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Jessie leads Border Striders to win

RISING running star Jessie Umbers enjoyed one of the best victories of her young career at the seventh annual Good Friday Fun Run at Fingal Beach.

The 14-year-old led her Border Striders squad to a clean sweep of the top five junior placings in the 3km race, posting an inspiring 12mins 40secs to gift her a clear 30-metre victory.

“It was one of my best victor- ies,” Jessie said. “I love winning!”

The Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School student used the tail wind to her advantage as she seized an early lead and proved too strong on the return journey into the freshening breeze.

Jessie, who has already medalled at state level in cross-country, was using the race as a hit-out for the Combined Independent Schools state swimming titles later this month, in which she will compete in all strokes except butterfly.

“Athletics is great for my fitness,” she said.

“Hopefully I can get some good results in my swimming now too.”

The Twin Towns Services Club-sponsored event proved a happy hunting ground for the Umbers family, with Jessie winning a random draw prize to go with her overall and junior trophies, before mum Kerry purchased a winning raffle ticket.

Border Striders' Marlie Campton (Bangalow) and Ella Heiniger (Lennox Head) claimed the remaining two podium spots, with Brisbane's Hannah Wixted and St Joseph's champion Keira Brennan completing a top-five sweep for the squad.

Pacific School Games steeplechase gold medallist Natalie Dudkowski was also impressive, prevailing in the 6km race with her 22mins 50secs proving too hot for national-class runner Jenna Fulton, NSW CHS 3000m champion Leshay Wells and Queensland surf life saving representative Tia Nation, all of whom are members of the Border Striders squad.