CRAVEN’S most talented junior athletes contributed to a very successful day’s racing for Yorkshire at the prestigious British Athletics Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Loughborough.

The horrendously muddy course clearly suited the white-rose county runners with six of the eight junior teams bringing home medals.

The first race of the day saw team gold for the U20 men, with Craven College’s Matthew Merrick fifth Yorkshire runner home in 72nd.

Keighley & Craven’s Sam Conroy (72nd), Sam Headley (150th) and Donnabhan Rudden (190th) performed well on their Yorkshire debuts in the U13 boys, as did their club-mates Sebastienna Bairstow (178th) and Harisah Ghafoor (262nd), whose U13 girls team took the silver medal.

There was more success for the U15s as Wharfedale’s Sam Smith put in a superb performance to take 12th place – no mean feat from his starting position at the rear of the Yorkshire pen.

He was third Yorkshire counter in a very strong team performance which saw them take team gold by a huge margin. Settle’s Sebastian Segger-Staveley, another making his county debut, was fifth Yorkshire runner for the boys in 43rd position.

The U15 girls saw Wharfedale’s Alice Jones (29th) pick up a team bronze medal as second Yorkshire runner home, while Lilli Carr (Keighley & Craven), making an impressive fourth successive appearance in the county team, was sixth white-rose girl home in 105th.

Silver medals went to the U17 boys, led home by Giggleswick School’s Euan Brennan with the top Craven performance of the day in ninth place.

Keighley & Craven’s Joe Hudson (24th) was the team’s fourth counter and medallist in a strong team performance, with club-mate Tom Barrett running well (124th) after a late call-up.

With most of these runners representing North Yorkshire in the English School’s Cross Country finals next weekend, they will all be hoping that the grounds of Temple Newsam provide more favourable conditions underfoot.