Gold For Eveleigh
The final races of the season in the prestigious North Mids Cross Country League were held at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, with seven Harborough AC athletes in action. Hannah Eveleigh led the four HAC seniors’ home, finishing 19th on the day over the 6-kilometre course to secure gold in her age-group over the four races (earlier editions held at Derby, Kettering and Heanor). There were also top-ten league finishes in their age categories for Marise Taylor (2nd), Eilidh Maclean (5th), David Maclean (5th) and Lianne Brooks (9th). Highest finish on the day was delivered by Eilidh Maclean (7th in the U17W race), an impressive performance as she had already raced earlier in the day for her school at Burbage Common.
The Leicestershire & Rutland Secondary Schools Cross Country League had also seen its last action of the season and eleven HAC juniors competed for their schools, with 4th place finishes for Adam Barber, Eilidh Maclean and Tom Fortnum in their respective races. The league ranks runners by their best three positions over the four races of the season, with the top three runners in each league being automatically selected to compete for the county in the English Schools Championships in March (to be held this year in Leeds). Lizzie Clapp did not run in the final race but had done enough over the first three races to secure 2nd place in the Intermediate Girls category, and following his bronze at Rotherby a week earlier Adam Barber repeated the trick, finishing 3rd in the Intermediate Boys competition. Team-mates Eilidh Maclean 5th, Beth Wallis 6th and Joe O’Connell 5th are all well-placed to secure selection for the county over the remainder of the season and a further six runners completed the season: Tom Hayes 8th, Max Johnson 22nd, Lily Harris 27th, Isaac Turner-Henke 32nd, Amy Turner-Henke 29th, Zoe Morgan-Williams 33rd.
Club chairman John Thompson said: “An impressive weekend’s racing, with the club well represented across the age groups. The cross-country leagues reward commitment over time – the schools’ league started in September and the North Mids in October – and it’s really encouraging to see so many of our junior members participating for their schools through the whole season. The English Schools is one of the highlights of the athletics calendar and it’s testament to the hard work the youngsters are putting in that we will have at least two and possibly half a dozen Harborough members representing the county”.