National XC Champs 2013
The pinnacle of the winter's cross-country was at the weekend in Sunderland. The event is akin to football's Cup Final when clubs from throughout the land converge with their best athletes to do battle in the ten age-groups for the prestigious honour of medalling in this National Cross-Country Championship. Sale's highpoints were....
Our U13 girls won fantastic silver medals behind indomitable Herne Hill Harriers to add their 2012/13 collection of National and Northern titles and silverware. This is a further improvement on their bronze medals from last year and the sections best result since Jenna Hill, Rachel Deegan, Sophie Wood and Cherri Morrison delivered silver medals in 1999. Aine Cunningham, the Northern XC silver medallist, again led home the team in 6th place with Niamh Nugent (27th), Eleanor Twite (35th), Olivia Green (50th), Francesca Brint (60th), Frankie Davis (approx 70th but not recorded no chip) and Mairead Power (88th) all part of the successful squad. Olivia Green epitomised the team character by running despite not being fully fit. However, even if she'd been closer to Aine as she'd normally be, it would have made no difference to the overall result so dominant were Here Hill Harriers. This section is now the Northern Cross-Country Champions, the Northern Road Relay Champions, the National XC silver medallists and the National XC Relay silver medallists. Besides, through 2012/13 individually Olivia Green has collected eight championship team medals - 3 National, 3 Northern and 2 Counties with Aine Cunningham four - 2 Northern and 2 Nationals followed by Ellie Twite, Claudia Cowan, Niamh Nugent, Francesca Brint and Frankie Davis also winning team medals. Congratulations to all the squad, their coaches and back-up team including parents for such a successful year.
Our senior women also had a great day finishing a fantastic 5th. This was largely due to the top performances of Sonia Samuels who finished second and Lucy O'Gorman who finished an equally great 22nd but ably backed up in the very tough, muddy conditions by Hayley Cavill (114th) and Jan Nichols (135th) with team manager Jo Street (218th) and Lauren Davies (279th) also part of the squad flying the club flag in the distant North-East. Sonia Samuels is amazing! Last year she won bronze as she also did in 2009 and she's never been outside the top eight in these senior championships.
The U15 boys also did really well to finish 6th overall but were the 2nd Northern team which was a big improvement on their fourth place in the Northern XC Championships. It was also the section's best performances for very many years. Again, well done to Adam Roden (17th), Euan Gilchrist (34th), Christy O'Brien (41st) and Daniel Brint (158th).
The U20 men, Northern bronze medallists, have been applauded for their strength throughout the winter but their 5th place is not a true reflection of their ability. This is largely due to Charlie Hulson becoming ill, Callum Greenwood had university issues and Ryan Moore is targeting the inter-Counties for World Cross selection. On the positive side Luke Betts (41st) had a great run with his best ever National and well done also to Dave Rich (76th), Callum Rowlinson (77th), Kyle Conway (107th) and Alex Bradford (108th).
Individually, congratulations to Georgia Taylor-Brown who capped an awesome year as a Sale Harrier and member of the British Triathlon World Class Squad. She just missed out on the U20 bronze medal in 4th place. Apart from winning the Northern U20 XC Championships and finishing a superb 5th in the BUCS her 2012 triathlon achievements were: Gold: ETU Triathlon European Junior Championships, Eilat. Gold: ITU Duathlon World Junior Championships, Nancy, France, Bronze: Australian Youth Olympic Festival, Sydney.
Megan Davies also must be congratulated! She was 2nd in the U17 race in the Scottish National Championships at Callendar Park in Falkirk. She and the eventual winner were vying for the lead all the way through, and Megan only finished 8 seconds behind her. Unlike the English Championships at Sunderland, the race was run in lovely cold but sunny weather with perfect underfoot conditions which suited Megan. This is a fantastic and well deserved result for Megan that vindicates her commitment to running and her hard work. Megan now has quite a haul of quality medals that includes age-group Gtr. Manchester County and Schools titles and medals.
Thanks to those others who, though they finished no team in their age-categories, still had good runs and represented the club in a major championship making the inevitable sacrifices to fly the flag and run in very cold, snowy and muddy conditions. They were under 15 girls Amber Towns, Ciara Lydon and Flora Whyte; U17 Hannah Christy; U13 boys Luke Chesters, Harry Boyd and Oliver Hole; and senior men Gaz Raven (105th), James Wignall (167th), Chris Donnelly (386th) and Paul Barrett (609th).
(Written by Fechin Mc Cormick. Full results http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk )
Posted 26/02/2013 08:34