West Yorkshire Cross Country LeagueReport by: Bryan Murray
Conditions for the Sports Direct West Yorkshire Cross Country League were ideal after a hard morning frost covered the Thornes Park course.
There were many competitors for the various age groups in the third meet out of four, with the U13 girls' race starting the day's busy programme of competition.
Jasmine Kerry, Jan Faulkner, Abi Gowland, Katie Shepherd and Laura Teasdale were representing Wakefield Harriers. Kerry, first year competitor continued her fine form setting off with the early contenders followed by Teasdale.
At the halfway stage, the athletes pass their first major test, the infamous Bandstand Hill, and all progressed safely up it. With Faulkner, Gowland and Teasdale progressing their positions on the hill, a long downhill finish greeted the athletes.
Places and times of the Wakefield athletes were: Kerry 7th, 13 minutes 41 seconds; Faulkner 26th, 14.57; Teasdale, 34th, 15.26 and Shepherd 42nd 16.27. The winning time was 12.48 by L Kirk of Skyrac, with Wakefield's team seventh after amassing 63 points.
The U15 girls' team consisted of Abi Gowland, Samantha Colley, Carly Wright, Amy Fozzard, Lucy Martin and Lisa Hall. With a couple of months training behind them the team showed much promise over this tough course.
Gowland led the harriers round the first part of the course with Wright and Colley in close attention. On the second lap, Fozzard and Martin started to make inroad into the leading pack which was brought home by winner H Glover of Bingley who gained her third win of the series in 17mins 04 secs.
Places and times of the Wakefield ath etes were: Gowland, 7th 17.55; Colley 13th, 18.55; Wright 15th 19.08; Fozzard 16th 19.09 and Martin, 20th in 19.43.
Wakefield's only finisher in the U15 boys race was Sam Handforth who finished 21st out of 45 starters and beat his own personal best time in the process by over two minutes. The race was won by Stephen Enright of Halifax Harriers in 15.34 seconds with Handforth clocking 18.53.
Alex Senior was the only competitor from Wakefield in the U17 men's, race and he too finished in 21st place in a time of 25.44 with Pickering from Bridlington winning the race.
Aine Hoban had another fine run in the U17 Womens race with the first five places evenly contested. But in the final race to the finish Hoban had to settle for fifth spot in 18.52, 40 seconds behind the winner Daly from Scunthorpe.
The Junior/Senior women's race was well attended with all 78 competitors finishing the demanding course. Wakefield's Linda Walker and Laura Sheard had a good tussle over the course with Walker coming in second placed Harrier.
Team mate Sarah Beevers did even better finishing seventh overall, and Shelly Tomins ran into a gutsy 39th place as the Wakefield team finished fourth overall with 95 points. Places and times of the Wakefield athletes were: Beevers 7th, 26.10; Walker 24th, 27.53; Sheard 25th, 27.54 (second junior woman); and Tomins 39th in 29.33.