23 February, Pembrey
Newport Harriers returned from the Welsh Cross Country Championships at Pembrey Country Park with one individual champion, two team bronzes, and lots of souvenir cowbells.
Ceri Griffiths took the U13 Girls title, the first Newport Harrier to do this since Clare Pugh in 1982. This is also a title won previously by Olympic triathlete Non Stanford. Ceri crafted a measured race strategy over the undulating and twisting course, gradually making it a head-to-head against Maldwyn’s Maddison Griffiths, before Ceri powered away over the flat 300m run in to the line. Our U13 Girls – Ceri, Amy Garrod 16th, Freya Taylor 34th, Paige Hughes 52nd – were 5th in the team competition.
The first race of the day was U13 Boys. Leo Stark was just out of the medals in 4th, but together with Harry Dawes 9th, Henry Evans 12th, and Joel Miles 35th, they took team bronze.
Newport took team bronze in U15 Girls, led in by Lily Williams 12th, Elin Griffiths 13th, Alyssa Baker 17th, and Emily Wilcox 24th who overtook around four athletes in the final furlong.
Abed Teweldebrhan put in a strong showing in 4th position in the stacked Senior Men’s race where the lead two were British track star internationals Dewi Griffiths and Ieuan Thomas.
In the U17 Men’s race Spencer Smith was our lead athlete in 10th place, followed by Oscar Denton 21st and, making his club debut, Liam Mainwaring 22nd. In the combined U17/U20 Women’s race Ellie Robinson and Lowri Thomas were 21st and 22nd respectively. In U15 Boys Oliver Humphreys (26th) stayed the thickness of a vest ahead of Isaac Jones (27th), with Dan Meehan, weighed down by an arm cast, 31st.
Newport had a strong showing in the two U11 races. In the girls’ race Anya Brady was 6th, followed by Nia Wakely 12th, Emily Walker 21st, and Poppy Bevan 40th, which put the team in 4th place. Vaughn Hughes lead our boys in 17th place, followed by Lewis Burdon 28th, Dylan Evans 32nd, and Isaac Barry 35th, to put the team 6th.