Junior Cross Country

CONTACT

Tony Kingham
Telephone – 01274 582680
E-Mail – tonykingham@blueyonder.co.uk


2019-2020

Junior Cross-Country Report 2019-20

Eight weeks into lock-down and the cross-country season does seem an awful long time ago. Fortunately, with the exception of one event, the National Schools Championship for years five to seven, we were able to complete the fixtures, though there is no way of knowing when we shall get together again. The last race in which we did manage to compete was the English Schools Championship at Sefton Park, Liverpool, just nine days before all activity at the Club ceased. Four of our athletes, who will feature prominently in this report, Rebecca Flaherty and Emily Field, representing West Yorkshire, and Ruby Firth and Joseph Carnelley, representing North Yorkshire, all performed excellently. Rebecca and Emily were both first counters for their teams, and Ruby and Joseph third counters for theirs.

With the departure of Martin Peace from the coaching scene, things have been rather different this year – our beginners and younger runners are still based at the Bradford and Bingley Club, whilst our older athletes are mostly based at the Keighley track, under the guidance of Alan Buckley and his team. We are very grateful to Alan for the excellent work he has been doing. Some youngsters have also benefitted from John Smithurst’s excellent speed sessions at Beckfoot School, and again we are very grateful for his expertise.

The number of runners attending training at the Sports Club has not been as high as we would like, but we certainly cannot complain about the spirit and attitude of those who have turned up regularly. The whole group is now doing sessions that only the best runners would have tackled a few years ago, and it must be said that some of us are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with them!

Our first competitive outings were, as usual, at the four races of the West Yorkshire League.

Team-wise, we began the series quite well, but our numbers were by no means consistent, with the result that we had only one scoring team overall, our U17 Men in 4th place.12 of our runners achieved an overall position by running in at least 3 races, and 7 ran in all four.

On an individual basis there were some fine performances: in the U11 races both William Johnson and Abby Clay ran with real spirit, but too often they had to run without a team-mate; in the U13 Boys, Logan Walker had two good runs, and both Louis Shackleton, a promising newcomer, and Robbie Temple, showed real determination throughout, as did Rubie Coulton and Mia Naylor in the U13 Girls. Unfortunately, Martha Jackson was not available for three of the races: in the one she did run, she had a stunning victory.

In the U15 Boys new recruit Ben Curtis ran with real purpose, and Theo Clay continued his excellent progress, while in the U15 Girls Rebecca Flaherty won two of her three races and the overall title.

Ruby Firth, in the U17 Women, was in contention in all of her races, as were Joseph Carnelley, Alex Flaherty and Ben Rees in the U17 Men, where a brave run from Rory Hopson in the last race ensured that we had a scoring team, not just in that race, but also overall. We also had a brief glimpse of Owen Pacey, who ran well in the first race of the series

Josh Spencer, in his first year in the U20 age-group, was very consistent and finished in a fine 5th position overall.

For various reasons, mostly meteorological, we only managed to run two races in our 3k series, but there was some excellent racing with Ruby Coulton winning both races, and Joe Dawson recording the fastest times.

For the youngest of our runners the best chance of racing is to compete in the PECO League, but unfortunately the weather once again had a big effect, with only three of the races being completed. Nevertheless, it was good to see some of “regulars” performing at a high level: William Johnson (5-6 Boys), Mia Naylor (7-8 Girls) and Theo Clay (9-11 Boys); and some making their debuts: Noah Toothill (2-4 Boys), Poppy Barraclough (5-6 Girls), Joseph Hopton (5-6 Boys) and Archie Barraclough (9-11 Boys).

At the Yorkshire Championships our small band of dedicated runners produced some very pleasing results: four of our juniors gained selection to the Yorkshire team (Rebecca Flaherty, Ruby Firth, Emily Field and Reuben Mantle), and our U17 Men’s team (Joseph Carnelley, Alex Flaherty and Ben Rees) performed splendidly to win bronze medals. Other fine runs came from Ruby Coulton, Theo Clay and Samuel Mantle, while in the U13 Boys race both Theo Armitage and newcomer Zach Blyth showed commendable spirit.

It was a particular pleasure to see Ruby Firth finally achieve the Yorkshire place that that she has deserved for so long, and she did not disappoint in the Inter Counties, where Emily Field in her first year in the age-group, not only came 10th in the U20 Women’s race, but was also first counter for the victorious Yorkshire team: a superlative achievement.

For the Northern Championships at the brand-new venue in Bedale, North Yorkshire, the entry from our juniors was disappointing, and there were several absentees on the day to make things worse. Nevertheless, there were some excellent results: Emily Field, always up with the leaders was 11th in the U20 Women; Rebecca Flaherty was 27th in the U15 Girls; and in the U17 Men our bronze medallists from the Yorkshire, plus newcomer Joe Dawson, came 10th in a high-class field with Alex Flaherty 44th, Joseph Carnelley 58th, Joe Dawson 107th and Ben Rees 112th. This was a particularly impressive debut by Joe who had trained so hard in the build-up to this race.

Rubie Coulton, in the U13 Girls, and Theo Clay in the U15 Boys, had no team-mates to support them but fought hard all the way, with Rubie finishing 113th in a large field, and Theo finishing in 62nd, a considerable improvement on his 130th position the year before.

Our two competitors in the U20 Men’s race, Reuben Mantle and Josh Spencer, only just made it to the starting-line after a breakdown problem, and it is very much to their credit that they performed as well as they did in 42nd and 69th respectively.

The National returned to one of the most popular venues, Wollaton Park, Nottingham, where our entry was disappointingly thin, with only one girl and five boys (two of whom were Junior Men) toeing the starting line.

Our two most successful athletes were Joseph Carnelley, who finished 91st in the U17 Men, and Rebecca Flaherty who, in her first year in the U15 age-group, finished in an excellent 26th place, but I would also commend Samuel Mantle (U15), Ben Rees (U17), and Reuben Mantle and Josh Spencer (U20) for turning out for this, the most important race in the calendar.

When it comes to the Trophy Winners, (see list below) David, Graham and I were unanimous in our choices, though there was no shortage of candidates in most of the categories.

The Hardaker King Cup, for the leading female competitor, went to Rebecca Flaherty, who has had another remarkable season, and the Harry Leighton Cup, for the leading male, to Theo Clay, for the sheer consistency and quality of his performances throughout.

Ben Rees, not for the first time, won the Captain’s Award as Best Team Player. He has not missed a race this season and it is surely no coincidence that the most successful team this year has been the one in which Ben has always been a scoring member.

The Endeavour Award, presented to the Club by Fred Gibbs, went to Rubie Coulton. She has trained with great enthusiasm throughout the season, come rain or shine, and has produced some fine performances. We are sure that given her attitude, she will achieve even more.

The Wells Cup, for the Most Improved Athlete, went to Joseph Carnelley. I think it true to say that there has been a big improvement in his approach in the last two years, but it is in this year that we have also seen that reflected in his results. It is a great pity that, because of the pandemic, he, as part of his school team, was not able to run in the World Schools Championships.

The Gerry Spink Plate is awarded for outstanding individual achievement, and this is one that has already been mentioned. Having missed months of training, Emily Field made her competitive comeback in the Yorkshire Championships where she finished in a superb third place. That performance, however, pales in comparison with what she achieved in the Inter Counties a few weeks later: to come tenth, and to lead home the winning Yorkshire team, truly was outstanding!

I hope that I have managed to mention everyone that has represented the Club this season, but there are also a number of keen youngsters, who train regularly, itching to give it a go. We hope that they manage to retain their enthusiasm throughout this long break, and we can’t wait to see them competing in Bingley colours.

As always, despite talking at length about individual performances, I really must stress that this is a team sport: all of us, coaches and runners, are extremely grateful for the encouragement and help that we receive from parents and supporters, not only at races but also in training, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere.

I cannot end without once again stressing how much I owe to David Potter and Graham Smith: their enthusiasm and dedication, not to mention their constant good humour (and tent-pitching skills!), make my job so enjoyable. Thank you chaps!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls 1st Abby Clay 2nd Isabelle Jebb

Under 11 Boys 1st William Johnson 2nd Zach Blyth 3rd Noah Toothill

Under 13 Girls 1st Rubie Coulton 2nd Mia Naylor

Under 13 Boys 1st Logan Walker 2nd Louis Shackleton

3rd= Robbie Temple 3rd= Theo Armitage

Under 15 Girls 1st Rebecca Flaherty

Under 15 Boys 1st Theo Clay 2nd Samuel Mantle 3rd Ben Curtis

Under 17 Women 1st Ruby Firth

Under 17 Men 1st= Joseph Carnelley 1st= Alex Flaherty 3rd Ben Rees

Under 20 Women 1st Emily Field

Under 20 Men 1st Reuben Mantle 2nd Josh Spencer

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Theo Clay (Harry Leighton Cup)

Top Female Competitor Rebecca Flaherty (Hardaker King Cup)

Best Team Player Ben Rees (Captain’s Award)

Most Improved Athlete Joseph Carnelley (Wells Cup)

Endeavour Award Ruby Coulton (Fred Gibbs Shield)

Award for Outstanding Emily Field (Gerry Spink Plate)

Achievement


2018-2019

Junior Cross Country Report 2018-19

Measuring progress is not always a straightforward exercise but overall this has been a successful season, despite a lack of numbers, not only in races but also in our general sessions.

The numbers in Martin Peace’s group of talented runners have been pretty consistent, but it may not be that easy to keep them together now that Martin has decided to hang up his coaching shoes – but more of that later.

Our first competitive outings were, as usual, at the four races of the West Yorkshire League: numbers were down on the previous year, but the very first race was one of our more successful days. Unfortunately, we could not quite keep up that standard throughout the series, though our team results were certainly an improvement on the previous year: our U11 Boys came 4th, our U13 Girls 3rd, and our U15 Boys a splendid 1st, thanks to consistent performances from Alex Flaherty, Ben Rees and Theo Clay.

Individually, there were some outstanding performances: Emily Field and Ruby Firth were 1st and 2nd respectively in the U17 Women; Martha Jackson 2nd and Rebecca Flaherty 3rd in the U13 Girls; Alex Flaherty 2nd in the U15 Boys; Logan Walker 5th and Charlie Robinson 6th in the U11 Boys; Mia Naylor 10th and Abby Clay 14th in the U11 Girls; and in her first year in the U20 Women Eliza Findlay a promising 4th. On the debit side, we had only one overall finisher in the U15 Girls (a brave effort by Elinor Gorrell) and none in either the U13 Boys or the U17 Men.

After the success last year of our 3k series, which was aimed particularly at our youngest runners who have so little opportunity of racing, we repeated the experiment and, although the numbers were down, there was some excellent racing from the 27 runners who took part.

For the youngest of our runners the best chance of racing is to compete in the PECO League, which is a very friendly and relaxed environment in which to test one-self. Unfortunately we did not have that many competitors, though, as usual, there were some excellent results in the various age-groups: Izzy Baxter-King was 27th out of a large field in the 2-4 Girls; Mia Naylor, Holly Walters and Owen Pacey all finished 7th in their respective categories; William Johnson achieved a splendid 4th place in the 2-4 Boys. There were also some fine individual results from Logan Walker, Abby Clay and Theo Clay.

At the Championships our numbers were not large, but we did have three scoring teams in the Yorkshire Championships: the U13 Girls were 4th; the U15 Boys 3rd; and our U20 Men (Reuben Mantle, James Askew and Josh Spencer) 1st, our first team win in the Yorkshire’s for some time. On top of that, and to round off a very successful day, we had five qualifiers for the Yorkshire team, Martha Jackson, Rebecca Flaherty, Alex Flaherty, Emily Field and Reuben Mantle. I should also mention the excellent run of Ruby Firth in 12th, again so close to Yorkshire selection.

At the inter-Counties pride of place must go to Emily who came 17th and was a scoring member of the winning Yorkshire team.

The Northern Championships were back in Pontefract, after an absence of a few years, and there were two excellent team performances: the U13 Girls were 8th and the U15 Boys 5th. This latter result was our best junior team finish at the Northerns in my time as Team Manager, and it was even more pleasing in that we had six scoring runners.

Good as those team results were, our individual performances were even more spectacular: Emily Field and Ruby Firth were 11th and 17th respectively in the Under 17 Women; Rebecca Flaherty was a superb 4th in the U13 Girls; and Martha Jackson produced a sensational run to come home in 1st place, also in the U13 Girls. This was the Club’s first individual Northern win since Alistair Brownlee won the U20 race in 2008, and was all the more remarkable in that Martha has another year in the same age-group.

The National this year was in the magnificent setting of the grounds of Harewood House, and the weather could not have been more perfect for such a grand spectacle. Unfortunately some of our runners were not at their best due to various viruses, but we did manage 19 finishers. Rebecca Flaherty was the pick of our runners with a fine 16th place, though I am sure all our juniors were inspired by the magnificent occasion.

For the second year in a row Temple Newsam was the venue for the English Schools, and, although the weather was not quite as bad as the previous year, conditions were still very tough. In the races, we had seven representatives: Rebecca Flaherty, Oliver Peace, Grace Dawson, Alex Flaherty, Emily Field, and Reuben Mantle representing West Yorkshire, Ruby Firth representing North Yorkshire. The best run of the day came from Rebecca, who finished 42nd in her first year in the U14 age-group.

In the National Schools Finals for years 5-7 we had four runners: Martha Jackson was 8th in the year 7 race; Mia Naylor was 93rd in the year 6 Girls; Logan Walker was 39th in the Year 6 Boys; Charlie Robinson was 30th in the Year 5 Boys.

The list of Trophy Winners (see below) is a clear indication of who were the most successful runners this year, but I should also say something about the remaining three.

The Best Team Player Award was deservedly won by Theo Clay. Theo always gives of his very best and his efforts have been vital in the success of our U15 team this year.

The Endeavour Award, presented to the Club by Fred Gibbs, went to Holly Walters who has found things tough this season, but has always been there to ensure a team position. At the National she was far from well but still turned out and was very ill as a result – needless to say, she did finish.

The Wells Cup, for the Most Improved Athlete, went to Ben Rees whose approach has once again been admirable, and who has made a huge contribution to the team.

With such a small number of competing runners I think I have managed to mention nearly everyone, but there are one or two more who deserve special mention: Robbie Temple has been a consistent and valuable member of our U11 Boys; Theo Armitage, also an U11, did take part in all three Championship races as an U13; Samuel Mantle and Joseph Smith were both part of our U15 Boys team.

There’s that word “team” again, and I really must mention the role played by parents and supporters; all of us, coaches and runners, are extremely grateful for the encouragement and help that we receive, not only at races but also in training, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere.

Much of the success of which I have spoken above would not have happened without the fantastic job that Martin Peace has done over the years with our more experienced runners, and I would like to thank him of behalf of all those he has helped to fulfil their potential. We all understand that his priorities must now lie with his family and we wish him well for the future.

I cannot end without once again stressing how much I owe to David Potter and Graham Smith: their enthusiasm and dedication, not to mention their constant good humour, make my job so easy. Thanks guys!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls 1st Mia Naylor 2nd Abby Clay 3rd Izzy Baxter-King

Under 11 Boys 1st Logan Walker 2nd Charlie Robinson

3rd= William Johnson and Robbie Temple

Under 13 Girls 1st Martha Jackson 2nd Rebecca Flaherty

3rd Holly Walters

Under 13 Boys 1st Theo Armitage (U11, but did all the U13 races)

Under 15 Girls 1st Grace Dawson 2nd Elinor Gorrell

Under 15 Boys 1st Alex Flaherty 2nd Ben Rees 3rd Theo Clay

Under 17 Women 1st Emily Field 2nd Ruby Firth

Under 17 Men 1st Joseph Carnelley 2nd Charlie McVay

Under 20 Women 1st Eliza Findlay

Under 20 Men 1st Reuben Mantle 2nd Josh Spencer

3rd James Askew

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Alex Flaherty (Harry Leighton Cup)

Top Female Competitor Emily Field (Hardaker King Cup)

Best Team Player Theo Clay (Captain’s Award)

Most Improved Athlete Ben Rees (Wells Cup)

Endeavour Award Holly Walters (Fred Gibbs Shield)

Award for Outstanding Martha Jackson (Gerry Spink Plate)

Achievement


2017-2018

Junior Cross Country Report 2017-18

Tuesday September 11, and this evening we had our first well-attended training session since the beginning of the school holidays. Seeing so many new recruits, whose names will have to be learnt over the next few weeks, always creates a feeling of real optimism, and we are all looking forward to another busy and, we hope, successful season, beginning with our traditional Schools races on Wednesday September 26.

Looking back at last season it is difficult to judge whether the Juniors have continued to progress or not : on an individual level there have been so many wonderful performances , but when it comes to team results there is still some way to go.

However, the quality of our youngest runners is very good and, although numbers of those attending the general sessions have continued to dwindle, the attitude shown by those who do attend does give us some cause for optimism.

Martin Peace’s group of talented runners has continued to grow, particularly at the younger end, and if we can keep them together, and if we can get them to take advantage of every opportunity to represent the Club in races, we should see more team success.

The season began earlier than usual with our first visit for some years to the Northern Cross Country Relays at Graves Park. We were able to field six teams who all performed splendidly, with the highlight of the day being the 5th place achieved by our U11 Boys.

Next came the four races of the West Yorkshire League: numbers were down on the previous year, and team results were a little disappointing, though our U13 Boys did well to finish 5th in a very competitive field. Individual results, on the other hand, were outstanding: Martha Jackson finished 2nd in the U11 Girls, Rebecca Flaherty came 1st in the U13 Girls, and Emily Field shared first place in the U17 Women, where she was ably supported by the ever-dependable Eliza Findlay – such a pity that there was no third counter. Progress-wise, I would like to mention William Askew who improved by fifteen places on the previous year.

One innovation in the first half of the season was the introduction of our 3k series, which was aimed particularly at our youngest runners who have so little opportunity of racing. Fortunately, they responded very well, with 51 different runners taking part at one time or another, and there was a real competitive spirit shown.

Unfortunately, despite this introduction to racing, very few took the next step of competing in the PECO League, which is a very friendly and relaxed environment in which to test one-self. Once again, however, those who did participate achieved some excellent results: Abby Clay came 3rd in the Y2-4 Girls; William Johnson was 7th in the Y2-4 Boys; Holly Walters was 7th in the Y7-9 Girls; Alex Flaherty was 2nd in the Y7-9 Boys and Rebecca Flaherty 1st in the Y7-9 Girls.

At the Championships our numbers were not large, but we did have two scoring teams in the Yorkshire Championships, the U13 Boys and the U15 Boys, and three brilliant qualifiers for the Yorkshire team, Rebecca Flaherty, Emily Field and Reuben Mantle. I should also mention the excellent runs of Samuel Mantle in 14th place and Ruby Firth in 11th, whilst not forgetting Matthew Merrick and Phoebe Francis who both qualified in the U20 races.

At the inter-Counties our junior runners performed brilliantly: Rebecca, in her first year in the age-group, came 15th, Emily 10th and Reuben 20th, in what was the run of the day, considering that he was only called up a few days before the race.

The Northern Championships were held in the magnificent (and very muddy) grounds of Harewood House, the venue for the National in 2019. Once again, the U13s were the stars of the show, finishing in a superb 7th position, with Oliver Peace producing a magical run in 16th place. He was ably supported by Samuel Mantle, Jake Wallace, Theo Clay and Joseph Smith – a real team effort! Wonderful individual performances came from Alex Flaherty in 22nd, Emily Field in 10th and Rebecca Flaherty in 6th.

The National this year was at its spiritual home: Parliament Hill Fields, and 12 of our juniors and their brave supporters are to be congratulated on making it there. In particular I would like to thank Sarah Flaherty and Chris Mantle who, in my lamentable absence, organised the team on the day. Fortunately their efforts were very well rewarded, with Samuel Mantle coming 63rd, Oliver Peace 60th, Alex Flaherty 29th, Reuben Mantle 19th (surely his best-ever run?) and Rebecca Flaherty 16th in her first year in the age-group. Well done, too, to Jake Wallace, Ben Rees, Joseph Carnelley, Josh Spencer, Vicki Merrick and Matthew Merrick for carrying the Club colours with such distinction in foreign parts. It was particularly pleasing that Vicki was able to run after all the injury problems that she has had. Of late she has shown a glimpse of her real talent and we would like to wish Vikki and Matthew every success

in their university careers. Thanks too to John Merrick who has given us such great support over the years.

Temple Newsam was the venue for the English Schools this year, and it turned out to be an extremely tough day for all concerned, including all the Bingley Harriers acting as marshals, who turned out in greater numbers than any other club. In the races we had seven representatives: Alex Flaherty, Oliver Peace, Emily Field, Reuben Mantle and James Askew representing West Yorkshire, Ben Rees and Ruby Firth representing North Yorkshire. The best runs of the day came from Alex in 43rd and Emily in 29th, but everyone deserved a medal for finishing.

In the National Schools Finals for years 5-7 we had two runners, and both performed brilliantly, with Martha Jackson coming 7th in the Year 6 race and Rebecca Flaherty winning the bronze medal in the Year 7.

Rebecca, Oliver Peace and Emily Field were selected to represent Yorkshire and Humberside in the London Mini-Marathon. Oliver was 46th, Emily 38th and Rebecca 28th in their respective age-groups – a great experience for them all.

I have already spoken about the great achievements of three of our Trophy Winners (see list below) but should also say something about the remaining two.

The Best Team Player Award was deservedly won by Holly Walters: since joining us she has always been up for the challenge and has never turned down the opportunity to represent the Club at all levels, often ensuring that we had a team result. Her training has been exemplary and her commitment total -well done!

The Endeavour Award, presented to the Club by Fred Gibbs, went to Ruby Firth, another of our athletes who never gives anything other than her best. Unfortunately, she often finds herself as the sole Club representative in her age-group, but that never stops her from giving her all. This year she did represent North Yorkshire, but we are all hoping that she will be rewarded with full County honours in the New Year.

I am very conscious of the fact that, although I keep stressing the importance of team success, I have spent most of my time talking about individuals. So let me remedy that by mentioning the names of all those who have contributed to the Team and have not yet been mentioned: Grace Ross and Evie Trusselle in the U11 Girls; Matthew Peace and Theo Armitage in the U11 Boys; Eleanor Dawson in the U13 Girls; Alistair Trusselle in the U13 Boys, and Grace Dawson in the U15 Girls. All of these have played an important part and I hope that they will continue to give of their best.

Which brings me back to the team “thing”, and the role played by parents and supporters; all of us, coaches and runners, are extremely grateful for the encouragement and help that we receive, not only at races but also in training, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere.

Personally, I am indebted to Martin Peace for the wonderful job that he is doing with our experienced runners, and to my esteemed colleagues (and great friends!) David Potter and Graham Smith: their enthusiasm and dedication, not to mention their constant good humour, make my job so easy. All four of us are already looking forward to the new season!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls 1st Martha Jackson 2nd Grace Ross 3rd Abby Clay

Under 11 Boys 1st William Askew 2nd Matthew Peace 3rd William Johnson

Under 13 Girls 1st Rebecca Flaherty 2nd Holly Walters

Under 13 Boys 1st Oliver Peace 2nd Samuel Mantle 3rd = Jake Wallace

3rd = Theo Clay

Under 15 Girls 1st 2nd Ruby Firth

Under 15 Boys 1st Alex Flaherty 2nd Joseph Carnelley 3rd Ben Rees

Under 17 Women 1st Emily Field 2nd Eliza Findlay

Under 17 Men 1st Reuben Mantle 2nd James Askew 3rd Josh Spencer

Under 20 Women 1st Phoebe Francis 2nd Vicki Merrick

Under 20 Men 1st Matthew Merrick

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Reuben Mantle (Harry Leighton Cup)

Top Female Competitor Rebecca Flaherty (Hardaker King Cup)

Best Team Player Holly Walters (Captain’s Award)

Most Improved Athlete Oliver Peace (Wells Cup)

Endeavour Award Ruby Firth (Fred Gibbs Shield)

Award for Outstanding Achievement Rebecca Flaherty (Gerry Spink Plate)


2016-2017

Junior Cross Country Report 2016-17

Sitting here, watching the rain pouring down, it is so easy to imagine that the cross country season has already begun, but this is August and we have to wait until Wednesday September 27 for our traditional opening fixture, the Club’s own school races.

Last season certainly saw signs of real progress from our juniors: indeed, I would say that it was the best performance overall that we have had in my time as Team Manager, both in training and in races.

Martin Peace’s group of talented runners has continued to grow and to produce fine results, and we have been very fortunate in the quality of our new recruits, as I shall detail later.

Numbers of those attending the general sessions have fallen off a little, but this has been more than compensated for by a rise in standards and an increase in commitment. It is always very pleasing to see youngsters in this group making the jump to Martin’s group, as a good number have done.

All that being said, there is still one area that we are not entirely happy with: the number of runners taking part in races is still not as high as we would like, although there has been an improvement yet again. For whatever reason, some of our Club members seem to be reluctant to take part, and we will be doing all we can to encourage greater participation, beginning with our Winter League 3k runs which will begin in September. We hope that these runs will give youngsters the confidence to take part in the West Yorkshire League, which is not as high-powered as some people think, or the PECO League which is a very friendly and accessible path to competition.

The season began, as usual, with the four races of the West Yorkshire League: numbers were up on the previous year, and there was a real improvement in performance with five of our teams achieving an overall position. We were particularly pleased with our U17 Men and Women: for the first time for some years both teams won medals with Matthew Merrick leading his team to an excellent 2nd place, and Vicki Merrick leading hers to a fine 3rd place. Both results illustrated the importance of having reliable reserves, with Josh Spencer and Izzy Harris fulfilling those valuable roles.

The Under 13 Boys also secured 3rd place, and theirs was a true team performance, with 5 different runners in scoring positions during the series, in stark contrast to the U13 Girls and the U15 Boys, where Grace Dawson and Joseph Carnelley respectively had no team-mates. Our U11 Girls came 6th= and our U11 Boys 8th – in both cases we had to manage without reserves.

Individually there were some outstanding results: pride of place must go to Rebecca Flaherty who came1st overall in the U11 Girls, while her brother Alex finished 2nd in the U13 Boys. Talented newcomer Emily Field came 6th in the U15 Girls, Reuben Mantle 3rd and Matthew Merrick 5th in the U17 Men.

Numbers of those competing in the PECO League were very disappointing, with only four of our athletes achieving an overall position, all of them in the Girls Years 10-12 category. Their performances were outstanding, however, with Eliza Findlay 1st, Katie Smith 2nd, and Lucy Miller 5th, continuing to show just what a fine U15 team they are. They were ably supported in 4th position by Abi White from our U17 group.

On a Championship level our numbers were not large, but we did have two scoring teams in the Yorkshire Championships, the U13 Boys and the U15 Girls, and two brilliant qualifiers for the Yorkshire team, Alex Flaherty and Reuben Mantle.

The U13 Boys once again featured prominently in the Northern Championships, at Witton Park, Blackburn, in quite dreadful weather and underfoot conditions. Their 18th position was very pleasing, and they were to follow this up with a wonderful 25th in the National.

Individually there were three excellent performances: Reuben Mantle was 28th in the U15 Boys, Alex Flaherty 24th in the U13 Boys, and Ruby Firth, with her best run of the season, 20th in the U13 Girls.

Donnington Park was the setting for the National, and pleasingly the Club was represented in all of the races bar the Junior Men. This was a great experience for all of those who ran and, as I have already mentioned, it was the U13 Boys who really shone, with individual honours going to Alex Flaherty with his marvellous 38th place, in his first year in the age-group.

We had five representatives at the English Schools: Reuben Mantle and Matthew Merrick in the U16 Boys, Eliza Findlay in the U16 Girls, and Grace Dawson and Alex Flaherty in the inaugural Year 7 Championships. Both Eliza and Reuben ran well in their first year in the age-group, while Grace and Alex had wonderful runs, Grace finishing in 12th, and Alex showing his great potential with a highly impressive 3rd. He was later rewarded for this run by being selected to represent Yorkshire and Humberside in the London Mini-Marathon.

I have already spoken about two of our Trophy Winners (see list below) but should also say something about the remaining three.

The Best Team Player Award was deservedly won by Ben Rees: he was an ever-present, never turning down the opportunity to represent the Club and doing so with real determination and commitment.

Another U13 Boy won the Most Improved Athlete Award: Samuel Mantle made great progress during the season and is becoming an increasingly bright prospect for the future.

The Endeavour Award, presented to the Club by Fred Gibbs, went to Lucy Miller who, despite problems with her asthma, kept going bravely throughout the season and managed some very fine performances.

Talk of fine performances brings me to those juniors who turn out for training on a regular basis, and I have been delighted to see so many of them taking part in the Judith and Keith Firm Memorial 5K Series of races: to date, after the first four races, 72 different juniors have taken part and shown the sort of competitive spirit that will serve them well when they compete for the Club later.

The first real opportunity to compete will be at our Schools races on September 28, but before then we shall be collecting entries for the West Yorkshire League, the first race of which will be in latish October.

Huge thanks are due to Martin Peace for the fine job that he is doing with our more experienced runners, and for the way he is moulding them into a real team: his National minibus trip and his camping weekend proved to be huge successes.

The numbers attending the quality Thursday sessions have varied, but the level of commitment shown by those who have attended has been most commendable, and I would like to say a big thank you to Julie Thornton and Gary Childs in particular for the support they have given.

I am also very grateful to Gary for his efforts with the off-road group on Saturdays and to John Merrick for providing so many opportunities for our youngsters to compete on the fells and to stay fit during the summer months.

As usual runners and coaches have received tremendous support and encouragement

from our parents (and indeed grand-parents!), not only at races, but increasingly at our training sessions, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere – we are most grateful to you all!

It goes without saying, of course, that my biggest debt of gratitude is to my fellow coaches, David Potter and Graham Smith: their enthusiasm and dedication, not to mention their constant good humour, make my job so easy. All three of us are already looking forward to the new season!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls 1st Rebecca Flaherty 2nd Grace Ross 3rd Lilly Smith

Under 11 Boys 1st Matthew Peace 2nd Alistair Trusselle 3rd William Askew

Under 13 Girls 1st Grace Dawson 2nd Holly Walters

Under 13 Boys 1st Alex Flaherty 2nd Ben Rees 3rd = Jake Wallace

3rd = Samuel Mantle

Under 15 Girls 1st Emily Field 2nd Ruby Firth

Under 15 Boys 1st Joseph Carnelley

Under 17 Women 1st Vicki Merrick 2nd Eliza Findlay 3rd Katie Smith

Under 17 Men 1st Matthew Merrick 2nd Reuben Mantle 3rd James Askew

Under 20 Women 1st Sara Dewhirst

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Alex Flaherty (Harry Leighton Cup)

Top Female Competitor Rebecca Flaherty (Hardaker King Cup)

Best Team Player Ruby Firth (Captain’s Award)

Most Improved Athlete Izzy Harris (Wells Cup)

Endeavour Award Josh Spencer (Fred Gibbs Shield)

Award for Outstanding Achievement Alex Flaherty (Gerry Spink Plate)


2015-2016

Junior Cross Country Report 2015-16

As I write this report it is in the knowledge that the next season is rapidly approaching, with our Schools races at Bradford and Bingley to be held on Wednesday September 28. So it is time to consider what we achieved in the last season and to plan how we can improve and progress.

From a training point of view things have gone well: Martin Peace has an ever-growing squad of talented youngsters, and the numbers of those attending the general sessions have continued to increase, though there has been the usual drop-off in the summer months.

However the numbers representing the Club have not been as high as we would like, and we have struggled to put out full teams in some areas. There is a good deal of talent in our younger group, and Dave, Graham and I have been very impressed with the improvement that most have made, but we really would like to see more of them taking part in races, such as those in the PECO league which are a very friendly and accessible path to competition. We will be doing all we can to remedy that situation, with membership forms being readily available at each session.

For those who did represent the Club the season began, as usual, with the four races of the West Yorkshire League, and, although numbers were slightly lower than the previous season, there was a real improvement in performance with four of our teams achieving an overall position. Pride of place should go to the U11 Boys, Oliver Peace, Jake Wallace, Callum Watson, and Alistair Trusselle, who finished in 3rd place.

Individually there were some outstanding results: Oliver Peace was 6th and Jake Wallace 7th in the U11 Boys; Ruby Firth and Grace Dawson were 8th and 12th respectively in the U13 Girls; Alex Flaherty 4th in the U13 Boys; Eliza Findlay 10th in the U15 Girls; and Matthew Merrick 6th in the U17 Men.

Numbers of those competing in the PECO League were very disappointing, with only four of our athletes achieving an overall position, all of them in the Girls Years 10-12 category. Their performances were outstanding, however, with Eliza Findlay 1st, Katie Smith 2nd, and Lucy Miller 5th, continuing to show just what a fine U15 team they are. They were ably supported in 4th position by Abi White from our U17 group.

On a Championship level our numbers were not large, but we did have two scoring teams in the Yorkshire Championships, the U13 Boys and the U15 Girls, and two brilliant qualifiers for the Yorkshire team, Alex Flaherty and Reuben Mantle.

The U13 Boys once again featured prominently in the Northern Championships, at Witton Park, Blackburn, in quite dreadful weather and underfoot conditions. Their 18th position was very pleasing, and they were to follow this up with a wonderful 25th in the National.

Individually there were three excellent performances: Reuben Mantle was 28th in the U15 Boys, Alex Flaherty 24th in the U13 Boys, and Ruby Firth, with her best run of the season, 20th in the U13 Girls.

Donnington Park was the setting for the National, and pleasingly the Club was represented in all of the races bar the Junior Men. This was a great experience for all of those who ran and, as I have already mentioned, it was the U13 Boys who really shone, with individual honours going to Alex Flaherty with his marvellous 38th place, in his first year in the age-group.

We had five representatives at the English Schools: Reuben Mantle and Matthew Merrick in the U16 Boys, Eliza Findlay in the U16 Girls, and Grace Dawson and Alex Flaherty in the inaugural Year 7 Championships. Both Eliza and Reuben ran well in their first year in the age-group, while Grace and Alex had wonderful runs, Grace finishing in 12th, and Alex showing his great potential with a highly impressive 3rd. He was later rewarded for this run by being selected to represent Yorkshire and Humberside in the London Mini-Marathon.

I have already spoken about two of our Trophy Winners (see list below) but should also say something about the remaining three.

The Best Team Player Award was deservedly won by Ben Rees: he was an ever-present, never turning down the opportunity to represent the Club and doing so with real determination and commitment.

Another U13 Boy won the Most Improved Athlete Award: Samuel Mantle made great progress during the season and is becoming an increasingly bright prospect for the future.

The Endeavour Award, presented to the Club by Fred Gibbs, went to Lucy Miller who, despite problems with her asthma, kept going bravely throughout the season and managed some very fine performances.

Talk of fine performances brings me to those juniors who turn out for training on a regular basis, and I have been delighted to see so many of them taking part in the Judith and Keith Firm Memorial 5K Series of races: to date, after the first four races, 72 different juniors have taken part and shown the sort of competitive spirit that will serve them well when they compete for the Club later.

The first real opportunity to compete will be at our Schools races on September 28, but before then we shall be collecting entries for the West Yorkshire League, the first race of which will be in latish October.

Huge thanks are due to Martin Peace for the fine job that he is doing with our more experienced runners, and for the way he is moulding them into a real team: his National minibus trip and his camping weekend proved to be huge successes.

The numbers attending the quality Thursday sessions have varied, but the level of commitment shown by those who have attended has been most commendable, and I would like to say a big thank you to Julie Thornton and Gary Childs in particular for the support they have given.

I am also very grateful to Gary for his efforts with the off-road group on Saturdays and to John Merrick for providing so many opportunities for our youngsters to compete on the fells and to stay fit during the summer months.

As usual runners and coaches have received tremendous support and encouragement

from our parents (and indeed grand-parents!), not only at races, but increasingly at our training sessions, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere – we are most grateful to you all!

It goes without saying, of course, that my biggest debt of gratitude is to my fellow coaches, David Potter and Graham Smith: their enthusiasm and dedication, not to mention their constant good humour, make my job so easy. All three of us are already looking forward to the new season!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls 1st Eleanor Dawson 2nd Rebecca Flaherty 3rd Lilley Smith

Under 11 Boys 1st Oliver Peace 2nd Jake Wallace 3rd Alistair Trusselle

Under 13 Girls 1st Ruby Firth 2nd Grace Dawson

Under 13 Boys 1st Alex Flaherty 2nd Joseph Carnelley 3rd = Ben Rees

3rd = Samuel Mantle

Under 15 Girls 1st Eliza Findlay 2nd Lucy Miller 3rd Katie Smith

Under 15 Boys 1st Reuben Mantle 2nd Jonathan Sutcliffe 3rd James Askew

Under 17 Women 1st Vicki Merrick 2nd Abi White

Under 17 Men 1st Matthew Merrick

Under 20 Women 1st Sara Dewhirst

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Alex Flaherty

Top Female Competitor Eliza Findlay

Best Team Player Ben Rees

Most Improved Athlete Samuel Mantle

Endeavour Award Lucy Miller


2014-2015

Junior Cross Country Report 2014-15

Overall the picture is a very pleasing one, with the numbers of those attending training sessions and of those competing both continuing to increase steadily, though there are still one or two gaps in our list of awards which we would very much like to fill next season.

In the West Yorkshire League our Juniors had their best year for some time, with the highlight being the overall victory by our fantastic U15 Girls: Vicki Merrick, Lucy Miller, Eliza Findlay, Katie Smith, Olivia Roper, and Anna Whitehead, all of whom contributed so much to the team.

29 of our youngsters took part, 25 of whom ran in at least 3 races, and three of our teams secured an overall position.

Individually there were some outstanding results: Grace Dawson and Oliver Peace were both 12th in the U11 races; Ruby Firth, in the U13 Girls, and Sarah Dewhirst in the U20 Women, both finished 6th; the Merrick twins, Vicki and Matthew, were runners-up in their age-group; Emile Cairess won two races and finished 3rd in one of the Senior races; and Alex Flaherty not only won his age-group but convincingly won all four of his races.

Many others produced fine efforts: amongst the youngest were Riannon Appleyard, Emma Cowley, Kiran Bashir, Samuel Mantle, Harry Miller, Ben Rees and Joseph Childs, all of whom have continued to improve; Jack and Ryan Bradley have again showed great loyalty by travelling up from Nottingham for every race; Adam Thompson and Tommy Thorp provided consistent support, and Abi White ploughed a lone furrow throughout – she will be looking forward to some company next year.

Numbers of those competing in the PECO League were a little disappointing, though the level of performance did much to alleviate that disappointment: Callum Watson was 17th, Lilly Smith 10th, Katie Smith and Dylan Thornton both 6th, and Reuben Mantle1st, winning all four of his races. Alex Flaherty won both of the races in which he competed, thus completing an unbeaten season!

On a Championship level our numbers have been smaller, but once again there have been some real highlights: with Emile Cairess, Vicki Merrick and Matthew Merrick all qualifying for the Yorkshire team for the Inter-Counties. In that race Emile finished 5th, clinching the overall U17 title for the Cross Challenge series – a brilliant performance.

For many of us, however, the real highlight was our visit to Parliament Hill Fields for the National where once again we saw a wonderful run from Emile who finished in 6th place. Well done to Joseph Carnelley, Vicki Merrick, Lucy Miller, Eliza Findlay and Matthew Merrick who also produced fine performances.

We had three representatives at the English Schools: Reuben Mantle, Matthew Merrick, and Emile Cairess. Emile finished in 9th, Reuben was a scorer for the team, and Matthew, though not having one of his best runs, learnt that he had been selected to represent Yorkshire and Humberside in the London Mini-Marathon.

Little did we think that a few weeks later Matthew would be the individual winner of the U15 Boys race, the start of a very impressive run of performances which will, I am sure, be documented in the Junior Fell Report.

Up to this point I have only spoken of those who have competed for the Club, but I really must mention all those who turn out for training on such a regular basis, and I have been delighted to see so many of them taking part, and taking part with distinction, in the Judith and Keith Firm Memorial 5K Series of races: to date, after the first five races, 123 different juniors have taken part and there have been some wonderful performances, with great improvements from Angus Firth, Rebecca Helliwell, Izzy Harris, Kiran Bashir, Callum Watson, Grace Dawson and Alex Thompson among others. I am sure that many of our senior runners can testify to the fact that even our youngest runners show a real determination to do well and we hope that the confidence gained in these runs will encourage many more to take their first competitive step.

The first real opportunity to compete will be at our Schools races on September 23, when I shall expect a huge turnout, but before then we shall be collecting entries for the West Yorkshire League, the first race of which will be in latish October. To enter these races runners must be 9 years old on the day of the first race, and they must be members of the Club. I shall have membership forms at the ready over the next few weeks!

On the training front I must congratulate and thank Martin Peace and John Merrick, not only for their success with the older runners, but also with the fantastic team spirit that they have created, which has been evident throughout the season.

As for the younger group, I would like to think that the great majority have enjoyed what we have been doing: the number of regular attendees would tend to confirm this. Graham, Dave and I are delighted with the enthusiasm shown and by the progress made, and we hope to see more of our group racing in blue and white hoops in the coming season.

The quality Thursday sessions have seen a rise in numbers, and we now have a regular group of talented young athletes, supported by equally talented parents, whose commitment is most laudable.

As usual runners and coaches have received tremendous support and encouragement

throughout the season from our parents, not only at races, but increasingly at our training sessions, all of which helps to create a real club atmosphere – we are most grateful to you all!

My final thanks are to the two people whose enthusiasm, commitment and constant support make things so easy and so enjoyable for me: what would I do without David Potter and Graham Smith?

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 9 Girls 1st Lilly Smith

Under 11 Girls 1st Grace Dawson 2nd Emma Cowley 3rd Riannon Appleyard

Under 11 Boys 1st Alex Flaherty 2nd Oliver Peace

3rd= Dylan Thornton 3rd= Harry Miller

Under 13 Girls 1st Ruby Firth 2nd Kiran Bashir

Under 13 Boys 1st Joseph Carnelley 2nd Jack Bradley 3rd Joseph Treasure-Jones

Under 15 Girls 1st Vicki Merrick 2nd Lucy Miller 3rd Eliza Findlay

Under 15 Boys 1st Matthew Merrick 2nd Reuben Mantle 3rd Adam Thompson

Under 17 Women 1st Abi White

Under 17 Men 1st Emile Cairess 2nd Tommy Thorpe 3rd Ryan Bradley

Under 20 Women 1st Sara Dewhirst

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor Emile Cairess

Top Female Competitor Victoria Merrick

Best Team Player Victoria Merrick

Most Improved Athlete Eliza Findlay


2013-2014

Junior Cross Country Report 2013-14

Once again the list of awards which follows this report, (a list based on race performances), gives a clear indication of how things are going with our Junior Section:  the number of those competing has continued to increase, with many new names appearing. What’s more, there were plenty of others who were in contention, but whose names do not feature.

36 different youngsters took part in either the West Yorkshire League or the PECO League, with 21 of them securing an overall position in the former, in which Emile Cairess dominated the U17s, Vicki Merrick was 3rd in the U15s, Joseph Carnelley 5th in the U11s, and Sarah Dewhirst 9th in the U17s.

In the PECO League, we saw a good number of our youngest runners competing for the first time, and there was much promise shown, particularly by Ruby Firth, Harry Miller, and Oliver Peace. Amongst our more experienced runners there were excellent efforts from Matthew and Vicki Merrick, both winning their overall titles, and from Katie Smith, Lucy Miller, Joseph Childs and Dylan Thornton, all of whom are improving rapidly. I should also mention Jack and Ryan Bradley, who travelled up from Nottingham so often to make a fine contribution in both of the Leagues.

On a Championship level our numbers have been smaller, but we have seen some quality performances. Emile Cairess has, of course, been outstanding, winning the Yorkshire Championships and finishing 18th in the Inter-Counties, 19th in the National and 16th in the English Schools, results which do great credit to him and to Coach Dave Benson.

We had three more representatives at the English Schools: Reuben Mantle, Vicki Merrick and Matthew Merrick, all of whom performed well, though I must make special mention of Matthew, who produced a superb run in 30th place, not forgetting that Vicki also represented Yorkshire and Humberside in the London Mini-Marathon.

Many of those I have mentioned have also been very successful on the fells since our season ended, and I have been delighted to see so many regular participants in the Bradford Parkrun. Most pleasing of all, however, has been the huge numbers who have taken part in the Judith and Keith Firm Memorial 5K Series of races: to date, after the first four races, 91 different juniors have taken part and there have been some wonderful performances, notably by Matthew Merrick and Lilly Smith, though I could mention many more. We hope that the confidence gained in these runs will encourage many more to take their first competitive step.

The first real opportunity to compete will be at our Schools races on September 24, when we are hoping for a huge turnout, but before then we shall be collecting entries for the West Yorkshire League, the first race of which will be in latish October.

Our aim this year must be to achieve some improved team positions, and for this we will need as many entries as possible: make sure one of them is you!

On the training front we have been absolutely delighted with the way things have gone: the older group, under the watchful eyes of Martin Peace and John Merrick, continues to make huge strides, and we now have a nucleus of real racers with an enviable team spirit, to which newcomers such as the highly- motivated and talented Max Duckett have only added.

As for the younger group, numbers at our Tuesday training sessions have been consistently high, and Graham, Dave and I are constantly encouraged by the enthusiasm shown and by the progress made, even if it means that we have to run that bit harder to keep up!

The Thursday evening session has seen a rise in numbers, and the standard and commitment shown by a regular group of talented young athletes has been very pleasing: however, we shall be hoping for a few additions to this group from September onwards.

The support and encouragement we and all our runners have received from parents has been tremendous throughout the season, contributing in no small way to the overall spirit, and a feature of our Tuesday sessions has been the large number of parents who turn out regularly, encouraging not only their children, but all the others as well. We are most grateful to them for all their help and enthusiasm, and we congratulate some of them (notably Lesley Watson and Julie Thornton) on the fantastic progress they have made.

I am convinced that we are working on the right lines, and cannot end this report without saying a big thank you, on behalf of all our runners, to Martin Peace, John Merrick, David Potter, Graham Smith and Andy Nicoll for all their enthusiasm, wisdom and wholehearted commitment. It’s a pleasure working with them!

Tony Kingham

Awards

Under 11 Girls               1st Ruby Firth             2nd  Grace Dawson    3rd Lilly Smith

Under 11 Boys   1st Joseph Carnelley   2nd Joseph Childs    3rd Dylan Thornton

Under 13 Girls               1st Katie Smith           2nd Lucy Miller         3rd Lucy Shutt

Under 13 Boys   1st Reuben Mantle     2nd Joseph Treasure-Jones

3rd= Jonathan Sutcliffe     3rd= Jack Bradley

Under 15 Girls   1st Vicki Merrick       2nd Abi White            3rd Anna Whitehead

Under 15 Boys   1st Matthew Merrick  2nd Max Duckett      3rd  Adam Thompson

Under 17 Women   1st Sarah Dewhirst   2nd Katy Boden

Under 17 Men    1st  Emile Cairess      2nd Daniel Smithurst

Under 20 Men   1st  Thomas Potter

Trophy Winners

Top Male Competitor              Emile Cairess

Top Female Competitor          Victoria Merrick

Best Team Player                    Victoria Merrick

Most Improved Athlete          Katie Smith


2012-2013

2012/13 Report

Junior Fixtures

Wednesday 25 September   Schools Races at Bradford and Bingley      Years 5-13

West Yorkshire League       U11s, U13s, U15s, U17s, U20s

Race ONE       Sunday October 20                 ThornesPark, Wakefield
Race TWO      Saturday November 2             Bramley
Race THREE  Sunday November 17             Leeds (venue tbc)
Race FOUR    Sunday December 1                NunroydPark, Guiseley

PECO League (for 8 to 16 year olds)

This series of five races is a great introduction to competitive running : you do not need to register beforehand, just turn up on the day, register, pay your £1 entry fee and run.

Age categories are U9, U11, U13, and Under 17

Race times :  1 Mile Race (8-10 yrs old)  10.00 a.m.
2 Mile Race (11-16 yrs old)  10.20 a.m.

Race ONE       Sunday November 24             TempleNewsam
Race TWO      Sunday December 15              GoldenAcrePark
Race THREE  Sunday January 12                  MiddletonPark
Race FOUR    Sunday February 16                DanefieldCountryPark
Race FIVE      Sunday March 2                      Northcliffe Park

Full race details are to be found on www.pecoxc.co.uk  a minimum of two weeks before each event.


2009/2010/2011

Previous Awards Reports:

2009/2010/2011