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11 February 2018

Manchester Area Cross-Country League Roundup



Conditions underfoot at Wythenshawe Park were some of the worst ever encountered, but this didn't deter over 30 Trafford young athletes from turning out for the final fixture in the Manchester Area Cross Country League.


Pride of place goes to Xav O'Hare for being Trafford's first young athletes individual winner for over two years when he triumphed in the Under 17 Mens race. He was followed home by Cynog Williams, who has improved at every fixture to finish in 2nd place this time. With another year in this age group, I am sure his time will come. The team was competently completed by Harry Sinclair in 7th place, which gave them a comfortable team victory.


The Under 15 Boys team not only won this fixture, but easily won the league. The usual superb team packing saw Theo Symons Treacher leading them home in 3rd place, closely followed by Jack McNicol (4th in his league debut), Joe Mangan 5th and Alex Bailey 6th. Tom Bentall, supporting the team as always, is still struggling to regain his form and finished 21st.

Unfortunately, Trafford only had 2 U15 Girls running, but Molly Atherton (15th) and Rebecca Young (17th) both finished in the top half of the field.


At Under 13 Boys level, we are still struggling to build a team, but those who turn out, always give their best. Charlie Massey ran well to finish his 9th appearance in the League in this age group in 22nd place. Charlie Atkiss followed him home with his 3rd consecutive 29th place in the League, supported by Sonny Wilson (33rd), Joseph Daly (37th) and Alex Cooke Parkes (43rd). 


Once again, the Trafford Under 13 Girls continue to impress both in numbers and performances. We had 9 finishers in this age group which must be our best ever. The friendly rivalry in the team has meant that the girl's performances have also improved. The scoring 3 were Neve Davenport (8th), Hana Kurasawa-Welling (12th) and Olivia Russell (19th). giving them 3rd team position. Behind them we had Marina Guardascione (34th), Cleo Bentall (41st), Alex Sinclair (45th), Imogen Davenport (62nd), Erin Carey (66th) and Kaiya Mathura (67th).


The Under 11 teams are also coming on nicely and promise well for the future. The consistent James Walton was 12th and with the close support of Owen Reekie (16th) and Josh Watson (19th) they gained 4th team position. Charlie Atherton improved to 31st with Dan Lowe 51st. We also had 2 Under 11 Girls complete the gruelling course, Olivia Holbrook, a top half finish in 30th and Bella Woolhouse-Read 62nd.


Locally that concludes the cross country season, although there is still Trafford AC Schools Cross Country Relays on 3rd March. Some of our more successful runners will also be contesting the National, Inter Counties and English Schools Championships in the coming weeks.


Senior Women


Conditions on Saturday, for the final Manchester League match of the season were as wet and boggy as they ever have been, with particularly sustained difficult sections each time the athletes crossed the main field. The final run in of 300 metres was a gruelling end to the final race.


The Senior women were short of several of the regulars, due to illness and injury, but impressively 10 athletes turned out and were rewarded with a 2nd Team place ( the best of the Season), with the B Team featuring as 2nd B Team. This should ensure both Teams taking medals when the final overall results are published.


Sarah led the Trafford contingent home with her highest finishing position this year in 7th place. Sarah should finish high up in the overall positions. Mel then followed with a massive improvement to finish in 23rd place, easily her best race this year. Alison D followed in 34th place, with Teresa, in her debut performance finishing 1 place behind with the same time. The B Team were Sally Woolhouse 39th, Zoe 44th, Louise 66th and Jo Lott 127th. Alison Holbrook 130th and Sue 152nd provided the back up. Alison D finished 3rd V45 and should take a top 3 place overall in her age category.


Trafford have succeeded this year by consistently turning out at least 10 runners for each match, with 18 different athletes contributing to the overall results.


Alison Drasdo, Louise Mangan and Sue Exon completed all 5 races, with Sarah Hudak, Zoe Storr, Mel Monks and Jo Lott all completing 4. Rachel McDonnell, Vicki Cronin, Alison Holbrook, and Claire Schaffer did 3 races,Ruth Beresford, Nicole Davenport and Amy Cauley 2 races, with Liz Austen, Jo Dawes and Teresa Kemp all contributing to the 1st team with a single race each. Well done to everyone who has made a contribution, 9 athletes contributed to the A Team totals - Sarah,Alison D, Liz, Zoe, Vicki, Jo D, Amy, Mel and Teresa.


We await the final positions to determine this years awards, with the presentation evening being on 2nd March at Wilmslow Rugby Club.


Senior Men


The final match of the MACCL took place at a very muddy Wythenshawe Park. The team had high hopes of a an overall Vets Division medal but were a bit of a long shot for a medal Senior Division 1. In the end Chorlton turned out a very strong team and were first place on the day. Trafford only managed a small contingent, so were only able to finish 7th senior team. Those that ran put in some good performances though. Simon O’Meara was first home in 22nd place, a good return to form and his highest finish since 2016. Darren Russell and Jeff Prest had a good battle for much of the race, with Darren finishing 27th and Jeff in 30th. Behind them there was a return to the A team for Graham Hogg in 72nd. Mike Hutchinson finished 106th and the final team member was Richard Turner who completed his first match for us in 146th. Back up behind these was provided by Greg Kelly in 164th.

The vets team of Darren, Jeff, Mike and Richard finished 5th which meant we just missed out on a medal. Darren and Jeff were 2nd and 3rd V40 runners and this was enough for Jeff to claim the V40 title for the season.


Neil Canham (Juniors), Sue Exon (Senior Women), Jeff Prest (Senior Men)



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