West Yorkshire Cross Country League

Complete Runner Cross Country League

Race 4: Sunday 7th December, Nunroyd Park, Guisley

In the 4th and final fixture of the West Yorkshire Cross Country league Holmfirth’s athletes confirmed their status as one of the top clubs in West Yorkshire. With over 100 of the club’s athletes turning out in the league this season and it was not surprising that Holmfirth was the only club to field teams in all the age groups at every race and also that the club’s medal haul included team medals in 8 of the 10 age groups races in addition to individual medals winners and top ten placings.

Juniors in action

Sam Crawshaw

Sam Crawshaw

The U11 boys started off the action on an already very muddy and churned up course after heavy overnight rain and building work in the park. The Holmfirth boys had their best race of the league so far with 3 finishing in the top 10 Matthew Burke in only his second race for the club just nosing ahead of Sam Crawshaw in 5th and 6th place respectively with Frank Johnson completing the team places in 10th. The boys were backed up by William Pickering finishing strongly just 2 seconds behind Frank in 13th Louis Pain with his best league finish in 30th, Ralph Johnson on his heels in 32nd place and Callum McFarlane one of the clubs youngest athletes running strongly in 42nd. The boys finished second team in this race and with that clinched team bronze medals for the league overall, Sam Crawshaw also achieved an excellent 7th place in the league overall.

Isabel Richardson

Isabel Richardson

No less impressive were the U11 girls who have also had a great league so far and went in to this final race lying in second place but with several other clubs on their heels. Isabel Richardson led the Holmfirth girls with a strong run in the sticky conditions. She was quickly followed home by Lucy Lindley and Harriet Bridge in 15th and 17th place respectively to complete the team. Elise Smith and Ruby Yates sprinted it out in 28th and 29th with Amelie Stewart 38th and 9 year olds Alex Crawshaw and Libby Pringle in 48th and 50th position. Anna Holland completed the Holmfirth contingent with an excellent run in only her second cross country race to finish in 57th. The girls finished second team on the day and just missed out on silver medals overall after a tie-break, third a great result in this hard fought age group. Isabel Richardson finished 8th in the league overall.

No less than 9 Holmfirth girls turned out for this last fixture of the league intent on securing team medals. Sunnivah Waterman was first back with a fine run in 9th place, with Frances Keddie not able to run and Mia Greene unwell Millie Yates and Jessica Holland were team scorers both running strongly Millie in 25th and Jessica 35th. Laila Horn was next home for Holmfirth in 49th, Jessica Billington, Sophie Kettlewell and Alice Shelbourne finishing in quick succession in 52nd, 54th and 55th places not far down were Emilie Pickering 58th and Megan Ison 62nd. The girls efforts at this race and over the league secured them third place and bronze medals, Sunnivah finished 7th individual just missing out on a medal. In the boys race Ned Johnson was first back in 22nd place, Archie Hall with his best run of the league so far was 28th and the team was completed by Joel Stirling who suffered in the mud, losing a shoe but still managed to finish in 47th place. Overall the boys team finished 7th in the league.

Nicky, Harry and Will Race

Nicky, Harry and Will race

Despite missing several of the team due to illness both the U15 girls and boys managed to secure bronze team medals. In the girls race Annie Stone was as consistent as ever, running strongly in 9th place, she was followed home by Amy Kettlewell continuing her run of good form in 39th. Ellie Sunman recovering from a nasty cold was glad to finish in 32nd and Jennifer Melia completing her first cross country league also had a consistent finish just behind Ellie in 35th. Running strongly in the mud Harry Shelbourne finished 10th on the day in the boys race and in so doing secured 8th position in the league overall. He was followed home by super consistent Will Johnson in 15th position and Nicky Farquhar in 21st. Oliver Rees unable to run due to illness finished 11th in the league overall with Will just behind in 13th.


Olivia Sykes

The U17 girls won well deserved silver medals for the league after a campaign plagued by injury and illness. In this race Olivia Sykes, who missed the first race due to injury, finished third and thus secured third place in the league overall. She was followed home by Lucy Byram in 5th who had missed the last race due to injury and team stalwart Daisy Smith in 18th place. The girls finished 2nd team on the day and second overall despite missing Erica, Lucy’s sister who was sidelined with a cold.

Once again the U17 boys were out in force. Lewis Byram at the head of the field locked in battle with his long-time adversary Joshua Schofield of York. Lewis finished in second place this time but in so doing secured his league victory. What is remarkable is that this is his 5th victory in 6 years having won the league twice at U13 and U15 and last year finished 2nd, a real testament to his hard work and dedication as an athlete. Lewis was supported admirably as always by Chris Law 9th, Lavell Pierre 13th and Alex Robinson in 14th. Seth Waterman was just behind in 17th place followed by George Green 20th, Lewis Bartholomew 21st and Andrew Farquhar 28th. 

Senior success

Lucy Farquhar

Lucy Farquhar

Having dominated three of the four races in the series and already secured the league title at the third race at Keighley a fortnight ago, Sunday’s event was just a formality for the strong Holmfirth ladies team. That said, they still put in some fantastic performances, the most notable being by youngster Lucy Farquhar who finished in 7th place overall and 2nd U20.

Katie Walshaw

Katie Walshaw

Katie Walshaw had an exciting battle at the front of the 100-strong field with Alex Bell of Pudsey & Bramley. She wasn’t going to give up without a fight but Alex got the better of her in the closing stages. With Lucy Farquhar 7th and Claire Leaver 13th, another youngster, Jordan Mullinger had a good run in 26th to complete the team victory. It is probably the first time in many years that the team has consisted solely of non-veteran women, which bodes well for the future of the club. The regular veteran women were sidelined with illness and injury.

The overall league standings saw a number of individual medals to add to the team Gold. Katie Walshaw took the Senior Women’s title, with Claire Leaver took the Silver. Margaret Sykes and Kath Farquhar, both of whom did not compete in the final race, took Gold and Silver respectively in the Womens 45-49 category. Julia Johnson, who managed to smile around most of the course on Sunday, was rewarded with a Silver medal in the 50-54 age group.

Unfortunately Helen Fines and Lesley Ewart both had to retire part way through the race, which meant they couldn’t qualify for the age group results, in which they would both have won Gold medals.

Full ladies results: 2nd Katie Walshaw, 22:28 (1st overall in series), 7th Lucy Farquhar, 25:06, 13th Claire Leaver, 25:40 (2nd senior in series), 26th Jordan Mullinger, 26:38, 33rd Ruby Sykes, 27:11, 37th Julia Johnson, 27:32 (2nd V50 in series), 76th Katherine McFadzean, 33:10

Holmfirth Men

Holmfirth men leading the way

For the Senior Men in the final race of the day, it was the first time in the series where Holmfirth’s better athletes were racing. This showed in the results as they stormed to victory in the team event leaving Leeds City, this year’s overall champions, trailing in third place. It was the veteran Dave Watson and Richard Smith who led the way for Holmfirth both having excellent runs to finish in 4th (34.44) and 5th (34.51) respectively. Following closely behind was Peter Brookes in 12th (35.51). The next home was Kai Sunman, the junior athlete who has stepped up to the senior ranks in 28th (37.43). The last two counters for the team were triathlete Jonny McLean in 30th (37.49) and newcomer to the club, and previous winner of the event, Steve Green in 32nd (37.53).

Other Holmfirth placings were; Joe Law 44th (39.09), Craig Boggon 47th (39.30), Eddie Hinchliffe 51st (39.47), Dan Shaw 52nd (39.54), David Williams 68th (41.05), Andrew Shelbourne 74th (41.26), Garreth Humphries 76th (41.33), Gary Graham 84th (41.58), Kevin Yewlett 119th (46.16), Richard McLeod 131st (48.10), Juan Biurrun 144th (51.51), Jason Haigh 147th (52.54) and Jeremy Hoyle 149th (56.41). Individual series prizes went to Kai Sunman 2nd U20 & Joe Law 4th U20, Dan Shaw 4th V35 and David Williams 1st V55.

Race 4 results: http://www.westyorkshireathletics.org.uk/

Final league table results: http://www.westyorkshireathletics.org.uk/

Photos courtesy of Norman Berry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hhac/sets/72157647346357724/


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