NORTHERN XC RELAYS - SHEFFIELD
Fechin Mc Cormick & James Bailey
The Northern Cross-Country relays took place on Saturday at Graves Park in Sheffield. The hilly course is now becoming a popular early season tester for teams across the northern region. We were the reigning champions from 2012 so were looking to retain the title we won so convincingly last year. It was the same quartet as last year who again toed the line. The first off was Niall Brooks, recently returning from injury. He took the race by the scruff of the neck and quickly opened up a good lead and came home in 9:55, a then course record. Taking over was Simon Horsfield, in the knowledge he was being chased by the in-form Richard Weir from Derby. Simon ran a very controlled race running a negative split over the 2 mile course and held off Richard (who incidentally took the course record off Niall in 9:49). At the same time, he ran only 1 second slower than Niall (9:56) to hand over to Charlie Hulson. Charlie is running very well, even at this early stage of the winter, and it showed as his 9:57 run brought the team home a full 45 seconds ahead of 2nd place. In comparison to the rest of the team, ‘old’ boy James Bailey then had the task to maintain the lead for the remaining leg. With a large amount of daylight between the two teams James ran 10:12 to retain the title for a second year.
Last year we were also able to complete a second team finishing 4th, this year they went 1 better but with a twist. Due to unavailability, only Jamie Roden and Ryan Worland were able to attend; however keen to get some good training in it was arranged for them to run 2 legs each. Jamie took the honours on first leg coming home in 6th place (10:14), Ryan took over and pulled the two man team into 3rd (10:04), second time round Jamie maintained the position (10:38) before Ryan brought the team home in 3rd (10:40). Unfortunately due to championship rules they were disqualified, but in our hearts they will always be the bronze medallists.
This was the first year our younger age groups took part in this competition with some of the sections opting for it rather than next week’s National Road Relay Championships. All of them turned out in goodly numbers.
The most successful of the day’s teams was the U15 boys. The Spilbury twins (Jake and Adam) with Dylan Burchill put on a great display to win the bronze medals. Well done, lads! The section also turned out a ‘B’ team of Saeed Absiyeh, Adam Kinghorn and Dylan Battick) who finished 18th.
The U17 boys and U17 girls also turned out an ‘A’ and ‘B’ team and both these sections continue to promise as a great core for the club’s future....if only they can be kept together The ‘A’ trio of Euan Gilchrist, Bradley Yates and Adam Roden who finished 7th, all recorded similar times. Add Matt Beacock and Lewis Singleton’s ‘B’ times (Unfortunately, Sam Mayon is still not yet fully fit) and we have a good squad of lads. Likewise, the U17 girl’s ‘A’ team of Catherine Podmore, Flora Whyte and Amber Towns who also finished 7th and the ‘B’ team of Rachel Hibberd, Eve Gibson and Mattie Yates who finished a commendable 12th and this encouraging promise is reinforced. The ‘A’ team would have also finished much higher had Amber Towns not sustained a fall.
The greatest strength of all the sections was displayed in the U15 girls. They are another young squad with many very good runners and a commendable, supportive fellowship among them. They turned out three teams, The ‘A’ trio of Danielle Stringer, Ellie Twite and Francesca Brint fought tough teams and did well to finish 5th. Last year, Danielle as a tender 13 year old, ran the day’s fastest leg and will surely do so again in her new age category. The ‘B’ team of Alexa Mc Tiffin, Frankie Reid and Olivia Green were only a few seconds behind in 6th place with Alexa also ‘up there’ among the fastest of the day’s times. Well done also to the ‘C’ team of Alice Bruce, Mairead Power and Frankie Davis who finished 15th.
Next, our U13 boys and girls! Beth Thornton, Lizzie Twite and Niamh Nugent finished a commendable 5th and congratulations to our neighbours, Manchester Harriers & AC who retained their title from last year. Our U13 boy’s ‘A’ trio of Luke Chesters, Tom Barrett and Harry Boyd finished 8th with all three running good and very similar times. The ‘B’ trio of Sam Heyworth, Bailey Hulse and Colin Avison were 19th. We also turned out an U11 boy’s teams so it’s a final big clap on the back to Sam Wadsworth, Sam Oakley and Jed Bailey who brought the team home in 5th place.
Whilst these were giving it their ‘all’ in Sheffield, more of our youngsters were doing great things at John Leigh Park in a Schools competition where our girl’s won all four of their races. A big ‘Well Done’ to Lauren Smith who won the U11 race; Tess Mc Hugh the U12 race; Claudia Cowan the U14 race and Ciara Lydon who won the U16 race.
Posted 08/10/2013 14:37