Combined Autumn Relays at Sportcity, Saturday 16th September 2017
Some 5 minutes after the men’s start, 83 women lined up on their first leg. Laura Hesketh, Clayton, was first home in a time of 20.26, some 26 seconds ahead of Rachael Burns, Liverpool Harriers, who was quickly followed by Valeska Wills, Derby. Leeds City were 5th, Rotherham B team 11th (7 places ahead of their A team) and Leigh 13th.
This saw major movement by some of the significant teams. Jenna Hill moved Sale up 9 places into the lead; Leeds City A moved up 3 places into 2nd, with Abigail Howarth moving Leigh Harriers up 10 places into 3rd. Jenny Blizard restored team order at Rotherham, as she moved the A team up 12 places to 6th, 4 places ahead of their B team. Jenna Hill, Jenny Blizard and Abigail Howarth were the fastest 3 runners on that stage.
This was the consolidation leg, with little movement from the teams; more a shuffle round. However, Laura Riches 21.23, Leigh, produced the fastest time on this leg to move the team up into first place, 18 seconds ahead of holders Leeds, with Derby and Rotherham close behind.
The glory leg for Leigh was left in the capable hands of Lauren Howarth, who produced the fastest time of the day in 19.47, to bring victory to Joe Galvin’s team. The victory was even better with the competition being Claire Duck, Leeds in 20.49, 3rd fastest leg time, and Sophie Cowper 20.44, Rotherham.
Salford Harriers finished 4th, Derby 5th, Hallamshire 6th.
1st: Leigh Harriers, 1:23.29
2nd: Leeds City AC, 1:24.49
3rd: Rotherham Harriers & AC, 1:25.18
4th: Salford Harriers, 1:27.04
1. Lauren Howarth, Leigh Harriers, 19.47
2. Jenna Hill, Sale Harriers, 20.13
3. Laura Hesketh, Clayton-le-Moors, 20.26
4. Jenny Blizard, Rotherham and Abigail Howarth, Leigh Harriers, 20.42.
Report Ken Smith
Photos Dave Greenwood & Eileen Ingham