Northern Stars

by Steven Scott — 5th April 2022.

Peter in action Peter in action

Forth Valley orienteers had major success at the North of England Championships, as they claimed ten wins amongst 14 podium finishes.

The main focus of the weekend was the first round of selection races for the GB Junior teams, and both Peter Molloy and James Hammond delivered in the clutch, as they won all three of their races to put at least one foot on the plane to Portugal and Hungary respectively.

The Sprint races at Cramlington formed the first test, and Peter found himself 12 seconds off the lead at the 2/3 mark on the M18/M20 course. However, a string of fastest split times brought him back into contention, and he tied for the race win (15.58) with Jim Bailey (BOK & EUOC).

There were no such issues for James, who posted 11 of the quickest 15 splits on the M16/W18/W20 course to return in 15.04, for a 61 second lead over Oliver Prince (SOS), while Lizzie Stanfield put down an early marker with a 2nd place finish (19.45) in the W20 class on the same course.

Action then moved into the forest, with races at both Middle and Long distances, and the pair topped the podium once again as Peter posted a time of 21.05 for the Middle discipline and 46.30 for the Long, and James going round in 18.23 and 35.03.

Lizzie and Sam Hunt were both prominent, as Lizzie won the Middle distance race in 26.22, followed up by 3rd place in the Long in 49.36, while Sam was 3rd in the Middle (22.45) and 5th in the Long (42.37).

Although Under 14s aren't eligible for selection to this year's national teams, Scarlett Kelly will have caught the eye of the selectors for future events as she tied with WCOC's Sophie Crawford as the leading W14 on the short Sprint course (15.00), then scored a pair of significant wins in the forest, winning both Middle (22.07) and Long (26.25) races in a class where English athletes have some strength in depth.

As even longer long-shot prospects, Eilidh Connor led the W12 Sprint field in 16.27. beating several athletes with selection aspirations, followed up with a win at the Middle distance (20.59) and a 2nd place finish in the Long race (47.37), while Hannah Inman won both W10 races, in 16.30 (middle) and 22.19 (Long).

There were class wins in the Northern Championships for Roger Goddard, who ran up one division to win M40 in 59.57 and Jason Inman who won M50 in 54.08, while Rona Molloy took 2nd place in W50.

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Filed under:  Success