Leigh Harriers had some outstanding performances in the second of the South East Lancs Cross Country League series, winning three individual races and six team races; the meeting was hosted by Leigh Harriers at Leigh Sports Village.
The course was muddy and was a test of strength and stamina, especially in the later races when the ground had been churned up by previous races.
The races started with the under 11 boys and girls covering a 2k course; Coal Mellor lead the team into first place – himself finishing in second place 8:01 with Josh White 5th 8:28 and Zak Galvin 8th 9:27 making the successful team counters. Good supporting runs came from Sam Wade 9th Nathan Hilton 10th Daniel Senior 11th and Ben Newton 14th.
The U11 girls - not to be out-done also won the team race. Melissa Ince lead the team home finishing in 2nd 8:41, closely followed by Faye Bayman 3rd 8:49 and Olivia Galvin 6th place giving the girls 1st team award; good runs came from Megan Short 12th Cara Schofield 13th and Katey Gannon 14th.
Keely Hodgkinson was Leigh’s first winner of the day running in the U13 Girls 2.5k race winning in a time of 9:55, Emma McIntyre was 8th 11:39 and Joanna Smith 9th winning Leigh’s third team race of the day; good team runs came from Grace Newton 10th, Nadine Smith 12th, Rebecca Pollitt 13th and Lauren Holmes 15th. Josef Short ran well in the Boys U13 race winning 3rd place 9:48, with Billy Blain 6th 10:00 and Elliot Livingstone 9th 10:25 giving the boys 3rd team; good team runs came from Shea Mellor 11th’Lucas White 12th Nathan Myers 13th and Joel Denton 12th.
In the 3k boys U15 race the Leigh team were dominant winning first, second and fourth places and easily winning the team race; Ethan Jones lead from gun to tape crossing the line in 12:37, Joseph Senior pushing him all the way was 2nd in 12:44 and Kristian Wade hot on his heels 12:48 in 4th place; Ben Livingston and Joseph Wane both ran good supporting runs in 6th and 8th respectively. Eve Williams won the girls U15 girls race in a time of 14:33, Chloe Davies was 5th 16:55 and Issy McMillan 6th 17:26, Anna Smith 7th with the girls easily winning the team race.
Sam Wardle won second place in the men’s U17 race over a 2 lap 5k course recording a time of 18:33, Jake Dearden was hard on his heels in 3rd place 18:42 with Tom Eldridge completing the team win in 5th place 21:25. Eleanor Bond in her first race of the season ran well for 5th place in the U17 ladies race in a time of 23:42 with Olivia Stones running to a creditable 8th place 24:58. The senior ladies race started in a snow and hail storm blizzard with 6.5k of mud and snow; the going was tough but the Leigh team was led home by Donna Ince 15th place in 30:54, Carole Baines 26th 31:58, Fiona Hilton 38th 33:54 and completing the team was Joanna Carrigher 49th 37:50 winning 6th team place. The last race of the day saw the senior men line up to compete over a 10k three lap course. The team was not at full strength but nevertheless won a creditable 3rd team place with team captain Phil Williams leading the team home in an excellent 4th place in a time of 35:11, Dave Smith tracking Phil all the way was 5th 35:16, Allister Goulding was 25th 39:04 - just outsprinting Sean Spillane in 26th place 39:08; Leigh’s next team counter was Alex Urmston 36th place 39:23, Martin Conroy 27th 40:06, Carl Cummings 56th 42:23 and Mathew Kearns 101st 49:05.
+ Sixteen year old Leigh Harrier Callum McCormick was the proud winner of a bronze medal in the Northern Indoor Championships at Sheffield on Sunday.
Competing in the 800m in his first race as U20, racing against runners some of whom were two years older than him, Callum ran his first heat, coming third, in a time of 1:56.33, the sixth fastest time of the heats and just getting him through to the final.
In the final Callum ran a well controlled race crossing the line in third place to round off a tough day of top class running to win well deserved Northern bronze medal in a time of 1:56.98.
McCormick said after the final that he surprised himself, first to get in the final and that he was over the moon to win a medal!
Callum has been concentrating on the cross country over the last few months, winning the Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships two weeks ago and the Red Rose Cross country League before Christmas.
To put this run into context, to win a medal at the Northern Indoor Championships as a sixteen year old in an U20 race is an outstanding achievement.