ERMYSTED’S Grammar School teams won four of five team titles and Craven athletes won four individual races at the Harrogate and Craven Area Cross-Country Championships which took place at Giggleswick School.

In the Year 7 boys' race, Ermysted’s certainly put down a marker for what was to come as Tom Hooper and Ewen Wilkinson set off with the leaders and near the end they had five runners inside the top 10, no mean feat in a race with 78 finishers.

On the final climb, Wilkinson overhauled Hooper and ran away on the steep downhill section back to the school field for an individual title.

Hooper won silver whilst teammates Joe Greening was sixth and Daniel Ridehalgh seventh. Rowan Box was denied a top ten place as his shoe was suctioned off in the mud, eventually finishing 17th, and Ermysted’s easily won the team title with their four scorers inside the first seven runners home.

Other Craven athletes making the top 12 and gaining area selection were Settle’s Jack Sanderson in fourth and Robbie Watmough 11th, whilst Upper Wharfedale’s Owen Ashdown was fifth.

The Year 7 girls also had a good entry with 72 finishers and some local interest at the head of the race, where Skipton Girls High School’s Lucille Pickles battled with South Craven’s Layla Kirkly. Pickles claimed silver whilst Kirkley ran well for bronze.

Kirkly’s teammate Alice O’Sullivan was eighth to claim area team selection and Settle’s Charlotte Peart 14th and Skipton Girl's Emily Anderson 16th may well get to run as reserves in January’s County Championships.

Skipton Girls High School, with a total of 64 points for the aggregate of positions of their first four runners, won the team title.

The Year 8 boys' race was probably the closest fought of the ten races with four runners separated by just four seconds on the line.

Ermysted’s Sam Bentham was in the mix, but lost out on the individual title by just one second claiming silver.

Bentham’s team were strong with four runners in the top 15 finishers as Lachlan Wills (eighth), Jack Jenkinson (10th), Finlay Petrucci (13th) and Sam Smith (15th) claimed another team title for Ermysted’s.

Craven had further representation at the front in this race though as Upper Wharfedale’s Jacob Reeday was fifth, Settle’s Harry Richards was seventh, South Craven’s Sam Barber was 11th and Giggleswick’s Archie Clark was 16th.

The Year 8 girls had a medalist in South Craven’s Olivia Aldham with bronze and then Megan Wilkinson from Skipton Girls in eighth place.

The Year 9s then ran exactly the same course so times could later be used to select the best combined Year 8 and 9 team and Ermysted’s duo of Dougie Segger-Staveley and Freddie Marsh set off in fine style.

They did however get caught but Segger-Staveley held on to bronze, but Marsh finished 19th.

However, three of the runners that passed him were teammates as Oscar Smyth (11th), Freddie Smith (12th) and Aryaan Ghaphoor (15th), giving the school a lowish total of 41 points, which won their third team title by the narrowest of margins.

Other Craven runners to the fore were Upper Wharfedale’s Marley Plant in 7th, the South Craven duo of Tom Smurthwaite (ninth) and Tom Caunt (13th) and Settle’s Jimmy Howarth in 14th.

Helena Roberts from South Craven led Craven’s challenge in the Year 9 girls as she came fifth, whilst Upper Wharfedale’s Maddy Greig was 10th and Skipton Girls student Elsa Birch was 12th.

The Year 10/11 race was next and Craven had another one-two in the boys as South Craven’s Sam Smith claimed the title from Ermysted’s Alex Thompson.

However, that didn’t tell the story of the race as Smith built a massive lead of over 30 seconds on the first lap only for Thompson to whittle it away to only a few seconds as they entered the finish field.

Smith held on for the title, Thompson claimed silver and Upper Wharfedale’s Sam Headley made it a Craven clean sweep of the medals with bronze.

Ermysted’s did try to keep their hunt for a clean sweep of the team titles going as Robert Mann (eighth), Will Atkinson (ninth) and Andrew Robinson (15th) gave them a great low score of 34 points, but they had to settle for runners-up, just two points adrift of St Aidan's.

South Craven’s Owen Thompson may get a guest spot for his 12th place finish.

The Y10 andY11 Girls had four Skipton runners in the top 13 as Alice Jones became Craven’s third area champion and Lilli Carr (fourth), Emma Peel (ninth) and Harrisa Ghafoor (13th) gave them a great score of just 27 points, but unfortunately Harrogate Grammar pipped them for the team title.

Other highly placed Craven runners were the South Craven duo of Tui Brookes (sixth) and Scarlett Metcalfe (19th) with further Skipton Girls runners Mia Petrucci 16th and Hannah Jackson 17th.

The seniors were last away and in the boys event had three international quality athletes leading the way.

Ermysted’s fell running star Louis Hudson had to settle for the bronze medal, but did lead his Ermysted’s team to an astonishing fourth team title.

That was thanks to Joe Carnelley (fifth), Alex Old (seventh) and Will Thompson (11th), who garnered just 26 points.

Other well-placed local runners were Settle’s Rhys Watmough (eighth), South Craven’s Jack Muir (ninth) and Giggleswick’s Jack Hutchinson (10th).

The Y12/13 girls saw a dominant display from Skipton Girls as they took a rare clean sweep of the medals and with it the team award.

Ruby Firth became Craven’s fourth individual champion, with silver going to Emily Jones and bronze to Katie Atkinson.

Angelina Bairstow completed the team in eighth to secure Craven’s sixth team title.

Giggleswick were runners-up in the team as Marrisa Allen (fourth), Mollie Bratt (fifth), Bethany Broadly-Mundell (seventh) and Chloe Hodge (ninth) scored just 25 points.