Young harriers represent county in cross country competition

The young Clayton Harriers, who are (left to right) Briony Holt, Ella Dorrington, Helana White, Josh Hall, Robbie Smedley with their Lancashire teammate Jack Villiers Trawden AC.
The young Clayton Harriers, who are (left to right) Briony Holt, Ella Dorrington, Helana White, Josh Hall, Robbie Smedley with their Lancashire teammate Jack Villiers Trawden AC.
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Five talented young runners from Burnley and Pendle represented Lancashire at a cross country event.

The five, who all run with Clayton Harriers, took part in the Inter Counties Cross-Country Championships, in Loughborough.

Plucky Helana struggles gamely through the mud.

Plucky Helana struggles gamely through the mud.

Following selection at the Lancashire Championships in January, under 17 runners Briony Holt and Josh Hall, and under 13 runners Helana White, Ella Dorrington and Robbie Smedley all braved a mudbath at Prestwold Hall to compete for the county against around 40 other teams in each age group.

Conditions underfoot were challenging after snow melt and heavy rain turned the course into a quagmire for the large fields of runners in each race, but this didn’t deter the Clayton athletes as they revelled in the muddy conditions.

Helana (12) 13-year-old Ella and Robbie, who is 12, are all from Burnley. Helana is a pupil at St Christopher's High School in Accrington, Ella goes to Alder Grange in Rossendale and Robbie is a student at Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.

Briony (16) is from Pendle and and goes to Park High School in Colne.

Josh is 17 and studying at college.

Coach Marion Wilkinson said: "This was the first time we have had so many young harriers running for their county of Lancashire and the coaches, run helpers, club members and parents were very proud of them."