YOUNGSTERS from Hyndburn Athletic Club had a successful weekend when they took part in the Lancashire Cross Country Championships at Witton Park last week.
And for one teenager the day represented a personal triumph as well as ending a 20-year drought for the team, writes Andrew Taylor.
The Girls Under-13 team raced to a rare outright victory, winning the team prize as a result of some excellent running from Samantha Murray who was crowned Lancashire Champion.
Samantha was pushed all the way by fellow team members Sarah Crossley, Leigh Lennon and Natalie Honey as she became the first Hyndburn Athletic Club member to be County Champion at Cross Country in nearly 20 years.
Samantha finished her run in 13 minutes and 6 seconds, Sarah Crossley finished third in 13:32, fourth placed Leigh Lennon finished in 13:40 and Natalie Honey came 11th in 14:47.
The Hyndburn AC team also finished first overall thanks to the lung-bursting efforts of the quartet.
The championships were also a success for two other Hyndburn Athletic Club runners.
Callum Fitzpatrick finished second in the Under-15 Boys' race with a time of 12:59 and Thomas Cornthwaite also came second in the senior men's race in a time of 29:23.
Norman Mitchell, Youth Coaching and Development Officer at Hyndburn Athletic Club, said: "I would like to mention the achievements of all the runners who took part in the freezing cold conditions on Saturday and also a word of thanks to coaches Don Lennon and Gerry Lowe, who ensured that the athletes maintained their training programmes and trained hard through the Christmas and New Year period to achieve such a fantastic level of performance."
Clayton-le-Moors Harriers also featured prominently with finishers in the first 10 in both the Men's and Women's Senior races.
The club also had a winner in the David Cole Memorial Five-Mile Race.
Shaun Livesey led the field home in 27:38 and Lee Passco added fifth place to the 15th place he earned at the Witton Park Lancashire Championships.