Athletes competing in the first Red Rose Cross Country League fixture at Leigh’s Sports Village were treated to almost summer like conditions for the flat and fast course last Saturday.

The first race of the day was the under 11 boys’ competition with Bury having 9 runners in the field of 80 young athletes. In a sprint finish Harry Yates took 3rd place recording the same time as 4th placed Noah Carter. Finley Collins was Bury’s third finisher in 33rd place, securing fourth team place for Bury. The other runners for Bury in the race were Joe Gould, Harry Andrew, Tom Gibson, Sam Gould, Dylan Harris and Jake Norton.

In the under 11 girls’ race Bury had 17 athletes with Millie Yates running really strongly to take 4th place. Katie Raynor was the next Bury finisher in 12th, with Rosa Murphy and Connie Potts finishing almost stride for stride in 17th and 18th places respectively and giving Bury second team place overall. The other Bury competitors included Enya Hartley, Fleur Carter, Lola Potts, Summer Whitfield, Nicola Palmer, Isabel Lawson, Lily Stanley, Nyah Coates, Olivia Walker, Lily Crow, Ruby Swinney, Charlotte Froggatt, Georgia Nuttall and Lexi Wheldon.

Jack Andrew was Bury’s first finisher in the under 13 boys’ race taking 9th place. Next was Gilbert Vaughan (21st) then Jay Cook (29th) and Thomas Halford (43rd). Bury finished as fourth team overall.

In the under 13 girls’ race Erin Kenyon produced one of her best races to date for Bury to take 5th place, with Freya Potts hot on her heels in 9th. Bury’s next scoring finisher was Lucy Pixton in 23rd to take third in the team placings. Bury’s other finishes included Grace Gibson, Abigail Howard, Ella Hall, Catherine Russell, Holly Crow, Rachel Alcock and Lauren Entwistle.

Francis Woodcock took 6th place in the under 15 boys’ race with Brandon Quinton making an excellent debut in 8th and Oliver Donnelly (16th) to secure third team place. Jacob Stevens was the other Bury competitor in the field.

For the under 15 girls Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth ran well to take 6th place, with Daisy Worthington 13th and Heledd Rimmer 18th. This gave Bury fifth team with other finishers being Ellie Carter, Charlotte Smith and Ruby Stanley.

Marcus Dey lead the Bury under 17 men to team victory taking 2nd place with Oliver Makinson next in 3rd. Alex Bennett’s 16th place secured the team victory by just one point. Jack Smith was the other Bury finisher.

The under 17 women team of Lucy Alcock, Jenna Allen-Cartwright and Teegan Brady took third place with Lucy running well to finish in 7th and sprinters Jenna and Teegan coping well with the distance to take 13th and 15th respectively.

Bury’s senior women took second team place with strong individual performances from Sophie Whittaker (5th), Katie Geelan (8th) and Donna Cartwight (20th). There were top 50 performances from Christie Cook (21st), Jenny Yates (38th), Lucy Hodson (40th) and Nicola Harland (50th). Other Bury finishers were Lizzie Cheshire, Lauren Booth, Lizzie Howard, Alison Dale and Nicola Brown.

Final race of the day was the senior mens event and it saw Ben Coop produce his finest Red Rose performance to date taking 6th place in the quality field. Next came Jim Ardin (11th), David Cullen (20th) and Luke Harreld (27th). With 6 to count Byron Edwards worked hard to take 57th and Giles Bennett 88th to take fourth team place. Bury’s other finishers included Matt Grice, Chris Mackay, Dan Potts, Jack Brown, Iestyn Rimmer, Andy Worthington, Duncan Forrest, Edward Hitchin, Nigel Brady and Dave Flood.

The following day Ben Coop was running again in the Manchester Half Marathon. Enduring the heavy rain Ben ran round with Bury team-mate Mark Johnson to pace him to a good time. The tactic worked with Mark recording an excellent time of 1:28.24 and taking 16th place in the V50 age category.