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Howarth on fire
9:00am Friday 22nd February 2013 in Sport
LEIGH Harriers’ Lauren Howarth sent a strong message to the European Indoor Championships selectors at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.
In the 3,000m, Howarth, running home in second place to former European champion Helen Clitheroe, was just one second off the European qualifying time of 8mins 51secs.
She broke her previous best time set one week earlier as well as clocking the sixth fastest in Europe this year.
Meanwhile, Harriers runners won four races in the last match of the South East Lancashire Cross Country League Series at Boggart Hole Clough on Saturday.
The under 11s boys and girls gave the Leigh team a near perfect start to the afternoon.
Ben McLaughlin was an impressive winner, completing the one-mile course in 5mins 47secs.
He led home a strong team of Shea Mellor, fourth in 6mins 22secs, Kyle Jones, fifth in 6mins 24secs, Coel Mellor, seventh in 6mins 29secs, Connor Wyatt, eighth in 6mins 30secs, Billy Blain, ninth in 6mins 33secs, Connor Law, 13th in 6mins 49secs, William Hewitt, 14th in 6mins 57secs and Patrick Hewitt, 18th in 7mins 23secs.
The boys won and finished the league as first overall team.
Keely Hodgkinson kept her remarkable unbeaten record with a 14th consecutive win, despite losing her shoe at the start and running the whole race without it.
She clocked 6mins 20secs for the one-mile course at the head of the team of Joanna Smith, seventh in 6mins 55secs, Sian Ridyard, 11th in 7mins 7secs, Emma McIntyre, 15th in 7mins 25secs and Taylor Ridyard, 23rd in 8mins 2secs that finished second on the day and overall.
It leaves Hodgkinson as the first Harrier to win the individual under 11s girls’ title in both the South East Lancashire League and the Red Rose League.
Leigh’s next win came in the women’s under 17s race over three miles.
Leah Peploe consolidated her overall lead in the league, making light of the tough course in a winning time of 20mins 34secs.
Tom Knellor, competing in the under 20s men’s race over six miles, won his fourth race in the league in 43mins 33secs.
James Wardle found the going tough in the under 15s boys’ two-mile race but finished second in 13mins 42secs to clinch the overall title, having won three past races.
Sam Wardle ran well in sixth place in 14mins 37secs, with Dominic Howarth in eighth place clinching the overall team place.
Kristian Wade stood out in the boys’ under 13s 1.5 mile race, finishing second in 9mins 45secs.
Olivia Stones was seventh in the girls’ under 15s race in 19mins 13secs.
Numbers were down for the Harriers in the senior men’s race, with Alister Goulding 13th in 43mins 19secs.