West Yorkshire Cross Country League
Report by: Bryan Murray
Sam Handforth was Wakefield Harriers' star performer at the Sports Direct, West Yorkshire League meeting at Skipton.
Handforth, probably his best performance, took the field apart in the boys' U15 race, winning in a comfortable 15 mins 13 secs. His first place helped Wakefield to third in the team event along with team-mates Ian Wainwright and Andrew Hall.
Hall had the misfortune of slipping on the road section of the course but finished in 14th place in 16 mins 32 secs with Wainwright ninth in 15 mins 55 secs.
Craig Appleby, another debutant for the Harriers, came home in a creditable 28th place in 18 mins 03 secs.
The girls' U13 race set off in sunshine with Jadine Wright and Laura Teasdale benefiting as later races cut up in the waterlogged conditions.
Wright held her position from start to finish and completed the testing course in 12 mins 30 secs in 11th place, Teasdale placed 20th in 13 mins 54 secs.
Thirty-three athletes lined up for the U15 girls' race with the Wakefield club well represented by Zoe Gowland, Jasmine Kerry, Lisa Hall, Elaine Hardbattle and Jan Faulkner.
Gowland, improving with every race, led the field for about the first mile. Latching on to her were Kerry and Hall, with Hardbattle and Faulkner placed well in the second group.
Nearing the end of the race, Gowland, on the uphill section, still led but was tracked by Maddick (Hull Springhead) who edged first in 12 mins 48 secs ahead of Gowland just two seconds behind.
Kerry came home 8th in 13 mins 37 secs, Hall 10th in 13 mins 42 secs, Hardbattle 15th in 14 mins 22 secs, and Faulkner 22nd in 14 mins 57 secs. Wakefield won the team prize thanks to the placings of the first three home.
The condition of the course was atrocious by the time the women's U17s 4km race got going. Aine Hoban and Sam Colley were involved in a close run thing with Hoban finishing in 5th in 17 mins 54 secs and Colley 13th in 19 mins 04 secs.