Young Alnwick Harriers star at Inter-Counties cross-country

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Junior teams from Northumberland, Durham, Cleveland, Cumbria and North Yorkshire met for the Schools Inter Counties Cross Country Championship at Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria last Saturday.

Alnwick Harriers fielded six athletes across all the age groups representing several schools from the surrounding Alnwick area.

The athletes were selected for the Northumberland team through two qualification rounds; firstly at Druridge Bay to represent North Northumberland and then by finishing in the top 16 at the County Championship.

The runners from the five counties were challenged by a tough course in testing conditions. The two steep hills on the wet and muddy course made for hard racing on a very cold day.

Lauren Brown and Hannah Johnston were first to run in the Minor girls race (Year 7, under 12). Lauren ran a steady race moving up from 12th place on the first big hill to sixth by the end of the second long climb. After a good final decent and sprint to the finish Lauren gained two more places to finish in an excellent fourth place just 11 seconds behind the winner.

Hannah, competing for the first time for the County, finished 37th in a field of over 70 runners.

Max Murray John ran an excellent race in the Minor boy’s category and finished 19th overall.

In the Junior Girls race (Years 8&9) Ellie Henderson had another great weekend’s racing. Last week Ellie ran in the Northern Clubs Championship at Knowsley, Liverpool and once again in Kirkby Stephen produced another solid mid table result.

Ollie Telfer ran in the junior boy’s race and survived the longer two lap race finishing well.

Finally in the senior boy’s race Ben Kelly ran well and finished the 7.1 km course as first counter for Northumberland. This is an excellent result that will hopefully guarantee his selection for the National English Schools Championship in March.

* Three members of the Junior Alnwick Harriers squad attended the Gateshead Indoor Athletics Series last Thursday.

Antje Hall was the only athlete to race the 60m and did well to run a personal best time of 9.32 seconds. In the 60m hurdles Antje managed fifth place in her first indoor race.

In the Shot Putt brothers Ollie and Finlay Telfer won the U15 and U13 categories with Ollie increasing his personal best throw to 7.83m and Finlay missing out on a pb by 1cm! To conclude the evening the boys both ran personal best times in the 60m hurdles, with Ollie managing 11.69s and Finlay 14.19s.

The athletes had an excellent night of competition when the snowy weather conditions outside were pretty miserable. Their build up to the summer athletic season has started well and there will be lots of improvement over the coming months.

* The penultimate North East Harrier League fixture of the season saw members of the club pay another visit to the Thornley Hall Farm course near Peterlee on Saturday.

The course was a lot lot muddier than last time and was an extremely testing affair, though most of our runners seemed to have enjoyed it!

For the Seniors the stars were Jo Gascoigne-Owens who finished sixth of nearly 250 runners and David Milne who was 20th of just under 370 finishers. Overall the Senior Men were the top team on the day finishing fourth of the 11 teams in the league.

In terms of the team performance the Senior Women had another not so great result, finishing ninth of the 10 teams in Division 1 on the day. This sees them drop to eighth overall, just ahead of the relegation zone. Hopefully home advantage and increased numbers of Harriers at the fixture on The Pastures in early March will see them avoid the drop.

Backing up Jo on the day were Diana Weightman who finished 63rd from the Slow Pack, Karen Kelly from the Fast Pack who was 119th and Emma Murray from the Slow Pack who was 177th. Also well done to the non counter Melanie Buchanan.

For the Senior Men David Milne showed what a top class runner he is by coming from the Fast Pack to finish 20th overall. Adam Fletcher, making the longest journey for the club to take part in the fixture, was 83rd from the Medium Pack and Jordan Rogerson was next. The final three counters all finished within a few seconds of each other with captain Dominic Harris just beating Dean Stackhouse and Jon Duffy. The fourth placed finish on the day saw Alnwick jump up two places to third overall, just outside the promotion slots.

Results:

Girls Under 11s: 12-Evie Godden 7.21.

Boys Under 13s: 32-Joseph Godden 18.31 (F); 37-Ryan Harrison-Frater 19.07 (S); 38-Joe Hemsley 19.11 (S).

Girls Under 13s: 15-Ellie henderson 18.40 (F).

Boys Under 15s: 12-Alex Threlfall 16.02 (S); 27-Ollie Telfer 17.46 (F).

Senior Women: 6-Jo Gascoigne-Owens 34.05 (F); 63-Diana Weightman 37.59 (S); 119-Karen Kelly 40.51 (F); 177-Emma Murray 45.18 (S) 240-Melanie Buchanan 61.27 (S).

Senior Men: 20-David Milne 46.22 (F); 83-Adam Fletcher 49.30 (M); 96-Jordan Rogerson 49.44 (S); 123-Dominic Harris 50.32 (M); 126-Dean Stackhouse 50.32 (S); 132-Jon Duffy 50.47 (S); 150-Phil Hemsley 51.28 (M); 155-Shaun Land 51.32 (M); 197-Stuart Morris 53.02 (S).

* That morning 14 Harriers took part in the 5k Druridge Bay Parkrun in pretty grim conditions.

Carole PAGE made it an amazing fourth win on the trot at the event as she finished 12th overall. Also for the female Harriers Lisa Williams was third lady home, Justine Norman was fourth,

Sue Bolam was winner of the female 50 age group and Nell Gair bagged another 5k pb!

For the men Phil Hall was second finisher in 19.10. Paul Robinson was the club’s second finisher and Ian Atherton won the male 60 category!

Results:

2-Phil Hall 19.10 (72.97%); 12-Carole Page 22.06 (83.03%); 24-Lisa Williams 23.41 (68.40%); 30-Justine Norman 23.57 (66.32%); 34-Paul Robinson 24.24; 40-Mel Steer 25.15; 49-Ian Atherton 26.03 (62.64%); 57-Sue Bolam 26.48; 70-Mairi Campbell 27.38 (61.40%); 80-Jocelyn Bolam 28.14 (52.46%); 84-Laura Mclean Sr (62.20%); 104-Nell Gair 30.04; 105-Jayne McKenna 30.31; 115-Christine Mavromichaelis 32.08.

* Over at Workington Richard Eastoe was 50th finisher in 26.05.

*Four Harriers tackled the Run Newcastle Valentines 10k on the Town Moor. Peter Grey put in a great performance to win the male 55 category, whilst Emma Shell knocked about three minutes off her 10k best!

Results: 36-Peter Grey 40.37; 119-Kim Redpath 46.00; 132-Paul Robinson 46.38; 141-Emma Shell 47.15.