The classy Cross Challenge series of events turned up once more at Sefton Park with, for Senior athletes, the added spice of possible selection for the GB team that will compete shortly in the European Championships in the Netherlands. The eyes of the Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton contingent were very much on the Under 20 Women`s race over 4.4K as Tiffany Penfold was deemed an outside chance of springing a surprise or two. This was more than a promise as she confidently took the lead from some of the country`s most talented athletes attracted to Liverpool for the selection business.
At the end of the first lap she was still running strongly but some of the perhaps more experienced women were closing her down. Battling every potential over-taker she nevertheless had to concede ground and finished a highly creditable sixth but only just over half a minute adrift of the leader. This performance was immediately noted by the more knowledgeable in the athletics fraternity.
Her fate now lay in the hands of the selectors and it was an overjoyed Tiff who took the call on the following training night to hear she would be on the plane to Amsterdam to represent her country in the European Championships CC in Tilburg. A magnificent reward for her dedication and the support of her coach Mark Bleasdale plus her training mates in the vibrant endurance squad at Edge Hill University.
Also at Sefton Park Kirsty Longley, fresh from leading home a victorious England team in the recent Masters International, showed her usual drive and passion in finishing 40th in the highly competitive Senior Women`s race over 8.1K. Not far away in 50th spot was Rosie Johnson demonstrating a return to the exciting form she showed a year or two ago. In the Junior Men`s race Ross Harrison placed 100, Joe Niven 133 and Tom Corlett 149.
Included in the Sefton Park races was the Mid Lancs League and LPS members turned out in significant numbers to celebrate the occasion. At the bottom of the age groupings at Under 11 Sarah Yates enjoyed her first serious outing finishing overall 11th and 5th in the Mid-Lancs. A terrific result. Together with Kate Nicholson (11) and Eve Hannaway (28) they gathered in fifth team spot. At U13 the club finished 9th led in by Chloe Bousfield (40). At U15 Kate Sutcliffe (33) headed the squad who were 10th team. The club was incomplete at U17 but Jennifer Williamson (10) ran well.
On the male side there were some encouraging results. Tony Farrer (27) was best individual at U11. At U13 LPS were fifth team, James Read (18), Isaac Dickinson (26), James Gardner (30) plus 5 others. The U15 Boys went even better fielding no fewer than eleven runners and taking 4th team slot with Jake Dickinson (7), Andrew Storch (10) and Max Roberts (13) leading. The U17 Men also impressed in fourth led by Oliver Sutcliffe (11) with Fletcher Foster (18) and Thomas Corcoran (21).
The Senior Men showed some decent packing finishing 8th in the Mid-Lancs but results from their Liverpool and District League match are not yet to hand to confirm whether the club can hang on to second overall.