Last Sunday (21st November) the Harriers were out in force at the third race in the West Yorkshire Cross Country League, hosted by Wakefield AC at Thornes Park. It was a very chilly day, but the course was probably the driest it’s been for many years, making for some fast running.
The U11s dominated and their efforts paid off, with the teams winning both the boys’ and girls’ races for the first time in the series. First off were the U11 boys, with Henry McFarlane leading the team home in an impressive 7th place. He was supported by Alex Haigh in 10th and Bobby Morris in 11th for the team to beat Keighley & Craven by just two points. Isaac Morris finished in 20th and Ewan Plumb in 29th.
Next up, the U11 girls won the team event to add to their win in race 1. It was a very close call, finishing just one point ahead of Bingley, showing that every place counts! Annabelle McFarlane had another great run in 5th with support from Bethan Morris in 18th and Jessica Hill in 19th.
The amber vests were very well represented with another three runners; Saskia Wright 22nd, Lily Mae Hamilton 38th and Heather Eastwood 39th
Unfortunately there were no club representatives in either the U13 Girls’ races. However in the U13 boys, Alex Burke finished an excellent 4th place, matching his performance in the previous race, and with support from Ollie Joyce in 31st and Joey McLaughlan in 34th the boys were 5th team.
Emily Wood ran well in 31st in the U13 Girls race and Sophie Mayes was close behind in 37th. In the U15 Boys we were just short of completing a team, but a strong performance from Jack Sunderland in 17th, with Harry Gilligan 31st, in a busy field of 42 runners.
There were two outstanding performances in the U17 races with Joe Minchella 6th in the men and Annie Mclean 5th in the girls. Unfortunately neither were supported for a team.
Next up was the Senior and Under 20 women, racing over a 5750m, 3-lap course. The race was dominated at the front by Katy Wood of City of York who won by a huge 49 second margin. The pack behind battled between them and Lucy Byram had a fantastic race and sprinted it out at the end to secure 2nd place, with the same time of 20:47 awarded to the 3rd place athlete. Julia Jagger, who is running very well of late, put in a strong performance to finish 5th & 1st V35 (20:57). They were backed up by Helen Haigh in 15th & 1st V45 (22:12) and a really strong performance from Helena Croft in 16th (22:21) to give the team their first win of the series ahead of York Knavesmire. Claire Leaver-Hewitt ran well in 18th & 1st V40 (22:38) with Olivia Dyson 34th (23:57).
With a few injuries the Holmfirth men were somewhat depleted and were unable to finish a team in the 10km race, but good performances from Damian McQueen in 70th (38:52), Adam Sunderland 96th (41:50), David Williams 110th & 2nd V60 (42:50), Kevin Yewlett 128th & 1st V65 (47:18) and Jason Haigh 130th (47:41).
The final race of the series takes place at Oulton Park in Leeds on Sunday 12th December.
Photos of the event can be found here;