ATHLETICS: YOUNGSTERS braved icy winds and torrential rain to celebrate success at Whitby Park on Saturday.
A good turn-out of junior distance runners participated in the first round of the West Cheshire AC Open Junior Cross Country Series event at Ellesmere Port.
James Ellis, of host club West Cheshire AC, toasted a clear-cut victory in the Under-11 boys race, posting a time of six minutes 59 seconds for success.
He beat second-placed Neil Oldham, of Bishop Wilson School, who clocked 7:40, and third-placed Michael Mountford, of Neston Primary, in 8:28.
Katie Gardner, of Crewe and Nantwich AC, used every ounce of energy to hang on for victory in the U11 girls race.
She finished the one mile course in a time of 7:38, just one second clear of second-placed Danielle Bentley, of West Cheshire AC. Gemma Mayled, of West Cheshire AC, finished third in 7:47.
Tom Lowndes, of West Cheshire AC, collected a gold medal after his victory in the U13 boys event, having clocked 10:44.
He finished clear of runner-up, Michael Hopwood (Deeside AC), who posted 11:03, and Callum Freeman, of West Cheshire AC, finished third in 11:13.
Kerry Riley of West Cheshire AC won the U13 girls race in a time of 10:45, ahead of second-placed Ellie Jones (Deeside AC) in 10:59, and bronze medallist, Rebecca Grimes of West Cheshire AC, in 11:06.
Ricky Challinor, of Deeside AC, won the U15 boys race in 13:21, from runner-up, Thomas Justice of West Cheshire AC, who clocked 15:01.
Kirsty Young, of Halton and Frodsham AC, clinched the U15 girls race title in a time of 14:22, ahead of runner-up, Gemma Lawlor (Upton Hall) in 14:36 and third-placed Kelly Money (West Cheshire AC) in 15:03.
The next West Cheshire AC Open Cross Country Series fixture will be held at Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port, on Saturday, December 13 (10am start first race). FIXTURES this weekend include the latest round of the North Staffs Cross Country League, on Saturday, and the Liverpool and District Cross Country League fixture, at Stadt Moers Park, Liverpool, also on Saturday. ENTRIES are now being accepted for the Chester Round The Walls Races to be held on Boxing Day from Chester Racecourse (11am start). Further details from Brian Hastings on (01244) 311908. FRIDAY night's annual meeting held at Bishops High School, Chester, saw Dennis Wall, Dan Gilroy, and Graham Jenkins elected chairman, secretary, and treasurer, respectively. ANY West Cheshire AC member wanting to compete in the Cheshire County AA Cross Country Championships, at Winsford, on Saturday, January 3 and/or the North of England AA Cross Country Championships, at Sherdley Park, St Helens, on Saturday, January 24, should contact either Dennis Wall on (0151) 201-1254, or Mike Lamb, on (0151) 355-2520, as soon as possible. FURTHER details about West Cheshire AC can be obtained from Dennis Wall on (0151) 201-1254 (evenings).