Northern 12&6-Stage Relays

Saturday, 25th March 2017

Bolton’s recent run of strong showings in the Northern Athletics’ 12-Stage road relays continued with an overall 13th place which, although one place lower than last year, still represented an improvement considering there were 19 more starting teams (69). The women’s showing in the 6-Stage was equally significant – a sterling SEVENTH of the 59 starters. That the men’s squad also managed to field a full B Team is surely evidence that the club is moving in the right direction.

The venue was back in the North West at Blackpool following 2016’s visit to Sunderland, though there were a few ‘cobwebs to be blown away’ for those that had attended the previous evening’s Awards Presentation! Team Manager Dave Shaw assigned Jonny Kay to the starting ‘long’ leg again before handing over to international star Tom Lancashire, who duly recorded the fastest ‘short’ leg by half a minute and lift the team to third position. The team retained a top ten position until the final two legs, with excellent debuts at this senior level from the U20 trio of Declan Toomey, Rhys Francis and Michael Rushton. Bolton edged CLGP rivals Horwich into 14th, with Leigh (21) and Burnden also behind.  Mark Wolstencroft led off for the B team, with Paul Trainor and Shaun O’Dwyer clocking the quickest long and short legs respectively. From 59th, the team gradually improved over the legs, edging into the top 50 on the penultimate, before 51st was settled upon.

The women’s team also saw three U20s debut at this level, alongside seniors Catherine O’Dwyer and Nicky Cartridge, whose quality shone through as they posted the 12th and 14th quickest times of the 112 participants on the ‘long’ leg. Their top ten position is the finest return this century and will only improve in the coming years.

Both results secured comfortable qualification for the Nationals in Birmingham in a fortnight, where it is hoped a strong showing can be made. Salford Harriers & AC (4:09:16) retained the men’s title ahead of Liverpool by just 8 seconds, whilst Rotherham deposed reigning champs Leeds in the women’s 6-stage event (2:24:11).

Earlier, in the U15’s 5K Road Race Champs over the same ‘short’ course, Molly Philbin clocked 21:06 for a creditable 16th.

Bolton United Harriers & AC ‘A’ – 4:27:31 – 13th
Jonothan Kay (12) 30:12
Tom Lancashire (3) 14:49
Karl Darcy (3) 30:42
Frazer Jardine (5) 16:55
Tommy Harrison (7) 31:55
Declan Toomey (7) 17:30
John Knowles (8) 32:11
Dom Gavin (10) 18:07
Chris Povey (10) 18:27
Andrew Crickmore (10) 18:34
Rhys Francis (11) 18:24
Michael Rushton (13) 19:45

Bolton United Harriers & AC ‘B’ – 5:10:58 – 51st
Mark Wolstencroft (59) 36:16
Adrian Costello (61) 21:43
Stephen Bonney (57) 36:38
Craig Kenny (56) 19:53
Paul Trainor (54) 35:31
Chris Pickford (54) 19:30
Daryl Bentley (55) 38:23
Shaun O’Dwyer (53) 18:54
Tom Lucas (52) 19:52
Pete Kearney (50) 20:03
Nick Howarth (48) 21:26
Paul Turner (51) 22:49

Bolton United Harriers & AC – 2:38:16 – 7th
Nicola Cartridge (8) 36:22
Katie Oakley (7) 20:14
Rebecca Kay (7) 20:34
Catherine O’Dwyer (6) 36:20
Olivia Kearney (7) 22:06
Mercedes Mercer (7) 22:40

Results (12-Stage)
Results (6-Stage)
Results (U15)