Posted on

How junior Ellie is following in the footsteps of Olympian Diane Leather

WESTBURY Harriers coach Jason Michael recently let me know of an amazing story concerning Ellie Leather.

The former Easy Runner/Bristol Post athlete of the month winner (pictured left)  is now on a sports scholarship in America at Fresno State University in California and is enjoying a terrific indoor season.

Just recently Ellie ran her first sub five minutes mile with a time of 4mins 59.24secs to finish third at the Washington Invitational meeting.

She has since improved that to 4:58.58 racing for Fresno in Ohio at the SPIRE Division 1 Invitational, where she finished 2nd in her heat. 

Wind back 64 years to May 1954 and Jason tells me that Diane Leather (pictured right) became the first woman in history to break five minutes for the mile when she ran 4.59.6 in Birmingham. Remarkably Ellie, who is coached by Jason at the Harriers, is Diane’s Great Niece.

“While Ellie has her career in front of her, Diane went on be one of the best female runners in British history as she brought the world record for the mile down to 4.45, ran in the 1960 Olympic games, finished runner up in the 800m at the 1954 and 1958 European Championships,” explained Jason.

“She also won the National Cross Country Championships four times as well as holding the 1500m World Record (4.49) and the British record over 400 (56.3) and 800m (2.06).”

If Ellie goes on to achieve just a fraction of that then she will have also enjoyed a terrific running career – good luck to her.