Winner Ben Lyons (left), Todd Payne and Kobi Clarkson in the straight in the 10 years boys cross country.
Winner Ben Lyons (left), Todd Payne and Kobi Clarkson in the straight in the 10 years boys cross country. Gerard Walsh

Lyons wins battle to claim cross country

CROSS COUNTRY: Ben Lyons won a close battle with Kobi Clarkson and Todd Payne to win the 10 years cross country at the Southern Downs Championships at Allora yesterday.

The Warwick West State School student took the lead in the final quarter of the race and led going over the bridge in Stuart Henry Park less than 100 metres from the finish.

Kobi Clarkson, of Warwick West, and Warwick East student Todd Payne made a valiant effort down a short straight but Lyons kicked in the final 20 metres to win in seven minutes, 55.55 seconds.

He won by half a second from Clarkson with Payne less than a second away in third.

Ben said he knew Kobi and Todd were finishing well.

"I didn't keep much energy for the finish," he said.

He didn't specially train for cross country.

"My main training is football on a Saturday," Ben said.

Away from cross country and football, his main sport is athletics.

He specialises in the 800m and won gold in high jump this year at the Queensland Little Athletics Championships.

Ryeford State School student Lacey Maguire won the 10 years girls event by four seconds from Maddison Welsh, of Warwick West, and Emma Fuller from Clifton State School.

St Mary's student Caitlin Skaines powered home down the straight to win the 11 years girls event.

Even some of the officials were surprised when the first girl made it to the straight in the 12 years girl.

Sophie Follett, of Warwick West, won her third Southern Downs championships on top of her third placing last year.

She was 18th in the state championships last year and hopes to qualify in 2013.

Warwick West won the school championship with 123 points from St Mary's on 62 and Scots PGC on 57.

All athletes who finished in the first five in 10, 11 and 12-year age groups yesterday and the top-three in 13 years have qualified for the Darling Downs championships at Kearney's Springs on May 28.

A Darling Downs team will then be named for the state championships.

Winners

10 years Lacey Maguire (Ryeford) and Ben Lyons (Warwick West)

11 years Caitlin Skaines (St Mary's) and Darcy Peardon (St Francis de Sales, Clifton)

12 years Sophie Follett (Warwick West) and Seth Mathie (St Patrick's, Allora)

13 years Shae Erhardt (Allora State) and Jacob Wyllie (Warwick West)



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