Bronwen and Emma are Northern stars

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Six athletes from Scarborough Athletic Club competed in the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships, which were held in the grounds of the Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside.

The championships are a major fixture on the cross country calendar, and features top class athletes from some of the major clubs in the United Kingdom, many of whom were most successful in their county championships two weeks earlier.

After recent heavy rainfall, the courses were muddy at the start of the races, and as the day progressed with squally rain and hail, the going underfoot became extremely testing.

Scarborough’s most successful athletes at the championship were Bronwen Owen and Emma Clapton.

Owen followed up her Yorkshire Championship victory with a silver medal in the women’s under-17s championship, behind Harriet Knowles-Jones, who represented Great Britain as a junior in the annual international cross country races held earlier this month at Edinburgh.

Emma Clapton, who is the reigning North Yorkshire Schools Intermediate Champion, and who looked likely to take the Yorkshire Club under-15s title before losing a shoe when leading, finished third in the girls under-15s championship race, which was her best-ever result in a major championship.

Owen was supported in the under-17s race by Hannah Mainprize and Leah Herrington.

Mainprize achieved a best championship result when finishing up in 60th, and ahead of Herrington, who was racing for only the second time this season and was 83rd.

Bobby Scarborough, who is the current overall leader in the East Yorkshire Cross Country League, competed in the men’s under-20s race.

In what was rapidly deteriorating weather and going underfoot, he finished up in 50th place.

In the final race of the championships, the senior men’s race, Andrew Fleming became the first senior male competitor for several years.

Fleming coped very well with the heavy going to finish up in 114th of 613 finishers, and several others who failed to finish.

The championships provided a good guide to the form of three members of an England Athletics under-20s development squad who had all represented England at an international cross country race in Seville a week earlier.

Katy Wood, of the City of York Club, who added the Northern Cross Country Championship to this season’s achievements, after winning the Yorkshire under-20s title two weeks earlier, headed Georgia Malir, of Ilkley Harriers, who was the runner-up, but who had won the Seville race in which Owen had finished second and Wood third.