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Heyes takes the season opener

- 28th Oct 2017
Manchester league under 13’s team winners:  Thomas Manton, Finlay Mayoh, Jack Ca

Manchester league under 13’s team winners: Thomas Manton, Finlay Mayoh, Jack Catterall

Where Jack Morris left off from last season, so a senior Stockport athlete has put their marker down yet again in the highly competitive Manchester and district cross country league and this was in the form of British indoor 3,000 metre champion Andy Heyes who took the event by the scruff of the neck for a fine victory (32:32) in an exhibition of front running.

Heyes is first claim for Hallamshire and competes second claim for Stockport in this league and also has enjoyed bronze and silver medals in the English cross country championships in 2014 and 2015 respectively so has the required pedigree to excel in this most tough of cross country competitions in the Manchester area.

On an unusually firm course at Heaton Park he gave second placed Joe Steward of East Cheshire Harriers no chance to catch him with Steward recording a finish time half a minute behind in 33:09 and with over 400 competitors towing the start line it was one of the largest fields ever assembled within this league competition.

At junior level, Stockport’s under 13 boy’s team competed with distinction and made “easy meat” of all the opposing teams and they did the local club proud with their efforts which will bode well for the second league meeting next month.

The eventual under 13’s race winner was Thomas Manton who treated himself to a twenty second margin in a highly competitive event and he was well supported by the fifth finish of club mate Jack Caterall and just one place behind and six seconds later, Finley Mayoh closed the Stockport account to give the trio an easy team victory against the other fifteen competing club teams.

The girls under 15’s did likewise and took the team victory with 13 points to second placed Sale Harriers Manchester who posted a score of 18 but in the individual results Sale’s Lara Crawford had it all her own way and was a runaway winner in 19 minutes and 59 seconds to second placed Stockport competitor Alice Davies who stopped the clock in a creditable 21 minutes and 8 seconds.

Close further packing by her team mates consisting of Amy West (3rd – 21:10) and Ellie Parkman (8th – 22:00) made sure of the team victory for Stockport but the size of the victory was only five points so there will be all to play for at the next match which takes place at Boggart hole clough on Saturday, 11th November and as it’s name may suggest, this will be the course with the most mud during this five match cross country league season.

Cross country events continued for the younger end of the age spectrum at the second of the Harriers’ sponsored primary schools cross country leagues at a sunny and for once, firm footing course around the top of Woodbank park and Pownall green school continued to be headed up by year 5/6 competitor Freya Murdoch who took a commanding lead of over 100 metres.

Murdoch who is at home on cross country as she is on trail events made sure of her second win with the other medal positions resulting in the same athletes as the first event being a well earned second place for Sophie Ellwood (Fairway school) and Saffron Meade (Great Moor junior school) taking the bronze medal position.

Not so for the boys years 5/6 with a swap about for the individual honours with Will Bailey (Buxworth school) taking his event ahead of Josh Garrone of Vernon park in second place, so it’s neck and neck and all set for an intriguing third outing taking place on November 25th with individual honours even at the moment.

At the younger age group in years 3 and 4, Imogen Hill made it a second win out of two events representing High lane school whilst Eloise Nickson of Lady barn took the silver medal and for the boys’ equivalent event, Isaac Reed (Rose Hill) saw off the opposition by a good 100 metres to take the winner’s honours for a second time but for 2nd and 3rd positions it was as close as you could call between Sam Oldroyd (2nd - Lady brook) and Bobby Tomlinson of Lacy green who had to settle for the bronze medal which was surely the sprint of the day.