Big breakthrough for as she Ellie wins first National medal

Medal pride: Ellie Leather after finishing third at the NCAA Championships. Photo courtesy of the University of Cincinnati

ELLIE Leather has just delivered the best performance of her indoor career in America.

Invited as one of 16 runners to race the mile at the prestigious NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Championships in Birmingham, Alabama,  Leather, who is a member of Westbury Harriers and Yate & District AC, ran superbly to finish third.

The fact that Leather was only ranked 12th fastest on paper going into the event further emphasises the quality of her run as she first won her heat (4mins 36.15secs) on Friday evening and then delivered an excellent tactical performance to secure a pace on the podium in the dying metres on Saturday.

Leather stayed out of trouble at the rear of the field until the final couple of laps and then moved strongly through just catching Rachel McArthur of Colorado University on the line for her first national medal.

Her time of 4:35.62 was only a fraction outside her lifetime best of 4:34.89 but it will be the medal that that will raise Leather’s profile enormously and open further doors for her as she seeks to develop her career.

Her place in college history books is also now assured as it seems she is the first distance runner from the University to make the podium at the NCAA Championships.

What a great weekend for Ellie!

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