Morpeth Harriers win gold and silver at Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships

Morpeth Harriers' winning Junior Men's team. Picture: Peter ScaifeMorpeth Harriers' winning Junior Men's team. Picture: Peter Scaife
Morpeth Harriers' winning Junior Men's team. Picture: Peter Scaife
The Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships returned to the North East and the rolling grassland of Sedgefield East Park.

A high standard of competition saw Morpeth Harriers win one team gold and one individual silver medal.

The team gold came in the Junior Under-20s Men’s race. Will De Vere Owen led the Morpeth contingent home, finishing just outside the individual medals in fourth.

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Joe Dixon was seventh, and with Bertie Marr making a top 20 finish, and James Tilley fighting off a bout of flu to battle through to 34th, the team count of a miserly 31 points placed the club in first place.

The outstanding individual silver came from young Ewan Line in the Under-13 Boys race. Line has been in fine form over the cross country this winter and the medal is just reward for the hard work he has put in and the disappointments he has also overcome, for instance being misdirected when leading in the North Easterns in December.

Jack Dhawar was 96th.

The final race of the day saw runners take on a 12.1k course over three laps.

A field of more than 400 was led home by Gateshead’s Calum Johnson, finishing 30 seconds ahead of closest rivals Angus McMillan of Hallamshire and Matthew Ramsden of Blackburn.

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They were chased every inch of the way by Morpeth’s Carl Avery, who came fourth.

Avery was the first of 12 Morpeth finishers, with Leeds-based Phil Winkler finishing 15th, Alex Brown, 39th, Connor Marshall, 42nd, Lawrence McCourt, 56, Andrew Lawrence, 69th, Rob Balmbra, 74th, Alex Cunningham, 76th and Adam Pratt, 96th all making the top 100.

Once again the Macdonald sisters led the Morpeth effort in the day’s penultimate race, the Senior Women’s, with Catriona Macdonald 24th, and sisters Lorna 70th and an injured Lindsey 133rd.

Earlier in the day, the club’s Under-13 Girls had performed well to finish in eighth place, with Faye Heatley first back in 41st, Lucy Raper 55th, Zoe Tomlinson 59th and Anna Archibald 96th.

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Elliot Kelso just missed out on a top 10 finish in the Under-17 Men’s race, coming in 11th, with Joe Close 41st.

There were three finishers in the Under-15 Girls’ race, with Emma Tomlinson 61st, Molly Roche 70th and Charlotte Marshall 114th.

Ben Moll finished 45th in the Under-15 Boys.