FOR the 32nd successive year, Dyfed Primary Schools once again turned out in their numbers this week at one of the most popular sporting events currently being held in Dyfed and West Wales. It gave youngsters in four school year groups the opportunity to get involved in running and enjoy the race experience alongside their school mates on Thursday (4th April).
A total of over 1,200 runners from more than 60 Dyfed primary schools descended on the United Counties Showground in Nantyci on the outskirts of Carmarthen to compete in the annual District cross-country championships, organised by Hedydd Davies. The car park was full, all kinds of food quickly sold and plenty of local West Wales talent out on show.
Despite the wintry conditions and wet weather earlier on in the day, the event got the go ahead and the turnout was fantastic with the sun braking through the clouds just in time. Runners, officials and spectators came from all corners of the three counties in Dyfed which are Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
The first of the races began slightly later in 2019 at 17:00 with the event being held three weeks later than recent years because of the Easter Holiday timing. First off was the first glimpse of the year 3 athletes who were most probably competing for their school for the first time. It then went up to year 4 and year 5 before the year 6 runners took part in the cross-country championships for the final time before they join the various secondary school leagues next season.
A total of eight races was on offer for the spectators during the evening’s programme, with the year 3 and year 4’s completing 2 large laps whilst the year 5 and year 6’s had an extra small lap at the beginning. The finish was situated right in front of the main grandstand, where it provided an ideal opportunity for supporters to cheer and encourage the youngsters on.
The youngsters taking part were supported excellently by year 7, year 8 and year 9 endurance runners at Carmarthen Harriers who helped out as hares and back markers to ensure that everyone got to the finish line. A great job was done by Frank Morgan, Jack Thomas, Steffan Davies, Jake Lynock, Ifan Bowen, Amy Greatrick, Erin Morgan and Frances Mackie who took the lead in all eight races.
The championships in Nantyci were this year kindly sponsored by Welsh Athletics and McDonalds Carmarthen.
Ron Mounsey from McDonalds has been a great supporter of school athletics and cross country in Dyfed for a number of years and said: “We at McDonalds are very pleased and proud to once again be sponsoring the Dyfed Primary Schools Cross Country Championships.
“It is a privilege to see so many young children taking part in sport.”
Over 100 Awards were presented to the first ten in each race and the first three teams as the evening light faded. On completion of the competition, awards were made by special guests invited to attend who were Cllr Mansel Charles (Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council) and Consort Mrs Bethan Charles-Davies, Cllr Jeff Thomas (Deputy Mayor of Carmarthen) and Emlyn Dole (Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council).
Number of Finishers: Year 3 Girls – 189; Year 3 Boys – 203; Year 4 Girls – 173; Year 4 Boys – 197; Year 5 Girls – 144; Year 5 Boys – 139; Year 6 Girls – 103; Year 6 Boys – 107
As in previous years, there were team awards up for grabs with three to score from each school. In the team competition, there were four different school winners:
Ysgol Y Dderwen; Ysgol Caer Elen; Ysgol Llangynnwr and Prendergast School
Pupils from Ysgol Y Dderwen were again on top form in the cross country and dominated team categories, winning five out of the eight available. As a result, the Carmarthen school were announced as the overall school shield winners, defending their title won 12 months ago in 2018. The shield was presented to the youngsters by Cllr Mansel Charles and Bethan Charles-Davies.
Year 3 Girls: 1 Eva Davies (Llanybydder), 2 Emily David (Cleddau Reach), 3 Marilia Katsapi (Gelli Aur), 4 Nancie Sinclair Jones (Pennar), 5 Mollie Charlton (Caer Elen), 6 Seren Bowen (Y Dderwen), 7 Alice Craddock (Llandybie), 8 Celyn Adams (Gymraeg Rhydaman), 9 Harriett Davies (T Llew Jones), 10 Janette Cabral (Mary Immaculate)
Year 3 Boys: 1 Harry Broadhurst (Tenby Juniors), 2 Sonny Forbes Tinsley (Gymraeg Aberaeron), 3 Osian Thomas (Y Dderwen), 4 Cai Davies (Nantgaredig), 5 Joe Warrender (Cleddau Reach), 6 Ieuan Richards (Templeton), 7 Reuben Evans (Lamphey), 8 Freddie Mackie (Y Castell), 9 Liam Humphries (Y Dderwen), 10 Jobey Wharton (Gymraeg Aberaeron)
Year 4 Girls: 1 Esme Lynock (Llangadog), 2 Gwennan Jones (Y Dderwen), 3 Meadow Norris (Comins Coch), 4 Grace Fraser Jones (Llangynnwr), 5 Cadi Bryan (Maenclochog), 6 Keira Bruce (Penrhyn), 7 Fran Thomas (Arberth), 8 Ana Jones (Y Dderwen), 9 Lexi Allen (Mary Immaculate), 10 Evie Pearce (Iau Llangennech)
Year 4 Boys: 1 Rhys James (Y Dderwen), 2 Jack Billingham (Tavernspite), 3 Tomos Jones (Griffith Jones), 4 Caden Fox (Mary Immaculate), 5 David Schroder (Mary Immaculate), 6 Ryan Rees (Iau Llangennech), 7 Matthew Johnson (Johnstown), 8 Devin Williams (Llandovery College), 9 William Harnett Jones (Llandovery College), 10 Ryan Williams (Griffith Jones)
Year 5 Girls: 1 Jessica Norman (Llansteffan), 2 Martha Morgan (Teilo Sant), 3 Skye Bruce (Penrhyn), 4 Jessica Hughes (Llangynnwr), 5 Ophelia Jenkins (Tavernspite), 6 Beatrice Morgan (Llangadog), 7 Nia Seren Thomas (Nantgaredig), 8 Soffia-Mai Davies (Nantgaredig), 9 Mari Wilson (Iau Llangennech), 10 Erin Powell (Model)
Year 5 Boys: 1 William Coles (Llangadog), 2 Gwilym Jac Jones (Nantgaredig), 3 Iwan Brazier (Y Ddwylan), 4 Sam Griffiths (Llangynnwr), 5 Tristan Warrender (Plascrug), 6 Noa Prendiville (Iau Llangennech), 7 Nic John (Griffith Jones), 8 Steffan Thomas (Teilo Sant), 9 Luca Burgess Williams (Llandovery College), 10 Joseph Thomas (Llansteffan)
Year 6 Girls: 1 Mared Jones (Y Dderwen), 2 Anna Joyce (Penllwyn), 3 Ellie-May John (Gwenllian), 4 Phyllis Davies (Tavernspite), 5 Carys Kenniford (Lamphey), 6 Casi Gregson (Carreg Hirfaen), 7 Martha Brandy-Phillips (Gymraeg Aberaeron), 8 Marged Jones (Y Dderwen), 9 Anna Bradley (Arberth), 10 Lleucu Mathias (T Llew Jones)
Year 6 Boys: 1 Macsen Toogood (Teilo Sant), 2 William Harries (Hook), 3 Alex Coles (Llangadog), 4 Daniel Warrender (Plascrug), 5 Aron Hedd Jones (Y Dderwen), 6 James Sloyan (Model), 7 Corin Maxwell (Llangynnwr), 8 Liam Upton-Boorman (Johnstown), 9 Llyr James Jones (Llanpumpsaint), 10 Josh Barrett (Prendergast)
Many thanks to everyone who contributed and ensured that the championships were a successful one in front of and behind the scenes
Top 15 Individual Results and Top 10 Teams can be found at http://www.carmarthenharriers.co.uk/images/PDF/Races/2019_dyfed_primary_schools_showground_results.pdf
Watch a Highlights Video from Thursday’s championships at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGuHbjS9IEw and see more photos and videos on the Carmarthen Harriers Athletics Club Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages.
The Dyfed Primary Schools Track & Field Championships returns to Johnstown soon where events on the track will take centre stage and will likely to see big numbers again.
Report & Photos: Nathan Jones