Harriers athletes making mark at county level

Norfolk Schools County Cross-Country Champions - Abi Durand (centre) from Aylsham High School and br

Norfolk Schools County Cross-Country Champions - Abi Durand (centre) from Aylsham High School and brothers Innes (left) and Oli O’Malley from Reepham High School (pictured at the Southern Cross Country Champions at Parliament Hill Fields, London. - Credit: Archant

A number of young athletes from North Norfolk Harriers in Holt excelled for their respective schools at the Norfolk Schools Cross-Country Championships at the Norfolk Showground.

Among many notable performances, the Harriers can now lay claim to no fewer than three county champions.

They are Abi Durand (year 9) representing Aylsham High School and brothers Oli (year 9) and Innes O'Malley (year 7) from Reepham High School – all victorious on a gloriously sunny day in Norwich and all receiving gold medals.

There were impressive performances too from Henry Jonas (Cromer Academy) who took silver and Brad Keay (Beeston Hall School) who finished sixth, capping an outstanding result for the Harriers in the year 7 race.

Year 9 Harrier Matty Waller from Reepham High School and Billy Life (year 8) from Broadland High school finished fifth and sixth respectively and join Oli O'Malley in the next round – all those finishing in the top 12 in their respective races go on to compete in the Anglian Schools championships in Northampton.

Finlay Swanson (Sheringham High School), Harriers' most senior representative at the event, turned in a fantastic performance to finish with a bronze medal in the year 12 race.

Twins Jacob and Jamie Stares (Stalham High School) continued their fine form with fourth- and eighth-placed finishes in the year 11 race, with Harriers team-mate Ethan Davies, also from North Walsham, battling brilliantly to fifth spot.

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Many other Harriers competed for their schools following district qualifying rounds.

'All the coaches and volunteers are thrilled with the success of the club brought into sharp focus at the School Championships last week,' said Harriers club secretary Jacqueline Keay, 'Everywhere you looked, a Harrier was competing.

'Our continuing success is due in no small part to the generous sponsorship from Bakers & Larners and Byfords who dig deep to allow us to fund coaching courses and buy new equipment. The tough sessions, often on cold, wet nights in Holt, really do pay off and parents can be extremely proud of the dedication shown regularly by their children.'