Unseasonable weather greeted athletes at Leverhulme Park for the second running of the Red Rose Cross Country League on Saturday October 16th. A balmy almost windless day is not to be sneezed at when we know without doubt that there will be days that will be the exact opposite!
One hundred and eighteen youngsters took part in the U11 Races which was a delight to see. Fifty four in total in the Boys Race which saw the Harriers team field two debutants and placing 7th in the team standing out of the ten teams competing. Ansh Nama, the first of the two youngsters making their debut ran well to finish in 18th spot (7.44) with brother Anay Nama taking 26th position in 7.58 alongside team mate Alex McKinlay just one place and one second further back in 27th (7.59). A big well done to U9 Amelia Pacelli making her cross country debut in the U11 Girls race which had sixty four runners in total. Amelia came across the finish line in 43rd spot with a really determined effort in a time of 9.08.
Good results from the U13 Races for the Club as the boys took the team win with 18 points from Chorley in 2nd (22) and Horwich in 3rd (42). Sam Aspey led the team home with a 2nd place in a time of 11.25 behind Leigh’s Thomas Amaral (11.16). Sam was backed up by Liam Benninson in 7th (12.52), Callum Singleton in 9th (13.04), George Camara in his first outing of the cross country season (10th) in a time of 13.24 and Loucas Lancashire in 24th place running 14.24.
It was a close fought race in the U13 Girls team placings with the Harriers placing 3rd (29 points) behind Leigh in 2nd (26) and Clayton in 1st (21). Agatha Taylor had another top three finish after her run of 12.57 in 3rd with Hannah Davies just one place behind her in 4th (13.01) and Tamzin Osborne placing 22nd in 14.58.
Even though our U15 Boys had their three counters home in the first 10 places, it was only enough to gain 2nd spot in the team placings (21 points) behind winners Chorley (13). Daniel Smith took 5th place in 15.10 with Oliver Gill closely following in 6th spot (15.16) and third counter Ben Stratton in 10th running 16.18. Ben Livesey came home in 14th spot with a time of 16.50 followed by Callum Osborne in 28th place (19.32).
In the U13 Girls Race it was Bury all the way as they finished in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places to win the team on the day with 6 points. The Harriers finished in 4th spot with 58 points, the team featuring Isabela Thompson running 20.00 in 16th place, Isabella Pacelli in 18th spot (20.20) and Isabelle Hartley who finished in 27th place with an injury unfortunately (26.45).
Just two athletes in the U17 Men’s Race featuring 19 in total and another runaway win by Chorley’s Jacob Deacon, winning in 16.51. Jack Paget-Fowler placed 7th in a time of 19.32 with team mate Codie Dewhurst in 10th spot (19.48). One U17 athlete in the U17 Women’s race for the Harriers which was Abigail Stratton who took the win in a time of 21.08; And in the U20 Women’s race, Eleesha Charnley had a solid run clocking 22.36 in 2nd place behind Leigh’s Olivia Leigh (22.28).
Another top three place and another V45 win for Joanne Nelson as she led the team home to 2nd place behind winners Bury with her time of 20.55 (3rd) and backed up by solid runs from Eleesha Charnley in 9th (22.36), Ellen Sagar-Hesketh in 16th (23.41), Rachael Ashcroft in her debut season for the Club in cross country (19th) running 23.58 to make the four counters. Next home came Lindsay Davies in 53rd (26.16) and Vicky McKinlay in 83rd out of the 117 runners in the race, and running 31.33.
One hundred and forty three athletes in the Senior Men’s Race which saw Blackburn Harriers Tim Raynes attack the race right from the off as he was joined by Bolton’s Jonothan Kay, fellow Harrier Lawrence Fairclough and Bury’s Josh Birminham and Ben Coop in the early stages of the Race. Tim pulled away towards the end of the first lap and never looked back as he landed an emphatic win in 31.59 from Ben Coop (32.21). Lawrence came home in 4th spot (32.44) followed by team mate Josh Holgate in 5th (33.46) which gave the Harriers a great platform – taking three of the first five places – for the team to go on and win from Bury in 2nd place.
800m athlete Dominic Walton was next across the line for the Club in 14th position running 36.03 followed by Karl Billington in 18th spot (36.56) and Matt Nuttall in 19th place (37.22) – a time which won him the 1st V50 place. V55 David Almond took the 2nd spot in his age category on the day and 33rd overall with a time of 38.41, followed by Danny Maynard in 51st (41.25), V45 John Cookson (45.16) in 88th place and Allan Hartley (93rd) with a time of 46.26.
Blackburn Harrier’s Ben Fish made the long trip to Cambridge for the Half-Marathon on Sunday October 17th – a race which had over 9000 finishers. The Race was won by Cambridge & Coleridge athlete Jonathan Escalante-Phillips in 66.12 with Ben in 6th spot overall, clocking 69.44 – the first six athletes being the only ones under 70 minutes. Speaking to the Club after the race Ben commented “Decent event, but was probably one too many races for me over the past six weeks. Felt like I was forcing myself just to run 5:05-5:10ish miles early on and it was a slog from seven miles. Will leave road running for a bit and focus on the cross country season.”
Northern Masters Track & Field Championships – Sunday October 17th
V55 Tony Balko was out at this very end of season fixture, taking on the Hammer, Shot Putt and Discus. Proved to be a good day for him too as he won the Hammer with a distance of 36.48m, won the Shot Putt with 10.29m and took 3rd spot in the Discus with 29.52m to add a Bronze Medfal to the two Golds he had already won.
British Schools Modern Biathlon Championships – October 16th
Matthew Smith qualified for the National Championships in 18th place and finished up in the Finals 11th which was a big improvement for him. Beginning swimming training properly about a year ago, it was good to see him swim his fastest 100M. He set two new PB’s for the Run (5.09.38) and the Swim (1.15.04) which represented a good Championships for him.
Charlotte Smith was among over a hundred U11 Girls who competed at the Championships finishing in 74th during which, she knocked 9 seconds off her best swim time (0.50.24) and 12 seconds off her run (3.01.82) as compared to her times at the qualifiers, resulting in an improvement to her overall points total.