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Dacorum & Tring AC’s young athletes had a brilliant day at the Herts County Cross Country Championships, held at Verulamium Park in St Albans, with five team and two individual medals – including Sam Burnell’s win in the U15 boys’ race.

Main photo, above, shows the medal winning U15 boys. From left: Tom, Jack, Sam, Jamie and Joseph. Missing: Thomas

The highlights of the day were the victories of the U15 boys and U17 mens’ teams and the one-two finish of Sam and Joseph Chamberlain in the U15 boys race, as well as well-deserved silver medals for the U13 girls A team and bronze medals for the U15 boys B team and the U17 women.

Sam scored an emphatic win in the U15 boys’ race, held over 4500m metres on the tough Verulamium Park course, pulling away to win in 16.13 and earn his first county title. Joseph was a strong second, crossing the line 11 seconds later, with both boys earning automatic selection to the UK CAU Inter-Counties Championships at Prestwold Hall in March. With Tom O’Reilly finishing fifth, the three boys earned the county title in the team standings. 

Tom, Sam and Joseph with their medals and the Oaklands Trophy awarded to the U15 boys team champion

The depth of the U15 boys team is such that the B team, composed of Jack Raine (7th), Jamie Bailey (8th) and Thomas Ashton (17th), earned bronze medals in the team competition.

The U17 mens’ team also had a superb outing: the three competitors, Freddie Truman-Williams, Michael Armstrong and Angus Saunders, finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively in the 6km race, crossing the line with only 33 seconds between them and bringing home county gold in the team standings.

Angus, Michael and Freddie won the U17 mens’ county team title

The U13 girls A team, comprising Evie Light (8th), Amy Lane (12th) and Isabelle Jelfs (13th), took on strong competition from rival teams including St Albans and Barnet & District to earn well-deserved county silver medals for their 3km race, while the B team of Indie Frost (15th), Nancie Bateson (18th) and Beth Moody (22nd) finished a strong fifth.

U13 girl Indie running well in her first Herts XC championships

Bronze medals in the team competition were awarded to the U17 women’s team of Amy Cassidy (7th), Jessica Hoar (13th) and Lily Boden (15th), who tackled the tough and very long 6km course with determination and good grace.

Jessica, Amy and Lilly won U17 women’s team bronze

The U15 girls performed strongly over their 4.5km course to finish fourth in the team standings, with several of the girls racing in a major championship of this level for the first time. Stella Whitlum led the team home in sixth place, followed by Grace Hucknall (10th), Jemima Byers (12th), Emma Cresswell (15th) and Lauren Collis (18th).

The U13 boys, racing over 3000m, finished eighth out of 13th teams, with Jude McKay leading the boys home in 18th position, followed by George Doyle (19th), George Hawkins (36th), Rory Bartlett-Tisdale (45th) and Ronnie Hucknall (46th).

Rory running strongly in the U13 boys race

Finally, the U11 teams had their first taste of racing at county level and rose to the occasion over the 1500m course. Alexia Bede finished 9th for the girls with Talia Williams close behind in 14th, while Archie Seddon finished sixth in the boys race, a promising 27 seconds behind the winner, while Isaac North crossing the line in 14th out of 56 boys.

Isaac powers up the hill in the U11 boys race

D&T had one athlete competing in the Bucks County Championships: Tim Fryer finished 14th in the U13 boys race, held over 3km at High Wycombe’s Hughenden Park, in a time of 11.14.  Tim was coming off a strong showing at the Aylesbury Boxing Day 5k Road Race, where he finished 33rd out of over 200 runners in a time of 20.24, fast enough to win the junior boys’ prize – he was more than two minutes ahead of the first U15 boy and over 10 minutes ahead of the next U13 boy!

Tim with the medal for top junior at the Aylesbury Boxing Day 5km

Many thanks to our parent photographers on the day: Kerry Hoar, Gill Burnell, Emma Frost, Sarah Truman-Williams, George North, Andrea Bartlett, Zoe Doyle, Anna Fryer, Nick O’Reilly, Hollie Bede, James Bateson and Steve Chamberlain

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