Stockport Harriers’ Steve Vernon was back in business after a month-long lay off with a virus to finish 5th in the Great North cross country IAAF meet in Edinburgh.
Steve was looking for an indication of his fitness after only three weeks training and will race the Northern Championships in two weeks time in his build up to the World Cross Championships to be held on the same course on March 29th.
Also in the same race 18-year-old Ross Millington ran a solid race in his first senior race over the 4.7km distance to finish 24th out kicking Commonwealth Games 1,500 metre 2002 champion Michael East in the process.
Jess Coulson, still only 17, ran in the senior women’s international and finished 25th won by Gelete Burka of Ethiopia.
There were three Harriers’ victories in the Manchester League on Sunday, notably Junior Andy Nixon who claimed his first senior men’s League race in the mudbath at Woodbank he was followed home in 4th by veteran Bashir Hussain and Jamie Loxam in 7th.
In the men’s under-17 race Michael Cooke took his 3rd win in the series and Jack Morris his second win in the under-15 boys’ race with Harry Long in 3rd place.
Well done to the ladies
Message from Maureen
Stockport ladies excelled themselves yet again with Helen Garner not feeling her usual self, not that you'd notice as she ran like a real trooper. Julie Fairclough had a fall right at the beginbing of the race (she just couldn't wait to get muddy!), but this didn't stop her catching up to the rest of the group. Alexis ran in fine form as usual, Jayne and Maureen battling on together. Poor Jan Brooker had to stop to put her shoe back on, nothing will stop this woman!
Considering the very hard muddy conditions, Stockport ladies all ran a fantastic race, and all worked as a great team! Well Done to all of you!
Schools’ Cross Country League - Race 5
Report: John Wharf
The Boys' years 3/4 league continues the head-to-head for first place between Aaron Chapman and Fraser Hawksworth of St Mary's, Marple Bridge. Aaron has just got the edge after 5 races and leads by a single point, but Fraser has the chance of a comeback in the final race in March. Michael Quin of Woodley is now the only runner who can upset their battle for the top position. He made a return to competition and won for the third time in 3 races and has now to finish 4th or better in the final race to take the title. Bryn Shipperlee, who had a score of 5 from 2 races also returned to the fray, but his form had slipped a little, and he finished 7th. which means that he cannot better the current leaders, even if he wins the last race.
In the Girls' years 3/4 league, Eliza Brackenridge Jones of Norbury Hall achieved her second win of the season and moved ahead of Caitlan Wilson of Gee Cross Holy Trinity by 8 points to 11. Both girls can improve their points total in the final race, but Keeley-Shaye Goodwin of Hazel Grove can definitely overtook them both if she races and wins in March. Grace Garner of Woodley also needs to race if she wants a chance of climbing on the podium.
First position in the Boys' years 5/6 league was claimed by Danny Lawton of Gee Cross, who scored his 4th win giving him an unassailable position at the head of the table. Cian Conway and Harry Ridgard of St John Fisher are locked in battle for the 2nd spot, but Clark Seeds (Gee Cross) could spoil their ambitions if he competes in the final race, which he needs to have sufficient counting races.
League victory was also achieved by Megan Ashelby (Corrie) in the Girls' years 5/6 League, who got her 4th win in 4 races. Roisin Clegg (St John Fisher) currently lies second and Bethaney Donnelly (Corrie) third. Bethaney needs to win the final race if she is to overtake Roisin. A second place with Roisin behind her would put the pair on equal points would require the final position to be decided on a count back, looking at races where the two have been racing together.
Please note: The February Relay is cancelled and the next and final League race is on Saturday 15th March. The presentation of League certificates, medals and team trophies will take place after the final race.
Derbyshire Cross Country Championships
Venue: Markeaton Park, Derby
The cold Derbyshire weather that had threatened much snow earlier in the week cleared to leave near perfect race conditions at the challenging Markeaton Park cross country course.
With several of Stockport Harriers’ Derbyshire athletes out through injury and sickness (Michela Stepto, Estelle McGuire, Joe Chambers) it was left to the senior (some very senior) and one U17 lady to fly the Stockport flag.
A late decision to enter the men as a 'senior' team rather than 'vet' team almost paid off with strong runs from the five Stockport counters (Sean Whewell, Stuart Cameron, Tony Lee, Paul Stepto and Brian Holland) being narrowly beaten to the bronze medal by teams from Derby (gold, silver) and Amber Valley (bronze).
Stockport's only lady athlete on the day, Amber Whewell, stayed in medal contention throughout, losing out in the final 1000m to finish 5th. Amber will now go on to represent Derbyshire against several of her Stockport Harriers team mates at the UK Inter counties Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 24th February
- Video of start of senior race on the Stockport Harriers’ Facebook page (Facebook account required)
|U17 Women’s - 5km|
|Senior Men’s - 10km|
|48th||Sean Whewell||16th V40||40:05|
|60th||Stuart Cameron||10th U20||41:06|
|74th||Tony Lee||31st V40||43:04|
|79th||Paul Stepto||35th V40||45:06|
|80th||Brian Holland||13th V50||45:23|
Cheshire Cross Country Championships
Report: Pete Torrence
Two of Stockport’s top performers at Forest Park, James Parrott and Daniel Lawton
On the first weekend of the year the county cross country championships take place across the country and three of Stockport's young athletes made the short journey to Forest Park, Birchwood near Warrington to take part in the Cheshire County Championship.
The course after the last few days was very wet and soft under foot but on the day the weather turned out to be very bright and the course was very good for spectators.
The first race of the day was the under-11 boys’ over 1,700 metres, this turned out to be a two man race between Warrington's Liam Burthan and Stockport's Daniel Lawton, the two runners this season have had some great races but this turned out to be the best of the bunch.
From the start Daniel took the lead and by half way had a ten metre lead but in the second half Liam had closed the gap so both runners came to the last 100 metres stride-for-stride but it was Liam who took the honors by just 3 seconds to win the race from Daniel taking second, both where 1-30 clear of the next finisher.
In the under-13 boys’ James Parrott had a great run in his first year in this age group over a 3,200 metre a course to take 21st place.
The under-15 girls’ race over 3,525 metres was a one team show with Vale Royal AC taking the winning athlete and the team prize but Stockport's Becky Hetherington had a great run pulling through the field to finish 8th.
Harriers on international duty
Report: Dave Turnbull
Jess Coulson is on international duty on 27th January she has been selected to run for the Great Britain team at the Lisbon cross country international.
Team mate Ross Millington will race for England in a cross international in Seville, Spain on 20th January.
This weekend (12th January) the pair will join Steve Vernon and Peter Riley at the televised Great North Cross Country event in Edinburgh to race over what will be this year’s venue for the World Cross Championships in March.
Ross will race in his first senior international over the 4km distance with Steve and Pete facing 5-time World Cross champion Kenenisa Bekele in the 10km event.
Jess Coulson steps up into the senior women’s race to face Olympic 10,000 metre champ Debarber plus a host of foreign internationals.