Spen athletes shine to reach English Schools Championships

SPENBOROUGH Athletics Club had three West Yorkshire champions and 10 qualifiers at the West Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Silcoates Grammar School, Wakefield last Saturday.

Thursday, 11th February 2010, 2:24 pm

Athletes needed to be placed in the first eight to qualify for a place in the West Yorkshire team at the English Schools Cross Country Championships and the Spenborough runners didn't disappoint.

First up was the Junior Girls race for school years 8 and 9, Bethany Ellis representing Kirklees, had a superb run leading from start to finish to take the title.

Her training partners also impressed. Abby Parkinson, representing Bradford, ran well finishing close behind in fourth and she still has another year in this age group.

Katie Byrne (Kirklees) enjoyed her best run yet finishing strongly in eighth. All three will make the team with Emma Wilkinson (Kirklees) in 13th and Elle Bolton-Hardy (Kirklees) in 15th.

In the Junior Boys, Liam Stedman, representing Calderdale, opened up a substantial lead from the start and was never in any danger of being caught as he took the title.

Paul Davis (Calderdale) continued his good form to finish in fourth making the team and James Anthoney (Kirklees), who has another year in this age group, finished 25th.

Sarah Roberts (Calderdale) ran well in the Intermediate Girls gaining a place in the team in sixth place with Jessica Ellis (Kirklees) having a good run in a distance she is not used to coming home in 13th.

In the Intermediate Boys, school years 10 and 11, Joshua Woodcock-Shaw (Kirklees) set off with the leaders and ran a strong race with a well deserved place in the team finishing sixth, followed by Simon Bolland (Kirklees) with a good run in 15th and Christopher Hampson (Kirklees), who dispute falling, managed to get back up and finish in 20th.

In the Senior Girls Jenny Walsh (Kirklees) continued her terrific form opening up a big lead from the start and holding this through the race to take the title with some ease.

Last race of the day was the Senior Boys, where Carl Foulstone (Kirklees) set his stall out and had his best cross country run by far coming home in sixth place with training partner Ryan Dransfield (Calderdale) gaining a well deserved place in the team in eighth, making it 10 qualifiers in all.

The 10 will now represent West Yorkshire Schools in the English Schools Cross Country final at Heaton Park, Manchester on March 20.

Spenborough athletes will be action again on February 20 at Thornes Park, Wakefield, in the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships once again hoping for a top-eight finish to earn a place in the Yorkshire team for the Inter Counties at Birmingham on March 13.