Medals galore for Wirral AC at the Merseyside Cross Country Championships
Aileen Kearney writes-
The 6th of January was a cold but dry and sunny day. Perfect conditions for holding the County Championships. The Course was all set up, marshalled and officiated by a dedicated team of volunteers and we were ready to go.
The day kicked off with the U11’s Races. Wirral AC’s athletes were led home by Oberon Kearney in first place who was followed in by Ben Cronshaw in second and Miles Craven who came in 10th. Three boys in the top ten was a great way to kick start the day for the club. Because only members born or resident in Merseyside were eligible to compete, a small number ran other county championships. Ben Grantham from our U11 squad had a great run in the Cheshire Champs placing 3rd.
In the girls competition Emma Poulston came in fantastically claiming 3rd followed by Amber Neal and Amelia Bodie . Holly Sutcliffe had a great run placing 6th in the Cheshire Championships.
It was the first County Championships for many of our U11’s and they all did a superb job to get round the course and up the hill as they did. It is never easy to do your first championships so good effort all round!
In the U13 girls race Zara White came in fourth gaining automatic county selection followed by Emma Fildes in 8th. A good run from Ella Heap placed her 14th and Gabrielle Phelan just pipped her team mate Anna Fraser on the line giving the girls 17th and 18th respectively. Evie Smith and Sarah Smith who finished our Wirral AC girls’ team had just moved up an age group and were doing the County Championships for the first time as U13’s so very well done to them too. Our U13 girls claimed silver overall in the team competition.
In the U13 boys race a great run from Alex Poulston saw him leading the team in in 1st place. TJ Jones in 7th and Jack and William Strickley in 9th and 10th completed our Wirral AC A team which brought home the gold medals. Harry Hollis, Harry Kaye, George Foukas and Aodhan Corr made up the boys’ B team making us the only club to field two complete teams so great show lads. Will Sutcliffe, another Cheshire resident, finished an excellent 5th in the U13 boys race gaining a place in the county team.
A Brilliant team effort in the U15 girls saw Ellen-Mary Kearney, Scarlett Liddy, Isabel Hodder and Rachel Hurst take 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th place and subsequently bring home the Gold for Wirral AC and county selection for Ellen mary. Once again the commitment and dedication of our athletes meant that we fielded two teams with our B team being led home after a great run by Lucy Hignett followed by Elyse Kedzior-MacDonough, Emily Constable and Micaela Murphy whom were running for the first time in the age group.
Gold again in the U15 boys with superb runs by Louis Johnston, Finan Johnston and Daniel Hayes who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively gaining County selection. Another good run by Harry Ross-Hughes who was the fourth counter secured the medals for the boys with Joseph Turnbull and Daniel Cross coming in not far behind.
In the U17/U20 women’s race Juliet Hodder did us proud coming in second followed by Catherine Gallagher, Katie Thompson, Phoebe Croft and Erin Davies to bring home silver medals for the squad.
Our U17 men proved equally impressive with Wirral AC being the only club able to field a team because over the years this successful team has scared away the competition. Fantastic running by all our lads with Arran Kearney, Martin Hurst and Tom Spence claiming the automatic county selection places of 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Jacob Brophy completed the team in 5th with Fernando Izquierdo-Bernard in 8th and Sam Tempest in 9th.
A storming run in the U20’s saw Joe Wigfield take second in a time of 28.02 over a minute quicker than the next boy in.
After such phenomenal performances by our Junior athletes the Seniors also did not disappoint. First up the Senior women’s team claimed silver medals only nine points behind Liverpool Harriers in first. Emily Kearney, back briefly from the USA, chased Kirsty Longley in taking second place. Sarah Kearney took 5th place overall and 3rd in her age group, Penny Thorn took 14th and Anne Rosbottom claimed 18th as well as 1st in her age group thus completing the team. Maggie Cooper also had a great performance taking 2nd in her age category and Kelly Clark powered along to complete the muddy two laps well.
At last came the turn of the senior men who had to plough their way around three muddy laps in the increasing cold. A shout out to our Ex Wirral Athlete Phil Robertson who had a cracking run and came in 5th.
Our senior men’s team took bronze which was a brilliant result in a field of 128 runners. Phil Langan came 16th with David Brockway on his heels in 17th position. Steve Spence after clocking up 100 sprints up the Arrowe Park hill in training legged it up that slope in 25th position and 3rd in his age category with Simon Dunk completing the team in 35th place. Richard Bargh, Mark Hulmston, Kieran Morgan, Brian Beecroft, Simon Fox and Tony Devoy were also out in force to churn up the ground as they stoically pushed round the gruelling three laps of the course.
The efforts all our athletes and volunteers made Wirral AC the star of the day. The coordinated efforts of marshals and officials ensured that the race ran smoothly whilst the brilliant work behind the scenes by our results team meant that the overall scores were posted online with record speed. And whilst it’s not all about medals, 48 is not a bad haul and makes us the number 1 club in the area!
Full results can be found here http://www.wirralac.co.uk/merseyside-cross-country-championships-2018/
Well Done to you all and Best of Luck to all those preparing for the Northerns!