CLEETHORPES & DISTRICT
Saturday saw Cleethorpes AC's diehard cross-country fraternity tackle the North of England Cross Country Championships at Sherdley Park, St Helens. The park was an excellent setting for the championships to be held and the weather played its part as well. On what was a very long day for the youngsters they all performed remarkably well.
The first race of the day was the Under 17 men. The three men namely Tom Gosney, Fred Hudson & Tom Shaw started their race at the back of the 135 strong field which ended as a very fast race indeed with the winning athlete, running for the Gosforth club, completing the 6km course in 20 minutes 3 seconds. Tom Gosney was the first Cleethorpes AC athlete home in 107th place with a time of 24 minutes 28 seconds. Tom was followed by Fred Hudson who completed the course with a time of 26 minutes 16 seconds to finish in 128th place. The final competitor for Cleethorpes AC in this age group was Tom Shaw who battled hard to finish in 132nd place in a time of 27 minutes 28 seconds.
Left to Right Tom Gosney, Fred Hudson & Tom Shaw
The next race to start was the Under 13 girls and this was down to two young girls who had never seen a field as big as this let alone ran in these championships before.
With Sarah Davey missing through injury Hannah Dobbs and Hayley Strachan carried the flag for the club. They went out to savour the occasion and they certainly conquered their pre-race nerves with Hayley finishing in 91st place with a time of 15 minutes 1 second and Hannah back in 132nd place with a time of 15 minutes 50 seconds. This age group apart from the senior women produced the biggest female field of the day with 175 competitors completing the course of two small laps which totalled to 3km in distance.
Hannah Dobbs (left) and Hayley Strachan
The Under 15 boys were next on the line and it was Liam Clapham and Karl Crampton wearing the blue and Gold Cleethorpes vest. These two, who are both at the bottom of their age group, performed beyond everybody's expectations. Liam collecting a few local scalps on his way to finishing 77th in a time of 14 minutes 53 seconds. He was just over 30 seconds outside a top 30 place. It seems he is peaking just at the right time with English Schools just around the corner. Karl on the other hand had an excellent race in finishing the 4km course in 168th place with a time of 16 minutes 22 seconds in what was with the exception of the senior men the biggest male field of the day with 202 athletes completing the course.
Next was the senior women and Cleethorpes had a poor turnout in which there was only one competitor from the club in Carol Hall who finished the 8km course in 196th place with a time of 47 minutes 16 seconds.
Moving on to the Under 15 girls saw the familiar trio of Louise Yorston, Lisa Holness and Gemma Holmes. These three had a distance of 4 km to cover and it was Louise who was the first Cleethorpes athlete over the line in 45th place with a time of 16 minutes 51 seconds. Louise was
certainly pleased with her race, she is another athlete who seems to be peaking at the right after securing an English Schools place the week before. Lisa was next over the line finishing in 97th place in a time of exactly 18 minutes. Lisa was certainly happier with her performance she commented she felt a lot more at ease. Finally Gemma was over the line in 132nd place with a time of 19 minutes 30 seconds. Gemma did remarkably well to finish the race considering she got cramp in both her legs as she neared the end of the race.
The Under 15 Girls:- Left to Right: Louise Yorston, Gemma Holmes and Lisa Holness
The Under 13 Boys were next on the line with Tom Soady and Royce Coates competing for Cleethorpes. These two like the two Under 13 girls were competing in their first North of England
cross - country championships and it certainly did not faze Tom at all because he produced probably the best performance of the day by a Cleethorpes athlete in finishing the 3km course in 23rd place with a time of 12 minutes 51 seconds. The eventual winner completed the course in 11 minutes 45 seconds. Tom was less than 30 seconds outside a top 10 place, which emphasises what an excellent race he had. Royce on the other hand is still learning in an age group that he is at the bottom end of, but Royce still plugged away in finishing in 137th place with a time of 17 minutes 37 seconds.
Royce Coates (Left) and Tom Soady
Unfortunately for Cleethorpes there was no athletes competing in the Under 17 women's race but there was in the Senior men. Again this was a poor showing from the seniors with only two competitors. Gary Coulam was the first to complete the 12 km course in 252nd place with a time of 51 minutes 35 seconds and Ade Roach finishing in 322nd place with a time of 53 minutes 2 seconds.
Lauren Harpham was the only Cleethorpes AC athlete in the Under 20 women's race over 6km.
Lauren was certainly nervous but looking forward to her race, when the weather started to change with a little hailstorm and the wind was starting to get stronger. By now the course had become a quagmire in places after the senior mens race, which had a field of nearly 700, had cut up the course. The organisers had to alter the course slightly where it had become boggy. This did not deter Lauren who went on to finish in 39th place with a time of 28 minutes 41 seconds. At the end of the race she had a smile from ear to ear because she was very pleased with her performance.
Finally, the last race of the day was the Under 20 men in which James Hudson was competing.
By the time this race started it had become a lot colder and overcast and James had been sitting around now for 5 hours and he performed well under the circumstances in finishing the 8km course in 78th place with a time of 37 minutes 2 seconds. The day had certainly took its toll on James with the 7am start. All round it had been a excellent day for everyone who competed