Saturday saw the first race of this years North Staffs XC League held at an unusually wet and muddy Winsford. We had a good turnout of 34 juniors from the club with some athletes competing for the first time, whilst others were competing for the 10th consecutive year! The races were held over a mixture of 3 differing loops with the U/11 Girls running 1.5k, U/11 Boys & U/13 Girls 2.1km, U/13 Boys & U/15 Girls 2.6km, U/15 Boys & U/17 Girls 4.1km, U/17 Boys and U/20 Ladies completed 5km.
The first race of the day was the U/11 Girls and we had Ruby Lovatt, Thea Bailey and Evie Worsey all competing in their first cross country races for the club. Our first finisher was Ruby in 9th, Thea was 18th and Evie was 39th, the girls finished in 7th place on the day in what looks like its going to be a very close team competition over the 4 races.
Next up was the combined U/11 Boys and U/13 Girls race. In the boys we had Daniel Jones, Joseph Thorne and Connell Latham. The boys finished in that order with Daniel first back in 14th after a very fast start, Joseph was next in 22nd and Connell completed the team just behind in 25th. The boys scored 61points and finished in 5th position on the day.
In the girls race we had 7 athletes with Holly Cooper, Prisais Iwelumo, Maia Dilling, Molly Ibbs, Mathilde Wakefield, Lucy Brownsword and Beatrice Wakefield competing. Our first finisher in 17th was Beatrice, with Lucy next in 22nd. Mathilde and Molly had a really close race finishing in 38th and 39th places respectively. Likewise it was really close between Maia and Prisais, with Maia just getting the upper hand finishing 42nd to Peisais’ 43rd. Holly was our final finisher in 45th the team finished the day in 6th position with 77 points.
The next race of the day was the combined U/13 Boys and U/15 Girls race. In the boys we had Jamie Betteley, Charlie Ranford, Joseph Stevens and Tyler Davison. Jamie was our first finisher in 15th position with Joseph next in 24th. Charlie was our third finisher in 44th and Tyler was in 50th place. The boys finished the day in 8th position.
In the girls we had yet another great turnout of U/15’s with 7 of our athletes starting the race. First finisher and in 7th position was Misha Twardochleb, just behind, and despite a fall at the start, was Nadine Tomkinson in 8th. Scarlett Cotton and Jessica Copeland had a really close race with Scarlett just getting the better of Jess with the girls finishing in 13th and 14th respectively. Next was Zara Haddon in 29th with Poppy Ranford in 33rd and Lily Stevens in 34th completing our team. The girls finished in third place on the day on just 28 points.
The next race was the U/15 Boys and U/17 Ladies combined race. In the both races we had just two competitors meaning that already there is no prospect of team awards in the league this season. In the Boys race we had Elliot Smith and Louis Wakefield. Elliot was our first finisher in 14th position, showing a massive improvement since last year, with Louis finishing in 30th position. In the U/17 Ladies we had Lizzie Clarkson and Alex Oakley competing. Lizzie was towards the front of the race from the start and passed the leader part way round the first medium lap. She was never challenged from there on, continuing her fine recent form and winning her first league Race. Alex finished in 14th position.
The final race involving our juniors was the U/17 Men and U/20-Senior-Vet Ladies run over two large laps. In the U/17’s race we had our three counters all at the head of the field from the start, Jacob Droogmans, Jordan Nixon and first year U/17 Lewis Nagington. On the first lap the lead pack of 7 runners stayed closely together but as it got nearer to the end of the lap the field began to spread out. Jordan was our first finisher coming in a fine 2nd position, with Lewis in 4th and Jacob in 8th. With all three of our athletes packing so closely they finished as team winners with 14 points (just 3 points ahead of their nearest challengers). The U/20 Ladies were in with the Seniors and Vets but were all towards the front from the very beginning. Becky ran another strong race, being at the front for most of the first lap, losing a little ground on the second but finishing as 3rd in the race overall (and 2nd U20). Our other two athletes Lucy Matthews and Grace Ranford both made a great start to their cross country campaigns, with Lucy finishing in 16th (and 4th U/20) and Grace finishing in 21st (and 6th U/20) in her first race against the seniors. These three U/20’s were our first three finishers in the seniors competition and helped the team to finish in 3rd position on the day.
League results can be found HERE Congratulations to all the athletes who took part and represented the club! Next league fixture is Saturday 28th October at Park Hall Country Park.
The Seniors race report can be found HERE