What a glorious day for this years Lancashire Cross Country Championships held at Witton Park in Blackburn. No wind, blue sky and plenty of cross country mud, none of which, prevented a very good day of racing with lots of spectators roaring on their clubs athletes in the pursuit of County Medals and selection for the Inter-Counties Championships held in March. (RESULTS). Sixty five athletes competed in the Championships for Blackburn Harriers produing Individual Wins in the U15 Boys, U20 Women and  Senior Men plus Individual Silver in the Senior Women, U13 Girls, as well as Individual Bronze in U15 Boys, U17 Men and U17 Women. In the Vet categories there were wins in Womens Vet Team, Individual Wins in the Men’s V40 and V45’s and Women’s V40 and V45 categories. Team wins came in the Senior Men, U20 Women, U17 Women, U15 Boys, alongside Team Silver medals in U15 Girls, U17 Men and Senior Women plus Team Bronze in U13 Girls. To top it off 17 athletes from Blackburn Harriers are in the running for selection to the Inter-Counties Championships in March.


Blackburn Harriers Daniel Bebbington had won the County Championships in 2023 and was looking to defend the title this year. A lead group of around six athletes made the running including Daniel, Ollie Lockley, Matt Ramsden, Alan Corlett, Callum Davidson and Grant Cunliffe. Once Daniel hit the front, he never looked back, being chased by Alan Corlett and Grant Cunliffe and ending up with the win and the title by ten seconds (31.02) from Alan Corlett in 2nd (31.12) and Grant Cunliffe in 3rd (31.38). In winning, Daniel led the Harriers team home to the County title and Gold Medal with team mates Matt Ramsden in 5th place (32.27), Ben Fish previously a five times winner of the Senior Men’s Championships, in 10th place (33.03) and winner of the V40 category on the day, Luke Betts in 13th position in a time of 33.49, Sam Hodkinson 22nd running 34.59 and Badr Alainzy – running his first championship race for the Club – coming home in 34th place in 36.37. The team title was a very close run thing and even those watching couldn’t quite work it out. In the end, Blackburn Harriers took the win and the title by just two points (85) from 2nd placed Rossendale who had a total of 87 points. Next home for the Harriers came Chris Davies (37th) in a time of 36.53 and winner of the V45 category; Nick Gaskell in 41st (37.14) and 2nd in the V50 category; Marc Hartley (43rd) running 37.26; Danny Maynard in a time of 40.17 (64th); Matt Nuttall in a time of 42.12 (80th) and 3rd in the V50 category; V50 Anton Krige (44.28) in 97th; John Sutton and great to see him running again in 100th spot (44.53); V55 Gary Pearse in 103rd place running 45.19; Chris Balderson (V55) in 107th spot (46.14) and Paul Jeffries in 125th place (50.58).

Daniel Bebbington (350) – Matt Ramsden (505)

Ben Fish (351)

Luke Betts (479)

Sam Hodkinson (492)

Badr Alainzy (451)

Chris Davies (169) – Marc Hartley (497)

Nick Gaskell (352)

Danny Maynard (477)

Matt Nuttall (488)

Gary Pearse (500) – Anton Krige (219)

John Sutton (354)with gloves before the finishing marshal took a fine catch one handed at first slip

Chris Balderson (494)

Paul Jeffries (353)

Blackburn Harriers Senior Women finished up in Silver Medal position (37 points) behind Preston Harriers who took the title with a total of 15 points. Four athletes made up the challengers for the medals as the race unfolded with Libby Huxley, Isabel Holt running side by side and chased by Rachael Franklin and Emma McColm; And it couldn’t have been closer at the end as Emma McColm took the win (23.59) from Blackburn Harriers Isabel Holt in 2nd (24.00) and Libby Huxley in 3rd (24.02) – a great race and really good to watch. Isabel Holt’s great run meant that not only did she win team Silver, but also won Gold as the first U20 Woman as she led the team home to Silver along with team mates Helen Leigh – so good to see her back in the blue & white racing for the Club – taking 10th spot in a time of 27.04 and 3rd V35; Louisa Powell-Smith working her way through the field to come home in 12th place (27.25) and first V45 and U20 Evie Taylor placing 13th in a time of 27.40 being the four counters for the Club. Eleesha Charnley was next home in 15th in a time of 27.50 alongside Ellen Sagar-Hesketh in 17th place (28.15), Rebecca Ward in 24th place (29.40) and winner of the V40 category in her first County Championship race for the Club and V45 Sarah Krige in 46th position running 34.04.

Isabel Holt (262) in a battle to the finish with Libby Huxley

Helen Leigh (457)

Louisa Powell-Smith

Evie Taylor (452)

Eleesha Charnley

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (274)

Rebecca Ward (275)

Sarah Krige (217)

Just two youngsters ran in the U11 Boys field of 40 runners on the day. Morgan Watson had a fine run in 5th spot overall running 6.42 with his team mate Theo Addy coming home in 11th place with a time of 6.56. The U11 Girls placed 4th team behind the winners Manx Harriers and were led home by a really good run from Amelia Pacelli placing 9th in a time of 7.27 with her team mates – Esme Krige in 20th (8.27), Pippa Blackburn in 29th (10.18) and Ruby Naylor 30th in a time of 10.30.

Morgan Watson

Theo Addy (1)

Amelia Pacelli

Esme Krige (216)

Ruby Naylor (169) – Pippa Blackburn (209)

Jack Baranowski was first home for the Harriers in the U13 Boys race running 11.52 with Max Unthank in 12th place (12.32) and  Oliver North in 14th spot running 12.42, were one athlete short for the team race as it was four to count – whilst the U13 Girls took 3rd place in the team race behind winners Preston Harriers. Millie Jordan goes from strength to strength and had another fine race here to place second (12.26) behind the winner – Blackpool’s Pollyanna Kershaw (12.22). Charlotte Smith had a fine run too as she crossed the finish line in 6th place (12.58) with Hetty Green placing 22nd in 15.20 and Charlotte Rothwell placing 26th in a time of 16.08.

Millie Jordan (106) & Charlotte Smith (181) with their Inter-County letters

Jack Baranowski (70)

Max Unthank

Oliver North (37)

Millie Jordfan (106)

Charlotte Smith (181)

Hetty Green

Charlotte Rothwell

It was Gold and Silver for the Harriers U15 athletes. Our U15 Boys won the team title with 20 points in front of Rossendale in 2nd (87 points). Sam Aspey had a gun to tape victory taking the Indiviudal Gold Medal in a time of 12.31 with team mates Henry Ward taking the Bronze Medal in 3rd place (12.46), Jack Wood placing 6th in 13.18 and Alex Rothwell 10th in a time of 13.30 being the four counters for the Club. Max Belshaw in his first year with the Harriers had a good run to post the same time as Alex of 13.30 in 11th followed by Theo Robinson in 14th (13.50), Tom Falencki in 16th place with a time of 14.23, Callum Singleton crossing the line in 19th spot (14.32), George Holman in 23rd (14.52), Loucas Lancashire (24th) running 14.56 and Liam Bennison (26th) in a time of 16.10.

Sam Aspey (140) – Henry Ward (143) – Theo Robinson (146)

Jack Wood (149)

Alex Rothwell (147)

Max Belshaw (141)

Tom Falencki (143)

Callum Singleton (329)

George Holman (144) – Loucas Lancashire (145)

Liam Bennison

The U15 Girls team totaled 44 points which wasn’t enough to overtake the Winners Blackpool who had 32. Lyra Krige is another one of the young athletes who is gaining in strength and confidence as she had a good run to place 5th overall in a time of 17.20 to lead her team mates home to the Silver Medal alongside Agatha Taylor in 11th (18.10), Lottie Hesketh in 12th running 18.37, Isabelle Perry (16th) in a time of 18.58, Lily Green running 19.47 in 18th, Evie Fort 20th (19.56) and Tamzin Osborne 22nd) in 21.22.

L-R Lyra Krige – Lily Green – Tamzin Osborne – Isabelle Perry – Evie Fort – Lottie hesketh – Agatha Taylor

Lyra Krige (218) – Agatha Taylor (178)

Lottie Hesketh

Isabelle Perry

Lily Green (170)

Evie Fort (440)

Tamzin Osborne (174)

The Harriers U17 athletes continued the trend with Gold and Silver again in their respective races. Our U17 Women won the Gold Medal being the only Club that fielded three athletes which saw them take 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places – Charlotte Robertshaw (3rd) won Individual Bronze in 23.10, Isabella Pacelli (4th) in 23.17,  Poppi Watson (5th) in a time of 24.51 and Freya Neild in 6th (24.55). The U17 Men thought they had won the team event but when the results were confirmed it was Preston Harriers hwo took the title with 15 points from Blackburn Harriers who had a total of 19. Daniel Smith led the team home winning Indiviudal Bronze in a time of 17.55 with his team mates Oliver Gill in 6th spot (18.05), Jack Lamb in 10th position running 19.23, Matthew Smith (19th) running 20.34), Ethan Cutler in 20th (20.44) and Logan McCredie 21st running 20.57.

U17 Women Gold Medalists – Charlotte Robertshaw & Isabella Pacelli

Isabella Pacelli (251) – Charlotte Robertshaw (259)

Freya Neild

U17 Silver Medalists L-R Daniel Smith – Jack Lamb – Oliver Gill

Oliver Gill (221) – Daniel Smith (222)

Jack Lamb (103)

Matt Smith (183)

Ethan Cutler

Logan McCredie