Dacorum & Tring middle distance squad headed to Oxford’s Shottover Hill for the first stop in the 2017-18 Chiltern League cross country league, the gruelling five-leg series recognised as one of the toughest and most competitive in the country.
The club competes in Division 1 of the series, which brings together 39 clubs from nine counties, competing across two divisions.
Fully 25 members of the young squad, ably guided by top-level coach Mike Dunphy, achieved some superb results.
The highlight of the day was a resounding win in the U17s category, where Kristian Imroth trounced the field to cross the line a massive 45 seconds ahead of second place.
He was backed by Jamie Ayres in ninth position, while Angus Saunders made his Chiltern League debut in a respectable 21st place.
Overall the three finished fourth in the team result out of 11 clubs.
The U15s boys also had a strong outing, led by Michael Armstrong in third, Freddie Truman-Williams in eighth, Sam Burnell in 11th, Jamie Bailey in 24th, Thomas Durrant in 25th, Jack Raine in 39th and Thomas Ashton, who gamely crossed the line in 43rd, despite picking up an injury.
The boys combined to finish a brilliant second overall in the team standings.
Oliver Painter (21st), Tim Fryer (23rd) and Rafael Armstrong (39th) put up a strong showing in the U13s boys’ category despite being among the youngest in the two-year age group.
In the girls’ races, new signing Scarlett Wager-Leigh, who ran as a guest while her registration was being processed, finished 16th in the U20s women’s division, with Grace Birdseye, in her first year in the age group, crossing the line in 25th.
Amy Cassidy ran well to finish 15th in the U15s girls’ race, and she was supported by Jess Benveniste (34th) and Izzy Painter (35th), both in their first year in the category, while Lily Boden and Jess Hoar, recovering from injury, finished 39th and 67th respectively.
In the U13s girls’ race, experienced runner Olivia Edwards was ninth overall, while Amy Lane, recently moved up from the U11s, crossed the line in 16th position.
Overall, the D & T juniors finished seventh out of 12 teams in Division 1, contributing valuable points to the overall club score and ensuring a solid start to the 2017-18 campaign.