Durham look to step it up at Birmingham

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DURHAM have selected a team of 35 for the 83rd English Schools’ track and field championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Friday and Saturday, writes Kevin Carr.

Athletes were selected for the county team after Durham staged their championships at Monkton and the Inter County Championships at Middlesbrough, gave athletes a further chance of making the squad.

Durham bid to improve on their poor performance of last year, when they had to wait until the last individual event to win their only medal in the championships at Gateshead.

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.

St Aidan’s A-level student Michael Wilson, the North East under-20s 800m champion, goes in the senior boys event.

Junior Boys: Ryan Stacey, Markhim Lonsdale, Ethan Battye, Liam Reveley, Justin Campbell, Joshua McLay, Joe Severs, Tristan Grant, Reece Naisbitt.

Inter Boys: Sam Griffin, Oliver Whellans, Anthony Hogg, Finn Connor-Watson.

Senior Boys: Michael Wilson, Barry Maskill, Joey Williams, Adam Graham.

Junior Girls: Jazmine Moss, Ashlyn Bland, Layla Bell, Lucy-Erin Hunter, Rebecca Mott, Olivia Bateman, Emily Gargan.

Inter Girls: Beth Pringle, Hollie Lancaster, Sophie Montgomery, Sophie Burnett, Lucy Turner, Emma Johnson.

Senior Girls: Chloe Price, Georgia Whitfield, Rachel Scott, Rachel McHugh, Kerry Maguire.

The Saturday afternoon finals are to be televised live on Sky Sports. The meeting starts at 10am on both days.

Alyson Dixon chopped nearly seven seconds off her previous best when finishing ninth in the 5000m (15.53.46) in the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Watford.

The Sunderland Stroller lines-up again tonight in the Tynedale Harriers’ Pie and Peas 10k at Ovingham at 7.30.

The race limit is 700 and late entries are available from 6.00pm.

The George Ogle Memorial Mile prizes are awarded to the first male and female past the one mile marker who complete the race.

Birtley’s Tracy Millmore won the Heaton Harriers’ Anita Knott Memorial Women’s Only Race in Jesmond Dene on Monday.

Sunderland Strollers leading runners were: 14th Jill Kisler (22.03), 16th Jenna Maynard (22.27), 19th Joy Champion (22.43), 32nd Alison Patterson (23.48), 44th Mel Davies (24.47), 79th Lindsay Deary (27.45), 80th Jill Connolly (27.57), 83rd Joanne Anderson (27.57), 88th Christine Smith 88th (28.11), 89th Kirsty McSween (28.12).

The Hamsterley Trail Race on Sunday is approximately 10K through the undulating off-road terrain of Hamsterley Forest. Last year 340 runners took part.

Places are capped at 500 this year. On the day entries may be accepted if the limit has not been reached, but check in advance before arriving at Hamsterley Forest.

Contact Julie Nisbet on 01388 603003 or email julienisbet@butterwick.org.uk

The cost of entry is £13 for affiliated club members, or £15 for unaffiliated runners. Trail shoes may be required as the course is undulating and off-road.

Finishers will receive a finishers’ pack including a t-shirt and medal and refreshments will be provided during and at the end of the race.

The North East Veterans’ track and field championships take place at Monkton on Saturday.