Harriers trio take fell county titles
ATHLETICS STEVE DUXBURY THE Lancashire Country Fell Championships took place on Saturday as part of the Pendle Fell races, from Barley where several Harriers won medals and county titles went to Evie Taylor, Callum Davidson and veteran Ken Taylor.
There were races for U9s upwards and Rossendale’s first medals of the day went to Lily Edmondson and Elsie Haygarth who won Silver and Bronze in the U11s race after finishing 11th and 12th in the 44 strong field.
Each junior age group used the same out and back route from Barley village starting with a sharp grassy climb but ascending progressively higher up Pendle for the older athletes.
In the U13s race Joe Ormrod couldn’t get on terms with Barlick’s Jacob Reedlay but he should be pleased with his second place and Silver medal after just over 15 minutes of racing.
Evie Taylor went one better as she stormed to victory to take Gold with over a minute to spare over her nearest rival, a very impressive performance especially considering she finished in fourth place overall.
The U15s had another 50 metres of climbing to complete in their race as the weather turned wet and windy but there was another success for Rossendale’s Joe Hopley who was unlucky to miss out on the Silver medal as he trailed Barlick’s Jack Villiers by just seven seconds at the finish. Jack Smith also ran and matched his brother Billy’s ninth place in the U13 race.
In the U17s race Lancashire cross country champion Joel Taylor was looking to add the Fell title to his collection but he couldn’t catch Lancaster & Morecambe’s Matthew Knowles after a tussle on the uphill section.
Kurtis Mitton took a deserved Bronze medal for the Harriers and Lauryn Gregg finished as first female, although she doesn’t qualify for the county. Lily Haygarth also took Bronze.
The senior course involves a climb to within sight of the summit, descending approximately 100 metres to the base of the steep east face of Pendle before ascending to the summit trig point at 577 metres.
Callum Davidson was one of the pre race favourites but injuries had curtailed his recent fell racing and he had to settle for third place behind Pudsey & Bramley’s Rob Hope and Blackburn’s Steven Snape.
However Callum also walked away with a Gold for first placed U23.
Dave Haygarth was the next best placed harrier in 31st position overall, closely followed by Mark Barrett and Ben Kirkman also had a fine run to take Silver in the U19 category in 41st place.
Minnie Targett won Silver in the women’s U19 ●● Ben Kirkman category placing 73rd overall from the field of 177 runners and Ken Taylor took Gold medal in the veteran 70 category to add to his cross country title earlier in the year.
Elsewhere on the fells in the Kendal Winter League at Elterwater on Sunday, 16 year old Ben Forrest secured the U21 title for the series and Ben Kirkman, in his second race in two days, won third place overall. ●● Evie Taylor ●● Joe Ormrod