Sefton Park is one of the staple winter events in the clubs individual calendar but also features heavily in the northwest and national calendars too attracting top level stars and large media attention, and whilst the club would and will always celebrate the individual achievements, we must celebrate our biggest ever representation across all age groups including our largest ever senior ladies attendance in a single cross country race, a sign of the club heading in the right direction on all fronts and all age groups.
All placings below will show as following (Time, Overall position, Midlancs XC position)
On a chilly and damp morning the u11 boys opened the days racing at 10:45 for the 2km route where Daniel Liggott (7:41, 29th, 9) was the clubs first finisher quickly followed by Chris Hawkins (7:42, 31st, 11th), Tom Henderson (7:50, 39th, 14th), Daniel Berry (8:29, 77th, 30th), Leonard Benson (8:47, 96th, 39th) and Benjie Steele (8:49, 99th, 41st) to take 3rd place of 21 teams in the midlancs league, a fantastic achievement that each of the boys should be greatly proud of and a confidence in what can be achieved with alot of the winter season still ahead of us. Promptly followed at 10:55 by the u11s girls where Mina Griffin (09:09, 59th, 24th) was joined by Libby Cocker (10:43, 108th, 49th) and Erin Hacking (11:04, 111th, 51st) to take 9th in the mid lancs division of 22 teams.
In the u13s, the boys contingent opened the competition for biggest category turnout for an LPS team with 12 runners. Issac Dickinson (12:10, 39th, 18th) leading home the mud splattered white vest contingent closely followed by Myles Fraser (12:18, 47th, 21st), Toby Farrer (13:19, 91st, 49th), Charlie Rotherham (13:26, 96th, 51st), Benjamin Turner-Bone (13:26, 97th, 52nd), Ethan Tinsley (13:49, 102nd, 54th), Jonathan Shaw (13:51, 104th, 55th), Matthew Carol (14:14, 109th, 60th), Isaac Burford (14:19, 111th, 61st), Harry Bennett (14:26, 114th, 63rd), James Kearsley (14:41, 117th, 65th) and Charlie Steele (17:42, 130th, 75th) taking 7th team from 19. The 13 girls showed their equally burgeoning ranks with 11 mud laden finishers. Iris Davidson (13:08, 44th, 10th) edged ahead late on from Sarah Yates (13:18, 49th, 12th) followed by Erin Frost (13:45, 68th, 23rd), Suzanna Owens (13:51, 71st, 26th), Megan Lloyd (14:07, 88th, 34th), Anna Yates (14:36, 104th, 46th), Eve Hannaway (14:49, 115th, 55th), Olwyn Benson (15:05, 119th, 58th), Eve Maund (15:08, 121st, 59th), Hannah Williamson (15:12, 123rd, 61st) and Jessica Lowe (15:15, 124th, 62nd) to finish 4th Team from 21 and maintaining their position at the top of the midlancs age group table. A phenomenal turn out and team unity on display from all of the u13s with big applause also to be given to the coaching team.
Over to the u15s, another large turnout in the boys race where Andrew Storch (10:42, 29th, 6th) ran superbly in a packed field whilst being chased home by Michael Henderson (10:54, 42nd, 8th), Oscar Davidson (11:03, 50th, 10th), Gideon Lucas (11:09, 56th, 13th), Stanley Benson (11:23, 73rd, 21st), Nicholas Usher (11:41, 92nd, 32nd), Tom Liggett (12:.5, 116th, 44th), Conrad Lucas (12:32, 13oth, 51st), Daniel Dewhurst (12:44, 135th, 54th), Oliver Farrer (13:27, 146th, 61st) and Daniel Rathbone (14:52, 151st, 66th) to edge out a strong Preston squad to finish 1st of 15 teams. In the u15 girls Charlotte Kearsley (13:45, 113th, 36th) lead home from Chloe Bousfield (14:17, 130th, 45th), Emily Williamson (14:51, 141st, 52nd) and Katelyn Swift (17:22, 151st, 58th) to finish 9th team form 15.
By now the mud was starting to thicken and runners were being found to slow dramatically in certain spots of the course. This was notably seen with the u17s where strong and promising talent attended from country wide to create an enthralling race which will undoubtedly have put some of the attendees onto the ‘ones to watch’ list for the coming years. Oliver Sutcliffe (20:36, 86th, 14th) maintained his impressive winter season with Mark Roberts (21:02, 104th, 23rd), Jake Dickinson (21:17, 110th, 26th), Thomas Corcoran (21:27, 116th, 31st), Se Loughlin (21:31, 118th, 33rd), Jared Nicholls (22:18, 128th, 39th), Michael Kain (23:46, 134th, 43rd) and Daniel Howells (23:56, 135th, 44th) in support to take home 6th team from 15. In the u17 girls, Jenny Williamson (20:00, 85th, 21st) lead home the LPS contingent including Faye Hannaway (20:57, 91st, 23rd), Phoebe Lucas (21:29, 92nd, 24th) and Bethany Swift (33:35, 97th, 29th) to take 4th of 12 teams.
Ross Harrison was the solo representative in the u20s and despite having struggled with a virus in the lead up, fought valiantly to finish in 23:02, 64th overall and dipping on the line to earn Silver and 2nd place within the mid lancs ranks.
The senior ladies, lead by the formidable duo of Kirsty Longley (30:11, 24th, 2nd) in fine form following the win at Aintree Masters, chased home fellow international Jess Judd to take 2nd place in the midlancs, soon followed by Rosie Johnson (31:45, 57th, 4th), Martine Lucas (37:04, 109th, 18th), Rachel Yates (38:38, 123rd, 28th), Joanna Durkin (39:19, 140th, 38th), Lynn Rees (40:54, 169th, 57th), Laura Purdy (42:30, 195th, 79th), Heather Banner (43:40, 215th, 95th), Kirsty Mackenzie (44:11, 221st, 101st) and Karyn Hannaway (48:23, 272nd, 135th). The ladies dominated to take 1st team in both the division ranks and mid lancs overall (including a B Team position of 14th from 53 teams), 2nd team in vet35s and 9th team in the vet45s, a phenomenal turnout and performance by each.
The mens race ended the day featuring over 600 athletes. Tony Obrien (35:17, 105th, 8th, 3rd) led the 11 strong squad home closely followed by Chris Maher (35:53, 120th, 15th, 7th), Mike Gall (41:56, 271st, 94th, 61st), Lee Anderton (44:52, 363rd, 157th, 88th), Chris Pedder (45:21, 378th, 167th, 96th), Steve Lennon (46:03, 403rd, 178th, 108th), John Dickinson (46:10, 406th, 180th, 110th), Mark Hudson (46:38, 420th, 190th, 116th), Aiden Read (46:51, 425th, 194th, 115th), Dan Gilbody (50:38, 515th, 244th, 157th) and Guy Turnbull (51:53, 532nd, 254th, 166th) to take 15th team in the mid lancs, 3rd in the division ranks, Tony Obrien took silver in the vet40s leading a vet40 team to 9th and the vet50 team taking 10th. Additionally, the mens race also featured the Liverpool & District League in which the men finished 10th team (placings denoted in bold), in which Tony Obrien took bronze overall including first vet45.
Report By Dan Gilbody
Photos: Via Adrian Royle