YOUNGSTERS tackled some of the boggiest conditions endured in the Neville Jones Schools Cross Country League when the 2023 series concluded at Walton Gardens on Saturday.

Organisers lost count of how many running shoes came off and stuck in the mud as pupils from the town's primary and secondary schools braved the conditions.

As has become the norm, families, friends and fellow competitors hugged the course to cheer on more than 300 young athletes in the third and final round of an event becoming increasingly popular.

The year 4/5 races saw Christ Church’s Emilia Gandy and Ravenbank’s Alex Farrell make it a hat-trick of victories across the series in the girls and boys races respectively.

Liesel Barnes of St Monica’s was second with Appleton Thorn’s Ivy Davidson third, with St Monica’s claiming the series team trophy.

Finishing behind Alex in the third boys race was Elliot Reeves (St Wilfrid’s) and Tristan Tickle (Woolston CE), and that was the finishing order for the series as a whole with Moore taking home the team trophy ahead of St Wilfrid’s and Culcheth.

Across the series, Ravenbank took home the Daniel Evans team trophy ahead of St Wilfrid’s and Moore.

The final Year 6 girls race saw Esmie Wiles come home first, helping Broomfields pick up the team trophy both on the day and for the series as a whole as they took home the Suzanne Rigg Trophy ahead of St Monica’s and Ravenbank.

Second place on the day was enough to earn Bethany Roberts (Ravenbank) a series victory ahead of Esmie, with Lois Johnston Starrs (Ravenbank) in third.

Toby Harrison won the boys race to wrap up the series for himself and help Cherry Tree take home the Chris Vose Trophy for winning the team standings ahead of Broomfields and St Wilfrid’s.

Toby finished ahead of Ethan Paize (Culcheth) and William Cartledge (Appleton Thorn) on the day, with Ethan coming second in the series just ahead of Rhys Marrington (Cherry Tree).

In the first of the high school races, Cardinal Newman’s Grace Rashud crossed the line first to complete a Year 7 girls series victory ahead of Lymm pair Leah Poole and Imogen Roberts, whose displays helped their school win the team event both on the day and across the series.

Culcheth’s Harry Millar won both the final race and the series as a whole for the boys with Eddie Walker (Lymm) and Dylan Spencer (Great Sankey) following him across the line. Eddie was second across the series ahead of Matthew Anderton (Birchwood).

Evie May Williams won the Year 8/9 girls race to complete a series victory ahead of her fellow Lymm student Ellie Grace Stuart, with their efforts helping their school win the team event. Tallie Sze (Birchwood) came third.

The boys race saw Oliver Davenport (Culcheth) come first ahead of Euan Lawton (Great Sankey), who won the overall series. Ben Shaw (Lymm) came third and the team events both on the day and over the series went to Sir Thomas Boteler High.

Ellie Barker (Sir Thomas Boteler) and Elliot Taylor (St Gregory’s) won the final race to wrap up series wins in the Year 10/11 girls and boys races respectively.

This year's series was contested and concluded a little earlier than previous years to avoid clashing with the venue's Christmas lights trail, Luminate Walton Gardens.