race the Holmfirth team finished a very pleasing 7th out of 17 teams. Sunnivah Waterman led the girls home in 17th, with Annie Stone 30th, Millie Stewart 44th and Alice Shelbourne 66th.  The boys also finished strongly in 9th team place out of 20 teams. Jimmy Burke 1st back in 16th place, Nicky Farquhar next home in 21st, Fionn Kerry 50th, Daniel Howatson 53rd and Samuel Bedingfield 56th with George Hobbs rounding off the Holmfirth contingent in 65th place.

Seth Waterman was first back for the Holmfirth team in the U15 boys race with a strong run coming back in 18th position. Harry Shelbourne was next back for the Holmfirth boys in 31st with Alex Harrower in his first cross country race next counter in 35th, Lewis Bartholomew 37th and Shea Kerry 54th a big improvement for him on his position in last year’s race.

Helen Berry Yorkshire XC Champs 2014The Senior Women took to the line next and Holmfirth fielded their strongest possible ‘A’ team, led by GB International, Katie Walshaw in 3rd and 2nd Senior (25:40).  Helen Berry had a superb run working her way through the field to finish 12th and 8th Senior (27:12).  Both Katie and Helen were automatically selected to represent Yorkshire in the Inter-Counties race to be held in Birmingham on March 8th. The pair were backed up by solid performances from both Helen Fines in 17th (27:42) and Maggie Sykes in 34th (29:15) to give them equal team points to Rotherham Harriers.  As Rotherham’s fourth counter finished ahead of Holmfirth’s, they were awarded Gold and Holmfirth the Silver, equalling last year’s fantastic achievement. 

Jordan Mullinger ran well in 47th (30:45) with Lucy Needham in 69th (32:03) and Ruby Sykes 80th and 15th Junior Woman (33:03) in a field of 147 athletes.

The final race of the day was the Junior & Senior Men. The Juniors started at the same time but did a lap less and it was Steven Eastwood who was the first Harrier home in 13th place (38:15) followed by Robert Hinchliffe-Smith in 20th (40:46).With the appearance of World Series Triathlete Mark Buckingham in the Seniors, hopes were high of a good team result and as the race got under way Mark soon found himself in the leading group, who were making light of the muddy conditions. It was a tough battle in which he came an agonising 4th place by just three seconds (41:54). Veteran athlete Dave Watson once again stormed through field to finish in 10th (43:23) with Dave Turnbull just behind in 13th (43:40). Richard Smith had a solid run to finish in 22nd (44:31) and Max Kaye, making his move up from Junior Men, had a good run for 44th (46:41). The final counter for the team was Dan Shaw who had a tremendous run for 71st (48:37) thus bringing the team home in second place by three points. 

Other Holmfirth placings were: Philip Hewitt 93rd (49:55), Jonny Sykes 103rd (50:31), Chris Beadle 107th (50:45), John Ewart 123rd (51:50), Craig Boggon 141st (53:10), Phil Hobbs 172nd (55:25), Sam Hudson 174th (55:43), Rob Kersey 190th (57:29), Matthew Rose 225th (61:11) & Mark Owen 255th (74:46).

Access the full results.

Thanks to the event photographers Dave Woodhead and Norman Berry for loads of terrific photographs; photos can be accessed from Dave Woodhead's Gallery or the HHAC Flickr gallery.

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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