I don’t know what our record junior attendance is in the Manchester XC League, but the numbers that took part in the event at Boggart Hole Clough were way in excess of those in recent years.  In total we had 21 taking part, 23 if you include our two U20 lads, Dan Racle and Nathan Egan.  This is obviously a very pleasing development for the club, but also pleasing to see is the quality that we are regularly putting out.

The star performers were our U11 girls with Holly Newton in particular very impressive.  She managed a stunning 3rd place finish, even beating her own Boggart Clough (Sara) in the process.  Jessica Forrest continued her impressive form with a 12th place finish with Charlotte Stansfield producing a stunning run on her Altrincham XC debut to come home 15th.  This brought the team home an impressive 2nd overall, showing that we’re now putting out girls teams in two age categories capable of challenging the best in the area.

We had 8 girls in this category with the B team of Eleanor Nicholson (33), Carys Bucknall (41) and Ella Farquhar (47) also making their Manchester XC debuts for the club and bringing the club home as 4th B team.  Ava Allman (52) made a very impressive debut run for the club with an under the weather Thea Prattley (60) completing a very strong showing of strength in depth.  Only one club fielded more athletes in this category!

For the first time in a long while we had a full U11 boys team.  Five lads tackled the course with Will Johnson a very impressive 15th on his debut run for the club, just ahead of a fine performance by Josh Mulholland-Wells in 16th.  The A team counters were completed by Zack Thompson – another debut runner – in 35th to bring them home as 7th team overall.  Cameron Scott also put on the red and yellow vest for the first time and impressed to finish 37th with Dominic Gibson completing the Alty contingent in 60th.  Hopefully this is the start of a great boys XC team!

The U13 girls team were slightly weakened by the absence of the Loreto girls who were busy showing their quality in a schools XC event.  On this occasion the team finished 9th, but it should be noted that an incredible 93 girls took part in this category making 24 complete teams.  Esme Pearson was first to finish in 14th, with Beth Robinson impressing in 26th and Grace Adams again counting for the team in 37th, all well within the top half.  Kate Fitzgerald (72) and Eva Bucknall (74) also ran well in their first Manchester XC League race of the season.  What is great to see in this category is that we’ve now had 8 girls compete in XC this year that have come through the ranks from the U11s.

In the U13 boys we had two runners with Angus Morris again impressing in finishing 40th with Louis Tranter having his first crack at the XC coming home in 55th.

We had one representative in the U15 boys with Thomas Egan making an impressive debut for the club with a 28th place finish.

Overall, a great showing from the junior section of the club.  Hopefully those that took part will develop the hunger to train towards doing even better in the future and want to get themselves muddy again at the next event in December.

A big thanks must go to Mark Newton and Mansel Pope for organising on the day and all the parents and athletes that supported this event.