Northern Athletics Combined Autumn Relays at Sportcity on Sunday, 25th September 2016
With an entry level of 85 teams, the competition was always going to be high. Weather conditions at Sportcity were ideal for good times as the 74 starting teams lined up.
Last year’s event was hosted at Blackpool, and Blackpool athlete Emily Japp was first back on Stage 1 in a time of 16.44, which was ultimately to be the second fastest time of the day. Close behind Emily were Liverpool Harriers, Leeds City and Lincoln Wellington.
The strength of the Lincoln Wellington women’s squad could be judged by the fact that their B team was 7th on the first leg.
Stage 2 saw the unusual feature of Lincoln Wellington holding positions 1 and 2, with Liverpool, Leeds and Holmfirth close behind. Interesting to note that the fastest time on this leg was Lincoln Wellington’s B team athlete.
By the end of Stage 3, Leeds City had moved up 3 places to top spot, with Georgia Malir clocking the 2nd fastest time of this stage in 16.59. 4th spot saw Rotherham move up 4 places, with 5th spot Stockport moving up 9 places. However, the fastest time over Stage 3 and overall belonged to Harriet Knowles Jones of Warrington, up 14 places to 10th in a time of 16.30.
Stage 4 saw Stockport disqualified with their last leg athlete only completing one lap instead of the mandatory two. This left Leeds City’s Lucy Crooks to bring the team home as Championship winners, although she was pushed hard by Lincoln Wellington’s Sophie Cowper, who had the fastest time over Stage 4. Rotherham finished 3rd ahead of Hallamshire, Holmfirth, Birtley and Lincoln Wellington B in 8th place. 67 complete teams finished.
1st: Leeds City in 1.09.31
2nd: Lincoln Wellington in 1.09.43
3rd Rotherham Harriers in 1.11.46
1st B team: Lincoln Wellington in 1.13.06 (7th place)
Fastest time overall: Harriet Knowles Jones, Warrington, in 16.30
Report Ken Smith
Photos Eileen Ingham