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Lancashire Cross Country Championships, Witton Park, Blackburn – Saturday 7th January 2017

The Lancashire Cross Country Championships returned to Witton Park in foggy conditions. The fog persisted for most of the day with the top of the infamous climb up to the Saucer hidden from view. The races are also the trials for the inter counties race with selections made for the Lancashire team to compete at Prestwood Hall, Loughborough on the 11th March.

Preston Harriers` athletes, especially, the juniors, had a wonderful day.

Patrick Dever displayed strong running to win the men’s race over 9.8k in a time of 31.33 and he was thirty seconds clear of 2nd finisher Gary Priestley of Salford Harriers. Daniel Bebbington was a fine 7th and Tiarnan Crorken was 16th and 2nd under 20 in 34.33. Jake Lonsdale was not far behind and was 4th under 20. The Under 13 boys were first placed team being led home by Thomas Barnes in 2nd place with remaining counters Ethan Warren (4th), Gregor Anderson (8th) and Benjamin Box (16th). The Under 13 girls were also first, with all the runners in the top ten and Scarlett Sutton won the race after a close duel with Olivia Leigh of Chorley and they were well clear of the rest of the field.

Benjamin Preddy finished 2nd in the under 15 boys event over 3.8k and despite Mathew Fazakerley being 7th, there were no other runners. There was a complete dominance in the under 17 women’s race with Eleanor Ward and Ella Moulding finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, then Alice Miller 4th and Sophie Rotherham 5th. Nathan Dunn was 2nd in the under 17 men’s race, Will Howard 6th and Byron Sowerby 12th. Highest placed lady finisher was Nichola Jackson in 6th, whilst Marian Hesketh was first vet 60 and Judith Deakin was first vet 70.

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