IT was great to see so many smiling faces at the home of Allerton Juniors Athletics Club on Sunday, September 6, eager to take part in some tough competition, but more excited to meet special guest and newly crowned British 5k Champion, Marc Scott.

Marc, originally from Northallerton, had only the day before taken the British title, had kindly agreed to come along to Knayton to watch and present medals to the young athletes taking part in various cross country events.

Joining the AJAC team were friends and team mates from Darlington Harriers to compete in changeable weather and underfoot conditions.

In the mixed U11 one-mile event, Fin Pentland-Rice (Darlington) was first home in a time of 06:24, Jake Holmes (AJAC) was second in 06:25 and James I’Anson (Darlington) was third in 06:32. Daniel Dale (AJAC) came home next in fourth place with a time of 06:37, Isobel Cook (AJAC) was first girl and fifth overall in a time of 06:40, James Throup (AJAC) was sixth in 06:55, Maisy Davies (AJAC) was second girl in seventh place overall with a time of 07:03 and Connie Wilford (AJAC) came in next third girl and eighth overall with a time of 07:17. Tegan Smith (AJAC) was next to finish in ninth with a time of 07:33, Harris Wilson (AJAC) was tenth in 07:37, Izzy Tweddle (AJAC) was 11th in 07:50 and Isabelle Smith (AJAC) finished 12th with a time of 07:58.

Moving on to the U13 Boys 2.4km race, Henry Kirkbride (AJAC) came home first in a time of 09:14, Hugo Douglas-Reeve (Darlington) was second in 09:30, Albie Mack (AJAC) finished third in a time of 09:35, Doug Plant (AJAC) was fourth in 09:39, Archie Cann (AJAC) was fifth in 09:46, Daniel I’Anson (Darlington) was sixth in 09:47, Joshua Kitching (AJAC) was seventh in 09:57 and Freddie Radmore (Darlington) was eighth in 09:59.

In the U13 Girls 2.4km event, Zara Jones (Darlington) was first in a time of 09:26, Emily Quinn (AJAC) was second in 09:37, Lucy Boot (AJAC) was third in 10:04, Mhairi Corcoran (AJAC) was fourth in 10:19, Elle Lancaster (AJAC) was fifth in 10:21, Freya Talman (Darlington) was sixth in 10:22, Lottie Graves (Darlington) was seventh in 10:23 and Savanna Tarn (Darlington) was eight with the same time of 10:23 and Megan Burnham (AJAC) was ninth in 11:56.

In the U15 mixed 2.4km Event, Alex Boyer (Darlington) finished first in a time of 08:26, Sam Degazon (AJAC) was second in 08:45, Tristan Baker (AJAC) was third in 08:50, Islay Wilson (AJAC) was first girl and fourth overall in a time of 09:13, Tori Buckley was next home in second girl and fifth overall with a time of 09:33, Caleb Stanley (AJAC) was sixth in 09:35, Macy Kelly (Darlington) was third girl and seventh overall in a time of 09:55, Matthew Vest (Darlington) was eighth in 10:00, Libby Hammond (Darlington) was ninth in 10:01 and Henry Mack (AJAC) was tenth in 10:05.

In the final U20/U17 combined age group three mile race, Daniel Boyer (U20 Darlington) was first in a time of 16:31, Harry Wilson (U17 Darlington) was second in a time of 17:36, Marley Plant (U17 AJAC) was third in a time of 19:02, Marisa Boon (U17 Darlington) was fourth in 19:06, Mia Wetherill (U17 Darlington) as fifth in 20:12, Tom Robinson (U17 AJAC) was sixth in 21:30, Emily Vest (U17 Darlington) was seventh in 22:34 and Olivia Douglas-Reeves (U17 Darlington) was eight in 23:39.

A club spokesperson said: "Congratulations to everyone for taking part in a fantastic event, thanks to Marc Scott for taking time out of his busy schedule to pass on his advice and enthusiasm for running, and thanks again to all the helpers and parents for supporting the club in these challenging times."

AJAC head coach Glen Hilton closed the day with a raffle and a speech, in which he said he was: "Absolutely delighted with today's cross country event and results. Seeing our junior endurance squad competing and enjoying the sport I love was a massive honour for me as head coach. Finally, to have the support of everyone behind AJAC is fantastic and to see role models like Marc Scott here today is very special."