Salford Harriers athletes took part in the Greater Manchester schools Cross-Country championships that took place on Saturday at Heaton Park.
The top runners from their schools were selected to represent their local towns in the races.
The local towns that selected the athletes from each school were; Altrincham, Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Manchester Tameside and Wigan.
This was the tenth year of the championships in which Salford Harriers Athletics Club have been involved, where they have always had competitors making it through to represent the region in the National cross country championships.
After a wet and windy Friday evening along with a cold morning before the races began, conditions for the races were difficult.
Salford Harriers Head Coach, Jack Carney, 54, said: “This is the second or third time it has been held at Heaton park. It was rainy and windy overnight which has made the conditions difficult for today’s races as it will only get muddier for the older years.”
Each race was split up into age category from aged 12 up to 18, where the top ten athletes in those races will be chosen to run for the regional cross country championships in Norwich later this year.
Salford Harriers have had many athletes represent their club and region in the national championships before as they were hoping that could be the same outcome this year.
Jack said: “I expect Salford will do well today. We have seen a steady improvement over the years. I am feeling very confident ahead of the high school races too”.
In the earlier races of the day, the Primary School athletes from Salford missed out on a team medal by just a few points.
But the races after that, became a lot more successful for the older year groups in Salford.
Walkden High School pupils who were competing for the City of Salford, Nicola Mason in Year 7 finished third in the overall standings of the race. Sammy Mason and Sam Hopkins, who both competed in the Year 8/9 races finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Walkden High School and Salford Harrier runner, Charlie Thomas, aged 15 who finished in the top 20 of his race said: “The race was long and hard and as we were one of the last races, the conditions made the race even harder for us. But I felt strong with my own performance and the team has done well”.
The chosen Salford Harrier’s athletes who will now compete in the regional races in a few weeks, will begin their training for the race.
Jack Carney also stated during the event on Saturday, that there has been a huge national issue and debate about getting more people involved in Sport.
“It is a huge national issue that is worrying us all at the moment within Cross-Country and athletics where we have seen a decline in the number of participants. Hopefully events like this can inspire many children and even adults to get back in to an active lifestyle”, Jack said.
The English Schools National Cross Country Championships will take place in Norwich on the 18th March this year.
For more information on getting involved with Athletics and Cross Country, visit http://www.greatersport.co.uk/