Gales and Glory for the Wirral Warriors at the Northern Cross Country Relays!!!
By Sarah and Ellen Mary Kearney
The scene is set:
On Saturday the 21st of October the Wirral warriors ventured forth as storm Brian raged across the country. 47 brave, mad and excited athletes along with team mangers, club officials and parents got up early and made the trek to Sheffield. The 73 seater coach made a comfortable journey arriving in good time at Graves Park. We made camp, pitching our tent in hope that it would withstand the mighty Brian. We then set to walking the course and preparing for the first race.
The Action begins:
First up we had the u17 girls. Catherine Gallagher started the day with a fantastic first leg finishing 5th and only one second outside a top ten fastest leg time. Next up was Erin Davies who also ran extremely well finishing 7th on her leg. Sadly for the girls they had incomplete team dew to regular U17 girls being unable to attend.
The U17 boys battle it out:
On first leg we had Jacob Brophy and Martin Hurst it soon became clear that the competition was very high. Jacob ran a solid first leg for the A team finishing 14th on the hilly 2.3km course. Martin on the B team chased Jacob all the way finishing one second behind. On second leg were Arran Kearney and Mathew Arnold. Arran pushed on handing over to Tom Spence on the last leg in 9th place. Tom ran a strong final leg bringing the A team home in 7th. Sam Tempest ran the final leg for the B team who finished 16th overall.
Smiles and fun for the U11 girls:
Buzzing with energy and excitement Emma Poulston and Sarah Smith lead out our teams on the first leg. They both ran really well and they passed over to Evie Smith and first time cross country runner Amelie Bodie. On our third and final leg we had Holly Sutcliffe and Amber Neal. The Girls all gave their best and had a great experience. They gelled as a team and are all becoming good friends.
Speed and success:
Next came the highlight of the day, the three musketeers, Ben Grantham, Ben Cronshaw and Oberon Kearney. The great friends, fierce competitors and fine runners did the Wirral warriors proud and battled it out with the best in the north of England and were rewarded with bronze.
Only second apart for the under 13 girls:
Our under 13 girls clearly enjoy each other’s company. The girls all worked hard and gave their best this was rewarded with some very close and very good times. In our A team we has Zara white, Anna Fraser and Gabby Phelan, in our B team we had Emma Fildes, Ella Heap and Daisy Roberts. Four of the girls ran times within 9 seconds of each other.
A strong performance for the U13 boys:
The u13 boys A team Will Sutcliffe, Jack Strickley and Alex Poulston ran well to finish an impressive 6th out of 35 teams and our B team William Strickley, Harry Kaye and Aodhan Corr finished 26th . Will Sutcliffe was rewarded with a seventh fastest leg time.
Under 15 girls conquer the hill:
First up for the under 15 girls was Ellen Mary Kearney and Rachel Hurst. They both ran very well in a field of very tall girls. Next we had Heidi Slater and Ella Darroch who dug in deep for the team and passed on to final leg runners Scarlett Liddy and Rachel Theobald who both ran strong final legs. Scarlet put everything in powering up the hill to hold onto a 10th place finish for the team. Ellen Mary was rewarded with an 8th fastest leg time.
The U15 boys a force to reckon with:
The boys were not to be overshadowed and also ran strongly with our A-team , louis Johnston, Daniel Hayes and Finan Johnston finishing high up the field in 8th out of 38 teams (despite Dan having a fight with the course tape blowing in the wind), ahead of both Vale Royal and Liverpool Harriers . The B team experienced the inevitable change over disaster of the day (there is always one at every relay). In spite of this they ran with determination and finished what had been started. Well done to Tom Longman, Dan Cross and Joe Spence.
The Senior Women are put to the test:
Finally it was the turn of the seniors to brave the full force of Brian and experience the speed of the front runners in the North of England, which included in the Women’s race Harriet Knowles Jones (Warrington AC), who came in well ahead of the rest of the field but sadly with no-one to hand over to. Let’s say it was a shock and a bit of a struggle that was thankfully soon over. I did my best on the 2 mile course and finished 28th. Next up was Anne Rosbottom who slogged on finishing strong and handing on to our final leg runner, who also ran well finishing 32/ out of 56 complete teams.
Joe runs with the Wind :
A back to form Joe Wigfield ran with the wind to finish 6th on the 1st leg for the senior men. He ran his 2 mile of the hilly course in 10.42. Joe was awarded the 9th fastest leg time of the day. The rest of the team struggled on. Ronan Kearney, Kieran Morgan and our brave last leg runner who volunteered to take Steve Spence place after disaster struck and Steve knocked himself out slipping on steps while collecting results. The team finished 39/65.
An enjoyable day.
The Wirral warriors left Graves park smiling and happy after an exciting full day of racing. The event was well organised with races starting every five minutes. The course was challenging and well set out with plenty of marshals. Well done and Thank you Northern Athletics. We are now looking ahead to the National relays in Mansfield.