Sat 4 Jan 2020, Blackburn
The annual Lancashire cross country championships, which were once again held at Witton Park, Blackburn, are always keenly looked forward to, and allow runners to compete for Lancashire medals across the categories and the chance to be selected by finishing places for Lancashire at the 2020 Inter Counties Championships at Loughborough in early March.
Harriers had a good day, with early success being Eddie Chandlers` 2nd place in the u11 boys. Lewis Townley was 8th in the u13 boys race, and the team with also Sam Smalley, Will Moorhouse and Jack Winstanley placed 3rd. Poppi Watson, despite having a stitch, ran a brave & committed race to finish 5th in the u13 girls race and achieved a Lancashire team place for the inter-counties. The u15 boys race over 3.8k saw Harriers dominant, with a team 1st with all of the first three placed Harriers being picked for Lancashire and they were Dan Valentine (2nd), Charlie Haigh (3rd), Louie Clark (4th) and Thomas Chadwick was 15th.
Isabelle Cunningham picked up a bronze medal for 3rd in the u15 girls race, also over 3.8k and Imogen Blackwell was 4th. With Grace Rayner 14th & Olivia Miller 18th, the team was second. The u17 men, who ran 5.5k, finished 3rd team with Max Cunningham 5th, Thomas Durney 7th and Thomas Barnes 18th. The u17 women were strong too, with a fine run from Libby Huxley earning a bronze medal with Jessica Watson 6th and Scarlett Sutton 7th.
The senior ladies were delighted to win the Plate, which is awarded to the first placed team who have finished outside of the first four teams in the previous year. It was some degree of compensation for finishing just outside the medals, an agonising 4th, with the same points tally as Accrington, but on countback to the final placed runner, Accrington prevailed but only by one place! An excellent and supportive team spirit from all the runners was in evidence both before & during the race. Sophie Rotheram ran very well and she was 8th and first u20. Jamie Robinson had an excellent debut for the club, finishing 16th. Katey Foster was 27th and Laura Conn 33rd.
The senior men, who ran 9.8k placed 3rd for another team medal. But with Kian Davis, who was 4th and 1st u20 in 33.01. Matthew Fazakerley was 9th, and fourth u20 in 34.26 and Tom Dickinson as 10th u20 they won the u20 team competition. The remaining senior team counters were Simon Collins(24th), Mariusz Kovacs (56th) and gratifyingly, returning from injury, Wes Wilkinson (59th)