Girls battle the snow to claim northern title
The Lincoln Wellington under-17 women's team achieved their main goal of the winter season with a brilliant gold medal performance at the North of England Cross Country Championships.
A deep carpet of snow covered an undulating course at Knowsley Safari Park and made conditions underfoot particularly testing.
And with the inclement weather keeping the Park's predatory wildlife under wraps it was the Wellington squad that hunted down their prey to produce a thumping team success.
Abbie Donnelly was soon disputing the lead and although just outstayed in the closing stages she kept going very strongly for a splendid silver medal.
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Catrina Thomas produced a personal best cross country effort and flew down the home straight to grab fifth place near the line.
The ever reliable Rebekah Ward was close behind in 10th spot to put the Wellington squad in a very strong position.
When Bo Haywood closed out the team in 31st the final score of 48 points gave the club a massive winning margin over Vale Royal in second place with 103.
The Wellington senior men's team recorded one of their best results in recent years with a very good fourth place team finish in a huge field of almost 600 finishers.
Matt Bowser led the squad home in 13th place with Tom Doe making very good progress in the later stages to be close behind in 16th.
Ian Kimpton was a little disappointed with 29th, but a fine effort from Shane Robinson saw him across the line in 32nd spot.
Richard Brown followed in 59th and Josh Stone completed the team in 90th.
Veteran Les Ball enjoyed a good workout in 136th position a little way ahead of Paul Samways who was 156th.
Haran Dunderdale (ninth) and Dylan Love (12th) both ran well just behind the lead group in the under-17 men's contest with Joe Wilkinson, still a little short of full fitness, picking up 53rd place.
In the senior women's event a strong run gave Sophie Cowper 33rd place with Georgia Ball a little further back in 45th.
Ellie Clarke kept going well to cross the finish line 118th. The testing conditions provided a severe challenge for 800m specialist Harry Baxter in the under-20 men's race.
A determined effort brought him home in 69th position.
Some of the club's younger athletes got in some invaluable experience at this level of competition.
Lucy Thornton did very well to claim 36th spot in the under-13 girls' contest with Clea Butcher not at all disgraced to cross the line 100th.
New member Leah Epton showed plenty of promise with 41st place in the under-15 girls' race with Rhiannon Troop also doing well to come 93rd.
There was a good effort from Daniel Crow to take 45th place in the under-15 boys' event.