THE Lakeside 5k Series is fast becoming a great showcase for City of Portsmouth’s outstanding young athletes.
Lachlan Wellington, 15, wrapped up overall series victory with his third win in four races on Wednesday as he powered to the line in a time of 15.26.
Four City juniors were in the top 14 with Jacob O’Hara seventh (16.13), Steven Cross 13th (17.11) and Adam Kimber 14th (17.16).
Nicole Ainsworth, 13, finished third lady (18.44) and is number one in the United Kingdom rankings for 5k on the road.
Under-15 runner Ben Cross finished in 20.40, under-20 athlete Lauren McCarthy ran 20.46 and under-17 Katie Simister clocked 21.10.
Seamus Morrison finished first under-13 boy (21.23) and Hattie Locke was first under-13 girl (21.25).
The race to finish first lady was a close run thing between Southampton’s Jen Elkins and City of Portsmouth’s Emma Montiel.
Elkins finished ahead with a time of 18.14, with the City athlete, who was first VW40, second (18.17).
For Montiel it was nice to see so many home youngsters out in force.
She said: ‘The good thing is Portsmouth has got a lot of young talent coming through. It’s fantastic to see.
‘Nicole Ainsworth is running so well and I’m always thinking, “how close behind me is she!”
‘Lachlan is unbelievable as well, it’s great. The depth is very good to see.
‘Hopefully they can carry on into the seniors and beyond.
‘Even compared to two years ago the young athletes have just flourished which is great to see.
‘I couldn’t believe how many of us from Portsmouth were running.
‘It’s brilliant, hopefully that will continue to give us oldies a bit of a rest!’
Montiel is getting back into some speed work.
She enjoyed the challenge of chasing the impressive Elkins.
‘I think I just haven’t done enough shorter races this year because I was concentrating on the marathon,’ Montiel added.
‘But I enjoyed that run, I’ve been consistent which is good and I’ve stayed injury free which is the main thing.
‘I was just behind Jen in the last one as well, and I think slightly closer this time. She is running well.’
Wellington’s coach Vince Stamp was pleased to see the UK number one at under-15 level turn on the afterburners to set a new road 5k personal best.
He said: ‘It was a really good run and there is more to come.
‘I didn’t expect a fast time because it was so laid back at the start and he was so comfortable.
‘Lachlan had run a 4.24.27 mile in Oxford on Saturday at the BMC Grand Prix.
‘Most of our youngsters were training the night before, and they ran really well. I’m pleased for them.’