THE latest Mid Lancashire Cross Country League meeting took place at Sefton Park in Liverpool with a host of runners producing some eye-catching displays.
Rossendale Harrier Chris Fell ran to fourth spot in the senior men’s race with an impressive time of 33minutes 10seconds, while Accrington Road Runner Sarah Ridemalgh (pictured below) was an equally strong fifth in the women’s race.
Ridemalgh missed out on a category win in the L35 section by just nine seconds having crossed the line in 31mins 57secs.
She was closely followed by Anna Anderson running for Pendle Athletic Club who came home in eighth spot in a time of 33mins 26secs, one place ahead of Lynn Clough - the Chorley athlete coming third in the L35 category with a time of 34 minutes exactly.
Ridemalgh’s efforts helped Accrington to 10th place in the team category on the day with Julia Hartley (30th) and Fiona Glen (68th) the other two scoring runners.
The same trio also helped Accrington to fourth overall in the L35 category with Clayton Le Moors Harriers in ninth thanks to the consistent efforts of Vicky Heyes and Irene Roche who were 21st and 22nd respectively, while Christine Leathley also scored in 57th.
Clayton’s team finished the L45 category in sixth spot overall with Roche and Leathley joined by Susan Allen.
Chorley were the best placed local club in the senior men’s section with Adam Sciacca spearheading their charge. He was third in the under-20 section in a time of 36mins 30secs which was good enough for 21st overall. He was followed by Ryan Sciacca who’s time of 40mins 4secs saw him finish ninth in the under-20 race and 58th overall.
In the M40 category Chris Balderson headed the Clayton charge with team-mates Colin Shuttleworth, Peter Booth and Neil Worswick helping the club to eighth spot overall.
Clayton also enjoyed a strong day in the M50 category where the team finished sixth overall with Shuttleworth, Booth and David Scott the scoring runners.
There was also a packed programme of junior racing across the day with a host of runners coming close to overall victory.
Matthew Mackay was pipped to victory by just two seconds in the under-11 boys race as the Rossendale Harrier youngster crossed in 7mins 42secs to finish in second spot.
Incredibly, two seconds was also the gap between Grace Handley and victory in the under-15 girls race. The Blackburn Harrier crossed the line in 11mins 34secs to finish second, two places clear of team-mate Elizabeth Greenwood who enjoyed a strong run for fourth place in a time of 11mins 57secs.
Charlotte Waddington (Rossendale Harriers) also claimed a top 10 spot with her time of 12mins 16secs seeing her in eighth overall.
That helped Harriers to fourth overall in the team standings with Sophie Murphy, Eleanor Solomon and Shona Monks also scoring.
Elsewhere in the girls competitions, Orla Holt finished seventh for Rossendale Harriers in the under-11 girls with a time of 8mins 29secs.
Rossendale enjoyed a good day in the juniors with the team finishing second in the under-13 girls section. Corinna Howorth headed the charge in 11th with Sarah Longshaw (14th), Shauna Williamson (17th) and Sarah Goldswain (34th) also putting in strong performances.
The under-17 women’s race saw a field of just 23 athletes with Amelia Wood (Ribble Valley) finishing just 30 seconds off the winning time as she came third. That was one place ahead of Rossendale Harrier Rebecca Flanagan who finished in 17mins 41secs.
Lucy Lennon (Ribble Valley) enjoyed a strong showing for seventh in 18mins 26secs while Chorley’s Katie Minihan came in ninth in a time of 19mins 11secs, just ahead of Rossendale’s Megan Solomon who was 10th.
In the under-20 women’s race Helena Leathley was seventh for Clayton.
Rossendale also featured strongly in the under-13 boys race with the team finishing in third place overall.
That was headed by top 10 finishes for Ethan Radcliffe (8th) and Josh Whitehead (10th) in times of 12mins 2secs and 12mins 9secs respectively. Sandwiched in between the two Harriers was Pendle’s Kai Atkins who finished in ninth place in 12mins 4seccs to help his team to fifth overall.
Pendle fared even better in the under-15 boys race finishing second overall with Matthew Barnes leading the club home in seventh.
Rossendale Harriers and Blackburn Harriers were sixth and seventh respectively in the under-17 men team standings with Matthew Harris the leading finisher of either club in 15th.