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25 February 2019

National Cross-Country Championships 2019

Nearly 8000 athletes descended on Harewood House near Leeds to take part in the 132nd annual National Cross Country Championships. After early morning mist, the day warmed up and most of the races were held in bright sunshine.


  5 Trafford athletes took part in the U13 event – the shortest race of the day. In the boys event, James Walton had his best race of the season to finish 121st in a field of 408 finishers. He was supported by Charlie Stanway 166th, Charlie Atkiss 181st, Sonny Wilson 204th and Owen Reekie 281st. They finished 26th team. We only had 2 U13 girls in their race – Imogen Davenport 315th and Martha McCormack 318th who both ran strongly on a tough course.


  Trafford U15 girls continued their good season with a 24th team place in their race. Led home once again by Caitlin Doohan 119th, she was followed by Neve Davenport 178th, Lila Wainwright 192nd and Olivia Russell 235th


From a club point of view, the best performance was by Jack McNicol in the U15 race. In a field of 346 athletes, he worked his way steadily through to finish in an excellent 11th place – easily the best performance of his running career and the best by a Trafford athlete for several years. The ever-improving Tom Bentall finished in 213th place. 


Once again, Rebecca Young was Trafford’s sole competitor in the U17 womens race. Consistent as ever, she achieved 147th place. Hopefully next year she will have some other Trafford girls moving up into this age group.


In their event, our U17 men completed an outstanding season by winning the prestigious George Warburton Trophy as the leading Northern team. 


It would be wrong to highlight any one individual in the team – they have all trained and raced at a consistent high standard throughout the season. On this occasion we had Cynog Williams 46th, Alex Bailey 65th, Harry Sinclair 109th, Joe Bentall 128th, Lewis Royle 129th, Joe Mangan 161st, Theo Symons Treacher 169th, Alfie Vesey-Barnes 202nd and Seb Patrick 213th. 7 of them will still be eligible for this age group next year, with Jack McNicol among others who will be moving up to join them.


At the U20 level we only had one competitor. Mac O’Malley finished his junior career with a satisfying 40th place and next week moves up distance to run his first Half Marathon in Cambridge.


In the Women's race, won by Aldershot's Emily Hosker Thornhill, Vicki Cronin was an excellent 53rd. Also running were Rachel McDonnell in 584th, Louise Mangan in 618th and Sue Exon in 829th. This was enough runners for a team, and they finished 74th in the team competition.


The Men's race saw a close finish with Southampton's Mahamed Mahamed just clinching the title. Leading home the Trafford team was Simon O'Meara in a good 141st. He was followed home by Jeff Prest in 456th, Matt Sutton in 481st, David Maher in 1050th, Dan Atkinson in 1190th and Blake Ellis in 1305th. This placed the team 66th. Not far behind Blake was Jacob Fletcher in 1471st.



Next week also sees the final Trafford Schools Cross Country League for Years 9 and below, which will be followed the week after by the Trafford Schools Cross Country Relays – both events at Longford Park. 


Several of our leading young athletes will be running in the Inter Counties Cross Country Champs at Loughborough and the English Schools Champs at Leeds in the next few weeks, finishing off with the Northern 5k Road Championships for U15 & U17 at Birkenhead.

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