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6th Mar, 2024, Kate Jenrick

Highgate Young Harriers finished the North West London league over a new and interesting course in West London. By the start of the races there was a feeling of spring in the air with the sun shining and cherry blossom flowering and then a surprise around the corner- the River Brent! By the end of the day wet dripping athletes were enjoying the warm glow of success as prizes were collected at the presentation.

Their exploits were captured by intrepid Pete Drinkell who ventured where few dared to go.

U17 Leoni Delvendahl ran and splashed her way to brilliant 2nd place finish in the race on Saturday and also 2nd in the League overall. Particularly pleased with the race because her main rival from Barnet (who took the League title with 3 previous victories over Leoni) was left way behind in her wake in this race. (Don't think anyone had a chance being close to these waves!)

Also in the U17 women age group Josephine Luis, who has raced every fixture was rewarded with 3rd individual spot. And with prizes given to the 1st 6 individual athletes, team stalwart Lizzie Wortsmann also gained an award.

Most successful individual Highgate Harrier was Sonny Allen. Running in the U15 Girls age group, she’d already secured the league title before the final fixture but was out again winning U15 girls race (2nd win in succession) with Eloise Lindley providing strong support. The Girls secured both the U17s and U15s team titles.

But that’s not all. Our U11 and U13 girls also played their part as the Girls won the Overall North West London League title. Hana Scott, Holly and Olive O’Shea, Alexia Kribben, Valerie Pax, Kit Hanna-Woolf, Ira Agrawal were all out on Saturday vying for club awards and water bottles! Over the 5 fixtures of the season and Kerriane Spillane, Phoebe Savage, Carys Tomlinson, Maia Querforth have all been involved.

In the boy’s races, Joseph Drinkell sealed off a great season with a top 6 position in the U17M. Regular appearances from Joseph, Woody Nicole and Theo Brayman who joined mid-season, were key to the team’s win with appearances from others from the very healthy U17M squad during the season. In the U15s Arjuna Pflug's bid for victory was put in check after he fell in the river section but undeterred he kept 2nd place.

U11 Jack Cobbold has been racing regularly and improving throughout the season. Finishing on Saturday in 3rd place was his best finish for the season which was then topped off with an individual 4th place in the U11s. The U11s boys are a promising squad of Robert Mainwood, Art Hana- Woolf, Stanley Corden, Callum Hill, Mohammed Omar Abdi. Looking forward to seeing them come on! In the U13s newcomer Zain Broachi and Alex Pettican are exciting prospects.

This event also doubled up as Highgate Harriers Club championships. Keenly contested in the particularly in U11 age group, full results will be revealed next week.

On a day when parents and supporters left the course more muddy than athletes (the river serving a useful cleaning effect), its fair to say that the 23/24 XC season has been particularly wet and muddy. Huge thanks to all for coming out to stand in wet and cold fields and then cleaning up the trail of drying mud which finds it way back home. And also big cheers to Chris, Manish, Julie and Claire and Martin Howard in officiating role.