Morpeth Harriers take pride of place in Inter-Counties Cross Country

Northumberland Schools took pride of place by taking the overall winners’ title at the Northern Schools Inter County Cross Country Championships held at Middlesbrough’s Stewarts Park on Saturday, winning by a margin of ten points over second place Cumbria, with Durham and North Yorkshire having a close battle for third and fourth.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 9:52 am
Jane Hodgson of Morpeth Harriers winning the Female Masters race in the NEMAA cross courtry at Wallsend at the weekend. Picture by Stuart Whitman.

Amongst the Northumberland successes were several athletes from Morpeth Harriers, notably Senior Girl Millie Breese and Intermediate Boy Joe Dixon, who finished first and second in their respective events, and who look as if they have firmly booked their places on the bus for the English Schools Championships being held in Kent on Saturday, March 19.

Breese won with two seconds over fellow Northumbrian Holly Waugh of North Shields Poly, with Cumbrian Champion Anna Mason of Border Harriers taking third place.

Another Morpeth Harrier who could make that bus from the Senior Girls section is Abi Leiper, fifth home for Northumberland in 16th place overall and part of her County’s winning score in this section.

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Joe Dixon led Northumberland Intermediate Boys home to a team victory when he finished second to Durham’s Brandon Pye, with Dan Richardson of Cumbria in third.

Other Morpeth Harriers distinguishing themselves were Ryan Davies and Bertie Marr, who finished fifth and eighth respectively.

Another two excellent Morpeth performances for Northumberland came in the Junior Boys, where Ollie Calvert and Ollie Tomlinson finished seven seconds apart respectively in third and fourth places. The event was won by North Yorkshire’s Jack Sanderson of Settle, with Cumbria’s Will McNally of Leven Valley only three seconds adrift and a mere second ahead of Calvert.

Northumberland finished as second team to North Yorkshire in this section.

Four Morpeth Harriers were in action in the Senior Boys, finishing in 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th places, with 20 seconds spanning their performances. The respective four were: Matthew Walton, Joseph Anderson, Ralph Robson, and James Tilley.

Two Morpeth Harriers faced the Starter in the Intermediate Girls. Tabitha Robson was the first of the two home, finishing in 25th place, and Caitlin Flanagan followed her home in 34th place, 22 seconds dividing them.

Northumberland were second team behind winners Durham, however Robson and Flanagan were outside the scoring six, as in eighth and ninth to finish for the county they await selectors’ decisions.

Two athletes from Morpeth were in action in the Minor Girls, although athletes from this age group do not participate in the English Schools finals.

Emma Tomlinson, younger sister of Ollie, finished 15th and was fourth home from the county, and Grace Cunningham finished 56th, and was 11th home for Northumberland.

U13 sprinter Kyle Phillips of Morpeth turned his hand to cross country in the Minor Boys, managing to finish 52nd, and was 13th home for Northumberland.