Louth AC juniors take on UK's cross country elite

Louth Athletic Club juniors competed against the UK's best young cross country runners at the CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

Hannah Reid and Issy Dhami are all smiles after their trial by mud EMN-181203-174527002

The town club had five athletes representing Lincolnshire at the championships which took place at Loughborough.

Teams travelled from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to Leicestershire to compete against all of the English counties.

With only eight athletes from every county invited to compete in each race, Louth AC were very proud to have five of their young athletes qualify for the prestigious competition.

Matthew Spendlove and Caleb Stephenson show the scars of battle EMN-181203-174538002

They were rewarded with county badges to recognise their achievements.

The weather on the day was fine, but conditions underfoot were appalling after the recent snow thaw and heavy rain overnight on Friday which reduced the course to a sea of deep mud.

The conditions resulted in slower times, several retirements and numerous lost shoes.

All five of the Louth athletes battled through the mud to complete the course which was a real credit to their strength and determination.

Matthew Spendlove and Caleb Stephenson show the scars of battle EMN-181203-174538002

In the under 15s boys’ race, there were 303 finishers over the gruelling 4.5km course, with Lucas George-Jones leading the Louth contingent home in 261st place.

He was followed by Caleb Stephenson in 280th, and Matthew Spendlove in 285th position.

In the under 15s girls’ race, run over 4km, the leg-sapping mud forced a number of retirements, but 304 girls completed the course.

Both of the Louth runners performed strongly, with Hannah Reid finishing in 232nd, and Issy Dhami coming home in 248th place.

The final race of the cross country season will see a number of the Louth AC juniors cap a highly successful winter by competing at the English Schools Cross Country Championships on Saturday.