Boys' relay reward is a first for club runners
Team Bath's talented under-13 boys made club history at the weekend as they brought home a medal from the English Cross-Country Relays.
John Howorth recorded the second fastest time of the day to lead after the first leg and twin brother Robert secured the silver medals after Themis Bower had produced his best run to date to lose just one place on the second leg.
Proud coach Adrian Clover said: "The lads were fifth last year, so we always thought we had a chance and that's how it worked out.
"As the relays are a relatively new arrival on the calendar, I would venture it is the first time that any squad, male or female, from Team Bath has won a medal.
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"Certainly in my time here we have never won a team medal. Whether the City of Bath did 25 years ago I don't know but it was a tremendous effort by the boys and represents a memorable moment and fantastic achievement for the youngsters."
Loren Bleaken scorched around the Mansfield course to clock the third fastest time of the day in the under-17 women's race.
The Team Bath runner crossed the line with Coventry Godiva's Sian Rainsley but was adjudged to be just behind the race leader.
The race officials also failed to spot Bleaken, meaning team-mate Kirsty Stanley had not been called into the changeover zone and lost almost ten seconds in the ensuing confusion.
"It was unfortunate and not Kirsty's fault but these things happen and ultimately it didn't affect the medals," said Clover.
Stanley and Alice Dixon eventually brought Team Bath home a creditable 19th.
Meanwhile, the younger Howorth brother, Rory, made it two cross-county wins in a week as he followed up his McCain Challenge success with victory in the Gloucestershire League under-11s race at Cheltenham.
Jonah Veakins was third in the under-13 boys' category at Pittville Park, while Caitlin Wosika was an impressive second in the girls' equivalent.
The Chronicle's athletics coverage is sponsored by Running Bath, Bath's specialist running shop. Catering for runners of all abilities, from complete beginners to experienced athletes, it offers a wide range of running footwear, apparel and accessories. Visit Running Bath at 18 High Street, Bath, call 01225 462555 or log on to www.runningbath.co.uk.