A murky, foggy, but warmish day with little or no wind was the backdrop for this years Lancashire Cross Country Championships at Witton Park. There was no shortage of enthusiasm or competition as the day’s Races got under way. Blackburn Harriers had a pretty good day with two Team Gold, three Team Silver Medals and four Team Bronze Medals along with two Gold, two Silver and five Individual Bronze Medals making seventeen Medals in total and potentially ten Inter-County selections.
A big thank you to Lancashire Athletics Association and Cross Country Secretary Steve Duxbury and also to Richard Taylor who once again organised the Course Map and Marshals. Congratulations also to the Lancashire Officials who took the decision to hold back the U17 Race to allow the Isle of Man athletes to arrive and take part after their particular difficulties in flying over due to the weather. This kind of attitude and spirit is part of the backbone of our sport and was warmly welcomed.
RESULTS ⇒ HERE
The Men’s Senior Race was eagerly anticipated with Salford, Blackburn, Preston and Rossendale all in the mix and it turned out to be a real nail biter with Salford holding off Blackburn Harriers by just two points, agonisingly close, with Preston in third and Rossendale fourth.
Patrick Dever was an impressive winner of the Men’s Senior Race in a time of 31.33, edging out Gary Priestley who has now finished runner up in the Championships five times. Chris Arthur had another impressive run for the Harriers to lead the Club home to a Silver Medal and an Individual Bronze for himself with a time of 32.47. Tim Raynes was next home in 13th (33.45) with Jack Hindle (17th) in 34.56, Tom Blaney 19th (35.07), Joe Monk 20th (35.12) and Chris Davies 27th with a time of 36.12 and a Silver Medal in the Vet 40’s to go with it.
The Harriers Vets won the Team Title and a Gold Medal with Chris Davies, Shaun Livesey, Paul Guinan and Matt Nuttall being the four counters on the day.
Shaun Livesey was the 7th Harrier home in 34th spot (36.40) in a time that gave him an Individual Bronze Medal in the V40 and was followed by Paul Guinan in 47th (37.58), Richard Stones in 49th place (38.14), Matt Nuttall running with an injury in 52nd (38.20), Joseph Howe 57th in a time of 39.07, Mark Almond in 80th place (41.31), Warren Smith 93rd in 43.49, John Cookson 95th (43.57), Chris Balderson 101st with a time of 44.49, Craig Greenough in 105th spot (45.38), Danny Maynard 109th (45.56), Marco Maggio 115th (46.31), in 125th place Danny Teare (48.48), Andrew Knowles 127th (49.03), Alan Hartley 129th (49.15) and Ian Clarkson 134th (52.36).
In the first race of the day – U11 Boys – Saul Sharp has his best ever race for the club coming home in 4th spot (6.39) and just two seconds off a Bronze Medal. Lots more to come for Saul. Findlay Carrol (32nd) in 7.36 and Matthew Smith in his first ever Race for the Club (36th) in a time of 7.41 made up the Harriers contingent in this Race.
The U11 Girls shone on the day taking the Team Silver Medal, losing out on the Gold by just four points. Kate Cookson another athlete who is improving all the time led the Team home placing 4th in 7.03 and was really well supported by Caroline Woodworth (7th) in 7.11, Keira Haxton (11th) in 7.33 and Hannah Davies (14th) in 7.44. There were more good performances behind these youngsters with Eva Knowles in 16th (7.48), Jasmine Schofield (17th) in a time of 7.49, Kiera Booth (22nd) in 7.59 and Isabelle Hartley (32nd) in 8.17.
The U13 Boys weighed in with a Team Bronze and had eight youngsters competing on the day. Harvey Ashworth had a another good run to be the first Harrier home in 5th place (11.49) and supported by Ethan Barbarewicz in 13th (12.34), Kyle Pomfret (17th) in 12.52, Rory Teare in 22nd spot with a time of 13.03, George Whitakker (25th) in13.22, Jasper Smith placing right behind him in 26th (13.28), Kieran Carroll (39th) in 15.36 and Sebastian Burton with a time of 15.57 coming home in 41st place.
The Girls matched the Boys in the U13’s also taking a Bronze Team Medal with Eleesha Charnley also picking up an Individual Bronze Medal for her 3rd place (12.40) with Hollie Cubbon right behind her also having a great run in 4th spot (12.44). Next home came Leah Hoole in 17th place (13.44), with Kirsten Coleran in 45th (15.44), Molly Nicholls (52nd) in 16.40 and Ella Hardman with a time of 18.22 (55th).
It was a well deserved Team Gold for the U15 Boys as Matt Ramsden led them home in 3rd place to add an Individual Bronze Medal to his own collection (3rd) in a time of 12.29. Really good runs by our other athletes contributed to good packing including Leon Thomas in 8th (13.25), Jamie Teare (10th) in 13.41), Sam Hodkinson with a time of 13.54 (12th), in 14th spot came Bradley Meikleham (14.01), Luke Ingleson (28th) in 15.37 and Tom Betty 31st in a time of 16.35.
In the U15 Girls there was a great run from Amy Davies to secure the County Title and the Gold Medal in a time of 14.38. Two debut runs and good experience at the County Championships came from Hollie Oldham (25th) in a time of 18.18 and Alex Taylor (27th) in18.33.
Nick Smith took 19th spot in the U17 Men’s Race in a time of 21.42 whilst in the U17 Women’s Race, Maddie Elliott lost her shoe and wasn’t well on the day resulting in a 9th place (24.10) for her supported by Charlie Coy in 14th (27.21) and Freya Black 15th in 28.58. Consolation for Maddie was that the Team picked up a Silver Medal.
The Senior Women’s Team took 3rd place and a Bronze Medal with Liz Greenwood, Victoria Mousley, Beckie Taylor being the three counters and Lindsay Davies the fourth Harrier home. Liz led the Team in (11th) in a time of 26.21, a time which also saw her win a Silver Medal in the U20 Women’s Race. Next home came Victoria in her first cross country race for the Harriers in 17th spot (27.18) followed by Beckie in 23rd place (28.17) and Lindsay (58th) in a time of 40.07. Victoria also added another Medal for herself winning the Bronze in the Women’s Vet 35 Age Group. Jack Hindle has had a great year in 2016 and has kicked off well in 2017. Following his PB at the RV10k last week he took 3rd spot and the Bronze in the U20 Men’s Race with a time of 34.56. Joe Monk who has had an equally great 2016, battering his PB’s took 5th spot (35.12) and Marco Maggio in 14th (46.31) ensured that the Team got a Bronze Medal too.