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Brownlee brothers double as Yorkshire champions
The Brownlee brothers were impressive winners at the Yorkshire Cross-Country championships held recently at Fartown High School in Huddersfield. Younger brother, Jonathan, representing Bradford Grammar School, won the junior men's race by almost a minute.
Alistair won the senior men's event, with a five-second gap over John Heneghan (Pudsey & Bramley), both of whom had a good cushion over the 182-strong field. Fell-runner, Ian Holmes, was second Bingley finisher in 8th position, as Bingley gained second in the team prize, behind powerful rivals, Leeds City.
The calibre of the senior field is demonstrated by Will Smith being first Keighley & Craven runner in 34th place, helping his team to 13th spot.
Skyrac's Nic Howard led their team to a highly commendable 17th place overall. Otley were 18th but were missing their best runner.
The senior women's race saw Mary Wilkinson, youngster Lucy Mayho, and Sharon Taylor, finishing 5th, 10th and 14th respectively, to give Bingley another team second, this time behind Sheffield club, Hallamshire.
In the youth races Liam Steadman (Spenborough) was 3rd in the under-13s; while in the girls' equivalent, Emma Wilkinson (Spenborough) just held on to 5th place ahead of Skyrac's Jay Riley. The strongest local representation was in the under-15s where Holly Shreeve (Bingley) finished second, with team-mate Carly Robertson, Rosie Hellawell (Keighley), Sarah Roberts (Spenborough) and Harriet Middlebrough (Skyrac) all in the top ten.
The next day (January 6), over three minutes was the margin for Ian Fisher in the Pennine 10k race from Brighouse. The Otley AC runner destroyed a field of 291 finishers with a time of 31min 49sec.
Martin Firth (Queensbury) maintained his impressive form, 9th in 37min 52sec; Majid Ali (Bingley) in 16th and Mike Hogan (Eccleshill) in 25th also broke 40min on a tough course. Queensbury's men's team were an impressive third behind Halifax and Meltham.
A more competitive women's race was won by Sarah Ridehalgh (Accrington), in 39min 26sec, with Spenborough's Karen Pickles fourth woman home, less than a minute behind her.