Irvine and Ava do the double

Hawick Primary School Cross Country Championship 2018

 Last Friday, 16th February, 263 enthused children descended on Wilton Lodge Park to compete in the 7th annual Teviotdale Harriers Primary Cross Country Championships, writes Rory Anderson.

Double delight for Ava Hughes and Irvine Welsh

The 1850m course would provide some excellent running for each of the eight schools that were battling out for the silverware on offer. As with 2017 the weather was very kind, providing a cold but dry event with underfoot conditions varying from ankle deep mud to frozen ice rink strips that would not look out of place at this year’s winter Olympics in South Korea.

Course set out, marshals placed, primary 6 & 7 girls lined up at the start, it was time for the first race to get underway. The welcome sound of the gun unleashed the eager 129 girls into the challenging cross country trail which weaved it’s way through the beautiful park Hawick has to offer. 

The highly competitive field jostled for position over the first few hundred meters before settling down into the race. Over the first half of the race all pupils were tightly bunched together, however it was pupils from Wilton, Trinty and Drumlanrig who looked to stretch away from the field and create a smaller group fighting for the top spots. With little over a half a mile to go Ava Hughes, primary seven pupil from Drumlanrig and reigning champion made a huge effort to push for the coveted 1st prize. 

Hot on her heels fellow Westender Rhianna Scott chased with Ellie Benstead and Carla Bonini both of Trinity. With less than 150m to go the trio of runners was catching Ava with every stride but a gutsy sprint from the Drumlanrig pupil ensured 1st place and she retained the Championship medal. 

Ava Hughes (Drumlanrig) finishing time was a superb 8.39minutes, 2nd Rhianna Scott (Drumlanrig) 8.46 and 3rd completing the podium was Ellie Benstead (Trinity) 8.49minutes.

Shortly after all the girls had completed the gruelling course it was the chance for the boys of primary 6 and 7 to excel themselves over the same distance. As with the girls race the 134 boys from 8 schools within the Hawick region donned their trainers and took their marks for Barty Yule, Teviotdale Harriers longstanding member to release them with a single shot of the starter’s gun.

The boys quickly gathered speed into the first bend being cheered on by the girls who had recovered from their exertions. It was Wilton, Trinity, Denholm and Newcastleton pupils who were showing the early pace in this race matching each other stride for stride in the first half. Young Teviotdale Harrier,  Irvine Welsh with his usual long orange socks was easily identifiable in the second half of the race to be pulling further away from his competitors. 

With every step he opened up a bigger gap on the chasing Trinity, Denholm and fellow Wilton pupils to excellently grab first place and the cheers of all those at the finishing line with a time of 7.26minutes, as with Ava, Irvine retained his title from the previous year. Louis Bonini of Trinity school finished was an extremely strong sprint to secure second place in a time of 8.09minutes. Another Wilton pupil Fraser Casson completed the top three time crossing the line 8.16minutes.

To conclude with the day’s events the presentation was held at the iconic bandstand with all school parties being greatly praised for the effort and commitment on the day.

The winners of the girl team prizes was Wilton, the five counters were Iona Morozo, Chelsea Atkins, Stroma Beukes, Ruby Girvan and Hope Stewart.

The winning Girls team from Wilton

Trinity were to secure the boys team prize with Louis Bonini, Connor McLeod, Robbie Landles, Kyle Wright and Robbie Jack.

The succesful Trinity Boys team Champions

The combined team prize also returned to Trinity School with the boys names mentioned about and also Ellie Benstead, Carla Bonini, Sophie Swan, Zoe Pearce and Connie Yule.

Combined Team Champions, Trinity

Teviotdale Harriers would like to thank everyone who attended the 7th Primary Schools Cross Country Championship, including all volunteers who helped on the day, Hawick Waverley football club for the use of their changing rooms, the park green keepers for use of the changing pavilion, Gordon Webber (park management) for use of gazebos and of course Live Borders Paul Scott who communicates with the schools to make it happen.

Teviotdale Harriers have junior training on a Wednesday at Teviot Church on St. George’s Lane 6pm, all primary school kids welcome.