On Saturday the best runners in the North met up at a new course in Sedgefield, County Durham, to compete in the Northern x-country champs. With good weather conditions and a dry rolling course the races were run at a fast pace. Thomas Daly (50th), Ethan O'Brien (60th), Daniel White (93rd) and Joe Bowden (102nd) gained valuable experience competting for the first time at this level in the u13 boys race, with the team a creditable 10th place.
The u15 boys were pipped for the team title last year, but with 10 in the top 40 the team won by the biggest margin (92 points) in any race on the day, with the B team also finishing an unofficial third place. Individually it was Evan Grime (Salford) who looked in great form as he ran away from the field to win by 20 seconds. Pio Aron chased Evan early on but then sat in the lead group before moving clear in the last mile to finish 2nd. Fin Dobson Emmas had been sat in the 2nd group for much of the race but with a fast finish he moved clear to claim a great 5th place. Adrian White looks like he is getting back to form just at the right time as he finished 10th and Tim Ye also showed good form to finish 16th and last counter for the A team. Pushing the top four all the way was Archie Greenwood (22nd), Evan Lewis (31st), Ben Keeley (35th), Ben Gardner (39th), Benji Cavanagh (40th), Evan Horwell (81st), Tom Harris (90th) and Atticus Jones (98th). Also Tio Austin was in the top 20 and pushing for a place in the A team but having been ill earlier in the week he had to drop out of the race. Next month this team compete in the National x-country looking in strong form to retain their National U15 Boys Team title.
In the u17 Mens race Freddie Meredith was one of the pre events favorites and with a group of 6 getting away it was a cagey race with Freddie sat nicely in the pack. Johnson Hughes (Rotherham) burst away at the half way mark, catching the group out. Freddie was the one who gave chase pulling away from the rest of the lead group but not quite catching the leader. 2 years ago Freddie was 4th and last year he was 6th so that was a great race from Freddie to pick up his first Northern individual x-country medal and he didn't have to wait long for another Northern medal. The trafford u17 men were an outside chance of medals and at half way the team medal race was close, but moving through from 25th to 12th Jay Hutchinson ran a great race and he was backed up by Josh Watson and James Walton as they picked athletes off in the last mile to move from the 40's to finish 35th and 36th giving Traford not only a Team Medal but the the gold medals by 32 points. Also gaining good experience in his first Northern event was Dan Partington in 87th.
In the u20 Mens race the Trafford team again had an outside chance of a team medal and it proved to be a very close Team race with 17 points between 2nd and 5th placed teams. Leading the Trafford runners and enjoying the fast course was Fin Mayoh who finished 17th, close behind was Durham uni student Will Parker (21st) and backing up the team was Joe Deighton (32nd) and Joe Daly (42nd). The team just missing out finishing 4th.
In the girls races Rachel Bowden ran well in the U15 Girls finishing 38th and she was backed up by Ursula Bailey in 72nd. In the U17 Womens race the team had a good chance of medals but injuries the night before for Ava Clough and a persistant knee injury that flared up in the race meaning her sister Sara Clough had to drop out, robbed the team of the chance to battle for medals. Individually Elizabeth Sinclair had a great race. The youngster moving through the field to claim 18th place and again with a strong run Eleanor Nicholson was 44th.
Best run in for the Seniors came from Kate Meeson in the Senior Womens 8.1km race. After a recent 800m indoor PB she enjoyed the fast conditions finishing 49th. Not far behind was Amelia Williams in 63rd. In the Men's race it was another of Trafford's 800m runners, Laurence Skidmore who lead the team home finishing in 90th place backed up by Jeff Prest (140th), Jacob Fletcher (238th), Terry Greenwood (241st) and Craig Wheeler (387th).
Full results can be found here