Jack makes it five out of five

Report: Peter Powell -

History in the making took place at Woodbank park in the final and 5th match of the Manchester area cross country league and this was undertaken by top Stockport athlete Jack Morris (34:32) who made it five wins in five events which result according to those with historical knowledge is a first for the league which is in it’s 11th season in it’s enlarged form but Morris had a narrow squeak in the penultimate event at Wythenshawe by just out sprinting Chris Farrell of Horwich RMI Harriers.

Second place in the senior men’s event went to Paul Green (35:31) of Sale who was just under a minute behind Morris and followed in, in third spot for the bronze medal was Stockport’s Jack Nixon (35:34) who along with more support further down the field ensured that Team Stockport finished the day’s sport in the team silver medal position.

There were 326 finishers in the men’s event and bringing up the “lantern rouge” and just five days shy of his 80th birthday was Chris Bryans of Stockport with many, twenty years younger than him would have already made for their pipe and slippers and birthday wishes go to him and for his longevity and may there be many more events for him to participate in yet to come.

At the other range of the age scale Jasmine Read made it an easy first place in the under-11’s girls cross country event and was the sole competitor to sub 10 minutes (9:53) with Freya Murdoch also of Stockport Harriers providing further team support to finish in 4th place in 10:23.

Stockport’s Ben Batho helped to secure a third team finish in the under-15 boys race in 5th (15:31) thanks to close packing following on by Flynn Walsh (7th – 15:34) and Edward Corden (10th – 16:00) and these athletes and all age groups are invited to the end of season awards evening at Wilmslow Rugby club on Friday 3rd March and further details to apply for tickets can be found at www.maccl.co.uk

To the flatlands of Northern Holland which provided one of the keenest fought 10 kilometre races of the year with Stockport’s Ross Millington attempting to defend his Schoorl 10 kms title from 2016 but alas, in a finish burn off of magnificent proportions by Abda Mageeye who was 11th in the Rio Olympic marathon Nageeye secured the win by one second in 28:44 to Millington’s 28:45.

Although Millington had to play second fiddle he had the satisfaction of lowering his own 2015 Harriers’ club record which had previously stood at 29:11. and will have used the event to test his metal for the forthcoming New York half marathon this coming March and Johnny Mellor of Liverpool Harriers who is also coached by Stockport’s Steve Vernon secured the bronze medal position to stop the clock in 28:55.

Stockport’s Katie Whiteoak justified her selection for the England team in the Caceres international cross country races in Spain to finish in a useful 4th place in the junior women’s event and will surely be selected in the future if her recent form continues.

Woodbank Park Stadium’s situation has considerably eased now that the floodlights have been repaired and the new clubhouse is in full use with paralympian Carly Tait being welcomed back by Jack and Mike Nixon and now the hard work starts and she will be aiming for selection later in the year for the World para athletics championships in London.

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