2019 Cross Country Team Manager's Report
Thankfully the mud of last year at Prestwold Hall was absent and the conditions underfoot for the spectators and athletes were pretty good. The courses were very slightly different than in the previous years and the area set aside for the county tents meant that we were away from the course so consequently I didn't manage to see much of the action, apart from the start and finish of some of the races. I have contacted the CAU Cross Country Secretary, Joe Mower with feedback on this and other matters and await a reply.
We enjoyed some success on the day, no individual medals but a well deserved Bronze for the U17 Men and a Silver for the Senior Men who repeated their result from last year by also winning the Len Beavan Award for the nine man team.
We fielded complete teams in every age group, 81 athletes in all from 18 clubs, 16 of them Lancashire affiliated, and, with the exception of Amy Davies in the U17 Women race, who was badly spiked, everyone finished their races.
There were several notable performances in the junior teams. Helena White, Clayton, finished in 16th place from 307 runners in the U13 Girls race and Lancaster & Morecambe's Rhys Ashton was seventh from 314 runners in the U15 Boys race.
I was confident that the U17 Men's team had prospects of a team medal prior to the event and was pleased to see them finish in third place thanks to excellent performances by Rossendale's Matty Mackay, ninth and Preston's Ben Preddy in tenth place. Matthew Fazackerly, Preston, in 32nd place and Blackburn's Matthew Ramsden in 39th place completed the team.
I was pleased that I was able to choose a full team of eight U17 Women as, in the past, it has been difficult to find enough of them from our county championship but in fact this year there was healthy competition for places, so much so that some of them who were old enough filled places in the U20 team. Rossendale's Emily Morgan was the best placed U20 athlete in 30th place from 150 runners. The U20 Men were a strong squad with both David Mullarkey (Manx) and Kian Davies (Preston) in good form at the National and they finished as fifth placed team.
This year the event was also the trial race for the World Cross Country Championships so the standard of competition in both the Senior Women's and Men's races was very high and, controversially the distances were changed so that both races were run over 10K. I don't know how this affected the results and all team managers have been surveyed as to whether we want to retain the equal distances for future events in non World Championships years. I don't think the move was popular so my reply was to go back to 8K and 12K for the women and men.
Sale's Katie Hewison, 19th and Sarah Astin from City of Norwich, and just back from injury, in 28th place were the top performers for the Senior Women. Rachel Franklin (Manx) and Carla Davies (Salford) were 49th and 54th respectively and Nichola Jackson (Ribble Valley Harriers) in 79th place and Elissa Morris (Manx) in 123rd place completed the counters. I had hoped that the women would squeeze into a medal position but we lost a couple of very good runners at short notice so it wasn't to be.
The Senior Men's team was the best we have fielded for several years even though a number of very good athletes and automatic qualifiers for the team declined to run. However I was pleased that Patrick Dever (Preston) requested a place and, on the day, ran an excellent race finishing in fourth position, just two seconds off medal. It was a performance that earned him a place in the GB team to run in the Word Cross Country Championships in Aarhus where he finished in 37th spot and first GB athlete. Ollie Lockley (Manx) worked his way through the field to finish in 11th place and Daniel Bebbington (Preston) came home in 34th position five places ahead of his young club mate Nathan Dunn. Alan Corlett (Manx), 58th, Rob Danson, (Wesham), 70th completed the six man team. I manage to watch this race as it's the last of the day each year and I was pretty certain we had at least a silver medal and confident that we had retained the nine man team award, both of which we did thanks to Rob Warner 80th, Tim Raynes (both Blackburn), 84th and Salford's Tom Cornthwaite, 91st.
All in all a very successful day thanks to everyone, athletes, parents and coaches alike who contributed to the great atmosphere in the camp.
TEAM POSITION /COUNTERS
U13 GIRLS 16th Team 110,63,104,
U13 BOYS 22nd Team 45,114,118,144
U15 GIRLS 19th Team 66,88,113,122
U15 BOYS 8th Team 7,68,71,75
U17 WOM. 19th Team 48,81,99,148
U17 MEN 3rd Team 9,10,32,39
U20 WOM. 9th Team 30,55,63,87
U20 MEN 5th Team 17,19,44,56
SEN WOM. 5th Team 19,28,49,54,79,123
SEN MEN 2nd Team 4,11,34,39,58,70,80,84,91
Steve Duxburyhave made considerable investments in time and money just to get to Loughborough for the day, so thanks to everyone for your commitment and support,make considerably investmetsmake