The penultimate event of the season was held at Rossall School near Fleetwood on a day for wrapping up well. The athletes braved a cold and breezy day under threatening skies but thankfully the rain held off. The course was relatively mud free and with just a small rise it suited the faster competitors as the fields of runners thinned out.
In the U11 girls, running 2k, the Harriers had a good team out and Anna Thompson led them home followed by Isabella Buraimo, Megan Ind, Grace Waring Yeukett, Grace Horne, Olivia Coupe having her first run, Anna Lenton, Rhiannon Magee and Sophia Ince. 70 girls ran, we were 8th team with Anna, Isabella and Megan counters.
Our U11 boys were not as plentiful as the girls, only four taking part. James Ince led them home; he gave everything in the finishing straight and came a great 2nd place. Hayden Ridgley, Ethan Chadwick and Connor Mitchell all put in good efforts to come in 6th team with James, Hayden and Ethan as counters. 58 ran.
A group to watch out for in the future, our U13 girls worked together creating a great team effort. Scarlett Sutton came 3rd with a strong individual run; she was followed by Jessica Watson, Faye Houghton and Grace Brown in 9th 10th and 11th, great packing and even more good teamwork followed from Emily Mayson, Emily Reynolds, Eva Sturzaker, Georgie Wilson and Caitlin Magee all making a great contribution to Preston’s only team win of the day. Scarlett, Jessica and Faye were the counters and 57 ran.
The U13 boys ran 3k, all giving a good account of themselves. They were led home by Vladimir Wiggins with Luke Suffolk, Ned Gilkes, Thomas Chadwick, James Hawtin and Harley Vickers, some experiencing their first cross country. They were 7th team with Vladimir, Luke and Ned as counters and 41 ran.
In theU15 girls Caitlyn Preddy came 6th, a great result in those conditions for her and Hollie Suffolk put in a good performance too but they were our only runners in a depleted field of 22.
Similarly, in the U15 boys only Jack Campy and Arran Baldwin ran in Harriers’ vests giving good performances but lacking numbers for a team. 26 ran.
In the U17 women we had a lone, brave competitor, Emily Wiggins who very gamely finished her race even though she found the conditions awful. Only 6 took part.
We had no U17 men and only 13 took part. In the U20 women, again there was no Harriers involvement, only 4 ran. In the U20 men Ben Read came 5th (Uclan student); there were only 8 competitors, most from Lancaster University.
Our senior women had a good turnout and were led home by Nichola Jackson coming second even after assisting her mum on starting duty in the earlier races. Next we had Emma Essex-Crosby coming into good form recently then Amanda Ridgley with Kate Lakeland, on leave for the weekend; she was followed by Vicki Sherrington. Mel Haworth, Sue Wickham, Olga Wiggins, Judith Deakin, Angela Tranter and Kari Edwards all put in good performances in the conditions. Preston were 4th team in the open race, 7th in the over 35s and 9th in the over 45s.
Dave Roberts was our lone over70 male coming 2nd.
The final race of the day saw seventeen Harriers taking to the field for a three-lap race. Gethin Butler was first home; although imminently waiting for an operation it didn’t slow him down! New Harrier Tony Donelly was next, a great start to his Harrier career. Gary Pennington followed having a good run on unfamiliar terrain. Another relative newcomer, Oliver Heaton, was next with Alan Durney, Chris Wales closely followed by Alex Waddelove, then Andy Whaley, Ben Read, Billy Johnstone, quite a way in front of Roy Parkinson today. Alan Appleby, Andrew Tranter, Michael Brown, Michael McLoughlin, Phil Lakeland and Michael Brennand completed the team. Harriers were 2nd team, Gethin, Tony, Gary, Oliver, Alan and Chris the counters. In the ‘B’ team, 15th, Alex, Andy, Ben, Billy, Roy and Alan were counters. Also 2nd team in the over 40’s – Gethin, Gary, Alan and Chris and 4th in the over 50’s – Alan, Billy and Roy.