Durham’s athletes eye National glory

Sean Mackie.
Sean Mackie.
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DURHAM has selected a team of 35 for the 84th England Schools’ National Athletics championships at Birmingham this weekend.

Over 1700 athletes will compete in what is the fourth largest athletics event in the world.

Organised by volunteer teachers, they bring together the best athletes in each county in England to compete for the honour of being the best athlete in the country at their event.

Entry to the event is by athletes being selected by county team managers. Consideration is given to performances at county championships which are normally held around the second week of June. But other outstanding performances at other events may be taken into consideration.

Nearly all the UK Olympic athletics team members have featured in the ESAA Championships in the early stages of their career.

For the first time since 2008 Sky Sports will not be televising the event due to their commitment to the World Cup in Brazil. The championship will come to Gateshead over the next two years and hopefully TV coverage will be resumed.

Middle distance runners Markim Lonsdale and Michael Wilson will be hoping to repeat their medal winning performances in their respective 1500m and 800m events. Lonsdale was third in the under-15 boys 800m in 2013 and Wilson was third in the under-15 800m in 2010. This will be Wilson’s last English Schools’ before he moves onto university.

Sunderland has six athletes down in the record books as winning English Schools’ championships. In 1991 St Anthony’s Adele Forester won the first of two Inters long jump titles, she cleared 5.77m and in 1992 she won with a leap of 5.81m. The others are: 1977 - Graham Smith Inters 3000m (8.36.4), 1979 - Kelvin Newton Inters 3000m (8.38.4) , 1984 - Stewart Mathieson Junior 1500m (409.1), 1995 - Andrew Rutland senior discus (45.22m).

The Durham team is: Junior Boys - Joseph Purvis 100m, William Curtis 300m, Bradley Davies 800m, Ryan Arthur 800m.

Inter Boys - Ben Todd 100m, Sam Griffin 200m, Markhim Lonsdale 1500m, Joe Armstrong 3000m, Liam Reveley high jump, Ben Mitchell shot putt, Tristan Grant shot putt.

Senior Boys - Anthony Hogg 100m, Robert Laryea 100m, Michael Wilson 800m, James Stewart Turnbull 110m hurdles, Oliver Whellans 400m hurdles, Charlie Myers pole vault, Josh Phillipson pole vault, Adam Graham shot putt.

Junior Girls - Jazmine Moss 100m, Layla Bell 200m, Lucy-Erin Hunter 800m, Lizzie Cramb 800m, Amelia Bateman high jump.

Inter Girls - Ashlyn Bland 300m, Katie Gunn 1500m, Sophie Burnett 3000m, Jane Feenan 80m hurdles, Beth Pringle 300m hurdles, Emily Gargan triple jump.

Senior Girls - Stephanie Addison 200m, Amy Etherington 800m, Lydia Turner 1500m, Lucy Turner 400m hurdles, Sophie Littlemore shot putt.

H The fourth North Eastern Grand Prix is staged at Gateshead tonight at 7.00, with graded 100m, 200m, 800m and 3000m being the highlights.

Houghton Harriers have Laura Fenwick heading the the junior women’s table with Rachel Scott in sixth. Georgia Oliver tops the under 17 standings and Phillippa is lying second in the under-13s, Ben Mitchell is sixth under-17.

H Three Sunderland Harriers set personal bests in the British Milers’ Club 1500m races at Maiden Castle. Nathan Reed finished fifth in a PB of 3.55.6 in the A race behind Morpeth Harriers’ winner Nick Swinburn (3.53.6). Mark Smith, 16, was second in the C race (4.16.3) and Ben Craig, 16, was third in another PB (4.17.5). Sean Mackie, 14, took the E race in 4.37.4.

Houghton Harriers’ under-15s Henry Johnson (5.01.5) and William Bellamy (5.07.3), the winner of the G race were also in PB form.

H Tomorrow night Low Fell Running club stage their Angel View races from 6.30pm for young athletes. The 5 mile multi terrain senior race is off at 7.15 from the Angle View hotel.