March 2019: Biathletes fly the flag for Haslingden High

TWO biathletes from Haslingden High School took on the best in the country at the national final at Crystal Palace in London.

Adam Fern, 14, came second out of the North West contingent and 52nd overall for his age group.

Also representing school in London was Harrison Smith, 11, who was making his first trip to the capital, so he took in some of the sights.

They both won their places after competing in at a heat at Accrington Academy and then a county final at Rossall School, Fleetwood.

Adam said: “I had to do a 100m freestyle swim and then run for a mile.

“In my age group I was against about 70 others from all over the country and 20 were from the North West.

“I did better at my swimming and was second in my heat.”

Adam went to London with his parents and other members of Pioneer 79, the swimming club he has been attending in Accrington for the last year.

He has also been a member of Rochdale Harriers for five years.

Adam said: “There was a really good atmosphere and I was competing against some of the best athletes in the country.”

He has been entering biathlons since he was in Year 7 and hopes to compete again next year.

Harrison managed a personal best in both his swim and his run.

He said: “It was fairly busy and before the race started I was nervous but when I got running I just got into it. The competition was hard.”

As it was his first visit to London, he also got to see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Downing Street.

Harrison has previously completed a biathlon fundraiser with Ramsbottom Swimming Club and he runs with Rossendale Harriers.