Athletes hit the national ranks

Brent Starkie BWFAC

Brent Starkie BWFAC

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Snowmelt had created a mudlark’s paradise at Blackburn’s Witton Park this weekend, where athletes from across Lancashire convened for the Lancashire Cross-Country Championships.

Once again, Blackpool Wyre and Fylde was well represented in the junior events with many distinguished performances.

Molly Scarr, Deni Impett, Fiona Hockey and Bethany Everson won the girls’ Under-13 gold medal by a whisker from Preston Harriers, while Jake Lonsdale took the individual silver in the boys’ race.

Amelia Beaman added the championship title to her list of credits, striding through the mud well ahead of Preston’s Florie McLeish. Molly Betmead was fourth, Alsiha Johnson seventh and Jodie Ferguson ninth, for yet another gold medal placing.

In the Under-17 events, Bianca Pederson was third and Samantha Smith eighth, while Daniel Quarmby was eighth and Adam Weightman 13th.

In the senior events, Caroline Betmead returned to competition, finishing fifth and leading the team to second overall.

In the men’s events, Luke Berry was fifth in the Under-20 race, but the club could not muster a men’s team.

The Garstang 10k attracted a large entry. Bev Wright was 65th in 41mins 51secs – a little below recent times over this very tough course.

Five Blackpool Wyre and Fylde senior athletes made the Top 20 national rankings for their respective events in 2010.

British shotputt record holder Carl Myerscough once again topped the UK lists with a season’s best throw of 20.44m. Carl also won discus bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, with a throw of 60.64m.

Blackpool’s other bronze medallist at Delhi, Freckleton’s Max Eaves, was ranked fourth in the pole vault, with his personal best clearance of 5.40m. Loughborough student, Laurie Needham also made the pole vault rankings in 30th, with a clearance of 4.75m – a tribute to his father Dave, who coaches the pole vault at Stanley Park.

Probably the hardest-earned national ranking by any local athlete was Stuart Robinson’s 29th position in the senior men’s marathon for his excellent time of 2.24.42.

Mother-of-two Nia Rutter ranked 33rd in the senior women’s triple jump, with 11.78m. and Brent Starkie earned a well-deserved top 50 ranking in the 400m.

In the junior ranks, Bethany Everson reached 14th in the Under-13 girl’s high jump with a clearance of 1.46m. Bethany also claimed 20th position in the pentathlon, with 1,962 points.

Finally, hammer thrower Rebecca Todd reached 20th place in the Under-15 category, with a distance of 32.52m.