Harriers in good nick

Report: First published Stockport Express -

The Stockport Harriers under-17s boys team celebrated an excellent bronze medal finish.

Stockport Harriers' endurance squads were in great form at the National cross-country relays held at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, where England's premier running clubs were competing for national titles.

The superb courses were a credit to the local Mansfield authority who had spent days preparing the courses for the hundreds of teams competing from across England.

And on the course, the Harriers young teams were always in the chase for the medals and produced some outstanding team performances and individual fast times.

The overall highest team position for the Harriers went to the under-17 boy's team who improved on last month's Northern road relay third by taking a National team third.

Ben Styles put the team in striking distance of the medals, finishing in ninth on 9mins 31secs, as the first 10 teams came home within 15 seconds of each other.

Jacob Corrigan finished with a sprint to move the team up into fifth place and only seconds behind Morpeth in second.

Southend AC were nearly 30 seconds ahead of the chasing group going into the last leg.

The Harriers' final leg runner, AAAs indoor 3k silver medallist Andy Nixon, began the chase and at half way had dropped the Sale runner and was closing in on second spot, but in a sprint for the tape Nixon out-kicked the Bristol runner to take third place.

Nixon was ninth fastest overall on the day in 9:27. Southend AC finished in first, with Morpeth AC second. Stockport were just two seconds behind as more than 70 teams competed.

The Stockport teams of young athletes were only narrowly beaten out of the medals in three other events. In the girl's under-13 event, Lucy McLoughlin, Leah Kay and Jessica Coulson were involved in a battle against Aldershot, Leeds City and Leigh Harriers, and only 17 seconds separated the four teams at the finish after Jessica produced another barnstorming finish to take sixth fastest girl in 7:16 for the 2.5km course.

The Harriers' youngest squad all ran very close times - Charlotte Barber (9:43), Michelle Wiblin (7:41) and Bryoney Pearce (7:41) finished a proud fourth team from 67.

In the boy's under-15 race the team were leading after the first two legs as Northern 1500m champion Ross Millington signalled his return to fitness by taking the second fastest time of the day in 6:15.

Good runs also came from Steve Pearson and Steve Barber with a very creditable sixth position.

In the under-17 women's race Rhea Falows, Eli McLoughlin and Claire McMurdock were pleased with a top 20 finishing position.

In the senior women's race, Harriers ladies Kerrie Wood, Helen Walch and Jenny Murray finished in 29th position.

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