North of England Young Athlete Road Relays
Report by: Martin Cunnane
Wakefield Harriers had four teams in action at the North of England Young Athletes Road Relay Championships at Stanley Park, Blackpool.
The Harriers fielded an A and B team in both the U13 and U15 girls' championship races, but unfortunately their U17 Yorkshire title holding trio was unavailable on the day and the club once again failed to turn out a male team in either of the three age groups.
Best effort on the day came from Wakefield's U15 girls' A team which finished a respectable 10th through Carly Wright, who ran 6th on the all important first stage clocking Wakefield's fastest time of the race of 11 mins 25 secs behind early leaders Gateshead, who were led home by C Whigham in 10 mins 50 secs.
Zoe Gowland made her first road outing of the season, after being laid low by the flu, and despite being far from race fit held onto 6th place after completing her stint in 12 mins flat.
Talented all-rounder Amy Fozzard ran the anchor leg, clocking 12 mins 13 secs, but despite her best efforts she dropped four places giving Wakefield 10th overall in a combined 35 mins 38 secs.
Gateshead duly collected the title after leading throughout in a combined 33 mins 22 secs with Liverpool Harriers 18 seconds further back in 33 mins 40 secs and Liverpool Pembroke third in 34 mins 23 secs.
Wakefield's B team also put in a good effort. Holding 20th place after Lucy Martin's first leg run of 12 mins 30 secs, they moved up eight places to 12th after Samantha Colley, who had been a member of the trio that took the bronze medal in the Yorkshire relay championships, charged round the course on the second leg, clocking a very respectable 11 mins 33 secs to move Wakefield up a massive eight places.
But unfortunately Lisa Hall tried hard but dropped three places on the anchor leg, recording the same time as teammate Martin, 12 mins 30 secs, to finish 15th in a combined time of 36 mins 33 secs.
In the U13 girls' championship race, the Harriers again sent two teams to the start with the A team of Jasmine Kerry (14th in 12 mins 17 secs), Abi Gowland (23rd in 13 mins 49 secs) and Naida Bromley (12 mins 57 secs) finishing 21st overall in a combined 39 mins 03 secs, behind winners Liverpool Harriers (34 mins 26 secs), silver medallists Hull Springhead (34 mins 52 secs) and Bury AC, who claimed bronze in 35 mins 23 secs.
Wakefield's B squad came home 26th in 41 mins 41 secs with leg runs by: Jan Faulkner (26th in 13 mins 07 secs, Katie Shepherd (30th in 14 mins 32 secs) and Hayley Briscoe (26th in 14 mins 02 secs).