Young middle distance runners represent their counties at the end-of-season national contest

Stella Whitlum (gold for Herts), left, with Olivia Edwards (silver for Bucks)
Stella Whitlum (gold for Herts), left, with Olivia Edwards (silver for Bucks)

Six athletes from Dacorum & Tring’s young Middle Distance Squad represented their counties at the final cross-country event of the season at the weekend – The National Primary Schools and Year 7 Cross-Country Championships, held at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

It was contested by youngsters from all over the country, from Cornwall to as far north as Cumbria.

D&T’s Stella Whitlum and Olivia Edwards were both among the medals, with Stella contributing to the Hertfordshire Year 7 girls’ team gold medal-winning performance, and Olivia winning a silver medal for her role in the Buckinghamshire Year 7 girls’ team’s second-place finish.

Stella ran a strong race to cross the line in 67th overall out of 151 girls, a result which will give her increased confidence as she heads into the summer track season.

Olivia was 35th in her race and fifth out of the 10 girls on the Bucks team – a welcome finish to an injury and illness-plagued cross-country season in which she still managed to pick up awards at the English Schools Cross-Country Cup, The Bucks Schools Championships and The North West London League.

The summer season looks very promising for her.

Amy Lane ran well in the Year 6 girls’ event, finishing 71st out of 240 runners and fifth out of the 10-member Bucks squad.

The three D&T boys also had strong races and earned valuable major championship experience. Jude McKay was 34th out of 248 in the Year 6 boys’ race, finishing second for Herts. Ollie Painter was not far behind in 48th (fifth for Herts) and Tim Fryer crossed the line in 73rd (fifth for Bucks).

Middle distance coach Mike Dunphy commended all his young runners on their splendid performances as the squad now turns their sights to the track season, with the first event, the Herts Outdoor U13 championships, just a month away.