National Cross-Country Inter-Counties Championships 2017 - Report

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For the first time in it’s history, the National Inter Counties Championships were held in the parkland grounds of Prestwold Hall, on the outskirts of Loughborough. Although it was not the most interesting of courses, both for athletes and spectators, it did provide a testing challenge with long stretches of dragging inclines and some muddy sections.

For the first time in it’s history, the National Inter Counties Championships were held in the parkland grounds of Prestwold Hall, on the outskirts of Loughborough. Although it was not the most interesting of courses, both for athletes and spectators, it did provide a testing challenge with long stretches of dragging inclines and some muddy sections.

Taking it in their stride were two young Cornish athletes who went into the Championships against forty other Counties, Scottish and Welsh Regions and up to three hundred County representatives in each race, as potential medallists and did not disappoint.

Harris Mier, in the Under 15 Boys race, has been top of his game throughout the winter, winning many races both locally and Regional. This time he came up against a Yorkshire lad that was Northern Champion and runner up in the National Club’s Championships. The pair were also joined by a Scottish athlete at the front end of the race. With about 2Km to the finish a slight break appeared with the Yorkshire athlete maintaining this to the line ahead of Mier who took Silver.

Under 13 Maisey Luke, still has a further year in the age group but had already shown her class in Nottingham two weeks ago by winning the National Club Championships. This time, she had to concede to Sussex and Scottish athletes who had broken away but was strong enough to just hold off the challenge of a Dorset girl who chased her to the line and although given the same electronic time, just edged it for the Bronze medal.

With the quality of these races, any top one hundred finisher has done remarkably well. The Under 17 Women produced two in the top thirty with Katie Hughes continuing her recent return of top form performances, dipping inside top twenty at nineteenth and Sian Temple, also getting back to the level she enjoyed pre-injury for twenty seventh.

Particularly pleasing was the turn out & camaraderie of the Senior Men where there were impressive results for Dan Nash, Mark Jenkin and Jordan Clay in an International class event used for selecting the teams for the World Championships.

All four of the younger athletes mentioned so far, together with Finn Birnie, Aidan Kent, Grace Brock and Jess Spry have been selected to represent the South West Region in The Just Giving London Mini Marathon on the 23 April. Teams of six in each age group will compete for the nine Regions, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland against the London Borough Teams, running the last 3 miles of the main Marathon Course, finishing in The Mall.

Other Cornish athletes that finished close to or in the top one hundred were:

Under 13 Girls – Abigail Jose 112, Freya Perkin 120

Under 15 Girls – Grace Davidson 131

Under 17 Women – Nell Savage 108, Imogen Wood 137 (14th team)

Under 13 Boys – James Horton 136, Zac Clemens 144

Under 15 Boys – Jacob McAhone 38, Benjy McCartney 96, Rees Stewart 124 (12th team)

Under 17 Men – Aidan Kent 84, Abhik Gupta 111, Sam Goodchild 116, Kristof Klymek 123 (21st team)

Under 20 Men – Tom Slattery 53, Tom Luton 76

Senior Men – Dan Nash 41, Mark Jenkin 108, Jordan Clay 123 (19th team)

Next Saturday, many of the younger athletes will endure the long trip to Norwich for the final National event of the winter, the English Schools Championships, where the County will be hoping for top eight finishes from a few athletes. If they can pull off this superb performance, it would earn them an English Schools vest for the home International the following week.