LEEDS ATHLETES GIVE THE CITY SOMETHING TO SMILE
LEEDS Rhinos may have finished second best in the Super League
Grand Final, however, 24 hours later on the other side of
Manchester there was never a doubt that Leeds City AC’s six-stage
squad would succumb to their rivals at Sport City in the Northern
Athletics Road Relay Championships.
Such is the current strength of the Yorkshire outfit that five teams
were entered, with their second string finishing in fourth place and
their third sextet also finishing in the top 10 in seventh spot.
The Tykes’ victory was three-in-a-row after their success in Redcar
last year and at the same Manchester venue in 2019.
Meanwhile, in the women’s four-stage contest defending champions
Salford denied Leeds City a double celebration by relegating their
main rivals into second place with the lead changing three times
during the contest.
The senior men had a record field facing the starter and it was
current NA Cross-Country champion, Hugo Milner (Derby AC) who
was first home in a time of 19min 17sec which eventually proved to
be the fastest overall time of the day. Blackburn were in second
place followed to the changeover by North Shields Poly and City of
York with the eventual winners back in eighth place.
Leeds City quickly moved to the head of affairs on stage two thanks
to the fastest stage time by Josh Dickinson. Hallamshire, after being
sixth on the first 6k leg, moved into second position followed by City
of York and Blackburn.
Leeds City extended their advantage on leg three after Ed Bovindon
recorded the fastest stages’ fastest time. Derby moved back into a
medal position into second place followed by Hallamshire and
Blackburn. Again, Leeds City had the quickest athlete on view as Graham Rush
moved into the second half of the contest with a 19:53 clocking.
Hallamshire moved back into second place followed by Blackburn
On the penultimate and final legs it was a case of fastest times by
Richard Allen and Philip Seseman, the glory leg runner posting the
second quickest overall figures of 19:19 as he brought his squad
home In 1:59:17 which was a superb way to make it a hat-trick of
The other medal positions remained the same over the final two
stages with Hallamshire claiming the silver awards (2:01:54) and
Blackburn the bronze medals (2:02:17) which brought a huge smile
to the face of NA Chairman, Tony Wood!
The senior men’s contest closed a superb day’s sport and whilst the
medal winners deserve the glory, that can also be said for every one
of the 109 teams which took part, well done to all.
SENIOR WOMEN (4x6k)
Stockport’s Mollie Williams put down a marker of 22:21 on the
opening stage and it was never bettered throughout the day. Leeds
City were in second place six seconds adrift followed by Preston,
Salford and City of York.
Leeds City moved into the lead on the second stage thanks to Leila
Armoush as Lincoln Wellington moved into second from eighth
thanks to the stage fastest time of 22:42 by Sophie Wallis. Salford
slipped to third followed by City of York and Vale Royal.
Title holders Salford moved into pole position for the first time on leg
three thanks to the stage fastest of 22:29 by Anna Bracegirdle.
Lincoln Wellington consolidated second place followed by Leeds City,
Vale Royal and North Shields Poly.
Once in the lead Salford were never headed as Sinead Bent extended
the quartet’s advantage with the fastest stage time of 23:06, Salford
eventually posting a winning time of 1:32:29. Leeds City moved into
second place in 1:34:25 with Vale Royale (1:34:59) edging out Lincoln
Wellington (1:35:07) for the final podium place.
YOUNG ATHLETES’ RELAYS (3×3.1k)
The under-17 Men’s contest proved a gun-to-tape success for
Northumberland outfit, Morpeth Harriers.
Ryan Davies led the trio home on leg one just holding off Salford’s
Ethan Nation by one second after posting 11:35 with Derby a close-up third.
On leg two Bertie Marr opened up a significant gap after his 11:37
which was the quickest of the stage. Salford were still in second
place with Rotherham moving through into third followed by Vale
Royal and Preston.
William De Vere-Owen had the honour of contesting the final leg for
Morpeth and he had no problem in bringing the Northumbrians
home in pole position as Rotherham moved into second position
thanks to the day’s overall best time of 11:22. Salford completed the
one-two-three followed by Vale Royal and Derby.
The under-17 women saw Liverpool’s Lara Bellingham hit the
changeover in first place in 12:59 which proved to be the fastest
overall time of the day. Stockport were in second place followed by
Rotherham, Salford and Trafford. Salford moved to the front on leg
two thanks to the stage fastest of 13:23 by Sophia Roiditis.
Rotherham improved to second with Trafford third followed by
Liverpool and Vale Royal.
The lead changed once more on the final stage as Caitlin McCloy
brought Rotherham home in 13:40. Salford finished in second place
with Hope Smith posting the stage fastest time of 13:34 to move
Vale Royal into bronze medal position ahead of Liverpool and
The under-15 boys saw Preston’s Matthew Clark head Warrington
and Keighley and Craven at the first changeover. Evan Grime moved
Salford up seven places to take the lead going into the final leg.
Liverpool were now second followed by Blackburn, Keighley and
Craven and Trafford. The biggest mover was Morpeth with Oliver
Calvert improving the Northumbrians through from 38th to seventh
with the stage fastest time of 10:54. On the final leg it was Bobby
Burton who brought Salford home in first place with Myles Fraser
moving Preston into second place with the stage fastest figures of
10:51. Liverpool claimed the bronze awards ahead of Keighley and
Craven, Blackburn and Morpeth.
Liverpool were ahead at the first changeover of the under-15 girls
contest thanks to Holly Cross whose 12:18 proved to be the third
quickest overall. Wakefield were a close-up second followed by
Keighley and Craven and Rotherham. Warrington moved into the
leadon stage two thanks to Imogen Wharton’s 12:02 which proved to
be the fastest time overall. Rotherham progressed into second place
followed by Liverpool, Liverpool B and Wakefield. Warrington
unfortunately, dropped away on the final leg and it was Isabella
Waugh who brought Rotherham home in first place with Salford in
second place just one second ahead of Liverpool. Rotherham B team
finished in fourth place followed by Keighley and Craven and
Trafford led the under-13 boys at the first changeover thanks to the
second fastest time of the day of 12:22 by Adrian White. Darlington
were in second place followed by Warrington, Halifax and Wirral.
Warrington moved into the lead on stage two thanks to the stage
fastest time of 12:36 by Isaac McGuffie. Wirral were now in second
place followed by Trafford, Darlington and Keighley and Craven.
Wirral extended their advantage on the final leg thanks to the fastest
time of the day of 12:10 by Michael Phelan. Warrington finished runners-up
with Preston, who were 10th on leg one, finishing a close-
up third. Darlington were fourth, followed by Harrogate and Liverpool.
Rotherham (Maya Schofield) headed the under-13 girls contest after
the first stage with a time of 12:50, the fastest time of the day.
Wirral were in second place followed by Liverpool, Birtley and Vale
Royal. On stage two Birtley moved into the lead thanks to the stage
fastest time of 12:52 by Olivia Murphy. Liverpool also moved forward
into second place with Rotherham dropping back to third. Wirral
were now fourth followed by Sale and Keighley and Craven. Nell
Graham the twin of Kitty Graham who contested the first stage,
extended Birtley’s advantage on the final leg with the stage best time
if 13:09 to bring the trio home in 39:20 to win by over a minute from
Rotherham with Liverpool a close-up third. Wirral finished in fourth
place followed by Sale and Rossendale. All three Birtley girls are first
year so it could well be we’ll see them back in 12 months time to
have a crack at retaining their title!
**THANKS go to Northern Athletics for a great day’s well organised
sport. Special thanks go to Start Fitness, the event’s sponsor, to Gary
Crate, the Etihad site manager, GLL and Manchester City Council,
Staff of Sport City and Sportsoft, and, of course, all the
competitors and supporters who helped make the event such a