Battle hotting up for prizes

Joint leader: Ben Mitchell
Joint leader: Ben Mitchell
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LOCAL athletes are involved in the chase for prizes in the Start Fitness North Eastern Grand Prix at the halfway stage of the season.

With three fixtures remaining and six prizes up for grabs in each of the ten age categories, there is still plenty to play for until the season ends on Wednesday, August 14.

All six meetings are being staged at Monkton and the fourth fixture is being staged tonight from 7pm.

Sprinter Sam McKenzie is the only Sunderland Harrier sitting on top of the table. She is sharing first place in the senior women’s chart with Jarrow and Hebburn’s middle distance runner Alex Snook. Both athletes are on 15 points.

Houghton Harrier Ben Mitchell shares first place with fellow pentathlete, Chester-le-Street’s Oliver Whellans, in the under-17s age group, with both on 29 points.

Houghton’s field eventer Owen Barras is eighth (17) and Sunderland sprinter Logan Powell is tenth (13).

Gateshead Harrier Phil McCluskey heads the senior men’s table with Sunderland middle distance runner Nathan Reed 11th on seven points.

Sunderland also have sprinter Hollie Lancaster in sixth in the under-17s, and middle distance runner Laura Hand is sixth under-13.

Houghton’s middle distance runner Alex Brown is 11th under-15 boy and Lucy Brown is 11th under-15 girl.

Easington’s Durham City Harrier Chloe Price is seventh with 12 points in the junior women’s table.

Running alongside the North East event is Sunderland Harriers’ grand prix, which covers all the summer track and field local fixtures.

The leaders are Under-11/13: Owen Jackson 28pts, Nathan Bland 12 and James Lloyd 12; Under15/17 Laura Hand 34, Logan Powell 28, Josh Wilson 28, Kane Murray 26; Under 20/Senior Graham Lee 42, Sam McKenzie 34,Nathan Reed 32. Prizes will be presented at the club’s AGM in October.

Sunderland Harrier Oliver James will wine down is athletics season before leaving to study in America next month with an appearance in tonight’s 800m at the grand prix at Monkton. The North East 1500m and Northern 1500m champion will be chasing his fastest time of 1.54.25 in the seeded race.

Early entries for next Wednesday’s Sunderland 5k at Silksworth Sports Complex are at a record level.

Athletes are encouraged to enter now to avoid disappointment on the night. Entries close next Monday. You can enter via Run Britain or Sportsoft websites. The Entry form is on the Sunderland Harriers website www.sunderlandharriers.org.uk.

All 1,170 places in Sunday’s Northumberland Coastal Run have been filled.

The race starts at Beadnell at 10.30am and finishes about 14 miles later in Alnmouth.

Sunderland Strollers will take on South Shields Harriers in The Gallery Jewellers’ Cup Challenge race on Thursday, August 1 at Gypsies Green, South Shields.

The challenge was first held between the clubs last year at Silksworth. It is organized on an age-graded handicap basis.

The Strollers won and they also had Ken Maynard and Lynn Valentine as individual winners.

The Strollers celebrate their 30th anniversary with a celebration dinner at the Stadium of Light on Friday, 20th September. Guest speaker will be leading British Athletics and North East starter Alan Bell, the man that disqualified Usain Bolt at the last World Championships.

Houghton Harriers finished fifth in their Northern Athletics division three match at Whitley Bay.

They had two A string winners in Rachel Scott in the 100m hurdles (17.4) and Eleanor Daglish in the 3000m (11.40.9).

They are third in the table with one match remaining.

Durham City Harriers pulled off a golden double when James Askew and Rosie Smith won North East 10k championship titles at Croft motor racing circuit.

Sunderland Harrier Michelle Holt took bronze in the race organised by Darlington Harriers.

Sunderland Harrier Peter Richardson won the over-60 title, facing 42nd overall in 40.17.

Results: Men 1 James Askew (Durham) 32.36, 2 James Bulman (New Marske) 32.42, 3 Mike Jeffries (North York Moors) 32.54.

Women: 1 Rosie Smith (Durham) 35.50, 2 Shona Fletcher (Richmond) 37.28, 3 Michelle Avery (Sun Harr) 38.51.