Junior XC – County Champs

Junior XC – County Champs

Now, I may not win many prizes, but the award for the most waffle filled write-up goes to….

I am writing this short report from my perspective as the BRAT junior team manager/coordinator/head coach….or whatever my role is! For me personally, it was the first time in attending a cross-country county championships in….well…decades! Back when I was a junior, up in Lancashire, I remember doing the county champs and it felt like such a step up in quality as compared to the rest of the league races. This felt the same in the race last Saturday. Smaller fields across all age groups battled a challenging course; traversing narrow sections on energy sapped legs from earlier hills. Add to that the sub-zero temperatures and icy patches and you have a recipe for some tired junior legs! I interviewed one of the junior athletes (also known as a chat with my son, Mustopha) and he told me he simply had nothing left at the end.

But, with all that in mind. I was primarily struck by 3 things:

  • How well our junior athletes get on and support one another. Group warm ups, cheering each other on and mindless banter (you know who you are!). 
  • How much effort our junior coaches put in to the organisation. Athlete registration, logistic info distribution and all the on the day tasks too. Without these key people, events wouldn’t happen.
  • Opportunity! Now, i’m very much NOT outcome driven, it’s all about the process. Enjoy your training AND work hard in training and the results will take care of themselves. We don’t have the mentality of smashing each and every training session and running until we drop. Our coaches work with our athletes to ensure longevity in sport. Absolutely, we work hard, but enjoyment is paramount in the development of junior athletes. So, how does that relate to opportunity?! Well, it’s because we have so many super junior athletes that can compete in a race like this. We had 2 complete junior teams (3 members per team), and they both won medals! Not any sort of medals, but County Championship medals, it IS a big deal! I am fully aware this bullet point is dragging on, but next year, I really want our juniors to seize this opportunity. You have the ability, it’s just about getting out there and trying your best! 

As mentioned above, 2 of our junior teams (u13 boys: Diego Dalmedo 11th, Seb Horton 16th, Mustopha Bailey 18th & u15 girls: Alba Pena-Smith 7th, Arriella Dalmedo 13th, Anna Faux 21st) took home bronze medals in the Warwickshire Championships teams.

As for individual performances. Amira Emery just missed out on an individual medal, finishing 4th in the Warwickshire champs. Adhvaith Prabhakaran put in a mighty performance following a slight mishap at the start! Triathlete Jemima Jackson was our sole u17 representative on the women’s side of things and ran well for 12th in the Warwickshire champs. On the u17 men’s side of things, Morgan Hill (who also ran a fantastic 10k @ Telford the following day!) finished 5th in the Warwickshire Champs. Not to be outdone, Dylan Teasdale was a sole individual medallist with a 3rd place finish in the Worcestershire champs. Well done to all teams and individuals. Full results can be found here.

Some of these athletes will go on to represent the county in upcoming races in the new year. 

A big congratulations and well done to everyone that took part.

Full results here.

Pictures from the day can be found here.

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