ATHLETICS: SEVERAL West Cheshire AC members tasted cross-country race success at the weekend.
The Chester and Ellesmere Port-based club's open junior series of races came to a conclusion at Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port.
Rebecca Grimes, Alan Littler and Kelly Money all posted victories for the club. Rebecca led from start to finish in the Under 13 girls' race in a time of 10 minutes 42 seconds for the one-and-a-half-mile course, ahead of team-mate Lauren Money, who clocked 11 minutes 8 seconds.
The overall U13 girls' winner was Kerry Riley, who was absent due to a Cheshire call-up to the Inter-Counties Championships, at Nottingham.
Rebecca Grimes finished second overall at Whitby Park, and West Cheshire AC team-mate Ruth Pritchard finished third.
Alan Littler won the U13 boys' race in a time of 11:23, from Wrexham AC member Tom Wynne who clocked 11:54.
The overall U13 boys' winner was Tom Lowndes, who was also on county duty at Nottingham. He finished ahead of Alan Littler and Michael Heighway, second and third respectively in the series of races.
And Kelly Money warmed up for her appearance this weekend at the English Schools' Cross-Country Championships at Maidstone, Kent, by winning the U15 girls' race in 14:31.
Kelly secured the overall gold medal, ahead of runner-up Kirsty Young of Halton and
Frodsham, and Heather Heighway (West Cheshire AC) finished third.
West Cheshire AC's Thomas Justice finished runner-up in the U15 boys' race in 14:5, more than two minutes adrift of eventual winner Harry Harper, of Liverpool Harriers, who posted 12:10.
Thomas won the overall gold medal after the series, from second-placed Ricky Challinor (Deeside AC).
Neil Oldham won the overall gold medal prize, from second-placed Michael Mountford and Matthew Stewart, from St Winefride's, was third.
Danielle Bentley and Gemma Mayled, both from West Cheshire AC, finished second and third respectively in the U11 girls' race with times of 7:14 and 7:22.
Katie Gardner won the overall title, Danielle Bentley and Gemma Mayled. Shell public affairs manager Ed Brady launched a sponsorship deal with West Cheshire AC chairman Dennis Wall at the Stanlow complex, Ellesmere Port, on Tuesday.
The Chester Half Marathon will benefit on May 23, as well as other events including the Round the Walls races on Boxing Day. Fixtures tomorrow include the English Schools' Cross-Country Championships at Maidstone, Kent, and the Ellesmere Port and Neston Primary Schools' Cross-Country Races, at John Street, Ellesmere Port (10am start).
The third and final round of the Cheshire Cross-Country League takes place at Macclesfield on Sunday (12.30pm start).
The next West Cheshire AC committee meeting will be on Tuesday, March 23 (7pm start).
Entries are now being accepted for West Cheshire's open indoor high jump and shot competitions at Stanney High School Sportshall, Ellesmere Port, on Sunday, April 4. All age groups, from under 13 boys and girls, to senior men and ladies, are being catered for, and entry is on the day.
West Cheshire AC are organising the Chester Spring Five-Miles Road Race on Tuesday, April 6 (7pm start), from Cheshire County Sports Club, Upton. Entries are being accepted by Richard Batterham, Ranelagh, School Lane, Guilden Sutton, Chester CH3 7ET. Steve Hammond was the leading Tattenhall runner in the Cloud Nine hill race at Congleton in 25th place in 65:44 from Sarah Hammond, fifth lady and 66th overall in 70:47, Greg Berti, 105th in 75:18, and Caroline Howard.
Tattenhall Runners host the Christleton 5k race on Friday, May 14 and entry forms are available from Christleton High School. Two Helsby RC members competed in the Cloud Nine fell race, Andy Smith finishing 114th in 1:16:02, Steph Charman 213rd in 1:32:44. Wirral AC's women's team excelled again in the Borders Road Running League, winning by a margin of over 40 points, ahead of Buckley.
Helen Lawrence, making her first appearance in the league this season, took the honours, winning the race ahead of runner-up Caroline McIlroy, who maintains the overall lead
This fifth-round race was hosted by Helsby over six miles. Helen finished 37th in the race overall, in 36:34, and Caroline was 43rd overall, just 16 seconds behind Helen.
Third counter was Amanda Hewitt who was fifth woman in 38:56. She finished first in the LV40 category and is in a good position to win this award at the end of the series.
Paula Cooper was fourth counter in ninth place and missing out on the count in 11th place was Anne Rosbottom.
The senior men's team were fifth and dropped a place to overall fourth. The first two counters for Wirral AC came ninth and 12th. Leading the team home was Des McIver in 34:23, with Eain Robinson 14 seconds and two places behind.
Next to count was Mark Hulmston in 30th place, with Keith Simpson 38th and Tony McDevitt in 40th place.
The next race will be hosted by Wirral AC at Hoylake. There was representation from Wirral AC at the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Champion-ships in Nottingham with members of the club running in the Merseyside County colours.
Best finish from a Wirral athlete was again provided by Helen Lawrence who, in the women's 8k race, finished 13th and first for Merseyside in 28:59. Caroline McIlroy was 65th, making it a third counter for the county team, in 31:05. Amanda Hewitt was 158th in 32:58.