SOUTH Lakeland athletes were well to the fore in Saturday's Cumbria Cross Country Championships at Penrith.

In the Senior and U20 women’s Cumbria county race, 17-year-old Esme Davies, formerly of Kendal, was first home in a time of 29.19, followed by first senior woman, Helm Hill’s Sharon Taylor in a time of 29.52. In third place was Sharon's team mate Kelli Roberts (30-25).

Second U20 woman was Eve Pannone (31.00) and third U20 woman was Daisy Barnes (38.00).

Kendal's Chris Richards (33-31), who runs for Salford, finished just six seconds adrift of James Douglas, of Border Harriers, in a high-quality senior men's race.

In the junior races Leven Valley's William McNally (5-37) was pipped to the finish line by Border's Seb Mason (5-36) in the Ull boys' race with Helm Hill's Noah Wadsworth (5-53) coming home third. Eden's Lucy Hetherington (6-19) was first U11 girl in front of Kendal's Kate Collin (6-24).

Eden's Thomas Renwick (14-58) was a comfortable winner of the U13 boys' race with Border's Kai Hatcher (15-24) and Kendal's Lewis Bigland (15-46) following in his wake. The Leven Valley pairing of Jessica Bailey (15-34) and Georgia Bell (15-37) were the first two home in the U13 girls' race with Ambleside's Sophie Rylance (16-08) in third.

Kendal's Fraser Sproul (13-49) led home the U15 boys by two seconds from Eden's Ben O'Dowd with his team mate George Sidaway (14-37) in third. Leven Valley's Olesia Winder (15-16) was narrowly beaten to the line by Border's Anna Mason in the U15 girls' race while Eden's Amelia Marshall (16-44) took third.

There was an Eden one, two, three in the U17 boys' event with Sam Almond (17-50), Robin Regan (18-01) and James Salt (18-08) dominating proceedings.

Ambleside's Chloe Rylance (21-31) was victorious in the U17 girls' race with Carlisle's Molly Wren (21-49) pushing her hard. Kendal's Rosie Woodhams (22-20) was third.