Hill start! Youth Games returns with cross-country races on Heath

Thursday, 25th November 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Cross Country Arjuna Pflug

Team Camden enjoyed a whole host of good times, including Arjuna Pflug, pictured (above) wearing number 277, who completed a testing 2km course in seven minutes, 46 seconds. Photo: The London Youth Games

CHEERS of support and excitement cut through the crisp autumn air on Saturday as hundreds of young runners descended on Parliament Hill Fields to celebrate the start of the new London Youth Games season.

As always, Europe’s largest youth sport festival kick-started its new campaign with cross-country, attracting more than 1,200 athletes from across the capital.

Following a two-year absence due to the pandemic, this time around there was an even bigger buzz surrounding the showpiece as youngsters took to the mud in four age groups – Under-11s, Under-13s, Under-15s and Under-17s – with the first three runners across the finish line from each borough scoring valuable points.

Team Camden manager Ben Dorsett said: “It was great to see young people from all of the London boroughs come together once again for this great event. It was like looking at a sea of colour running up the hill.

Camden’s Under-13s girls’ team finished in fourth after the 2km course

“All of the young people who raced for Camden should be very proud of themselves.

“We are now looking forward to getting more kids involved in the upcoming events in the New Year.”

Among the top performers on Saturday was Jess Parry, who was 11th out of 96 finishers in the girls’ Under-17s race with her time of 12 minutes, 27 seconds.

Run over 3km, Julia Alonso finished in 13 minutes flat to take 23rd place, while Hannah Giles (14.07) was 55th as Camden’s Under-17s girls took fourth place overall.

Camden’s Under-13s girls’ team also finished fourth thanks to the efforts of Izzy Ions, Eloise Lindley and Aliyah Osman. Ions was 12th out of 205 finishers after completing the 2km course in 8.31, while Lindley (8.59) and Osman (9.05) were 29th and 34th respectively.

Camden’s Under-17s girls celebrate their fourth place. Right Jess Parry

Camden’s point-scorers in the Under-11s girls’ race, run over 1.5km, were: Emily Lowe (6.52) 22nd; Elizabeth Majeski (7.35) 76th; and Tess Aldrick (7.36) 77th. Overall there were 154 finishers, and as a team Camden were seventh.

The scorers in the Under-15s girls’ race, run over 2km, were: Faduma Abdi (8.38) 42nd; Leonie Scholze (9.05) 80th; and Lizzie Wortsman (9.07) 84th. Overall there were 177 finishers. Team Camden were 19th.

When the results of all four age groups were added together, Camden took sixth place overall in the girls’ category.

Jess Parry was among the top performers

Meanwhile, in the boys’ races Camden finished eighth in the Under-13s age group. Arjuna Pflug led the charge, completing the 2km course in 7.46 to take 14th spot out of 206 finishers. Billy Cooke (8.11) and Nicolas Kidel (8.26), who finished in 42nd and 69th place respectively, also scored valuable points.

The scorers in the boys’ Under-11s race, run over 1.5km, were: Jonas Fryer (6.25) 62nd; Toby Chesser (6.25) 63rd; and Karter Davis (6.26) 66th.

There were 153 finishers. Team Camden were 15th.

Scorers in the boys’ Under-15s race, run over 3km, were: Thomas Chadwick (11.15) 21st; Joseph Hayes (11.44) 48th; and Jamie Cameron (12.05) 73rd. There were 180 finishers. Team Camden were 12th.

Scorers in the boys’ Under-17s race, run over 4.5km, were: Josh Groves (19.41) 65th; Jesse Hopkins (20.21) 79th; and Caspar Hopkins (23.05) 108th. There were 117 finishers. Team Camden were 20th.

When the results of all four age groups were added together, Camden took 13th place overall in the boys’ category.

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