D&T cross country runners make the grade at Herts Schools champs

Young cross country runners from Dacorum & Tring AC produced a series of brilliant results in the Herts County Schools championships, held on a tough, hilly and very muddy course in St Albans’ Verulamium Park.

A group of some 30 runners represented their schools in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior age groups, as well as the primary Year 6 and Secondary Year 7 races – with four athletes gaining automatic selection to represent Herts in the English Schools Championships, taking place at Temple Newsam in Leeds next month, while another three are likely to be called up based on their top-10 placings.

The top result belonged to Middle Distance star Kristian Imroth (St Columba’s, pictured above), who easily won the Inter Boys (Years 10-11) race over 5k, in a field of nearly 90 boys. Both Kristian and Freddie Truman-Williams (Ashlyns), who finished sixth, won automatic selection for English Schools. Also performing strongly in a competitive race were Michael Armstrong (14th / JFK), Angus Saunders (31st / Ashlyns) and Patrick Scahill (Tring). In the Inter Girls race over 4k, Lily Boden (Tring) ran well to finished 13th out of nearly 80 girls.

Also headed to English Schools is Scarlett Wager-Leigh (Tring) who finished second in the Senior Girls (Sixth Form) race over 4k. Jamie Ayres (Kings Langley), running in the Senior Boys race over 7k, crossed the line in seventh and is likely to also get the call-up for English Schools.

Joe Chamberlain (Kings Langley) secured his spot on the Herts English School squad with his superb fourth-place finish in the Junior Boys (Years 8-9) race over 4k, while Thomas Ashton (eighth/Hemel) and Jack Raine (ninth/Hemel) are also likely to be considered for the Herts team. The trio were followed closely the line by Thomas Durrant (11th/Ashlyns), Sam Burnell (12th/Tring), Jamie Bailey (19th/Ashlyns), Rafael Armstrong (25th/JFK) and Ryan Ginn (56th/Ashlyns)  all well within the top half of the field of over 100 boys.

Stella Whitlum (Astley Cooper) led home D&T’s Junior Girls runners, finishing 11th in the 3k race, with Summa-Jo Bradley (Ashlyns) just behind in 14th and Jessica Hill (Kings Langley) in 17th, well within the top-20 out of close to 100 girls. Abbie Parker (47th/Kings Langley), Daisy Lang (54th/Ashlyns and Jessica Benveniste (58th/Bushey Meads) also ran well for their schools.

In the Primary School races for Years 5 and 6, and the Secondary School race for Year 7, the first 10 runners will be selected to represent Herts in next month’s National Schools Championships at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough – and a brace of young D&T runners made the cut.

Jude McKay (Ashlyns) finished a strong third overall out of over 100 boys in the Year 7 race, over 2600m, to win his place on the Herts team for the nationals, while Archie Wood (36th/Ashlyns), Niall Cassidy (St Michael’s RC) and Joseph Hamilton (56th/St Clement Danes) finished well within the top half. Amy Lane (Tring), for her part, will also don a Herts vest after placing sixth out of close to 90 girls in the Year 7 girls race, also contested over 2600m.

In the Year 6 girls event over 1600m, Brooke Evans (Two Waters) finished second and Milla Walsh (Hammond) was fifth – both securing spots on the Herts team for nationals. Lucy Bevan (14th/ Westfield), Kate Hopper (32nd/Thomas Coram), Ella Head (Westfield) and Poppy Webster (Greenway) ran strongly to finish well within the top half of the field of close to 150 girls. Billy Read (St Mary’s), Oliver Fogden (Hobletts Manor), Daniel Thiruchelvan (Greenway) and Thomas Goldsmith (Greenway) raced well for their schools in the Year 6 boys race, as did Matilda Anderson (25th/Greenway) and Charlotte McDonald for the Year 5 girls.

A further half dozen Dacorum & Tring runners will lace up for the Bucks Schools Championships, taking place in Wing this week with a view to also qualifying for English Schools.

Thomas Ashton pulled off a strong run to finish eighth in the Junior Boys race

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About Catherine Davies

Catherine has been an active member of Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners since 2007, and her three children have all passed through Mike Dunphy's Middle Distance squad.