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24 December 2023

Trafford athletes pick up 26 medals at Greater Manchester X-Country

This year's Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships took place on a flat, fast course at Wythenshawe Park. Weather conditions were sunny, with no wind or rain and with places up for grabs on the Greater Manchester County team the quality of races was high.


First race up was the U13 Boys race and the Trafford youngsters were out in force finishing 4 of the 9 total teams in the race. After a fast start it was one of the youngest athletes in the race Matthew Aron who lead the Trafford team but with a strong finish it was Thomas Daly who moved through to clinch 3rd place overall one place ahead of Matthew in 4th. Close behind was Thomas Aron (7th) securing Trafford the winning team. After tonsilitis earlier in the week and with a broken arm (he found out later) Ethan O'Brien ran well finishing 10th and hot on his heels was Ralphie Rome (11th). It was great to see the rest of the youngsters packing so well, Paddy Widdop 17th, Jack Kennedy 20th, Joe Bowden 24th, Sammy Cowles 26th, Theo Kanakides 27th, Teddy O'Brien 28th and Daniel White 32nd.


In the U15 Boys race Trafford again had 4 complete teams from the 8 teams finishing and with 7 runners in the top 10 first team prize was secure. The race saw a pack of 8 runners battling for the Greater Manchester team places and it was Pio Aron who pushed on in the second lap to establish a lead which he held to the finish despite a great surge from the pack in the last 800m by Stockport's Zack Rose. Fin Dobson Emmas picked up the bronze, but pushing them all the way was Tio Austin (4th), Adrian White (5th), Tim Ye (7th), Evan Lewis (9th), Ben Gardner (10th), Benji Cavanagh (16th), Rowan Leeming (19th), Evan Horwell (21st), Atticus Jones (22nd), Joe Cowles (23rd), Sem Menghis (28th) and James Wilson (35th).


In the girls U15 race Rachel Bowden looks likely to get a first selection for Greater Manchester finishing well in 7th in a strong field. Backed up by Beth Stanley (15th), Anna Thomas (18th) and Ursula Bailey (20th) the team finished 3rd.


Trafford's second win of the day came in the U17 men's race with Freddie Meredith establishing an early lead he never looked like losing. Jay Hutchinson ran well on the flat course for 5th and with a big sprint finish not quite catching 2 runners Josh Watson finished 8th and secured the Trafford team the silver team medals. Close behind Josh was James Walton (9th) and Jamie Deighton (19th).


In the U17 Women's race another quality field saw Sara Clough pick up the silver medal and backed up by Eleanor Nicholson (12th), Sophie Bowman (16th) and Martha McCormack (17th) the team picked up the bronze team medals. This race was held jointly with the U20 Women's race and Issy Pearson ran well to finish just outside the top 8 in 11th place. 

The U20 mens race saw a close battle between 4 Trafford runners all in the top ten after the 1st of 3 laps. Setting the pace was Louie McCormack and he maintained a good pace to move up to 5th overall with Will Parker just getting the better of Fin Mayoh as they finished 7th and 8th and helped the Trafford team to 2nd place. Joe Deighton was with the top ten after 2 Laps but he hadn't recovered from an illness the previous week and dropped out. Ned Silvey looked strong in 13th place and George Glennon was 16th.


In the senior races Amelia Williams had the best run finishing 7th and hopefully doing enough to secure her first Greater Manchester vest. She was backed up by Kate Messon (12th) and Zoe Storr (18th) who also picked up the team bronze medals. Louise Mangan ran well for 26th and only a few weeks after giving birth Ruth Beresford was 31st, just ahead of her mum Sue Exon in 33rd.


In the Senior Men's race Mike Melarkey set off with great intent to make the top 8 and just slipped back late in the race to finish a creditable 15th. He was backed up by Laurence Skidmore (21st) and George Wright (55th).


See full results here:

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