SEVERAL Craven athletes represented North Yorkshire in the Northern Schools’ Inter-County Cross-Country match against Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland and Cleveland at South Shields on Saturday.

As well as the honour of running for the county and thereby gaining a ‘County Vest’ many of the runners were aiming for the two remaining berths in March’s English Schools’ Championship.

For others it was another chance to excel at a high level as the five Northern Counties, with teams of 15 runners, went head to head over a testing but picturesque course in the North East snow.

Pride of place on Saturday went to Skipton Girls High School student Lilli Carr.

Lilli had missed the County Championship race at Whitby last month, but with proven form she was still selected to run for the North Yorkshire team.

She repaid that faith as she ran away from the field to win by a full six seconds. In so doing she led her intermediate (under-16s) team to finish runners-up of the five counties.

North Yorkshire’s best team performance on the day had a lot to thank the Craven region for, as the inter (under-16s) boys team won with a low score of just 41 points for the total of their first six runners.

Four of those runners were not only from Craven but all from the same school, as Ermysted’s supplied the silver medallist in Alex Thompson, sixth placed Sebastian Seggar-Staveley, seventh placed Arthur Peel, and 11th placed Louis Hudson.

In addition Jack Muir from South Craven was 29th of the 66 runners competing for their respective counties.

There were two other team victories for North Yorkshire as South Craven’s Olivia Aldham helped the minor (under-12s) girls team as she was 25th of the 58 runners.

The other winners were the senior girls (under-18s) team who had considerable local interest in their scoring team.

Skipton Girls runners Emily Jones (11th) and Katie Atkinson (12th), along with Giggleswick’s Marisa Allen (16th) gave North Yorkshire their third team victory from the eight races.

Ermysted’s had a lot of input into the senior (under-18s) boys race with Tom Barrett 16th, Will Thompson 26th and gaining his first county vest, cyclist Henry James 30th. Settle College’s Ryan Watmough (36th) completed Craven’s representation as they took third team.

In the minor (under-12s) boys event any runners will inevitably be making their debuts for the county and thereby gain their first vests.

The Ermysted’s duo of Sam Bentham (18th) and Lachlan Wills (22nd) were joined by Upper Wharfedale’s Jacob Reeday (44th) in this race and they were overall third place as they gained the honour of representing their county.

Both the boys and girls teams at the junior (under-14s) age group were third teams and had some local representatives, as Upper Wharfedale’s Sam Headley had a great run to finish seventh and Donnabhan Rudden’s 26th place was well inside the top half of the runners. South Craven’s Scarlett Metcalfe was also 26th in the girls’ race.

Most of these runners will also have the chance to compete on the National Stage for North Yorkshire as the oldest age groups get to run in the English Schools’ Championships at Temple Newsham in Leeds in March with the under-12s running in an equivalent race at Leicester also in March.