Dacorum & Tring AC’s Middle Distance Squad came away with impressive early season results from the first match of the Results Base Chiltern League, known as one of the toughest and most competitive cross country race series in the UK, on a challenging course at Oxford’s Shotover Hill.
(pictured above, Steven and Michael in the U17 men’s race)
The team of 28 youngsters, from the U11 to U20 age groups, scored a combined 646 points to finish fifth of out 14 teams. With the senior and vets team placing 11th on the day, the junior contribution helped to push the club up to eighth in the overall standings in the elite Division One of the five-match series.
The top finish of the day belonged to the U15 boys team, which, anchored by a superb fourth-place finish by Joseph Chamberlain (only three seconds behind top spot), placed second out of 14 clubs in the race. Contributing to the fine finish were Jack Raine in eighth, Jamie Bailey (19th), Thomas O’Reilly (20th), Thomas Durrant (29th), Sam Burnell (41st) and Rafael Armstrong (52nd).
The U17 teams also performed strongly on the day. The women’s team placed fourth against tough competition, with Indira Patel finishing a superb fifth against some of the best U17 athletes in the country. She was backed up by Amy Cassidy (24th), Lily Boden (24th) and Jessica Hoar (27th).
On the men’s side, the team of five also finished fourth in the standings, with Freddie Truman-Williams in 11th, Steven Armitage in 17th, Michael Armstrong just behind in 19th, Angus Saunders in 27th and Patrick Scahill in 58th.
Rhys Rowlands was the sole U20 athlete representing the club; his age group ran the full 10k distance with the senior and veteran men, and not only was he the first D&T man to finish, he was seventh U20 athlete across the line, securing fourth place in the U20 team standings for the club.
The U13 girls had an impressive fifth-place finish in the team standings, with Isabelle Jelfs in 14th overall, followed by Amy Lane (16th), Milla Walsh (30th) and Beth Moody (62nd). The U15 girls team also finished in the top half of the table in sixth place, with multi-eventer Grace Hucknell in 12th, Stella Whitlum in 18th, Jessica Hill in 34th, Katie Mitchell in 46th.
On a busy weekend of events, only one club member raced in the U13 boys event: Timothy Fryer crossed the line in 31st position out of 83 boys, giving the team an 11th-place finish for the age category.
Two D&T girls lined up in the U11 race, which is run as a mob match combining Divisions 1 and 2, and they impressed on their first Chiltern League outing: Talia Williams crossed the line in 54th position while Effie Walsh was 60th out of 77 girls.
Next up for the middle distance runners is the NWLL cross country match at Kingsbury in two weeks’ time and coach Mike Dunphy expects further strong results from the group with the additional training under their belts and the participation of new runners from Petra’s U11 and U13 group.
NB: Official race photographer Barry Cornelius, who took the photos attached here, is only permitted to cover races from the U17 age groups up, so we rely on parents to take pictures of the U11 to U15 age groups! Please send any photos to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Thanks to Claire Jelfs and Shelley Walsh for additional photos of U11 and U13 girls)