A bevy of young athletes earn the right to represent county

Thomas Ashton (Hemel Hempstead School, No 155).
Thomas Ashton (Hemel Hempstead School, No 155).

Young cross-country runners from Dacorum & Tring AC produced a series of brilliant results in the Herts County Schools Championships, held on a tough, hilly and very muddy course at St Albans’ Verulamium Park.

A group of some 30 runners represented their schools in the junior, intermediate and senior age groups, as well as the primary Year 6 and secondary Year 7 races, with four athletes gaining automatic selection to represent Herts in the English Schools Championships, taking place at Temple Newsam in Leeds next month. Another three are likely to be called up based on their top-10 placings.

The top result belonged to middle-distance star Kristian Imroth (St Columba’s), who easily won the inter boys’ (Years 10-11) race over 5km.

Both Kristian and Freddie Truman-Williams (Ashlyns), who finished sixth, won selection for English Schools.

Also performing strongly in a competitive race were Michael Armstrong (14th, JFK), Angus Saunders (31st, Ashlyns) and Patrick Scahill (Tring).

In the inter girls’ race over 4km, Lily Boden (Tring) ran well to finish 13th out of nearly 80 girls.

Also headed to English Schools is Scarlett Wager-Leigh (Tring), who was second in the senior girls’ (sixth -form) race over 4km.

Jamie Ayres (Kings Langley), in the senior boys’ race over 7km, crossed the line in seventh and is also likely to represent Herts in Leeds.

Joe Chamberlain (Kings Langley) secured his spot on the Herts English School squad with his superb fourth-place finish in the junior boys’ (Years 8-9) race over 4km, while Thomas Ashton (eighth, Hemel) and Jack Raine (ninth, Hemel) are likely to be considered for the Herts team.

The trio were followed closely over the line by Thomas Durrant (11th, Ashlyns), Sam Burnell (12th, Tring), Jamie Bailey (19th, Ashlyns) and Rafael Armstrong (JFK), all well within the top half of the field of over 100 boys.

Stella Whitlum (Astley Cooper) led home D&T’s junior girls, finishing 11th in the 3km race, with Summa-Jo Bradley (Ashlyns) just behind in 14th and Jessica Hill (Kings Langley) in 17th, well within the top-20 out of close to 100 girls.

In the primary school races for Years 5/6, and the secondary school race for Year 7, the first 10 runners represent Herts in next month’s National Schools Championships at Prestwold Hall, Leics – and a brace of young D&T runners made the cut.

Jude McKay (Ashlyns) finished a strong third overall out of over 100 boys in the Year 7 race, over 2600m, to win his place on the Herts team for the nationals, while Niall Cassidy (St Michaels RC)finished well within the top half. Amy Lane (Tring), for her part, will don a Herts vest after placing sixth out of close to 90 girls in the Year 7 race, also over 2600m.

In the Year 6 girls, over 1600m, Brooke Evans (Two Waters) finished second and Milla Walsh (Hammond) was fifth – both securing spots on the Herts team for nationals. Lucy Bevan (14th, Westfield), Kate Hopper (32nd, Thomas Coram), Ella Head (Westfield) and Poppy Webster (Greenway) ran strongly to finish well within the top half of the field of close to 150 girls.

Billy Read (St Mary’s), Oliver Fogden (Hobletts Manor), Daniel Thiruchelvan (Greenway) and Thomas Goldsmith (Greenway) raced well for their schools in the Year 6 boys, as did Matilda Anderson (25th, Greenway) and Charlotte McDonald for the Year 5 girls.

A further half-dozen D&T runners will lace up for the Bucks Schools Champs in Wing this week with a view to qualifying for English Schools meet.