Morpeth Harriers conquer terrible conditions to win medals at North East Cross Country Championships

Runners defied the worst conditions experienced at a cross country for a long time to take part in the North East Cross Country Championships at Temple Park, South Shields, on Saturday.
Ewan Line came third despite being misdirected when in the lead. Picture: Peter ScaifeEwan Line came third despite being misdirected when in the lead. Picture: Peter Scaife
Ewan Line came third despite being misdirected when in the lead. Picture: Peter Scaife

The three team and two individual gold medals won by Morpeth Harriers were the icing on the cake of what was a memorable, if demanding, day.

The first of those two golds was in the U17 Boys race, were Elliot Kelso won by 12 seconds, also leading his team to victory.

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Kelso was supported by Oliver Tomlinson, sixth, and Joe Close, 15th.

There was a further team gold in the U20 Junior Men, with Morpeth’s Joe Dixon picking up individual silver.

Liam Roche, Ethan Phillips and Bertie Marr were fifth, sixth and seventh.

The final team gold was in the day’s penultimate race, the Senior Men’s.

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With Morpeth’s Sam Hancox and Will Cork in the thick of the action from the off, the leading group of six were soon detached from the rest of the field, but a powerful run by Houghton Harrier Cameron Allan saw him surge away on the last lap to win by a 40-second margin, Cork and Hancox collecting silver and bronze medals.

With six to count for the team prize, a dominant club performance saw the next four counters in 11th (Connor Marshall), 15th (Tom Balsdon), 16th (Rob Balmbra) and 23rd (Peter Smallcombe).

Picking up the team award for the 12th successive year, the team were delighted to receive the trophy from Morpeth’s club president Jim Alder MBE.

There was a further individual gold medal in the U20 Women’s race, with Millie Breese picking up the trophy for the second successive year.

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There were also team bronzes in the U13 Boys and the Senior Women’s races.

Ewan Line picked up both individual and team medals in the U13s, finishing third overall but understandably frustrated having been misdirected when leading.

Line’s team mates were Evan Laude, 30th, George Moll, 34th, and Jack Dhawar, 35th.

Morpeth’s Cat Macdonald picked up a silver medal for the second successive year in the Senior Women’s race and also led her team to bronze, with Lizzie Rank 22nd, Lorna Macdonald 24th, Robyn Bennett 27th and Kirsty Burville 43rd.

The club’s U15 Boys – Ben Moll, Harry Douglass and Thomas Roche – came fourth.