Longford Park, Stretford played host to last Saturday’s Greater Manchester Schools’ Cross Country Championships. Although the course is one of the flattest in the area the recent heavy rain helped to produce quagmire conditions with the freezing wind making it an even tougher ordeal for the young athletes.

Bury AC had a number of members running in the red vest of Bury Schools. In the minor girls Erin Kenyon continued her great improvement in taking 12th place. Further down the field Bury had Rebecca Jones (54th) and Rachel Alcock (64th). Jack Andrew produced a strong run to take 18th place in the minor boys race.

Ben Forrest was the star performer of the day winning the junior boys race and dominating the field from the gun. Francis Woodcock took an excellent 3rd place and he still has another year in this age category. He showed great maturity in keeping in contact with the early leaders and working his way through the field into his finishing position.  For the girls Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth had one of her strongest runs recently to take 26th place. Next Bury athlete to finish was Ellie Carter in 39th just ahead of Daisy Worthington (40th). Bury also had Heledd Rimmer (50th), Hannah Holland (55th) and Rebecca Froggatt (68th) competing well in the harsh conditions.

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Bury’s Marcus Dey, running for his school town of Oldham, had a fall at the start of the intermediate boys race and whilst he worked his way through the field the heavy conditions made it difficult for him to contend right at the front and he finished a creditable 4th place. Sam Brook’s was Bury’s other athlete in the race finishing in 34th. Lucy Alcock was the club’s only competitor in the intermediate girls, taking 35th place.

Sophie Whittaker produced one her best runs of the cross country season to take third place in the senior girls race. Lauren Booth ran a great tactical race, working her way through the field to take 6th place again one of her best races of the season. For the senior boys Harry Stainton ran strongly to take 16th with Iestyn Rimmer coping well with the mud to finish 18th.

As a consequence of their performances Ben Forrest, Francis Woodcock, Marcus Dey, Sophie Whittaker and Lauren Booth have all been selected for the Greater Manchester squad for the English Schools Championships at Nottingham in March.