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Williams & Bates Double Delight in County XC

The County Schools Cross Country Championships, held over a challenging course at Corby’s west Glebe park saw two Double County Champions crowned, in the Senior Girls race Emily Williams cruised to victory along with new recruit U15 Alice Bates who continued her winning start with the Harriers by winning the Junior Girls Title. Both girls were also crowned NAA County Champions two weeks ago and have started 2019 in terrific form.

There were also three runner up spots (Luke Cole, Jacob Asher-Relf & Alice Bates) and third spots for Dylan Bowley & Dylan White, with a total of 22 of the Harriers squad qualifying for the Anglian Trophy in 2 weeks’ time at Abington Park, as Northants Schools play hosts.

Emily Williams easily won the combined Inter Girls/ Senior Girls over 4km with a superb run, sitting in for the first km before stretching the field out through the undulating section in the woods and building her lead on the second 2km loop to win the race comfortably. Williams will tougher competition as she heads into the Midland Counties this weekend.

Emily Williams with a comfortable victory in the Senior Girls race

Also qualifying in the SG race was Jen Robinson in 10th place, with Olivia Knibb running well for 13th place. In the Inter Girls race Freya Batkin showed she is returning to good form with a fine run for 5th place, with Mia Brockway also running well for 12th place. Nicole Tenney and Bozena Cailite also put in a credible performances for 22nd place & 24th respectively.

In the Junior Girls race over the short 3km distance Alice Bates, who has made great progress since joining the Harriers squad, took the lead from the start and controlled the race with a terrific performance for another comfortable victory. Bates never looked troubled and has grown in confidence in the few weeks she has been training with the squad, and will look forward to two high quality races in the upcoming Midland Counties & Anglian Trophy.

Alice Bates winning the Junior Girls race with a controlled race.

JG Alice Bennett, who has been training with the Harriers squad prior to joining Kettering in March, has showed some real improvements over the past few weeks to stomp home in a superb 2nd place with a brilliant run. Bennett who is a bottom year in the age group was at the fore of the race throughout, putting a surge in the final 400m to move past Emily Hinton & Madeline Mayes to finish behind Harrier Alice Bates for a fine one two. Josie Crick also ran well to finish in 17th place in a reserve spot for the upcoming Anglian Trophy (Top 16 qualify).

Alice Bennett & Alice Bates a fine one two in the JG race

The Minor Girls race over a short 2km saw bottom year Maggie Gancheva run a superb race to finish in 5th place, and she could have perhaps snatched 4th place had she not had to avoid spectators who wandered onto the course in the finishing straight. In the same race Ellie Separovic ran well for 27th along with Isabella Brockway in 34th.

For the Boys, Jacob Asher-Relf was the joint top finisher on the day with a terrific run for 2nd place in the short 2km Minor Boys race, with a strong performance following a number of weeks out of training with a growth related injury. In the same race the improving Dylan White finished in a fine 3rd place with a high quality race, with Zack Kirk-Bates and James Clutton, both bottom year running well for 23rd & 25th place respectively.

Jacob Asher-Relf fine run for 2nd place in the Minor Boys 2km race

Dylan Bowley was top finisher from the Harriers in the combined Inter Boys/ Senior Boys 6km race with a strong run for 3rd place, with Idayi Jumbe with only his 2nd race of the season producing a fine run for 7th place. Josh Geddes showed he has been in hard training in a 3 week Christmas break in Australia with a fine performance in 9th place, one place ahead of Callum Cox who also enjoyed a good run, with Josh Clutton running well in 12th, all qualifying for the Anglian Trophy. Ryan Raulia also run well for 19th place. In the SB race Josh Cannell was top finisher with a fine run in 5th place, with Jack Watson & Tom Jawad both qualifying with solid runs in 10th & 12th place respectively.

In the Junior Boys race there were some great performances from the Harriers led by the fast improving Luke Cole who ran a superb race for 2nd place looking strong throughout the 4km course, with great support from Rio Carr with a strong run for 4th place, with Ben Brooker & Lucas Rogers also both putting in solid runs to finish in 6th & 8th place respectively. George Separovic also put in another quality performance to finish in 12th to secure qualification and his first county schools call up.

Luke Cole strong run for 2nd place in the Junior Boys race

Well done to all who ran, and with back to back races over the coming 2 weeks many of the squad will be aiming to reach peak form for the championship races in late February/ early March.