As is traditional, the first weekend of the year saw the running of the various County Cross Country Championships. The Cheshire championships were held at the Knights Grange Sports Complex in Winsford and a very hardy band of Macclesfield Harriers Juniors raced in wet weather over playing fields which started off muddy and just got boggier as the day wore on. Nevertheless our young athletes rose to the occasion with every club member finishing in the top 20 of their event.
First to race were the U11s. The majority of our girls were competing in the North West Sportshall league, but Martha Wood braved the weather and finished the 1.6km course strongly in 9th place. The Boys were better represented and closed a team comprising Henry Talbot (8th), Toby Lawrence (9th), Oscar Furness (16th) and George Allen (17th).
Next, the U13s raced over an increasingly waterlogged 3km course. Eve O’Donnell ran well, working her way through the Girls field to finish 14th. In the Boys event the whole team ran with great maturity winning the team prize: Eric Dickinson (17th), Alec McClaren (16th), George O’Donnell (7th), Bobby Tomlinson (6th) and Thomas Wood (4th). The day’s most outstanding performance came from Jake Ireland. He ran a well-paced race, starting conservatively and hitting the front towards the end of the first lap. In spite of pressure throughout from Warrington’s Euan Lawton, Jake maintained his lead to the end.
In the U15 Girls, Eva Mion finished the 4.1km course in 15th, and in the U15 Boys, Jared Dickinson took 5th place, not far behind Michael Wood who earned Macclesfield’s second podium place in silver medal position.
Our final junior competitor of the day was Aadi Whitlock, running in the 5.4km U17 Boys event, who took 3rd place, holding off 4th by just 4 seconds.
Well done to all our juniors who competed: we would hope the higher placed runners will be selected to represent Cheshire in the Inter Counties at Loughborough on 11th March.
Finally a reminder to both Juniors and Seniors that the English National Cross Country championships take place on 25th February at Bolesworth Castle, Chester. Entries close on 27th January.