BURY AC's men's and women's senior road running teams have both qualified for the National Championships in Sutton Park in three weeks’ time.

The men’s team finished 32nd last year but the team took more than four minutes off last year's time and secured a brilliant 19th place at Manchester's SportCity.

Ben Coop took the first leg and scorched around the 6.8k course in 20mins 26secs to hand over to Josh Birmingham in 10th place.

Birmingham covered his leg in 21:18, an improvement of two minutes from 2018, and held on to 10th position.

Jon Evans took the third leg and while his 22:11 was respectable he was passed by a number of teams and handed over to Luke Harreld in 20th.

Harreld covered his leg in 22:23 conceding one place before handing to Patrick Babb, who held on to 21st position and recorded a time of 22:52.

Team captain Byron Edwards took the final leg and ran brilliantly, moving the team up to 19th with his split of 22:01.

Not to be outshone, the women’s team also delivered a record-breaking performance, completely overshadowing last year’s 45th place and matching the men’s 19th place while also taking more than four minutes off the previous year's time.

Hannah Price led the team off on the first leg, her time of 23:41 for the 5.4k leg bringing the team home in 27th.

Price handed over to second-leg runner, Rachel Marshall, who ran strongly to move the team up to 22nd with a 24:49 leg.

Katie Geelan took the third leg and held on to 22nd with a 24:43 effort before Sarah Thomas ran very well on the last leg to move the team up to 19th with a leg of 25:13.

The men’s B team of Nathan Hilditch (24:00), Paul Johnston (24:43), Jack Griffiths (24:26), Giles Bennett (26:17), Anthony Hallahan (29:00) and Steve Parker (30:21) took 90th place out of the total field of 106 complete teams.

The women’s B team, comprising of Nicola Harland (26:28), Katie Oakley (25:46), Lizzi Cheshire (28:41) and Fran Pearson (27:22) finished 42nd out of 69 teams. The C team of Bev Macauley (31:00) and Sue Wheeldon (28:17) did not finish as a complete team.

The under-17 women’s trio of Erin Kenyon (17:46), Charlie Ireland (18:09) and Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth (16:10) took 24th in their competition, while the u15 girls' A team of Reilly Carson (14:02), Grace Gibson (14:17) and Freya Potts (13:08) took an excellent 14th place, with the latter posting the 21st fastest time of the day.

The B team of Summer Whitfield (15:38), Esther McGrath (15:57) and Connie Potts (14:32) finished 41st.

The u13 girls' trio of Lucy Hill (14:31), Maddison Eadsforth (16:24) and Lola Potts (15:43) finished 32nd.

The club did not field teams in the u17 men’s and u15 boys' races, but in the u13 boys' event, the trio of Sam Howard (13:00), Adam Warren (14:00) and Finley Collings (13:53) took 17th with Howard recording the 26th fastest leg of the day in the age group.

With the majority of Bury’s runners competing in the road relays, 16-year-old Oliver Donnelly seized his chance for a good position in the Asda Foundation 10k.

He set a new personal best of 34:18 for the distance and took a fantastic second place for a well-deserved silver medal.

The previous day a number of Bury athletes competed in the Blackpool Open track and field meeting – the last of the season.

A number of athletes were rewarded with PBs, including Ben Gardner (u13 boys' 100m – 15.1), Jemima Miles (u13 girls' 100m – 15.7, 70m hurdles – 13.7, long jump – 3.73), Anna Gisbourne (u13 girls' 200m – 28.7), Grace Gibson (u15 girls' 200m – 27.9), David Vaughan (u17 men's 400m – 54.8), Connie Potts (u15 girls' shot – 8.11, hammer – 35.11), Mae Gardner (u15 girls' shot – 7.18) and Lucy Hill (u15 girls' hammer – 18.29).

Gisbourne also just missed out on a new best in the 800m where she secured a runaway victory in 2:32.7.