For sporty primary school children, teachers, volunteers and parents across the county of Pembrokeshire, all roads led to a new venue earlier this afternoon for the 2019 staging of the popular Pembrokeshire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships.
Having been held at Oakwood Theme Park in recent years, the event made a move over to the grounds of Carew Airfield near Sageston on Thursday 17th October.
In its 29th year, it was organised by members of the local Pembrokeshire Harriers athletics club in partnership with Sport Pembrokeshire.
This was the second schools event held for primary school children in the Dyfed District so far this winter, following the Carmarthenshire Primary Schools Championships which took place at the United Counties Showground in Nantyci on Thursday 19th September.
Races were open to anyone in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at primary school age. The course was split into two - year 3 and 4 ran 1 small and 1 big lap totalling a 1000 metres whilst the year 5 and 6 children completed 2 big laps making a course of 1500 metres with the route ideal for families and friends to spectate and support from behind the fences as well as on the bank overlooking the finish.
Despite tough underfoot conditions in some parts following recent rain, it was great to see the children smiling throughout and enjoying the race day atmosphere in which the sun came out just in time for the races.
All eight races saw more than 130 cross the finish, with the biggest turnout coming in the year 3 and year 4 categories (180 in the year boys)
Organiser Pete Freeman has been involved in the very first race in 1990. The race originally was held at Haverfordwest Racecourse then Haverfordwest Rugby Club before moving in recent years to the fantastic facilities available at Oakwood Theme Park in Narberth.
A team of thirteen were out on the course on a chilly and showery morning setting up and ensuring that everything was ready to go ahead by the time participants and spectators started to arrive. Amongst these were members and friends of Pembrokeshire Harriers who worked tirelessly during the day as well as many other course marshals and volunteers.
It was the Year 3 children, who got their first taste of competition, got the action underway at 2pm. They were followed by the Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 age groups for both boys and girls.
Approximately 30 schools were represented and between the eight races, a total number of 1,235 children finished and crossed the line in another bumper and successful championships, making it one of the biggest turnouts since it began!
Runners were in good company, led at the front and back as "hares" by middle distance athletes at Pembrokeshire Harriers and pupils of Haverfordwest High School, Ysgol Y Preseli and Ysgol Harri Tudur -Ffion Ouseley, James Price, Cian Harries, Eliza Martin, William Harries, Iori Humphreys, Jessica Morris, Ella Wintle and Lucy Wintle as well as Gracie Griffiths helping with presentations. Each and every one did a fantastic job, encouraging all the athletes around the route.
Medals and awards were presented to the top ten individuals at the presentation area on completion of the races with trophies up for grabs for all the team winners (3 athletes in a school to score). Presenting the medals was Andrew Jenkins, Welsh Athletics West Wales Network Officer.
The team winners on the day came from Milford Haven, Tavernspite, Cleddau Reach, Templeton, Gelli Aur, Prendergast and Sundersfoot totalling seven schools. In addition, Fenton, St Teilo's, Caer Elen, Goodwick, Tenby Church VC and Redhill were top three in the team positions in their respective categories.
Reflecting on the day's races, Matt Freeman, Active Young People Manager for Sport Pembrokeshire added: "The Primary School Cross Country is established as the flagship schools event of the Sport Pembrokeshire calendar and Thursday saw a great afternoon of racing for the pupils of Pembrokeshire. The event, run in partnership with Pembrokeshire Harriers was a great chance for children to represent their respective schools supported on by their parents, staff and peers on a testing cross country course staged at Carew Airfield."
"From a Sports Development perspective, our attendance was vital as we have a chance to speak to the children and parents about athletics opportunities as a whole in the county."
Number of Finishers / Nifer Wedi Gorffen
Year 3 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 3: 173
Year 3 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 3: 157
Year 4 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 4: 180
Year 4 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 4: 159
Year 5 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 5: 151
Year 5 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 5: 142
Year 6 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 6: 136
Year 6 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 6: 137
TOP 10 INDIVIDUAL RESULTS / CANLYNIADAU UNIGOLION 10 CYNTAF
Year 3 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 3: 1 Zac Evans (Pennar); 2 Alfie Morgan (Tenby Church VC); 3 Riley Rees-Thomas (Lamphey); 4 Oliver Molineau (Tenby Church VC); 5 Lloyd Rutherford (Milford Haven); 6 William Haines (Templeton); 7 Osian Griffiths (Narberth); 8 Tomos Nichollas (Brynconin); 9 Logan Lewis (Pembroke Dock); 10 Ethan Brace (Tenby Church VC)
Year 3 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 3: 1 Tabitha Curtis (Bro Ingli); 2 India Jones (Penrhyn VC); 3 Olivia Bowdauowski (Castle); 4 Ellie Morgan (Prendergast); 5 Ava Barrett (Broadhaven); 6 Becca James (Hook); 7 Ava Phillips (Neyland); 8 Jessica Anderston (Milford Haven); 9 Zoe Jewell (Tavernspite); 10 Elen Field (Fenton)
Year 4 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 4: 1 Ieuan Richards (Templeton); 2 Reuben Jones (Templeton); 3 Joe Warrender (Cleddau Reach); 4 Aneurin Preddy (Cleddau Reach); 5 Iestyn Jones (Fenton); 6 Rafael Magic (Tavernspite); 7 Oliver John (Pembroke Dock); 8 Ethan Davies (Cleddau Reach); 9 Aaron Becker (Tavernspite); 10 Kai Blewett (Stepaside)
Year 4 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 4: 1 Nancy Sinclair (Pennar); 2 Lilly Partis (Milford Haven); 3 Mollie Charlton (Caer Elen); 4 Emily David (Cleddau Reach); 5 Ida Liveock (Tenby Church VC); 6 Lacey Thompson (Prendergast); 7 Koke Halbrook (Cosherton); 8 Janelle Cabrai (Mary Immaculate); 9 Menna Garlic (Penrhyn VC); 10 Robyn Griffiths (Y Frenni)
Year 5 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 5: 1 Leon Llewhellin (Gelli Aur); 2 Solomon Silverstone (Castle); 3 Jack Billingham (Tavernspite); 4 Jack John (Roch); 5 Ben Morgan (Gelli Aur); 6 Zak Evans (Saundersfoot); 7 Matthew Johnston (Johnston); 8 Henry Peach (Roch); 9 Finlay McQueen (Redhill); 10 Robbie Sterling (Caer Elen)
Year 5 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 5: 1 Lexi Allen (Mary Immaculate); 2 Keira Bruce (Penrhyn VC); 3 Nia Lewis (Saundersfoot); 4 Cadi Bryant (Maenclochog); 5 Rose Price (Gelli Aur); 6 Chloe Norman (Milford Haven); 7 Milly Davies (Milford Haven); 8 Maddison Hewings (Tenby Church VC); 9 Ella Andrews (Pennar); 10 Olivia Issac (Prendergast)
Year 6 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 6: 1 Carter Heywood (Tenby Church VC); 2 Thomas Hunter (Redhill); 3 George McDonald (St Teilo's); 4 Derry Richards (Templeton); 5 Bradley Phlunkett (Fenton); 6 William Hilling (St Florence); 7 George Luff (Cleddau Reach); 8 Josh James (Neyland); 9 Max Ironside (Redhill); 10 Oliver Donohoe (Gelli Aur)
Year 6 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 6: 1 Opehlia Jenkins (Tavernspite); 2 Anna Regan (Prendergast); 3 Skye Bruce (Penrhyn VC); 4 Imogen Gray (Gelli Aur); 5 Isla May (Saundersfoot); 6 Grace Dobney (Y Frenni); 7 Olivia Baker (Cleddau Reach); 8 Ella Thomas (Narberth); 9 Sophie Cox (Cleddau Reach); 10 Nia Price (Gelli Aur)
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The organisers would like to thank everyone who contributed towards a fantastic day, including Carew Airfield for the use of the venue as well as members, friends and families of Pembrokeshire Harriers, Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council and St John's Ambulance.
Another top class and well organised event in Dyfed which has now seen over 2,200 pupils enjoy cross country runners in the Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire counties in the space of a month, ardderchog!
Event Reports & Selection of Images & Top 10 Results from Carew will be included in the local Pembrokeshire newspapers in the next 14 days. Make sure that you pick up your copies!