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Dacorum & Tring AC’s Junior athletes (U11 to U17) wrapped up their Chiltern League campaign with stunning results at the fifth and final match at Milton Keynes’ surprisingly hilly Campbell Park.

The youngsters contributed a whopping 2479 points to the overall team total, finishing fifth in the Junior standings and helping to push the club up to sixth place overall after the five rounds – D&T’s highest-ever finish!

The Chiltern League is known as the most competitive cross country league in the country. In this photo, the U13 girls jostle for position at the start of the Campbell Park race.

Stealing the headlines were the U15 boys team, led by this season’s breakout athlete Sam Burnell (main photo, above), who finished second in the race, giving him enough points to end the season in joint first place, tied on six points with Alex Alston of Bedford & County AC. 

Sam was ably backed up by Joseph Chamberlain (7th), Thomas O’Reilly (13th), Jack Raine (14th) and Jamie Bailey (16th). Together, the boys finished first in the team standings, ahead of traditional powerhouses Bedford and County AC, Chiltern Harriers and Marshall Milton Keynes.

The U15 boys team with their gold medals (from left: Jamie, Joe, Sam, Tom and Jack)

The U13 girls team capped a successful season with a brilliant fifth place in the league standings after five races, with many of them racing at this level for the first time. The team was led by Isabelle Jelfs, who finished 14th at Campbell Park and 12th in the league standings. Indie Frost had her best result in the series, finishing in 22nd, with Amy Lane not far behind (25th), followed by Nancie Bateson (46th).

Indie Frost had her best result of the Chiltern League season at Campbell Park

The U15 girls finished a solid sixth in the series out of 14 clubs, led by Stella Whitlum, who crossed the line in 12th at Campbell Park and finished 13th individual after five matches. She was followed by Grace Hucknall, 16th in the match and 14th in the series), Lauren Collis (23rd), Jessica Hill (25th), Katie Mitchell (34th) and Emma Cresswell (50th).

Stella Whitlum cruising into the finish in 12th place

Indira Patel was the only U17 woman in action at Campbell Park; coming back from injury she did well to place 11th on the day, and fourth overall in the series. The U17 women’s team finished a meritorious 8th in the league standings, thanks to previous points won by Indira, Amy Cassidy, Lily Boden and Jessica Hoar.

Indira Patel ran well to finish 11th in Campbell Park

The U17 men raced well on the day, with Freddie Truman-Williams finishing 10th in a tough race, followed by Angus Saunders in 18th. As a team, they finished 7th in in the series after five matches.

Freddie Truman-Williams had a solid race, finishing 10th on the day.

The U13 boys had only one representative: Tim Fryer finished 19th on the day out of 62 boys, earning enough points to end the season in 22nd place after five matches.

The rankings of our U11 athletes are determined from the ‘mob’ match results of both Division 1 and 2 together, and in Campbell Park, our two U11 girls ran well in a large field of 87 athletes: Alexia Bede finished 22nd and Talia Williams was 43rd.

Coach Mike Dunphy was delighted with the results, saying that “although the Under 15 Boys have been stealing the headlines, there have been so many other excellent performances throughout the season, and it is very pleasing to see how so many of the youngest runners who joined the group in late September have improved steadily throughout the winter months”. 

Next up for the team are the two final races in the North West Young Athletes League, on February 16th at Hampstead Heath and then two weeks later on March 2nd at Wormwood Scrubs. Mike says that “based on previous results most of our teams, both boys and girls, can finish up with medals for finishing in the first three places, and there is a very good prospect of us winning in some of the age groups” and he urges all runners in each age group to turn out for these two races if they are available.

Well done to the following athletes who were unavailable for the match but competed in previous Chiltern League races this season and who added valuable points to the club total: Steven Armitage, Michael Armstrong, Rafael Armstrong, Lily Boden, Amy Cassidy, Thomas Durrant, Brooke Evans, Jessica Hoar, Ronnie Hucknall, Jude McKay, Beth Moody, Patrick Scahill, Archie Seddon, Effie Walsh, Milla Walsh and Poppy Webster.

Thanks to Richard Burnell, Steve Chamberlain, Barry Cornelius, Emma Frost and Vivien Whitlum  for the photos.

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