Silver double for Leeds City runners
ATHLETICS: Superb performances by Leeds City runners gave them silver medals in both the men’s and women’s races at the English Road Relays Championships at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.
Wandiye Indelbu started for Leeds in the six-stage men’s race clocking 17:47 to come home in 20th place. From then it was improvement all the way.
A good run by Gordon Benson (17:39) picked up the places. The Olympic triathlete, recovering from shoulder surgery, seems well on the way to full fitness.
Linton Taylor (18:18) was the slowest of the Leeds sextet, but still gained a couple of places before newcomer Graham Rush (17:22) picked up another three to finish fifth. Rush, an international from Cheltenham, is doing research work at York University and will be a huge asset to the Leeds squad.
Philip Sesemann moved into the silver medal position. With 17:10 he was the fastest Leeds runner as he had been in their silver medal performance in the Northern Championships two weeks ago.
Emile Cairess took the anchor stage and he ran an excellent 17:16 to cement second place. Cairess, Yorkshire Cross Country champion, took over close behind Ross Millington (Stockport).
Good as the Leeds performance was it could have been even better. Running for the Leeds B team, Ossama Meslek was third on the first stage, his time of 17:18 exactly a minute faster than the slowest Leeds A team runner.
The margin between winners Stockport and Leeds was 25 seconds. Northern champions Lincoln Wellington were fifth.
In the women’s four-stage relay Leeds were given a good start by Stevie Stockton, who finished second in 14:17. Lucy Crookes (14:45) took them into the lead, but with only three seconds over Aldershot.
Georgia Malir (15:31) dropped back to second before handing over to Claire Duck. With Aldershot out of range, and with no pressure from behind, Duck eased round in 14:56 to seal the silver medal performance.
A fine performance from Rotherham saw them finish just outside the medals in fourth place. Their fastest runner was Hayley Carruthers (14:49) who gets her first international vest in two weeks at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Rotherham took the award for the first B team with a superb ninth.