SOME of the best young runners in Burnley battled through for the honour of representing the town in the Lancashire Schools’ Cross Country Championship on a day of high quality at Towneley Park.
Athletes from five of the town’s schools, Hameldon, Shuttleworth, Blessed Trinity, Unity and Sir John Thursby, took to the course in a series of races with the top eight in each going through to run for the town next February.
One up-and-coming runner expected to make it through to the showpiece was Natalya Irvine.
And she didn’t disappoint as the Unity pupil, the grand-daughter of Burnley FC legend Willie Irvine, won the Year 7 girls race in some style.
Irvine led home Blessed Trinity’s Zara Preedy and Shuttleworth’s Megan Robinson.
The Year 7 boys race was won by Harvey McAden from Blessed Trinity as he saw off the determined challenge of Oliver Craglan (Unity) and Shuttleworth runner Richard Redfearn.
Blessed Trinity’s Tiernan Crorken won the Year 8 and 9 boys race as he edged out school-mate Jordan Isherwood with Shuttleworth’s Devon Preston in third, while Unity’s Alice Pier came out on top in the Year 8 and 9 girls event.
She beat Blessed Trinity duo Lucy Cole and Aimee Gorton.
The Year 10 and 11 boys race was dominated by Blessed Trinity athletes.
Callum Davidson took first place, while the school’s Conor Barrow and Liam Hall were second and third.
In a remarkable race for the school, Marcus Preedy was fourth and Jake Townsend (sixth) and Jack Reynolds (eighth) ensured that Burnley will be represented in the finals in that event by six boys from the school.
There was more success for Blessed Trinity in the Year 10 and 11 girls race as they completed another one-two.
Teegan Pennington won with Danielle Parkinson second, while Shuttleworth’s Jodie Sutcliffe was third.
Sutcliffe will be joined in the team for the finals by her school-mates Velda Hople and Olivia Phillips with Amy Moran and Beth Quin of Sir John Thursby making up the top eight.