Blackpool Wyre and Fylde athletes to the fore in cross country final

The joint Under-15 boys and Under-17 womens race featuring James Smith, Danielle Whipp (523) and Max Swarbrick (2047)
The joint Under-15 boys and Under-17 womens race featuring James Smith, Danielle Whipp (523) and Max Swarbrick (2047)
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The staging of the final Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture of the season had been in doubt due to the atrocious weather last week.

The staging of the final Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture of the season had been in doubt due to the atrocious weather last week.

However, the decision to go ahead at the GSK Sports and Social Club in Ulverston proved to be the correct one as, despite a chilly wind, conditions were good, with a firm icourse and virtually no mud.

The first event was the Under-11 girls race over a tough, undulating 2.2K course.

The Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde AC team went into the race lying in first place in the league.

However, with Burnley just one point behind in second and Blackburn a close third, both teams had the opportunity to overtake BWFAC for the league title.

The BWFAC girls, all aware of what was at stake, gave their all and produced an excellent team performance with Gracie Scott (eighth, 9:17), Grace Oates (10th, 9:30), Holly Tickle (15th, 9:43) and Louisa Bradburn (35th, 10:46) finishing first.

They were five points ahead of Kendal-Helm Composite, with Burnley in third and Blackburn back in fifth.

At the other end of the junior age scale, the BWFAC Under-17 men’s team turned out for the final race over 6.9K, despite having already secured the Championship at the previous meeting.

Jake Dudley was dominant, completing the course first in an impressive 23:07, with Danny Fletcher second in 24:56, Jack Tickle third in 25:09 and Joe Lund fifth in 25:32.

This also secured the individual gold, silver and bronzes for Dudley, Fletcher and Tickle.

However, in the other age categories, BWFAC have not been able to field full teams on the requisite four occasions.

At Ulverston, Forest Leah finished 10th (8:35) in the Under-11 boys’ race over 2.2K, while Grace Blincow was 32nd (12:02) in the Under-13 girls’ competition over 2.6K.

Lucy Tickle competed in the Under-15 girls’ race and finished the 2.8K course in 11:26 for sixth place.

In the combined Under-17 women’s and Under-15 boys’ race over 4.4K, Danielle Whipp, in her best race of the Mid Lancs season, finished second (17:51), just two seconds behind Finty Royle of Chorley.

This was a great confidence boost for her as she prepares for the Inter Counties Championship this coming Saturday.

Max Swarbrick was 16th (18:09) and James Smith was 19th (19:05) in the Under-15 boys’ race.

Finally, at the Parkview junior parkrun in Lytham, Otis Leah was second in a PB of 8:17, while Aimee Harling was eighth and second girl in 9:50.