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7 February 2018

Greater Manchester Schools Cross-Country Championships Report

About 30 Trafford AC athletes, representing their local schools associations, took part in the annual Greater Manchester Schools Cross Country Championships at Heaton Park last Saturday. 
The weather was atrocious and conditions very heavy underfoot, but by the end of the day eight of our young athletes had secured their places on the Greater Manchester team for the upcoming English Schools Championships in Leeds next month.
The Senior Boys (Years 12/13) had the toughest of the conditions for their 7k race. However, Xav O'Hare (4th) and Jack Wilkinson (5th), both returning from injury, managed to secure their places on the county team. Connor Fazakerley (11th) is a reserve.
However, this result was upstaged by the Trafford athletes in the Inter Boys (years 10/11) race, where they packed an unprecedented 6 in the top 13 places. Once again led home admirably by Cynog Williams (3rd), he was closely followed by Harry Sinclair (6th), Alex Bailey (7th), Joe Bentall (8th), Joe Mangan (9th) and Theo Symons Treacher (13th). For Cynog, Harry, Alex and Joe Mangan this will be their first English Schools appearance.
Highest placed Trafford individual was Jack McNicol who finished 2nd in the Junior Boys (Years 8/9) race. Jack's recent meteoric improvement gives him an outside chance of international honours before the end of the season. Tom Bentall (26th) and Max Clay (39th) also completed the tough course. 
The Minor Boys (Year 7) featured 4 Chorlton High boys battling for top Trafford place. In the end, Sonny Wilson (21st) came out on top, followed home by Charlie Atkiss (37th), Ralf Syrett (44th) and 'shoeless' Josh Fookes (61st). 
The Trafford girls appeared mostly in the younger races. In the Junior Girls, Caitlin Doohan (13th) was first counter, supported by the much-improved Neve Davenport (19th), Lila Wainwright (34th) and Marina Guardascione (41st). 
The Minor Girls race saw a close battle between Cleo Bentall (17th), Alex Sinclair (23rd) and Freya Griffiths (24th). Cleo's performance made it a successful day out for the Bentall family, with siblings Joe 8th and Tom 26th in their respective races. 
Several Trafford athletes also ran in the Primary races. Unfortunately, the results haven't been published yet, but good performances were noted by Josh Watson and Owen Reekie in the boys event.
This Saturday sees the final Manchester Area Cross Country League fixture of the season at Wythenshawe Park. Hopefully Trafford will have a good turnout at this event.

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