Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships
Knowsley Safari Park – Saturday 28th January 2017
The 2017 Northern Athletics cross country championships were held in Knowsley Safari Park near St Helens on Saturday the 28th of January. A total of 1837 runners competed at the event with athletes turning out from all parts of Northern England.
Six Kingston athletes made the journey over the Pennines to a wet cold and very muddy Knowsley Park where the runners found large parts of the course to be ankle deep in mud.
A team of four under 20 men Harry Powell, Shaun Smith, Baldvin Magnusson and Jack Brothwell put in an outstanding performance despite the conditions which saw them take the team bronze medals. Becky Chivers ran in the under 15 girls race and Gregan Clarkson was in action in the senior mens race.
Becky Chivers won her first major title at last year’s Northern track & field championship meeting in Middlesbrough where she was a surprise but deserved winner of the under 15 girls javelin gold medal. She is still working hard with throws coach Dave Bennett but it is now cross country season and she had her second cross country outing of 2017 at this championship meeting.
She ran in the under 15 girls 4 kilometre race at Knowsley in a field of 179 athletes where she battled her way through the sea of mud to finish in the middle third of the race and she crossed the finish line in a time of 19:59 seconds.
Gregan Clarkson flew the flag for the clubs senior athletes in Knowsley Park running in the senior men’s race which had attracted a field of 676 runners he covered the 12 kilometre course in a time of 52:36 seconds and crossed the line in 213th place. As a warm-up he had competed in the Stretford park run where he had finished in 3rd place.
Harry Powell came off the back off a magnificent track & field season in 2016 where the highlights were the two gold medals he won at the Northern Championships over both 5000 and 3000 metres. He carried his form into the cross country season and further excellent performances earned him his second representative vest for the Northern England team. His first outing of 2017 saw running in the senior men’s race at the County cross country championships where he was the gold medallist.
Next stop was the Safari Park and the Northern Championships and yet another immense performance which saw him attain his highest placing ever at the Northern’s coming home in 5th place in the under 20’s race and covering the 8 kilometres course in 28:05 seconds.
The next member of the Kingston team home was Baldvin Magnusson who was the bronze medallist in the 2016 Northern 5000 metres final who also maintained his form and produced some huge performances in last Autumn’s meetings on the cross country circuit and was the under 20’s gold medallist at the 2017 County Championship meeting on the 8th of January.
Baldvin covered the Knowsley course in a time of 28:36 seconds and he crossed the finishing line in 12th place.
Shaun Smith only returned to competitive action in July of last year he was a member of the Kingston teams which competed in the Autumn Northern road relays and the National cross country relays events as well as the British cross challenge and European trials meeting in Liverpool. January 2017 saw him running in the senior men’s race at the County cross country championships where he picked up the bronze medal.
Injury kept him out of the 2016 Northern Championships but he was back in harness at Knowsley Park where he kept the team momentum going with a good run of 29:34 seconds which gave him a 25th place finish and ensured the team were in the mix for the medals.
The fourth member of the team Jack Brothwell was the 1500 metres silver medallist at the 2016 County track & field championships and was a 1500 finalist at the Northern Championships. He saw cross country action in the Autumn at the Northern road relays and the National cross country relays. This January he won silver at the County cross country championships.
He ran a good and solid race which ensured that he and his team mates would be present on the medal rostrum. He finished in 49th position and covered the course in a time of 31:05 seconds.
The Kingston foursome of Harry Powell, Baldvin Magnusson, Shaun Smith and Jack Brothwell were the bronze medallists in the under 20 men’s team competition.
Former Kingston athlete Josh Taylor Brown finished in 45th position in the under 20 men’s race and he ran the course in a time of 30:46 seconds. Josh is now a university student in Sheffield and will now be competing with the Hallamshire Harriers Club. We are sad to lose him he has been a great asset to our club and we wish him the very best for the future.