Young athletes excel in National Cross Country Championships

Herne Hill Harriers enjoyed their best ever series of results at theNational Cross Country Championships in Alton Towers last weekendachieving four top-12 team finishes as well as recording a number ofexcellent individual performances.

The Harriers’ best team result on the day came courtesy of its under-13 girls’ team, who overcame one of the muddiest courses in the recenthistory of these championships to finish in 5th place out of 38 teams, thebest ever placing for the club in this age category.

Breagha Campbell in what was only her third race for the Harriers ledthe team home in 14th place supported by Saskia Millard in 25th, VictoriaPicken in 59th and Sky O’Shaunghessy in 79th.

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The Harriers’ under-13 boys’ team were in impressive form also finishing6th out of 33 teams. The young team was spearhead by the recent U13Surrey League winner, Paul Burgess, who was first home in 39th, backedup by Alfie Brown in 45th, Max Ferrari in 114th and James Bates in 119th.

Georgie Hay lead the Harriers’ U15 girls’ team home in 30th place,helping the team to 23rd place out of 33 teams, while Merhawi Yemaneproduced yet another excellent performance to finish in 18th out of 326runners in the U15 boys’ race. Merhawi was backed up by LascellesHussey in 82nd, Tim Leake in 114th, Fraser Cunningham in 175th andAaron Clarke in 208th to give the U15 boys’ team 12th place out of 30.

The Harriers’ outstanding individual performance of the day went toLewis Lloyd who finished in 9th place out of 270 runners in the U17men’s race. The track and field athlete ran superbly under testingconditions to hang on to a top ten finish in a competitive race.

The Harriers’ international athlete, Katie Snowden, was unfortunately setback by a muscle spasm during the U17 women’s race but performedremarkable well under the conditions to finish 15th out of 210.

In the senior races, Cathy Ansell and Karen Ellison both demonstratedtheir strength and value to the Harriers’ senior women’s squad bothfinishing in the top 50th in a competitive field of 552 runners.

In the final race of the day, the Harriers’ senior men’s team made thebest of the gruelling conditions under foot to record one of their bestteam results in recent times finishing in 12th place out of 95 clubs. Theclub’s six scorers all placed in the top 200 out of 1302 runners to cap offa successful cross country season for the team.