Dacorum & Tring AC’s middle distance squad competed in the second race of the North West London Young Athletes Cross Country League, and faced the worst conditions so far this season – with soggy grass, ankle-deep mud and blustery winds making the Trent Park course in Enfield hard going for all the young runners.
Even so, that didn’t stop the squad from putting in some fine performances. First up, as usual, were the U11 girls’ team, and once again Olivia Edwards was at the front over the 1,400m course. She battled hard against a Highgate runner and finished a brilliant second, only eight seconds adrift.
Stella Whitlum had her best race yet, finishing 12th overall, and as a team the two girls were fourth overall.
In the U11 boys’ race, over 2,450m, Sam Day crossed the line 31st, just ahead of Niall Cassidy in 35th.
In the U13 boys’ race, over 3,000m, Freddie Truman-Williams showed his strong form again, finishing fourth overall, only 10 seconds behind first place. He was followed by Michael Armstrong in fifth, just 11 seconds behind – and Michael crossed the line with one foot bare after losing a shoe halfway round.
Thomas Ashton was next, in 21st, followed by Seth Russell in 24th, Yoan Tonev in 26th, Sam Burnell in 37th and Ethan Brimmer in 40th. The boys combined to finish as third team overall out of 12.
Amy Cassidy was first home and 14th overall in the U13 girls’ race, run over 2,450m, with Jess Benveniste just one second behind in 15th and Lily Boden another second adrift in 16th. Lois Emery – in her first cross country race for the club – was 26th, and together the girls came home as fifth U13 team overall.
In the 3,000m U15 girls’ race, Indira Patel finished 14th, while Crystal Jugoo, in her first cross country race for the club, finished 32nd.
Kristian Imroth finished a superb second in the U15 boys’ race, over a hilly 4,200km course, and he was just 23s behind top spot. Luke Burford ran well to finish 31st, with the two pairing to finish eighth team overall in the age category.
Grace Birdseye was seventh in the U17 women’s race (4,200m) while in the longer U17 men’s race (5,600m) Joshua van Heiningen finished fifth and Rhys Rowlands was seventh – and as team the two boys finished third in the age group.
All three U17 runners went on to post speedy times the following day in the Hatfield five-mile race, which doubled as the Dacorum & Tring AC club championship – with both Grace and Joshua breaking their respective club records in the U17 age group.