Doing their counties proud at elite English Cross-Country Championship

Kristian Imroth in the distinctive orange county vest of Hertfordshire. (Picture by Barry Cornelius)
Kristian Imroth in the distinctive orange county vest of Hertfordshire. (Picture by Barry Cornelius)

This year’s English Schools Cross-Country Championships took place on Saturday with eight Dacorum & Tring AC members lacing up to

represent their county.

It took place at the picturesque venue of Temple Newsam Park in Leeds.

The course presented a stiff challenge for all the participants, who had to overcome freezing temperatures, strong winds and blizzards as well as testing ground.

The championships are the very pinnacle of cross-country running for secondary school children in England.

Eight members of D&T’s middle distance squad were on the start line, representing their respective County Schools Associations.

To gain selection, an athlete must generally finish in the top-eight of their County School Championships so the standard at this national level is very high.

Two members of the squad stood out, particularly, for their results on the day – Kristian Imroth, running in the intermediate boys’ race (Years 10 and 11), and Olivia Edwards, in the junior girls (Years 8 and 9).

Kristian (Year 11) has been a force to be reckoned with at all the major championships in recent seasons, especially following his outstanding winning performance at the National Cross-Country Championships in Nottingham last year.

In this intermediate boys’ race, contested over 5.2km, Kristian crossed the line in 13th pace out of 339 finishers – and only 40 seconds behind top spot.

He was the first across the line not just for Hertfordshire but also from both the 
powerhouse neighbouring counties of Beds and Bucks.

Even so, Kristian was disappointed with his race.

He had the worst of draws and had to use valuable energy at the start just to get in to contention.

In this class of field, that can take its toll, as it did here, when the race reached the closing stages.

Olivia (Year 8), excelled to finish 38th in the junior girls’ race, ran over 3.1km, out of a field of 342 girls.

She was third across the line for Buckinghamshire, helping her county team to finish eighth out of 44 counties.

The first two girls in Olivia’s race had some distance on the field, but notably a total of 60 girls from third place to 62nd, came across the line in the space of just one minute.

In the junior boys’ event (4.1km), Joe Chamberlain (Year 9) performed extremely well to finish 85th of 346 runners. Thomas Ashton (Year 9) can be proud of his run, finishing in 265th.

Stella Whitlum (Year 8) finished 265th in the junior girls and can be pleased with her participation and result.

Freddie Truman-Williams (Year 10) contested the intermediate boys and finished 230th. He has another year in this category and will have learned much from his experience.

Jamie Ayres (Year 12) took part in the senior boys (6.8km) and finished a credible 168th in a field of 312.

Scarlett Wager-Leigh (Year 13) ran strongly in the senior girls (4.1km) to finish 160th out of 323 runners.