Despite a typically dank, wet and cold February morning, spirits and hopes were high amongst our junior athletes as they donned their spikes and tackled a tough, muddy, Heaton Park course. Last year’s junior girls performances had been excellent with very impressive individual achievements through all age categories and even medals for some of our competing U11 and U13 girls.
Most pleasing to the junior coaches, is the number of athletes now regularly attending and competing in these events. This year, ADAC girls contributed 7 runners to the U11 Trafford team and 3 runners to the 8-strong U13 team.
In the U11 girls event, with an exceptionally well-paced race and on the back of some consistently improving distance form, saw Charlotte Stansfield finish an excellent 8th place with ever present Holly Newton close behind in 9th. Jess Forrest, Eleanor Nicholson, Sara Herceg-Millington, Susanna Thompson and Hannah Myers were ‘hot on their heels’ following strong individual runs. Charlotte’s performance again demonstrates that long term consistent training and commitment can improve performance in our junior athletes. Trafford finished 3rd, with five of our girls included in the six who count for medals.
Trafford U11 boys were defending gold from 2017 and this year were narrowly pipped for gold in a closely fought battle with Wigan. ADAC representation in this race was the quickly improving Will Johnson making his Greater Manchester Schools XC debut. Will finished in a very impressive 25th out of 155 runners, after a strong finish, which bodes well for him and the club in the future.
The under 13 girls team performance was inspiring with a silver individual medal for our County XC Champion, Aisling McHale and fantastic team gold for Trafford. Aisling (2nd), Esme Pearson (4th) and Verity Charnley (7th) all made the top ten and will go on to represent Greater Manchester in the National Schools Championships. Believe it or not, Aisling fell at the start and again, just before the finish, yet recovered to fight for individual gold with Stockport’s Jasmine Reed.
Another highlight of the day has to be the performance of ADAC’s Daniel Green in the U13 boys race. Dan ran a sterling race to finish in 5th place and contribute to a team gold medal for Trafford. It must be said that this is not surprising given his work rate and application in training in recent weeks.
It wasn’t just the U11s and U13s in action. In the intermediate girls event, Tessa Pearson finished 31st and won another bronze team medal; whilst sister Millie Pearce finished a very commendable 14th place. Harry Sinclair finished a very impressive 6th place significantly improving on last year’s 11th place.
On the whole, the club should be very proud of their junior athlete’s achievements. Well done guys!!
Report gratefully received from Mark Newton.