Manchester Area Cross Country League, February 11th, Sherdley Park, St Helens.

Stephen Green Reports.

Sophie Tarver, and John Gilbert, made light work of the undulating course at Sherdley Park. 

England XC International Tarver was quickly into pole position with only mountain International Ruth Jones for company on the first long lap, enjoying a 100m lead by the half-way mark.

The Wirral runner was able to extend her advantage over Jones to 42 seconds by the tape. Abigail Howarth moved steadily through the field into third, 20 seconds adrift. Lucy Armitage, of Sale, in sixth, scored her third win of the U20 section.

V40 Gilbert, powered away in the early stages and held a 40m lead by the end of the first of three challenging laps.

The Chorlton athlete continued to work hard on the forgiving downhills and boggy flat sections to enjoy a twenty second margin of victory over Nicholas Barry, with fellow Chorlton runner Peter Taylor-Bray easing into third, just four seconds down. Stockport’s Henry Pickard, in sixteenth place, was the first U20 home.

Sale Harriers continued their imperious form in taking both men’s and women’s team wins.

Trafford’s Freya Griffiths scored a runaway U17 win, almost a minute to the good from Nia Griffiths, with Emma Johnson third. Fellow Trafford athlete Charlie Stanway was a similar distance ahead of Jack Heap, with Joseph Deighton, third.

In the U15 races Esme Heavey of Warrington eased around 80m clear of Bailey Hughes, who was followed home by fellow Liverpool Harrier Valerie Teare. Jack Marwood of Warrington, edged narrowly away from Pio Aron, who together with third placed Finlay Hutchinson led a Trafford quartet home.

Oonagh McManus of Sale, came home around 100m clear of Isla Pastor, who shared the same time as Caitlin Wetters in the U13 girls section, whilst Adrian White of Trafford pulled six seconds clear of William Delamere and Jack Ireland in the boys’ race.

Owen Oswick and Eve Beddow, both of Wirral AC, took top honours in the U11 section.