Yorkshire Cross Country Championships

Saturday 10th January, Lightwater Valley, nr Ripon

Athletes from Holmfirth harriers battled the elements at the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships held for the third consecutive year at Lightwater Valley theme park near Ripon recently. The course was surprisingly firm underfoot and despite the strong winds the Holmfirth contingent raced well in strong fields representing all areas of the county.

Lucy Farquhar Yorkshire XC 2015 240

Lucy Farquhar

The star performers from the junior sections were the U17 women’s team. The trio of Olivia Sykes, Erica Byram and Lucy Byram always featured at the front of the race, with Lucy sharing the lead for much of the first lap with Emma Clapton of Scarborough AC. As the race unfolded the girls all fought to maintain their top 8 placings in order to secure selection for the Yorkshire team at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Birmingham on 7th March. Working together against the wind all three achieved this with Olivia crossing the line in 6th, Lucy in 7th and Erica in 8th giving them team gold. Holmfirth finished a team in all the other junior races, with the U15 girls finishing the best of these tantalisingly close to Yorkshire medals in 4th, Libby Shepherd 18th, Genevieve Durrans 25th and Annie Stone 29th.

Full Holmfirth Junior results

U13 boys

  • 30 Callum Durrans
  • 36 Ned Johnson
  • 46 Samuel Bedingfield
  • 61 Archie Hall

U13 Girls

  • 14 Sunnivah Waterman
  • 60 Sophie Kettlewell
  • 63 Alice Shelbourne

U15 boys

  • 18 Harry Shelbourne
  • 27 Will Johnson
  • 40 Nicky Farquhar

U15 Girls

  • 18 Libby Shepherd
  • 25th Genevieve Durrans
  • 29 Annie Stone
  • 31 Amy Kettlewell
  • 37 Ellie Sunman

U17 men

  • 22 Chris Law
  • 24 Seth Waterman
  • 27 Lavell Pierre
  • 29 Alex Robinson
  • 30 Aaron Kettlewell
  • 33 George Green
  • 43 Lewis Bartholomew

U17 women

  • 6 Olivia Sykes
  • 7 Lucy Byram
  • 8 Erica Byram
  • 40 Daisy Smith

In the women’s race a few of the usual team members were side-lined with injury, but the Holmfirth women showed their strength and were rewarded for their hard work with a bronze medal. The competition at county level is always tough, so their achievement is all the more impressive.

Helen Berry Yorkshire XC 2015 240

Helen Berry in action

The Women’s race, for both Senior and Under 20 Junior women, was run over 6.4km. The first small lap was fairly bunched up with some at the front falling on the tight corners. As the field spread out and the leaders moved away from the pack, Ladies Captain Helen Berry worked her way through within the chasing group. Losing a couple of places in the closing stages but still finishing an impressive 8th place (7th Senior) in 24:25, the result was enough to secure her automatic selection for the Yorkshire team in the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships on 7th March.

Helen Fines came through in 22nd place (25:32), and relative youngsters Lucy Farquhar (27:01) and Jordan Mullinger (27:33) both had fantastic performances to finish in 43rd (8th Junior) and 53rd respectively. Lucy has been in fine form of late and her position was enough to see her named first reserve for the Inter Counties team. The quartet finished third team behind the dominant South Yorkshire clubs of Rotherham and Hallamshire. The race was won by Alexandra Bell of Pudsey & Bramley in 23:02.

The ‘B’ team placed 15th; 70th Julia Johnson (28:21), 78th Ruby Sykes (29:02), 94th Zoe Storr (30:25) and 125th Jo Bailey-Taylor (33:25).

Dave Watson Yorkshire XC 2015 240

Dave Watson upfront

Once again veteran Dave Watson led the way for Holmfirth with a superb 10th position (37.40) in the senior men’s race. In blustery conditions Dave made the 10k course look easy and in doing so he secured a place in the Yorkshire team for the Inter Counties Championships. Richard Anderson travelled down from his new home in Carlisle to have a solid run in 22nd (39.08). Scott Smith-Harrison continued his good form by finishing in 41st (40.16) while Jonny McLean followed in 71st (42.11). Also running well was Dan Shaw in 84th (43.00). Making up the team in 139th was Gareth Humphries (46.42). This result secured 6th place for the senior men’s team. Other Holmfirth results were; 141st John Ewart (46.51), 155th Robert Hinchliffe-Smith (47.46), 187th Rob Kersey (50.53) & 220th Jason Haigh (57.53). The race was won by Jonathan Thewlis of Notts AC in 35:44, with Leeds City AC winning the team event convincingly.

Full results: http://www.northernathletics.org.uk/download/yorkshire-cross-country-champs-results-2015/

Photos courtesy of Norman Berry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hhac/sets/72157650224884982/

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

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