Leigh Harriers collected medals for the fourth year running at the Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships at Birchwood on Saturday, winning bronze medals in the under 13 boys relay and the fastest overall time in the girls under 13 race.
The first race of the day – the U13 boys 3 x 3000mts relay – saw more than 30 of the best teams in the North of England line up to contest the championships.
Ben McLaughlin lead the team off on the first leg running a storming pace to record the fifth fastest time of the day in 10:58 and handing over in 4th place to Kyle Jones. Kyle took up the baton running another super-fast leg of 11:19, taking the team into 3rd place and opening up the gap between 3rd and 4th runners. Josef Short then took over on the last leg; keeping his composure he judged the race perfectly holding off the 4th team and crossing the line with over 50m to spare in a time of 11:33 to give the team a well-deserved Northern bronze medal. The Harriers were 4th B team in the race, Elliot Livingston 11:56, Lucas White 13:11 and Shea Mellor 12:27, a good performance from a young team.
In the girls U13 relay Keely Hodgkinson ran the fastest time of the day; on the first leg of the 3 x 3000m Keely was first home by a clear distance in 11:14. Grace Newton ran the second leg in 13:09 finishing in 9th place with Joanna Smith the third leg in 13:55 giving the team a respectable 13th place.
Over 40 teams contested the boys U15 race over 3 x 3000m with the Leigh team finishing a creditable 9th place. The team were lead off by Jacob Briscoe, on a fast first leg he recorded a time of 10:59 coming home in 30th place; Ethan Jones then ran the ninth fastest time of the day in 10:13 on the second leg to bring the team into 10th place, handing over to Kristian Wade who improved the team place on the third leg crossing the line in 9th place in a time of 10:58. Leigh’s B team were 4th B team in the race with Joseph Wane running a comparative first leg in 11:18, then Joseph Senior in his first race for the club had an outstanding run, recording a time of 10:49 which will see him challenge for a first team place in the next race; Ben Livingston ran a good last leg recording consolidating a solid all- round team performance.
Forty teams toed the line in the U15 girl’s race. The Leigh girls found the going tough in a very competitive race; Eve Williams ran the first leg in a time of 12:31 to hand over in 26th place, Issy McMillan recorded a time of 14:23 on the second leg for 30th place, then Chloe Davies improved the final team place to 29th with a time of 13:58. The under 17 men’s team finished in a respectable 10th place in the 3 x 3300m race; Callum McCormick ran the first leg in the tenth fastest time of the day finishing in 8th place in 10:44, Jake Dearden ran 11:32 on the second leg for 9th place then Tom Eldridge completed the race running 11:23 on the final leg finishing in 10th place. The girls under 17 team finished in 21st place; Emma Cartwright 15:57, Olivia Stones 15:20 and Eleanor Bond 14:40 on the last leg.
There were some good performances in the senior men’s and women’s relays, both were contested over 6000m, the men’s being 6 stages and the Ladies over 4 stages, with both teams qualifying for the national finals. The Ladies A team were lead off by Georgina Leck running a time 24:56 for 33rd place; Sarah Griffiths ran a time of 23:17 on the second leg improving the team place to 15th then Louisa Thompson edged the team into 12th spot in a time of 24:05. Dionne Allen ran the fastest leg of the day for the Leigh team – 22:38, winning a top 10 place out of more than 70 teams. Leigh had only two runners on the B team Sabrina Walley ran a time of 25:52 and Ursula Mellor 29:16.
The senior men’s A team finished 24th in the race, qualifying them for the National championships, out of 140 teams who answered the starters gun. Neil Pendlebury ran on the first leg and recorded the Leigh teams’ fastest time of 20:11 for 34th place, Tom Kneller on the second leg in 20:56 36th place, Tommy Henders moved the team into 32nd place 20:53, Liam Moore was next up for the team on the fourth leg finishing in 31st place 21:08, Dave Smith then ran leg 5 in 21:25 for 32nd place handing over to team captain Phil Williams who ran the second fastest time for the team on the last leg in 20:31.
This was a good team performance qualifying the club for the national finals at Birmingham.
Leigh’s B team finished in 19th place, Allister Goulding 21:57, Martin Jones 26:53, John Indricks 24:37, Darren Smith 23:09, Duncan McCarrick 25:37 and Neil Pendlebury 20:45.