Euro call-up for Harriers pair

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Two Leigh Harriers athletes are off to sunny Spain!

Two of Leigh Harriers junior ladies have won selection to compete in Europe representing England and the North of England.

Laura Riches, 19, has won her first England vest for the country. She will be part of the team who visit Burgos in Spain to run in the IAAF cross country meeting on Sunday. And 20-year-old Abigail Howarth also shared good news with the club having been picked to run for the North of England at Tilburg in the Netherlands on Saturday, November 24.

Things could have gone better at the National Cross Country relays at Mansfield on Saturday as missed changeovers and team selection mix ups cost the club possible medals.

The Junior ladies race was the first race of the day and a medal in this race was a realistic hope; Abigail Howarth lead the team on leg one of 3 x 2.5k, running a solid first leg of 9:12 the fastest leg of the day for the team in to hand over in 12th place. Georgina Leck who has been in fine form was hampered by sore ankles and recorded a disappointing time of 10:05 dropping the team into 15th place. With hopes of a medal all but gone Laura Riches, running the last leg, was also down on her own expectations recording a time of 9:24 giving the team a disappointing 10th place. Bethany Jones ran Leigh’s third fastest time of the day on the B Team of 9:42 (which would have promoted the A team into 5th place); Elizabeth Lee also ran well recording a time of 10:05.

The senior ladies team also had a disappointing day. Lauren Howarth running the first of 3 legs over 3000m had an outstanding run running the second fastest time of the day of 9:54 and 20 seconds clear of the field. Unfortunately Leigh’s second leg runner Sarah Griffiths miss-read the race times for the changeover losing 40sec and 12 places before she started leg two, but despite Sarah’s best efforts running 11:22 for the leg in 14th place any chance of a medal had gone. Louisa Thompson with a hopeless task on the last leg ran 11:45 with the team finishing in 20th place.

Leigh’s U17 ladies who raced over a 3 x 2.5km course, had a good result finishing in 28th place. Courtney Donald 11:03, Sabrina Walley 9:52, and Leah Peploe ran a super time of 9:39.

The youngest members of the team running in the 3 x 2000m gave a good account of themselves against national competition. Ethan Jones 8:05, Joseph Wane 8:23 and Ben McLaughlin 8:14 won 49th place. Leigh’s B team of Kyle Jones 8:55, Shea Mellor 9:19 and Ben Fisher 11:00 were 80th team. All gained valuable experience racing at top level.

James Wardle running in the U15 boys 3 x 2000mts showed the potential to race at the top level running 7:02 for the first leg in 26th place, Sam Wardle 7:54 and Dominic Howarth 8:00, the team finished 51st. place. Callum McCormick running on the B team ran 7:33 and Tom Eldridge 8:55. The junior men’s team running 3 x 3km finished in 49th place; Liam Moore 9:44, Adam Jamson 11:28 and Tom Knellor 10:19.

The U15 girls team of Olivia Stone and Eleanor Bond were 79th team. The senior men’s team running 4 x 5000mts of John Howarth 18:31, Phil Williams 18:29, Alex Urmston 19:09 and Martin Jones 19:07 were 90th team.