Barry Maskell to the rescue

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DURHAM had to wait until the last individual event to win their only medal in the 82nd English Schools’ Championships at Gateshead on Saturday.

They joined rival counties Cleveland and Northumberland in winning just a solitary bronze in a very disappointing championship for the North East.

The Durham team’s saviour was Washington’s Barry Maskell, who moved up to third with a late surge, in the senior boys’ 2000m steeplechase.

He went to his marks with the words of the Durham team manager ringing in his ears: “We have not won a medal yet so there is no pressure!’’

Maskell delivered all that was asked of him, slicing nearly six seconds off his previous fastest by running a personal best of 6.08.90.

He said: “I was up against some of the best lads in the country, but I knew if I ran to my best, I had an outside chance of a medal. I was careful not to start too quickly as it was a fast start.’’

Northumberland’s bronze medallist was Scott Hall in the senior boys’ triple jump (14.56) and Cleveland’s Patrick O’Conner was third in the inter boys’ high jump (1.93).

Sunderland’s Logan Powell got through to the second round of the junior boys’ 100m, finishing eighth in 11.90 and Hollie Lancaster was third in her junior 200m heat (25.89). Oliver James was sixth in the senior 800m (2.01.0). Easington’s Chloe Price was sixth in the senior girls’ 1500m (4.40.63), while Whitburn’s Emma Johnson was ninth in the junior long jump (5.03).

H Prolific racer Craig Isherwood popped-up in North Yorkshire yesterday to run his fifth race in a month in the Kilburn 7 miles road race. The Sunderland Harrier finished ninth (41.38) behind winner James Bulman of New Marske (38.13) and Leeds City veteran Darren Bilton (38.18).

H Former Sunderland Harrier Patrick Martin won the 1500m C race in a personal best of 3.47.71 at the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Stretford on Saturday.

H Durham City Harriers won both the men’s and women’s events in the Darlington Harriers’ Pit Stop 10k Road Race at Croft.

James Askew won the race in 32.40 and Rosie Smith finished fifth overall to win the women’s race (35.57).

Craig Isherwood was fourth (35.16) and his clubmate Peter Richardson was first over-60 in 58th (42.20). Sunderland Strollers had Tim Allsop in sixth (36.95).

H In the Tynedale 10k, Tyne Bridge Harriers new recruit Steve Cairns won the race (33.09) and Jane Hodgson (Morpeth) was first women (37.25)

Sunderland Harriers’ were headed by Alan Hodgson in 36th (38.02), Billy Bittlestone was second over-60 in 43.36. Sunderland Stroller Kevin Blyth, an over-50, was 43rd (38.28).