RAPID RUNNER Leigh Lennon has spent four years trying to get a gold medal - and now she has one in the bag, the teenager is hoping there are plenty more to come.
The 15-year-old, along with fellow Ribble Valley Athletic Club member Robbie Schofield, were golden heroes in Sheffield on the indoor track.
This was the first major athletics championship of the indoor season and, with the cream of the north competing, medals did not come easy.
But both Hyndburn runners Robbie and Leigh left their competitors behind to both take gold medals and stake an early place in the 2007 rankings.
Robbie, who has just turned 16, won his gold medal in the Under 17 men's 800m with a time of 2.00.32 - which put him second on this year's rankings and he knocked almost four seconds of his indoor personal best.
He also won silver in the 1500m in 4.14.14sec, which took him sixth in the three-and-three-quarter lap rankings.
Hot prospect Leigh, who is one of the youngest in her age group, raced to glory in the Under 17 1500m in a time of 4.48.38 and added a silver in the 800m with a time of 2.15.91. She just missed out on a gold by 300th of a second.
Both Leigh's times took her to second in the national rankings for 1500m and 800m. Leigh has now collected seven medals at these championships in the last three years with this being her first major gold.
"She has been trying for four years to win a gold and everything just fell into place," said dad and coach Don Lennon. "Like Robbie, she took about four seconds off her indoor personal best and we are hoping for big things off both of them this season."
Both Leigh and Robbie will now go on to the National Indoor Championships, which take place at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on the 24 and 25 February, as genuine medal contenders.
Silver medallist Nathan Riding also moved into the rankings with his time of 4.05.78 in the 1500m which places him second in the Under 20s list.
Nathan also ran 2.02.92 in the 800m, coming in fifth in the final.
Other medallists were Ashleigh William who won silver in the Under 20s 800m with 2.27.26 and fifth in the 400m final, placing her at number seven in the national rankings.
Eliot Bailey was a surprise medallist gaining a fantastic bronze medal in the Under 15 800m. And he got a personal best while doing it, breaking 2.30secs for the first time with 2.27.43. This puts him 11th in the national rankings.
- RIBBLE Valley AC is a newly formed athletics club and has been sponsored by Johnson Matthey who are, along with other funding, paying for a group of athletes to go to Portugal for warm weather training. Anyone interested in finding out more about the club go to www.rvac.co.uk .