Schools’ Cross Country League Race 4

Report: John Wharf -

Report of 4th Event – 12 December 2015

The 4th event had the hardest conditions of the season so far: hard rain, 5c, a steadily increasing wind velocity and lots of mud and standing water. Well done to all the athletes, their managers and supporters for turning out on a foul day and thank you to the marshals and other helpers for making the event go smoothly. The athletes were particularly impressive in their enthusiasm and willingness to finish the races.

The fourth trace of the season is where we usually begin to see more clearly the shapes of the final League tables. This race was no exception: we got to know three of the League winners and the most likely contenders for the other podium and top ten positions. We look forward to the close competition in the new year.

I became aware during the race that some team mangers and parents are not aware that any athlete dropping out their race with illness or injury can still count the race as one of the five they need for an endeavour medal. Please make sure their name is on a results sheet with DNF in place of a finishing position.

In the G5-6 race we have two runners in position 32 and none in position 33, which suggests that one was written in error on the results sheet. A similar situation has arisen in B5-6, where we have two runners in position 25 and nobody in position 24. Also, we have no name to associate with position 38. If you know who the athletes were in those positions, please let me know.

Girls Years 3-4:

Congratulations to Freya Murdoch of Pownall Green who has had 4 wins in 4 races, which gives her the League title. She led from the start and won in a time of 6:43, 18s ahead of Saffron Meade of Great Moor, who took her 3rd second place of the series. Emily Whitworth of Lady Barn House took 3rd place in a time of 7:19, with Rosie Philbin of St Mary’s Marple in 4th place in 7:33.

Although the winner of the League is decided, all the other positions are still open to competition. Currently, Saffron lies 2nd with 10 points, Emily lies 3rd with 13 points and Rosie 4th with 15 points. Their positions in the top 4 look secure, although theoretically, one of the top 3 runners with only 3 races completed so far could achieve a total league score of 13 points with 2 wins.

In the team competition, St Mary’s Marple hold onto the lead with 128. Lady Barn House lie 2nd on 153 points, despite winning 3 of the events, and Ladybrook, who have improved with each race, hold onto 3rd place with 178 points.

Boys Years 3-4:

The first three runners home were separated by just a second or two. First place was taken by Harry Ahearn of St Christopher’s Romiley in a time of 6:25, his second successive win. Newcomer Dylan McGrath of St Ambrose took 2nd place just 2 seconds adrift, with Finley McLaughlin of Lady Barn House a further second back in 3rd. Finley continues to head the table 11 points points and Dylan Norburn of St Mary’s Marple holds onto 2nd place with a 6th place finish. 3rd place is shared by William Bradford of High Lane Primary and Joshua Stutchfield of Torkington Primary, who finished one place of William in the race. Further down the table, Harry Ahearn has 4 points from the 3 races he has participated and Luke Carrington of Gee Cross has 6 points from his 3 races. Clearly, both are in a position to climb to the top end of the table.

High Lane took 2nd place in the race, which keeps them at the top of the League table with 186 points. Romiley Primary’s 3rd place was sufficient to move them ahead of St Paul’s. The points differences between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams is small and Gee Cross is in a good position to add to the competition with 154 points from the three races they have competed in.

Girls Years 5-6:

Our congratulations go to Isabelle Burke of St Ann’s who has won the League title by winning her 4th race in a row. Second place was taken by Taylor Edwards of Bowdon Church, in her first race in the League, in a time of 11:19. Third was Jasmine Reed of Rose Hill Primary with a time of 11:36. Jasmine’s 3rd kept her in second place in the League on 11 points. Elizabeth Hill of High Lane, showing consistency, gained her fourth 4th place and retained her third place position in the League 16 points. There is now only one other runner who is in a position to challenge for a place on the podium: Isabella Merritt of St Andrew’s Over Hulton, who has raced twice and finished second in both to Isabelle Burke.

In the team competition, High Lane took first place and took over the top position in the League table from Stockport Grammar, who now lie second in the table, just 5 points behind o 133 points. Romiley had another solid race and hold onto their 3rd place with 188 points. Norbury Hall’s challenge for a top three position slipped, but they still hold onto 4th place by a good margin.

Boys Years 5-6:

Our congratulations go to Cathal O’Grady Smith of St Christopher’s who won his fourth event in a row and thereby the League title. Finley Mayoh of Nevile Road finished second in a time of 12:18, four seconds ahead of Harvey Murphy of Romiley Primary.

Finley replaced Jonah Wall of Great Moor, who was absent from the race, in second place in the League. Harvey’s 3rd place in the race moved him into third place in the League, one point ahead of Will Kershaw of Cale Green. Finley’s score of 11 from 4 races will be hard to beat by those below him in the League. Jonah Wall, who has 9 points from 3 races is best placed to challenge him, providing he maintains the form shown so far. The competition for third place is still open. One more good placing by Bow Hornby of Norbury Hall would put him in the frame and two good placings from Arthur Kennedy of Brabyns would do the same for him.

St Christopher’s Romiley gained their 4th League win and hold onto the head of the team table with 153 points. Their nearest challengers, Romiley Primary again chased them home and held onto 3rd place with 235 points, while St Mary’s Marple finished 3rd and held onto 3rd place with 182 points. The top 3 teams are looking more secure on the podium, but good performances from teams with only 3 races to their credit and good average race scores would challenge that security.

Next Event

The next event takes place on Saturday 12 January 2016. If the conditions are slow, we shall slip the start of the B5-6 race to 11:35. Until then, I wish you an excellent festive break and a happy new year.

I would like to thank and congratulate to all the children who took part in the league races and express my appreciation to their managers, family and friends for supporting them, St John Ambulance for tending to those needing medical attention and members and supporters of Stockport Harriers who helped put on a successful event. I hope to see you again at the next event.

Revised Dates

Woodbank Athletic Stadium will have builders on site in March 2016 to replace our current clubhouse with a new one. Access to the stadium will be limited, if not entirely restricted. We have therefore re-scheduled the remaining league events as follows:

​​​Event 5 - 09 January 2016​ (currently event ​4​)

​E​vent​ 6 - 06 February 2016​ (currently event ​5​)​​

We are considering a change of venue for the presentation event, which will now be held on 5 March 2016, and we shall advise you of the location in due course.

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