The name of Buxton Athletics Club was on everyone’s lips after the British Junior Inter-Counties Fell Championships.
For not only were six members of the eight-strong Derbyshire squad from Buxton AC, but also all of them acquitted themselves with huge credit. So much so that the U16 boys’ team brought home a bronze medal.
The races were held in the picturesque countryside around Church Stretton, along the Shropshire and Wales border, and offered a challenging 7k course of steep, technical ascents and descents.
The championships attracted teams of three boys and three girls per county in the U16 and U18 age-categories, and the Derbyshire squad was selected from performances in the young fell runners’ races that have formed the English Fell Championships, held during this year.
Sterling displays were topped by the U16 boys, with the Buxton trio of Alex Ediker, who finished eighth, Lucas Parker (12th) and Dan Soles (19th) grabbing a superb third place.
The U16 girls’ team, which included Buxton duo Rebekah Heath (16th) and Katie Barnett (17th), finished in sixth position, while the U18 girls’ team were helped into fifth spot by Buxton’s Helen Thornhill, and Derbyshire’s U18 boys’ team were helped into 14th by Buxton’s David Fryer-Winder.
The Derbyshire team manager, Rachel Dowle, who is also a Buxton AC coach, beamed: “Yet again, the Buxton fell team have excelled themselves!
“This was an extremely challenging race that tested their resilience, determination and true grit. We are proud of all of them. Every single one was a winner!”
The inter-counties competition at Church Stretton also formed part of the English Junior Fell Championships, so all the Derbyshire runners scored points for the Buxton club.
Several Buxton AC runners also took part as individuals, with Finn Moffatt just missing out on a bronze medal when finishing fourth in the U14 boys’ race. In the same age-group, Sam Soles was eighth, Heather Wilshaw 13th, Abbie Fryer-Winder 19th and Luke Mamczur 22nd.
In the U12s’ category, Lauren Wilshaw finished in ninth position and Caleb Winfield 22nd, while in the U16s’ category, Jacob Winfield ran home in 14th and Elliot Meylan in 17th.
The performances heaped more credit on the Buxton club, which prides itself on its thriving junior section and the opportunities it gives to budding, young athletes.
Formed in 1977, the club boasts about 150 members, ranging from serious athletes to runners who just want to get fit and stay healthy.