What a fantastic turnout at Leigh in the first of the Red Rose XC League matches; the weather was perfect and was well set up for a great day’s racing. Leigh Harriers had nearly 70 runner over the 10 races; starting with the U11 boys Leigh’s teams just kept on coming in the medals.
U11 boys 2nd team
U11 Girls 1st team
U13 Boys 1st team
U13 Girls 5th team
U15 Boys 1st team
U15 Girls 5th team
U17 Men 1st team
Senior Men 3rd team
Senior Ladies 1st team
Red Rose Cross Country League
Over eight hundred runners of all ages competed in the first Red Rose Cross Country League on Saturday hosted by Leigh Harriers; on a perfect day for running the course took the runners from the harriers ground at the Sports Village and around Pennington Flash Country Park. Record fields in both the under 11 boys and girls races saw the Harriers take first and second team and individual prizes in the races – Coel Mellor second in the boys and Melissa Ince 2nd in the girls the girls race plus winning the team award with the boys in second place.
Leigh had three individual wins on the day and won five team first places. Keely Hodgkinson, undefeated in the League for the last two years, again won the under 13 girls race over 2.5 km in a time of 9:38. Callum McCormick had his first win in the Red Rose league winning in convincing style in 18:48 for the 5.5 km course, he led the under 17 men’s team of Sam Wardle 4th 19:44 and Tom Eldridge 14th 22:52 to an emphatic team win. Leigh’s third winner was Leah Peploe in under 20 ladies race in a time of 22:29; Sabrina Walley was in 3rd place in 23:15 but the ladies missed out of a team prize with having no third counter.
Leigh’s boy’s teams were in top form winning both under 13 and under 15 boys team prizes. Ben McLaughlin led home a strong team winning 3rd place 9:29 for the 2.5 km race, Josef Short 7th 9:40, Shea Mellor 9th 9:47, Billy Blain 11th 9:48, Kyle Jones 14th 10:01 and Elliot Livingston 19th 10:18, and Lucas White, easily winning the team award. Two young athletes in their first races for the club in this age group gave promising performances – Nathan Myers 31st 11:10 and Joel Denton 36th 11:24.
The under 13 girls team won 5th place in the team race; Keely Hodgkinson 1st 9:38, Grace Newton 20th 11:01 and Emma McIntyre 26th were the team counters; good supporting runs came from Joanna Smith 11:32. Erin Huxley 11:43, Laura Hickey 11:52, Megan Errington 12:03, Rebecca Pollitt 12:04, Nadine Smith 12:16, Charlotte Murphy 12:57, Siobhan Cole 14:04, Jenna Bryan 15:40.
In the under 15 boys race over 3.6km Ethan Jones was 4th 14:08, Kristian Wade 6th 14:15, Jacob Briscoe 8th 14:30 – just holding off Joseph Senior in 9th place 14:33 – Ben Livingston 12th 14:39 and Joseph Wane 18th 15:04, again a resounding team win.
The Leigh senior ladies have won the Red Rose team award for the last 3 years and this year looks to be no different, the team of Sarah Griffiths 3rd 21:29 for the 5.5 km course, Leah Peploe 8th 22:29, Sabrina Walley 12th 23:15 won the team award by a distance and were well backed up by Ursula Mellor 33rd 24:59 and Donna Ince 25:07.
Melissa Ince ran a well- judged race to finish 2nd in the girls under 11 2.5 km race recording 8:29, Faye Bayman 5th 8:43, and in their first race for Leigh Harriers Grace Craddock 8th 8:51, Olivia Galvin 53rd 10:15 and Megan Short 57th 10:21 – all made a good start to the season winning the team award in a very competitive field with over ninety runners finishing the course. In the boys under 11 race Coel Mellor, showing early form, was 2nd in 9:36, Joshua White 15th 10:24, Samuel Wade 31st 10:56, and also running for the club for the first time Zak Galvin 38th 11:06 and Thomas Smith 50th 11:38; the boys finished 2nd in the team race.
In the senior men’s race the team were missing several athletes, nevertheless they won third team spot Neil Pendlebury was Leigh’s first counter in 6th place in 37:06 for the 3 lap 10.7km course, followed by Phil Williams 12th 39:17, Dave Smith 13th 39:19,Tommy Henders 25th 40:40, Sean Spillane 58th 43:12, John Indricks 70th 43:56, Darren Smith 46:09, Martin Conroy 46:13, Garry Dutton 47:05, Duncan McCarrick 47:11, Carl Cummings 48:27, Andy Howarth 49:36, Derek Coop 50:14. In the ladies under 17 race Leigh had only two counters – Eleanor Bond 9th 25:12 and Olivia Stones 15th 26:50.