Middle distance joy for Dacorum & Tring young guns

It was a fantastic first championship result for Jessica Benveniste (yellow vest), who was third in the pre-gunior girls race
It was a fantastic first championship result for Jessica Benveniste (yellow vest), who was third in the pre-gunior girls race

Dacorum & Tring AC’s middle distance squad scored some top results at the Herts Schools Cross Country Championships at Verulamium Park in St Albans.

The team brought home two medals and three other top-eight places in a packed and competitive series of races, with squads entered from nearly 50 schools across the county.

Kristian Imroth became new county champion in the junior boys (Year 8-9) Herts Schools event, with a totally dominant performance

Kristian Imroth became new county champion in the junior boys (Year 8-9) Herts Schools event, with a totally dominant performance

Kristian Imroth, running in the junior boys race (Years 8-9) over a 4.2k course, stole the show – storming to the county title with a 100m advantage over the second-placed runner.

Imroth, who lives in Hemel Hempstead and attends St Columba’s School in St Albans, will now be a strong favourite for a medal at next months’ English Schools Championships in Nottingham.

Jessica Benveniste, running in the pre-junior girls race (Year 7), contested over 2.6k, finished in the bronze medal position – a superb result for her first year of competitive cross country racing.

Jude James scored a superb fifth place in the primary boys race, while Rhys Rowlands, running in the 6.8k senior boys race (Years 12-13) and Thomas Ashton, in the pre-junior boys (2.6k), both crossed the line seventh.

In addition to Imroth’s title win, the junior teams posted a series of strong top-25 finishes: Freddie Truman-Williams finished 11th in the boys’ race, while Amy Cassidy was 11th for the girls, followed by Maddie Perry in 16th, Lily Boden (20th) and Evie Cliverd (24th).

Jamie Bailey finished 14th in the pre-junior boys race, followed by Ethan Brimmer (18th), Sam Burnell (20th) and Yoan Tonev (35th). Stella Whitlum was a strong 20th in the packed primary girls race.

Other club members running well for their schools on the day were junior boys Michael Armstrong, Luke Burford and Adam Jolly; Lois Emery in the junior girls, Olivia Moore in the pre-junior girls and Niall Cassidy in the primary boys.

Earlier in the week, 11-year-old dynamo Olivia Edwards grabbed the bronze medal in the Bucks Schools Cross Country Championships, finishing third out of 108 girls in the primary (Years 5 and 6) race – a fine result as she was carrying a foot injury and had been off training for 10 days.

Izzy Painter finished 14th in the minor girls (Year 7) race with Olivia Hill 20th, while Seth Russell was 15th in the minor boys, and Sam Day was 49th out of 93 in the primary boys race.

Olivia Edwards was also in action later in the week at the fourth round of the North West London League Cross Country Series in Harrow.

Once again, she scored a podium position, finishing second in the U11 girls race over the 1.2k course, only one second behind first place.

She now stands first overall in the series ranking with one race left to go. Team-mate Sam Day finished 31st in the U11 boys event while George Dowsing was 18th for the U15 boys.

In other cross country news, club members Alex Eykelbosch, Sophie Morris and Sarah Grover represented their universities in the BUCS National Cross Country Championships, held at Plock Court in Gloucester.

Alex, running for the University of Birmingham, finished an impressive 28th overall for the 6.1k course in a time of 23.16, while Sophie (East Anglia) and Sarah (York) crossed the line in 27.17 and 27.52 respectively. Alex’s Birmingham ladies’ team won the national title.