Under 13 boys win Silver Medals in the North of England Cross Country Championships
Last Saturday the Wirral AC endurance team made the trip over to Harewood house in Leeds to compete in the North of England Cross Country Championships. This event is every bit as prestigious as it sounds, with athletes from all over the north competing as teams and individuals.
The day started early for many of us who travelled by coach, meeting at the Oval at 7.30am. After a short delay whilst Sarah dragged TJ out of bed, we made our trip across the Pennines. When we arrived, the coach driver dumped us in a vast, windswept landscape with a huddle of tents at the bottom and ribbons of tape stretching across the fields as far as the eye could see (which was pretty far and up some big hills for the senior men!!). However, after pitching our tent and walking the course, other clubs had arrived and the usual “tent village” had established making the place look at bit more hospitable.
The day started with the U17 ladies’ race. Due to illness we had no complete team but Catherine Gallagher and Katie Thompson had strong runs in 27th and 49th place out of 93 runners. Loughborough student Sophie Tarver had an excellent run in the U20 women’s race coming in 10th out of 60. Our U13 girls, a lovely bunch who have struck up strong friendships, all performed well and were led home by Emma Fildes in 103rd pace/235 girls. The team finished in 28th/29 complete teams.
The highlight of the day for Wirral AC was the U13 boys race. These boys came so close to collecting medals in the autumn relay events so it was fantastic to see them win team silver in this race. First back was Will Sutcliffe who had an outstanding run to finish in 10th place out of 232 runners and less than 30s behind the winner. TJ Jones also had a brilliant run, moving through to 28th place- definitely worth being dragged out of bed for!! Next in was Alex Poulston in 40th place and Jack Strickley closed the team in 54th place. In total 8 U13 boys competed, great to have so many running.
The U15 girl’s race was another fantastic team performance for Wirral. 6 girls competed and the scoring 4 were led home by Ellen Mary Kearney who had a great run in 29th place. Scarlett Liddy continued her great form in 51st; Isabel Hodder (64th) and Rachel Hurst (99th) completed the team which finished a very credible 7th out of 18 teams. Louis Johnston had another outstanding run to finish 10th out of 197 U15 boys and Dan Hayes ran well to finish 97th at the bottom of his age group.
Joe Wigfield, our only U20 man, finished in 20th place. A great run for his first year in this age group. The U17 mens team was thwarted by illness and there seems to have been a mix-up with the numbers and results. I think Jacob Brophy had a strong run to finish 55th out of 117.
The usual 4 competed in the 8k senior women’s race. Sarah Kearney had another great run in 67th / 435 and declared it “the best cross country race of her life!”. The team finished a very respectable 17th out of 53 complete teams and first from Merseyside. 8 senior men turned out to complete the gruelling 12k course. Harley Henshaw was first back in 162nd / 761 and the team came a respectable 22nd out of 57 teams; 2nd from Merseyside behind a strong ‘Harriers team. Unfortunately the club bus was booked to leave before the senior men’s race finished so a couple of men were forced make a 100 mile pub crawl home. They are back now.
In all this was a great day for the club with a great team spirit and outstanding support for each other throughout the day. This is what makes us a club; go #TeamWirralAC!
PS The Scouse Mouse has found a new home in Morpeth. None of the Geordie mice have a clue what he is squeaking away at…
- For those who aren’t aware, the snack bar at the end of the stand has been reopened and is serving free hot chocolate and biscuits to athletes on Mondays and drinks and biscuits for a small charge on other nights. It has been amazing to see the affect this has made to the family atmosphere of the club with athletes of all ages and parents meeting for a drink and a chat after training. Do check it out if you haven’t already done so.
- A total of 15 lovely people have signed up to support our track and field athletes by becoming officials. Wirral AC is not a business, it’s a voluntary organisation. It’s OUR club and it’s up to us to make it the best it can be. Please get involved, there are plenty of opportunities- coaching, group leading, officiating, snack bar, newsletter, website….the list goes on. Anyone can help, even if you have no experience in athletics. All we require is your enthusiasm and willingness to help. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org