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Fine performances at the National XC

The Harriers were out in force for the English National Cross Country, with Emily Williams again leading the way with a magnificent run to finish just out of the medals in 4th place. The course held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham was a real testing one with plenty of challenges for the athletes including navigating a stream, and plenty of standing water and seriously muddy conditions in places, real Cross Country!

In the U15G race, Emily Williams, who was celebrating her 15th Birthday enjoyed a terrific start getting herself into the leading pack in the challenging uphill start, a position she held throughout the 4km race. As the race progressed a trio of athletes managed to open a small gap on Williams at the start of the second 2km lap and eventually the medals were decided within this breakaway pack with Williams finishing a comfortable 4th place in 16:31 finishing by far the strongest of the leading athletes, perhaps regretting not going with the pace earlier in the race. None the less it was a terrific performance and she will take confidence going into the seasons remaining races knowing she has more to give.

Emily Williams celebrates her birthday with magnificent run to finish in 4th place

Dylan Bowley put in a top performance to finish in 67th as a bottom year athlete in the U15B race, now back to good form following a virus, he finished strongly over the 4.5km course in 15:52, and now looks to put in a solid few weeks training before English Schools on 18th March.

Bottom year U15 Dylan Bowley superb finish in 67th 

The U17 W put in a terrific performance to finish 17th team overall, with the fast improving Poppy Carmichael leading the charge with a superb race to finish in 110th place just managing to take local Corby AC’s Selina Scott on the line with a strong finish in 22.22, with Bethan Lewis enjoying a fine race just 10 seconds adrift finishing in 117th, and Sophie Moss third scorer with a solid run for 173rd (23:42), and Harriet Jolley running well as 4th and final scorer in 221st (24:55) just holding of Charlotte Maywood who finished strongly in 227th (25:16), with Chloe Hearne in 235th (25:46).

Poppy Carmichael top finisher for the U17W team who finished in 17th place 

The U17 M competing over 6km with Josh Cannell again top finisher in 238th in 25:16, and Thomas Jawad just 10 places adrift in 248th (25:29) both putting in respectable performances, with jack Watson running in his first major competition gaining vital experience finishing in 288th (27:51).

The Juniors put in some terrific performances with Claudia Nevett finishing in a very respectable 75th out of the 150 strong field in 27:09 over the tough 6km course. Jack Hope returning from Cardiff University finished well in 108th place in 37:25 over the 10km course to show he is returning to fitness, with Edward Cannell running well in 150th in 39:08.

The U13’s also produced some good performances with Mia Brockway running well after recovering from a recent virus to finish the 3km course in 245th in 15:49, and Harriett Round now back in training follow a lengthy time off with some niggling injuries putting in a fine performance to finish in 252nd (15:51) just behind her club colleague. For the boys, Lucas Rogers was most prominent, running well to finish in 268th in 14:43 & Ben Brooker in 380th in 15:42.

The sole Senior Woman in action was Krisztina Kurucz tasting her first UK National competition in a huge field of nearly 800 athletes she ran a solid race to finish in 263rd over the gruelling two full lap 8km course in 37:42.

There were just 2 Senior Men in action in the 2500 strong field over the full 12km championship distance, which was a remarkable sight, with Ian Hearne foremost in 1426 in 61:53 and Paul Young in 1584th (66:37).

Well done to everyone who competed over a hugely challenging course.