Harriers shine through miserable weather
CHILTERN Harriers had an extremely successful Bucks County Cross Country Championships at Hughenden Park, in High Wycombe, on Saturday.
In grey, drizzly conditions on tough, hilly courses, the club won several medals and had their best championships for some time.
Fabian Downs led the six scorers to team gold in the senior men’s race with an individual bronze on the arduous 11k circuit.
He was backed up by Simon Beedell (eighth), James Repper (ninth), Nick Hughes (10th), George Gillingwater (20th) and Peter Gould (27th), while Repper and Hughes were gold and silver winners in the vet 40 category.
In the senior women’s race, Sandra Reynolds, Cath Holloway and Ellie Bates bagged team second, but Reynolds, Holloway and Kirstie Elliott were the winners of the veteran team gold. Individually, Reynolds won gold in the vet 35 category, with Elliott second, while Holloway won gold in the vet 45 and Barbara Ralph bronze in the vet 55.
There was also a great deal of success for the young athletes, with all top-four runners guaranteed a place in the Bucks team at the National Inter Counties Championship, in Birmingham, in March.
In the U13 boys race, Ben Smith had a great run to win gold against a strong field. The team also won gold, with Smith backed up by Angus Williams (fourth), Tom Hunter (seventh) and Zach Rahaman (ninth). In the U13 girls race, Beth Welham ran strongly to be fourth.
The U15 boys event saw a silver medal-winning run from Harry Kettle, as the team also secured second place with Will Brown (sixth), George Brown (ninth) and Angus Denison-Smith (11th) also scoring. The U15 girls ended up dominant winners, with Emma Kaye the individual winner, Jess Orr taking bronze and Maddy Lacey one place behind.
The U17 men’s race was a battle between Chiltern’s Will Perkin and Callum Bampton of Oxford, with Perkin having to settle for silver on this occasion. Chiltern’s other runners were Richard Slade in seventh and Will Oleksiuk 11th, while James McCarthy won the U20 men’s race comfortably.
The junior women’s race was very short on numbers, but Hannah Thear won the U17 category, with Katie Bench in bronze and Emma Barraclough (fourth in the U20 race) completing the winning team.
DOMINANT: The U15 girls gold medal-winning team