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17 October 2023

Manchester League X-Country at Heaton Park

On Saturday the X-Country season started with the first Manchester league at Heaton Park and with four seasons in one day athletes were chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow.


With big fields of both boys and girls racing together the U11's sprinted of into the sunshine. Starting their x-country career with the hilly, muddy Heaton Park course Sebastian White and Jake Moran enjoyed the experience.


In the U13 race the youngsters Thomas Daly and Ethan O'Brien lead the team to 3rd place. Thomas Aron just holding off his younger brother Matthew and close behind Joe Thomas and Ralphie Rome meant that the Trafford B team finished 1st overall B team. Three more youngsters Patrick Widdop, Daniel White and Sammy Cowles all had great races to finish in the main pack in their first xc race as U13s. In the girls race Mya Black showed her versatility from sprints up to tough x-country races finishing 53rd.


The U15 boys race proved once again to be Trafford's most successful event with Pio Aron leading the team to victory with his first ever win in a Manchester league x-country race. Archie Greenwood continued his improving form finishing 4th just ahead of the consistant Tim Ye. Not happy with winning the team prize, Adrian White (7th), Tio Austin (8th) and Ben Gardner (11th) meant Trafford's B team finished 2nd overall. They were backed up by Evan Lewis (14th),Benji Cavanagh (16th) and Oscar Gascoine (21st) giving Trafford's C team 5th team place overall. 800m runner Rowan Leeming got some good x-country work in finishing 32nd, Atticus Jones continued his improvement in 44th and Tom Harris on his way back to fitness was 45th. The team also had the youngsters Joe Cowles (48th) and James Wilson (63rd). The u15 girls also had a big turnout with the A team finishing 4th led by Rachel Bowden (7th). Not too far behind and packing well Rowan Goodrich (17th) and Anna Thomas (19th). Trafford's B team were 9th overall and second B team Beth Stanley (28th), Ursula Bailey (30th), Sadie McCormack (35th), plus Rosie Lowther (45th).


In the U17 race Trafford's Men were packing well with Charlie Stanway leading the pack around. On the second lap of this tough course it was fell runner Jay Hutchinson who came through the field to snatch 4th place in a sprint finish. James Walton (8th) and Charlie Stanway (10th) put the Trafford team in 2nd place. Again showing good depth the Trafford B team were 5th overall, Josh Watson finishing strongly (12th), Luke Carrington on the road back to fitness (21st) and Dan Partington 27th), plus backing up the team Jamie Deighton (31st). In the women's U17 field Isobel Thomas looked like she enjoyed the tough conditions leading the team home in 8th place and with Martha McCormack (25th) and Fay Lewis (29th) the team were 6th.


In the Senior Men's race Simon O'Meara (32nd) led the team, looking like he is getting back to fitness. Michael Melarky finished strongly to move through to 41st, then the U20s Fin Mayoh (45th) and Joe Daly (53rd) had great runs picking up 4th and 5th u20 places. Alex Jones was 76th and completing the A team as well as the U20 team Ned Silvey was 124th and 7th U20 man giving the senior team 7th place out of 53 complete teams and a provisional 1st U20 team. With 473 finishers Dan Atkinson (145th), George Wright (151st), Dan Hill (207th) and Richard Wallace (324th) all ran well.


With 15 athletes competing for Trafford's women's team this was one of the biggest turn outs in years and the depth showed with 2nd A team, 1st B team and 1st C team from 59 teams. The team strength was in the packing with 8 runners in the top 54. Continuing her return to form Vicki Cronin copied her husband Simon and finished strongly to lead the women's team. Sarah Hudak showed her consistantancy over the years in this event finishing 19th then great runs for Amelia Williams (21st) and Kate Meeson (28th). Zoe Storr was close behind in 30th then the youngsters Freya Griffiths 40th and 4th U20, Isobel Robinson (45th) and Issy Pearson 54th and 7th U20. Next to finish was Alison Drasdo rolling back the years to finish 81st and 1st in the V55 category. She was just ahead of Elizabeth Heslop (82nd), Louise Ambler (107th), Alice Woodbridge (118th), then 1st pregnant lady in 145th was Amy Cauley, Jo Lott (165th) was 7th V55 and Sue Exon (256th) was 3rd V70.


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