THERE was some tough opposition facing the Holmfirth Harriers’ runners in National Championships.

After their fine showing in the West Yorkshire League, 12 teams from the Holmfirth club competed in the National Cross country relays at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.

Such was the quality of the field that even in the junior age group races around 100 teams lined up with almost 200 contesting the senior men’s race.

Pick of the teams on the day for Holmfirth were the senior women who fielded three teams, the A team finishing inside the top 20 in 18th with Katie Walshaw running an excellent 12th fastest on leg one, backed up by Helen Berry and Claire Leaver.

In the junior age groups the U15s boys and girls performed well finishing just outside the top 20, with the boys A team 23rd and the girls 24th.

The girls race the toughest of all the junior events with 120 athletes setting off on leg one.

Lewis Byram anchored the Under 15 boys and recorded 6.50 minutes for his leg just outside the top ten fastest times of the day.

Under 13 girls and boys finished also well inside the top half of the field in 33rd and 32nd respectively like the Under 15 girls both these teams are young enough to contest at the same age next year.

The Under 17 girls team running over the longer 2.5km course finished a creditable 36th and the boys running like the senior women over 3km in 58th.

The club also took B teams in both the Under 15 boys and Under 13 girls age group to the meeting and the boys finished 67th and the girls 69th.

In addition to the A team finishing 18th the senior women’s B team from Holmfirth finished 40th and the C team 62nd.

In the men’s race Richard Smith led the Holmfirth quartet completing the men’s 5km course in 16.44 the team finished 45th.

Holmfirth athletes will be in action on Saturday in the second West Yorkshire Cross Country league meeting held at Guiseley.