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28 January 2019

Northern Cross-Country Championships Junior Report

A large contingent of Trafford athletes crossed the Pennines to take part in the Northern Cross Country Championships last weekend. This event was first held in 1883 and brings together all the top athletes in the North of England.
This year it was held on the undulating grass surrounding Pontefract Racecourse. The underfoot and the weather conditions were both good.
In the U20 Mens race, Mac O'Malley had a great run to finish 15th, closely followed by Xav O'Hare 18th & Jack Wilkinson 29th. Unfortunately we had no 4th counter to complete the team, so we were unable to figure in the team results.
However, our Under 17 men all ran well to finish 7th team in their event, one point away from 4th. Cynog Williams matched Mac's finishing position in coming home 15th, with Alex Bailey having one of his best ever races to finish just behind in 22nd. The other team members all packed close together - Joe Bentall 60th, Joe Mangan 77th, Alfie Vesey-Barnes 82nd, Theo Symons Treacher 84th and Seb Patrick 113th.
Trafford only had 2 athletes in the Under 15 Boys race but Jack McNicol, as usual, gave his all to finish 17th and Tom Bentall had a much-improved performance to claim 122nd place in a field of 201 runners.
201 was the number of finishers in the Under 13 Boys race as well. Our first athlete home was Charlie Atkiss in an excellent 39th place, followed home by Sonny Wilson 75th, Owen Reekie 93rd, Charlie Stanway 99th in his debut and James Walton 116th. This result gave them 14th team place.
On the girls side, 8 Trafford athletes competed in the Championships.
Rebecca Young placed highest with a promising 63rd in the Under 17 Womens race.
The Under 15 Girls finished in 18th team place, led by a very good race from Neve Davenport in 101st place. She was supported by Lila Wainwright 140th, Sinead O'Driscoll 155th and Marina Guardascione 176th.
Finally, we had 3 runners in the Under 13 Girls race. Imogen Davenport in 156th place finished just ahead of Martha McCormack 157th. Martha has 2 more years in this age group. Following her home in 180th place was Cleo Bentall.
Most of these athletes will be in action next weekend at the Greater Manchester Schools Cross Country Championships at Heaton Park when places on the county team for the English Schools Championships will be available.
Neil Canham

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