Northern Cross Country Championships

Report: Peter Powell -

It was mostly ladies’ day at the annual North of England cross country championships at Witton Park, Blackburn.

Star billing went to Stockport’s junior ladies team who lifted the trophy for the gold medal position with ease which was predicted to be the case.

Witton park is no picnic of a course and with two severe hills for every lap of the circuit as well as testing and boggy conditions under foot, it was certainly not for the faint hearted.

Stockport’s Katy Whiteoak got the ball rolling, finishing in 5th position (19:11) and only 23 seconds behind winner Kate Waugh of Birtley Athletic Club.

Further support to ensure that the under 17’s ladies team trophy came Stockport’s way was accomplished by Juliet Downs (12th – 19:52), Hannah Richardson (14th – 19:57) and Rebecca Jones (32nd – 20:44) which race started in a hail storm and finished with the top podium finish.

The Harriers’ coaches being Peter Torrance, Mike and Pete Nixon and Andy Owen are justifiably proud of their young charges and are hopeful for further success at the English national championships which will take place at Donington Park, East Midlands on Saturday, 27th February.

Briony Ward who only took up athletics last summer finished in a creditable 56th position out of 168 participants in the girls under 15’s race whilst a bronze medal position was awarded to Jack Morris in the senior men’s race with just 16 seconds separating the first three finishers being Charlie Hulson of Sale Harriers Manchester (1st) and Peter Huck of Barrow & Furness Striders A.C. in the runner-up spot.

Also in the senior event, Stockport’s Andrew Davies continues to inspire and secured a 5th overall position for his efforts on Witton park’s testing 3 lap course having also making it first veteran over 35 in the recent Great Edinburgh cross country races.

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