Saturday, 3rd December 2016
War paint/go faster stripes/extending club colours – call them what you will, the facial additions to Bolton’s squad across all the age-groups certainly enhanced the fun at the business end of the cross country season, with good performances to match.
Rossendale’s Marl Pits saw the U11 boys lead the way for the juniors, with the eleven representatives brought home by Harvey Kenny; Lily Philbin was again the girls’ first counter. Emily Petch and Millie Bracey worked together in the U13 Girls, whilst Lewis Aldred showed determination for the U15s. Laura Lombard continued her whirlwind start to competitive running, finishing third, whilst Maya Erzan-Essien and Rachel Bailey could only be separated by two seconds for the U17s. For the men, U20 Declan Toomey showed great improvement in just a fortnight for seventh overall (and BUH&AC’s second counter) with good performances from Chairperson Scott Whittle (a track hurdler by discipline), Andrew Gallagher (completing his first XC) and David Tomlinson – the oldest competitor in the race!
In the series’ overall individual standings, Karl Darcy was just six seconds from taking the Senior Men’s title – finishing second to Rossendale’s U20 Callum Davidson having pushed him all the way in this decider. Nonetheless, Darcy’s improvement from 2015’s sixth place is a fantastic achievement. John Knowles, having already won his M45 category, eclipsed Blackburn’s M40 Chris Davies by 2 points to retain his overall Veterans’ title – simply superb! Ken Fowler first raced in the Red Rose XC series in 1978; 38 years later, he collected his first title – the M60 prize by 2 points. For the juniors, U17 Maya Erzan-Essien collected silver, whilst three U11s recorded Top 10 positions in competitive fields – Jack Kingdon (5), Harvey Kenny (7) and Lily Philbin (4=).
The Blue Vests’ senior team rankings were equally encouraging given the number of injuries to seasoned runners over this terrain. The men’s 280 points collected silver behind Blackburn’s 225. The women matched the result as their 115 points collected silver behind Bury’s 75; given the progress of the strong group of U17s and U20s, the prospects for 2017 are obvious.
U11 Boys – 2 Team 21 pts
Harvey Kenny 6:53; Jack Kingdon 6:57; Harry Aldred 7:02; Herbie Kay 7:24; Oliver McNulty 7:40; Vincent Worcester 7:41; Josh Bentley-Hughes 7:50; Matthew Wilkinson 8:10; Sam Philbin 8:21; Marcus Valentine 8:40; Alexander Stokes 8:47
U11 Girls – 3 Team 38 pts
Lily Philbin 7:29; Isobel Hall 7:37; Hannah Swales 8:03; Poppy Dunne 8:24; Idowu Taiwo 8:33; Cloe Bentley-Hughes 9:12
U13 Boys – 6 Team 63 pts
Ben Pickford 9:32; Laurence Britton 9:58; Ben Dewhurst 12:35
Emily Petch 12:13; Millie Bracey 12:17
U15 Boys – 4 Team 39 pts
Lewis Aldred 14:45; Adam Akik 15:34; Cameron Donnelly 16:22
U15 Girls – 3 Team 35 pts
Madeleine Erzan-Essien 17:40; Molly Philbin 18:04; Francesca Fordham 18:49
U17 Girls – 2 Team 16 pts
Maya Erzan-Essien 23:21; Rachel Bailey 23:23; Ellie Forrest 30:16
Senior Women – 2 Team 45 pts
Laura Lombard 20:52; Olivia Kearney 23:48; Mercedes Mercer 23:53; Krystina Dewhurst 35:33
Senior Men – 1 Team 85 pts
Karl Darcy 28:57; Declan Toomey 30:09; John Knowles 30:38; Matthew Walker 30:50; Frazer Jardine 31:32; Rhys Francis 34:12; Chris Pickford 36:18; Stephen Bonney 36:46; Craig Kenny 36:57; Dean Johnson 37:28; Nick Howarth 37:42; Scott Whittle 38:33; Andrew Gallagher 40:23; Paul Philbin 41:01; Ken Fowler 41:03; Lee Petch 46:15; David Tomlinson 55:37