The sun was shining in Ashton-under-Lyne as plenty of our primary school youngsters displayed their cross country potential with impressive performances. This was the second staging of this event, and has caught the attention of plenty of clubs in the Manchester area. A big thank you must be given to East Cheshire Harriers for organising such a great event, and it was fantastic to see how many of our athletes and parents supported it.

First up were the Under 9 girls. All of these were representing the club for the first time, so I can imagine this must have been a daunting prospect for them. Obviously it was not daunting enough, as they managed to take home the 1st place team prize with Carys Bucknall (4th), Thea Prattley (5th) and Miah Lockett (10th) producing awesome runs. They received nice shiny medals as a just reward! We had six girls running in this category with Ella Farquhar (17th), Madeleine Gilham (21st) and Aine Pegler (29th) showing that they may also be ones to watch.

The second race was the Under 9 boys. The team finished 5th with three athletes completing the course. Again, they were all debutants, with the team made up of Eoin McHale (23rd), Isaac Oderinde (30th) and Oisín Pegler (32nd). It is particularly pleasing to see us get a team out in this category as we are really keen to develop a team of boys to rival the success of our girls.

Next up were the U11 girls. We had four taking part on this occasion, all back for more after their experiences in the Manchester XC League. The counters for the team were Esme Pearson (7th), Holly Newton (11th) and Kate Fitzgerald (23rd), with Eva Bucknall also running really well (28th). This was enough for them to take the 3rd place team prize and get their mittens on some medals. Some of them are amassing quite a collection!

Last, but certainly not least was the U11 boys. We are really targeting this area and this was Alexander Grierson’s first run for the club. He had an extremely impressive debut in managing a 10th place finish. Hopefully this will have given him the taste for more and he will become a regular in our youth development team this season.

So a great day for the club, and a day to treasure for some of the youngsters. I wonder how many went for Swedish meatballs afterwards?

On to the track and field season!