Top-ten finishes for young runners at South of England cross-country relay

Jamie Ayres (702), the lead runner in the U17s team for Dacorum & Tring. (Pic: Barry Cornelius).
Jamie Ayres (702), the lead runner in the U17s team for Dacorum & Tring. (Pic: Barry Cornelius).

Dacorum & Tring AC’s middle distance squad were back in action over the weekend at the SEAA Cross Country Relay Championships which took place at a very blustery Wormwood Scrubs.

The event brings together the top club runners across all age groups from the south of England region, covering some 68,000 athletes from around 570 clubs.

In total, 22 young D & T runners competed at the competition in eight relay teams, spanning the U13s to U17s age groups.

Two of their teams impressively finished in the top-10 in their age group while six runners posted top-10 times in their legs of the relay – superb results for the club in such a competitive event.

The top finish of the day belonged to the U17s men’s team, where Jamie Ayres, Angus Saunders and Kristian Imroth each ran a three-kilometre loop to finish in an aggregate time of 34.10, fast enough for fourth overall.

Imroth clocked a time of 10.45, the fourth fastest of all the runners in the third and final legs.

The U15s boys’ A team, comprising Michael Armstrong, Sam Burnell and Freddie Truman-Williams, also cracked the top-10, with their combined time of 21.32 over three two-kilometre laps good enough for ninth overall.

Armstrong posted the fastest lap for the team, running his two-kilometre loop in seven minutes flat.

The U15s boys’ B team, made up of Jamie Bailey, Thomas Durrant and Jack Raine, ran strongly to finish in 22.40 for 22nd overall.

The U15s girls’ A team, consisting of Jess Benveniste, Izzy Painter and Amy Cassidy, combined for a time of 26.11 over the three two-kilometre laps format, crossing the line in 29th place in a very competitive division.

The U13s boys’ A team, comprised of Oliver Painter, Timothy Fryer and Jude McKay, finished their relay (also three two-kilometre laps) 
in 24.13, ending up 15th 
overall, while the U13 girls’ team of Olivia Edwards, 
Summa Jo Bradley and Amy Lane, finished 16th in their category in a time of 25.21.

Olivia clocked an impressive time of 7.55 for her two-kilometre section, the fastest of all the Dacorum U13s runners (girls and boys) and the sixth fastest among all first-lap U13s girls’ runners.

As a means to gain experience and race fitness, four other athletes competed in ‘incomplete’ teams, with Lily Boden and Jessica Hoar taking on the first two of the three laps for the U15s girls and Niall Cassidy and Rafael Armstrong doing the same for the U13s boys.

The championship served as a valuable marker for D&T’s young middle distance squad as they head into their second month of the 2017-18 cross country season.

They will be working towards the county championships in early in 2018, which will serve as qualification for the English Schools teams and the England National cross-country championships.

Imroth won the U15s national title earlier this year and will be looking to defend his crown when he moves up an age group in 2018 to the under-17s category.