Schools’ Cross Country League Race 1

Report: John Wharf -

Report of 1st Event – 5 November 2016

This is an update of the report posted a few days after the event and makes a couple of corrections and adds an explanation of how we are treating runners who start but do not finish a race in the results table.

The first event of the 2016-17 League was blessed with fine although chilly weather and reasonably firm conditions underfoot. It was preceded by the official opening of the new clubhouse at the Woodbank Athletic Stadium (funded by Stockport Council, Sport England and Stockport Harriers & AC) by the Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Gordon, who kindly started the first race. He also found time to have a chat with Adam Finch who was attending the event for the first time since the opening event last year following treatment for cancer. Adam is currently doing a rehabilitation programme to regain his physical fitness and showed his determination by walking part of the course with two chaperones (see

We were pleased to record a turnout of 310 runners, a 13% increase on last year’s opening race, and hope that the numbers will hold up for the whole of the season. As this was the first event, there are likely to be some errors in the spelling of names in the results table and we would be pleased to hear of any so that they can be corrected. This also applies to school names, which are usually written in their shortened form and it is possible that we have bundled pupils from 2 different schools under one shortened name.

In the Girls’ years 5-6 race the results sheets recorded two runners in 52nd place and nobody in 54th. We would welcome any advice on this.

We have allocated times of 50:00 minutes to runners who had to drop out races for one reason or another. This is to allow us to account for them more easily when determining which runners have done 5 or more races and are eligible for an endeavour medal.

Girls Years 3-4:

Ella Buckley, a newcomer to the League won the race in 6:41, 5s ahead of Aisling Brooks of Ladybrook who finished 10th overall in last year’s league. Next home, in 7 minutes dead, was Niamh Mackintosh, also of Ladybrook, who finished 8th overall last year. Rosie Philbin of St Mary’s Marple who finished 3rd overall last year came 4th with Alexa Billman of Cheadle, who finished 6th overall last year, in 5th place.

In the team competition, Ladybrook tops the table with 12 points because of excellent packing in the top 10. Besides gaining 2nd and 3rd places, they also had Maeve Tunney in 7th place. In second place with 30 points is High Lane courtesy of 3 runners, Sophie Bradford, Imogen Hill and Lauren Higginson closely shadowing each other in 9th, 10th and 11th places. Lady Barn House, 1st overall last year, finished 3rd on 45 points, with Romiley and Pownall Green not too far adrift in 4th and 5th places.

Boys Years 3-4:

Josh Garrone of Vernon Park, who came 7th overall in the League last year, won the race in 6:02. He was followed home in 6:16 by Will Bailey of Buxworth who finished one place behind him in last year’s league. Matteo Garrone, who had 2 good finishing positions in both his league appearances last year, came 3rd in 6:23. League newcomer, Oliver Ecob of Buxworth Primary, finished 4th in 6:34, with fellow newcomer, Isaac Reed of Rose Hill, 3s behind in 5th place.

Buxworth Primary leads the team competition with 32 points, a single point ahead Lady Barn House in 2nd place. High Lane lies in 3rd place with 53 points, just one clear of Romiley. None of the teams at the top end of the table show close packing so this could be a ding-dong season.

Girls Years 5-6:

Jasmine Reed of Rose Hill who achieved 6 top 3 finishes to place 2nd overall in last year’s league got close to the 10 minute mark, finishing first in 10:06. Freya Murdoch of Pownall Green, last year’s G3-4 winner, came 2nd in 10:26, with newcomer Charli Barnett of Stockport Grammar 9s behind in 3rd place. Mary Seymour of Romiley who finished 9th in last year’s league came 4th in 11:40 with the runner-up in last year’s G3-4 league, Saffron Meade of Great Moor 11s back in 5th place.

Romiley Primary displayed strength in the team competition. Their A-team lies at the top of the table with 21 points due to close packing around 10th position and their B-team lies in 2nd place with 56 points. Lady Barn house though are hot on the heels of the B-team 57 points and not too far behind them is St Mary’s Marple on 62 points.

Boys Years 5-6:

Luke Carrington of Gee Cross who finished equal 1st in last year’s B3-4 League won the race in a time of 10:16. Behind him, 9s in arrears, was Finlay McLaughlin of Lady Barn House who finished 3rd in the B3-4 League. Tom Morton of Tithe Barn showed that he had stepped up a gear since his 14th place in last year’s league by finishing 3rd in 10:31. Just 2s behind him was Patrick Doohan of St Winifred’s making his first appearance in the leagues. He, in turn was 2 seconds ahead of Harry Ahearn of St Christopher’s Romiley, who shared top spot with Luke in last year’s B3-4 league. Harry just pipped Joshua Stutchfield of Torkington Primary and behind them were 4 closely spaced runners, Dylan McGrath of St Ambrose, Arthur Kennedy of St Brabyn’s Prep, Harvey Murphey of Romiley and Mathew Haines of St peter’s. This could be the harbinger of a closely fought league.

St Winfred’s and Romiley with 50 points each share top spot in the league table, with Lady Barn in 3rd place on 65 points.

Next Event

The next event takes place on Saturday 26 November. 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.

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