Club history was made at Leigh Harriers, as the senior men and women’s track and field team won promotion to the 1st Division of the Northern Track & Field League for the first time in the club’s 103 year history.
Expectations were high as the competition started at the New Madely Park, Leigh Sports Village.
The team were in incredible form with 1st place in 18 events and 2nd place in nine events and running seven personal best (PB) times. The team of Laura Riches, Sarah Griffiths, Bethany Jones and Kerrell Walley also broke the club’s ladies 4 x 400m club record, running a time of 4:12.4sec and with an average age of only 19 years the future looks bright for the club!
The track races got off to a positive start for the team, Laura Riches and Kerrell Walley won both the A & B 400m hurdles races with Laura recording a PB in a time of 69.3sec and Kerrell getting an easy win in the B race with a time of 76.4sec. This was quickly followed by another track double in the 800m race. Laura Riches winning in 2:16.4 and Bethany Jones also first in the B race in a time of 2:25.3.
The pole vault kept the points total rising with Carla Baines 2nd in the A event (2.20m) and Emma Bisbury 1st in the B event (2.10m). In the men’s pole vault double it was first again for the Leigh team, John Taylor clearing 3.30m and Ian Graham 3.20m. Back on the track Louisa Thompson and Georgina Leck were winners in the 3,000m with times of 10:30.3 and 10:42.9 respectively. In the Ladies shot put Carla Winstanley and Carla Baines teamed up winning the A & B competitions with throws of 10.16m and 9.04m.
The points kept on mounting with Kerrell Walley winning the 400m (59.2sec) with her sister, Sabrina, in 3rd place in the B race (65.00sec). The Harriers claimed more maximum points in the 1,500m Sarah Griffiths winning her fourth race of the season in 5:02 and Abigail Howarth winning the B race in a time of 5:04.
With every point vital to the team effort, two of Leigh’s talented sixteen year olds, Adam Jamson and Adam Emerson, maintained the fantastic performances for the Harriers. Adam Jamson finished 3rd in both the 400m and 800m (51.1sec and 2:03) and Adam Emerson, clocked PBs in the 200m (12.3sec) and long jump (5.17m). Seventeen year old Adam Howarth, another young athlete with huge potential, ran 54.6sec in the 400m and 2:06 in the 800m winning second place in both races. Liam Moore knocked 3 seconds of his previous time for the 1,500m clocking 4:14 to finish in second place.
Leigh continued to add points in the 3,000m steeple chase, John Indricks finished in 3rd place (11:26), with Ryan Butler winning the B race (11:27). Alex Hayes threw a PB in the discus (30:10m) and Andy Jones throwing 22:07m in the B event. In the javelin Carla Baines and Carla Winstanley were second in both A & B events, whilst in the men’s javelin Jordan Orrell and Liam Moore teamed up throwing 33.81m and 28.74m respectively. Richard Indricks cleared 1.75m in the high jump.
With the match coming to an end, and the score becoming critical, the team made one last effort to secure promotion. The team of Alex Urmston, Adam Howarth, Liam Moore and Adam Jamson ran an excellent 4 x 400m finishing 2nd in a time of 3:33.6. Promotion was then assured as Leigh’s super women’s team of Laura Riches, Sarah Griffiths, Bethany Jones and Kerrell Walley not only won the 4 x 400m relay but broke the club record by two seconds in a time of 4:12.8sec.