THE going was good to firm at the Pontefract race course for runners of the two-legged kind taking part in Saturday's Northern cross country championships.

South Lakeland athletes made their presence felt across the age groups and non more keenly than Kendal AC's Fraser Sproul who entering the finish straight with some 800 metres to go had looked in control of the U15 boys' race. In a pack of four Fraser held his nerve to finish third in 12-36, 14 seconds behind Wharfedale's Alexander Thompson and four adrift of Richmond's Kyle Rabjohn.

Sproul's performance helped Kendal finish second team and he was supported by Daniel Sanderson (31st in 13-30), James Bowen (51st in 13-48), Henry Hunter (72nd in 14-04), John Egner (74th in 14-04), Harry Bowen (81st in 14-11) and Thomas Brailsford (93rd in 14-17). Eden's Ben O'Dowd had a good run to place 11th in 13-06.

They were just eight points behind winners Richmond Zetland Harriers. Although only the first four boys got the team medals the close packing of the rest of the team played a huge part in their success and enable Kendal to beat much bigger clubs from Manchester, Bingley, Preston and Liverpool.

Another Eden runner turning in a gutsy performance was Thomas Renwick who finished second in the U13 boys' race. He was just edged out by Sale's Jack Spark who won by a second. Eden's Danny Welch was 19th in 10-27 and Kendal's Jack Barker placed 50th in 10-56.

In the U13 girls' race Leven Valley's Georgia Bell was the best placed South Lakeland runner finishing 14th in 11-02 ahead of Ambleside's Sophie Rylance (22nd in 11-11) and Kendal's Sarah Smith (32nd in 11-21). Bingley's Martha Jackson was first home in 10-39.

And Leven Valley's Olesia Winder (14-11) finished fourth in a quality U15 girls' race, 42 seconds behind Vale Royal's Holly Weedall who won in 13-29.

Eden's Esme Davies (20-33) excelled among the junior women with a ninth place finish in a race won by Ribble Valley's Eleanor Bolton (19-29).

Despite being one member short of a team, Kendal's junior men put in a great performance over 8.05km with Luke Bowen travelling up from university in London to finish 24th in 28-06. He was followed home by Rueben Copley who was 38th in 29-18 and newcomer Luc Mockridge, 56th in 31-46.

Although not happy with her own performance, Dr Rebecca Robinson finished 20th out of a field 376 in the senior women's race. Behind her were Helen Barker (40-55), Hazel Clark (41-44), Carolyn Kevan (42-51), Dianne Priestley (42-53), Sue Booth and Joanne Pennington.

The senior men’s 12.1km race took in three, tough large laps and in-form Jonny Dry led Kendal’s men home finishing 31st in 41-33. It has been a tough season for Alasdair Russell but never the less he achieved 68th in 41-57 while the ever-improving Tom Hartley was 156th in 44-48.