The fourth fixture in the North East Harrier League cross country series took place at a cold, windy and exceptionally muddy Herrington Park near Sunderland on Saturday.
The U13 Girls team went to Herrington Park looking to maintain their first place position in the league. The muddy, wet and hilly 3.4km course was certainly challenging and the very cold north-easterly wind made conditions harsh!
However, the girls were undaunted and running from the Fast Pack Lauren Brown and Millie Breese finished in excellent second and eighth places, Lauren once again running the fastest time of the day (13.57). Ellie Price (Slow Pack) had another good race coming home in 14th place to secure the girls an overall second place finish, with Beth Carragher and Sam Potts also contributing to the outstanding result.
The girls maintained their five point lead in the league and look in a strong position with just two fixtures remaining.
Having now been fastest in the first four races of the season Lauren Brown has also secured the overall Grand Prix competition, an impressive feat with still two fixtures remaining. Of the 123 Under 13 Girls to have taken part do far Millie is also third and Beth is 23rd.
The U13 Boys were lead home by fast packer Max Murray John in 10th place. Max ran an excellent time of 13.48 making him fastest overall Junior Harrier on the day. Newly promoted Finlay Wilde had a good race and finished in 43rd, followed by Finlay Telfer in 61st. The team was placed eighth overall.
The first finisher for the U11 Boys was Harris Hall running the 1.6km course in 7.46. Next was Cooper Wilde just three places behind, then Thomas Gladstone. Ava Findlay was Alnwick’s sole representative in the girls race but ran well to finish 54th.
First finisher for the U15 Boys was Max Breese in 17th position with the fast packers Ben Murray John, Ollie Telfer and Joseph Godden closely grouped from 37th place. The boys finished eighth overall. Maddie Hall was the only U15 girl to run but managed a good race.
The Senior Women had an amazing overall result by finishing second of the 10 teams in Division 1 on the day, a remarkable feat. This pushes the women into fifth place in the division, thus easing any nagging relegation fears.
Jo Gascoigne-Owens put in her usual amazing performance by finishing sixth overall and running the third quickest overall time from the Fast Pack. Alice Tetley-Paul continues to improve and finished a brilliant ninth from the Slow Pack, thus is promoted to the Medium Pack for the next season and a half. Diana Weightman was third counter in 26th and was cock-a-hoop with her Medium Pack promotion, whilst Tracey Sample was fourth and final counter. They were backed up by some good performances from the likes of Bev Blythe, Mary Plumley and Helen Dickinson.
For the Senior Men a slightly depleted squad still had some excellent results and under the circumstances should be happy with finishing fifth of the 11 Division 2 teams on the day. This sees them drop to third in the league, though with the Grand Prix fixture at Thornley Hall and the home race in Alnwick Pastures to come promotion to the top flight remains a possibility.
From the Slow Pack Ian Simon finished a very good 25th of over 400 runners and sees himself promoted back to the Medium Pack. Mens captain Dominic Harris had his best cross country performance in a Harriers vest to finish 63rd from the Medium Pack and surely has one eye on Fast Pack promotion. Jason Dawson was the third counter from the Slow Pack, just holding off Alnwick’s fastest runner on the day, Steve Carragher, who ran impressively from the Fast Pack. Steve Patterson was next, with Jon Archer being the sixth and final counter.
Though not counters the likes of Mike Telfer, Rob Murray John and Chris Calvert all helped to give the club a decent result.
Next up is the long trip to Thornley Hall Farm near Peterlee on Saturday, February 10.