Heaton Park Cross Country

Report: Ruth Jenyon -

Stockport Harriers had yet another successful day with athletes from all age groups representing the club in the first of 5 Manchester Area Cross Country League races.

The first race was held at Heaton Park and what a success it turned out to be. With two team victories for the Under-17s and Senior Ladies. Also a fantastic amount of individual wins for Under-15 Mollie Williams, Under-17 Jack Nixon, first Lady V45 Helen Walsh and Frank Riley V60 winner.

The Under-13 girls were first to run and they certainly set the standard for the day with both the A and B-teams finishing in top ten positions with Katy Whiteoak being first harrier home in 4th shortly followed by team mates Eliza Brackenridge and Britney Sharples to give the team an overall position of 3rd. The girls were closely followed by Emma Donaghy, Leah O’connell and Emily Hughes who also looked strong through the boggy course to finish as 8th team.

Under-13 boy Ryan Babcock also had a terrific race ploughing through the muddy terrain to finish 3rd.

Next to represent the club were the Under-15 girls who once again showed great efforts with our little stars Mollie Williams, Aimee Aikin and Sophie Williams showed great team spirit and smiles all the way round claimed 3rd team with Mollie winning the race with room to spare. The girls were then ready to cheer on their fellow Under-17 team mates Imogen Nutter (who had a fine race finishing 3rd), Nicola Berry and Sarah Tipping. The girls claimed victory for the Harriers by winning 1st team.

The girls success was soon followed by Under-17 male Jack Nixon who ran a first-class race finishing 1st with room to spare.

Before we knew it, the senior women were ready to shine with Ruth Jenyon, Helen Walch, Jayne Lawton and Kerry Wood battling through the gruelling 8km course to declare 1st team.

The senior men’s A-team finished 4th, leading the charge was Jamie Loxam in his 20th year competing for the club who made the 160 mile round trip from Welshpool to finish 6th in 35.03.

Hot on his heels in his first senior men’s outing was 19-year-old Jack Morris in 35.15 for 7th.

Dean Matkin made the trip from his new base at Staffordshire University and was rewarded with a top 20 place in 36.06 in 19th. Adrian Nutter followed Dean with another gutsy run in 37.11 followed by James Corden 38.45 for 47th and Richard Marlton closing the team in 39.38 for 59th.

Well done to everybody who represented the club this afternoon, team spirit was phenomenal! What a great way to start the season.

Next race is on Sunday, 21st November at Sherdley Park, St. Helens.

The Harriers’ teams will be out in force at the National Cross Relays at Mansfield on Saturday, Steve Vernon opens his season at the Lotto Cross International in Belguim the following day.

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