Once the rain stopped late morning, conditions were reasonably good for this years Lancashire Cross Country Championships at Witton Park on the first Saturday of the year.
Full Results HERE
The day kicked off with 40 U11Boys and 42 U11 Girls running in separate races. Edward Lee took 18th place (7.10) with Rory Teare 23rd in 7.30 and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 35th with a time of 8.22. In the Girls Race Eleesha Charnley had another good run finishing a fine 6th in 7.32 with Leah Hoole who is also having a good cross country season in 8th place (7.35), Anna Rankine in 12th (7.45) and Kate Cookson in 28th (8.26). The four Girls combined to take the 2nd Team spot on the day with 53 points to the winners – Blackpool who had 32.
Thirty three Boys and thirty four Girls in the U13’s Races. The Club took 3rd Team place and the Bronze Medal with Jamie Teare leading the four Harriers home in 8th place with a time of 12.53. Second home was Charlie Obank (17th) in 13.53 followed by Daniel Brown (22nd) in14.42 and Anthony Beresford (27th) in 15.19.
In the Girls Race the Club was one runner short to make the team up but Amy Davies ran well to finish in 7th spot (13.55) supported by Anna Lonsdale in 28th (15.46) and Charlotte Collin 32nd in 16.33.
Josh Boyle was a very impressive winner of the U15 Boys Race (13.07) leading from the off and keeping the lead right through to the end of the Race to finish four seconds in front of second place – David Mullarkey from Northern AC (Isle of Man). In the process Josh booked his place in the County Squad for the Inter-Counties. Nicholas Smith placed 27th in 16.40 after having to race in flats rather than spikes which cost him.
In the U15 Girls Race we were again just one runner short which was a pity given that the Club had three home in the first eight places. Megan Clarkson, who recently won the Red Rose Fixture at Marl Pits continued that great form with a second place (15.16) a Silver Medal and booked her place in the County Squad for the Inter-Counties as potentially did Maddie Elliott (7th) in 16.09 and Hannah Cookson with a return to form 8th place (16.21).
Just two Boys in the U17 Race – Byron Abbott competing with an injury finished 12th in 21.33 and Marco Maggio in his first ever Championship Race 17th (23.23).
In the Girls there was a very impressive win by Grace Handley by over a minute – (21.34) – in taking the County title, Gold Medal and County Vest. Liz Greenwood added to the Medal total with 3rd place (22.55) and also picked up a County Vest. Grace and Liz combined with Phoebe Howe (11th) in 26.36 to win the Team first prize. Katie Buckingham added to the growing list of County Vests with a gutsy 6th placed finish (31.20) in the U20 Women’s Race which was a good performance after not having been able to train for the last couple of weeks.
The Senior Women’s Team just missed out on a Medal finishing 4th on 48 points behind 3rd placed Lancaster & Morecambe. The Race won in fine style by Rachel Franklin of Manx Harriers with a 20 second margin (26.54) saw Helen Leigh who lead the Team home taking 4th place in 27.37 and another County Vest. Sarah Toms had a very solid race to place 20th in 30.07 and the third counter for the Team – Beckie Taylor – took 25th spot in 30.39. One place further back came Laura Hesketh (26th) in 30.44 – and – in 28th place it was great to see Sarah Willimott (30.51) competing again for the Harriers. Carol Cookson finished 70th (38.31) and V50 Jan Buckingham chased her home in 71st (38.47). Jack Hindle also secured a County Vest when he finished 5th in the U20 Men’s Race in 37.59.
Gary Priestley who runs for Blackburn Harriers on the Track but was competing first claim for Salford at the Champs set off at a really fast pace at the beginning of the Men’s Senior Race featuring 145 runners taking a group of runners with him in a mini breakaway on the first lap. Stuart Robinson, also of Salford hung on to Gary and reversed the positions winning the Race outright with Gary in second place.
Blackburn Harriers had a cracking day winning the Men’s Senior Team Gold Medal, winning the Senior Men’s Vet Team Gold Medal – and – Matt Nuttall won the V45 Gold Medal, Shaun Livesey took the V45 Silver Medal and Mark Chippendale took the V45 Bronze Medal.
With the first six places in Age Group from U13’s upwards guaranteed a County Vest and with two further places up for grabs at the Team Managers discretion Peter Matthews in placing 6th made it a potential eleven County vests for the Harriers on the day.
Peter Matthews finished 6th overall in a time of 34.39 with Matt Nuttall who is having a terrific season in 13th 36.00 and Chris Davies who had a stormer of a run in 20th (37.11). Next counter in for the Club was Karl Billington in 21st (37.17) followed by Brian Fogarty in 23rd (37.32) and Shaun Livesey (26th) in 37.51.
Just three places further back came Jack Hindle in 29th (37.59) and Zac Howe in 31st (38.18) with Mark Chippendale in 34th (38.29). Paul Bradshaw took 40th in 39.08 with Thomas Blaney in 42nd (39.28) just holding off Joe Howe in 43rd (39.31). Tim Raynes having just set a new PB at the Ribble Valley 10k took 47th spot (39.59) with David Almond coming in 64th with a time of 41.47. Mark Irving finished 72nd (42.24) – Andy Heyes placed 81st in 43.53 – and V40 Allan Hartley 91st in 45.02 just got the better of V60 Evan Cook in 92nd (45.05). John Cookson was 109th (47.36) and Ian Clarkson 133rd in 51.16.
And a view from the Saucer with Derek ‘Bailey’ Hindle