All running and no riding as Cross Country Championships visits Oakwood

On your marks: Pupils at the starting line

AROUND 250 pupils from approximately 30 secondary schools in Dyfed were involved at the District’s Cross Country Championships earlier today in Narberth on Tuesday (Jan 22) as races provided selection for the Welsh Schools National Championships next month.

Held earlier than in previous years, the Dyfed Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships was back at a new venue this morning.

Having been staged at Parc Dinefwr in Llandeilo over the last couple of years, the 2019 edition went to the grounds of Oakwood Theme Park in Narberth where a decent crowd turned out to support those participating.

All roads for children, supporters and teachers from across Brianne, Pembrokeshire, Llanelli and Ceredigion led to the magnificent park in Narberth for the event.

The majority of the athletes that took part would have finished in the leading positions at the four respective area championships that all went ahead last week featuring all the schools.

Pembrokeshire was the first to hold their event at Haverfordwest Racecourse and was followed a few hours later with the Brianne races at Ammanford Recreation Ground.

The Ceredigion championship got the better weather of all 24 hours later at the Urdd Campus in Llangrannog before Llanelli schools battled through the wind and rain at the fourth and final event at Pembrey Country Park in the latter stages of last week.

The top 10 in each of the races from Haverfordwest, Ammanford, Llangrannog and Pembrey qualified for the Dyfed final at Oakwood on Tuesday as pupils went head to head with selection places up for grabs at the end.

The venue has already been used to hosting big cross country events, where the Pembrokeshire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships have already been held involving over 1,000 pupils.

During the morning, there were eight races for all categories with each one not only representing their area, but also their school.

The Year 7 Girls and Boys, competing in these championships for the first time since moving up from primary level, got the action underway at 11:15am and were followed by events for the combined year 8 and 9, and combined year 10 and 11.

A handful of Senior Girls and Senior Boys were also in attendance and went off last at lunchtime.

The course was set up on the field and consisted of a small and large lap, overlooking the many attractions and activities on offer for visitors and families at Oakwood Theme Park.

The weather provided a bit of everything – wind, rain, cloud, hail and a small glimpse of the sun after the risk of snow that was first forecasted earlier last week.

The underfoot conditions was in very good condition and it played a big part for fast racing and a number of tactical battles as club teammates and friends went head to head.

Schools represented at the 2019 Championships were Haverfordwest High, Greenhill, Harri Tudur, Bro Gwaun, Y Preseli, Penrhyn Dewi, Dyffryn Aman, Maes Y Gwendraeth, Bro Myrddin, Bro Dinefwr, QE High, Dyffryn Taf, Llandovery College, Bro Teifi, Emlyn, Penweddig, Henry Richard, Bro Pedr, Penglais, Aberteifi, Aberaeron, Y Strade, Coedcae, Bryngwyn, St John Lloyd, St Michaels, Coleg Sir Gar and Glan-Y-Môr.

The day ran very smoothly thanks to the support from those school teachers and volunteers from Welsh Athletics and Pembrokeshire Harriers who marshalled and volunteered at the start and finish areas and out on the course.

TOP 10:

Year 7 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 7: 1 Frances Mackie (QE High); 2 Erin Morgan (Bro Myrddin); 3 Carys Wood (Greenhill); 4 Seren Davies (Aberaeron); 5 Bessy Hill (Emlyn); 6 Maddy James (Harri Tudur); 7 Eleanor White (Haverfordwest High); 8 Catrin Hughes (Y Strade); 9 Katie David (Haverfordwest High); 10 Zara Thomas (Bro Gwaun)

Year 7 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 7: 1 Iwan Thomas (Y Strade); 2 Ifan Bowen (Bro Myrddin); 3 Finlay Tarling (Aberaeron); 4 Cai Prendiville (Y Strade); 5 Rhys Caygill (Y Preseli); 6 Jake Lynock (Bro Dinefwr); 7 Harry Billingham (Dyffryn Taf); 8 Finley Bruce (Y Preseli); 9 Llyr Jones (Aberaeron); 10 Brychan Hopkins (Aberaeron)

Year 8 & 9 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 8 a 9: 1 Ffion Ouseley (Y Preseli); 2 Lucy Wintle (Y Preseli); 3 Jazmine Jones (Bro Pedr); 4 Amy Greatrick (QE High); 5 Mila Blackwell (Greenhill); 6 Gracie Griffiths (Haverfordwest High); 7 Bethany Bennett (Bryngwyn); 8 Macey Howells (Glan-Y-Mor); 9 Chloe Simmonite (Coedcae); 10 Keira Carmody (Dyffryn Taf)

Year 8 & 9 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 8 a 9: 1 Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin); 2 Ioan Cressey-Rodgers (Bro Myrddin); 3 Rhys Llewellyn (Haverfordwest High); 4 Zach Elvy (Bro Myrddin); 5 Jack Thomas (QE High); 6 Scott Price (Bro Dinefwr);7 Steffan Davies (Bro Myrddin); 8 Jack Bruce (Y Preseli); 9 Rhys Williams (Bro Pedr); 10 Iago Williams (Maes Y Gwendraeth)

Year 10 & 11 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 10 a 11: 1 Daisy Thompson (Bro Myrddin); 2 Jessica Morris (Harri Tudur); 3 Megan Thompson (Haverfordwest High); 4 Tanwen Moon (Maes Y Gwendraeth); 5 Heledd Jones (Bro Teifi); 6 Tirion Lloyd (Henry Richard); 7 Megan Poupard (Haverfordwest High); 8 Kaitlin Morgan (Haverfordwest High); 9 Flavia Jenkins (Dyffryn Taf); 10 Kirsty Leigh Brennan (St John Lloyd)

Year 10 & 11 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 10 a 11: 1 Adam Ber (Glan-Y-Mor); 2 Dafydd Jones (Bro Myrddin); 3 Iori Humphreys (Harri Tudur); 4 Liam Edwards (Bro Myrddin); 5 Samuel Bird (Bryngwyn); 6 Iwan Dugmore (Y Preseli); 7 Ollie George (Y Preseli); 8 Ieuan Griffiths (Bryngwyn); 9 Cian Harries (Haverfordwest High); 10 Dafydd Lloyd (Bro Pedr)

Year 12 & 13 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 12 a 13: 1 Eva Edwards (Bro Myrddin); 2 Alice Evans (Haverfordwest High); 3 Ella Townsend (Haverfordwest High); 4 Cerys Davies (Bro Myrddin); 5 Grace Page (Bro Pedr); 6 Priyanks Kaushal (St Michaels); 7 Mollie Quick (St Michaels)

Year 12 & 13 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 12 a 13: 1 Callum Campion (Coleg Sir Gar); 2 Joe Griffiths (Haverfordwest High); 3 Robbie Bull (Aberaeron); 4 Joshua Williams (Haverfordwest High); 5 Georgy Gould (Aberaeron)

Twelve in each age group with an additional four reserves have been selected to compete for Dyfed schools in the Welsh Schools Cross Country Championships at Penlan Arena Fields, Brecon Leisure Centre on Wednesday 13th February.

They will be joined by teams from Afan Nedd Tawe, Cardiff & Vale, Glamorgan Valleys, Powys, North East Wales, South East Wales and Eryri.

Results File & Post Event coverage from the championships are now up on

Live footage of race starts can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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