TWO former Sunderland Harriers were included in the Birtley team that triumphed in the National Cross Country Under-17 three-stage women’s relay championship at Mansfield on Saturday.
They teamed up with one of the UK’s leading under-17s, Lydia Turner, to form a formidable trio.
Tri-athlete Danielle Elliott, having her first race for Birtley, ran the opening leg at Berry Hill Park and came home 27th in 9.43. Next off was Hylton Lane athlete Sophie Burnett and she clawed back 14 teams to finish 13th (9.19) to gave Turner something to aim for.
The North of England 3000m champion charged through the field to put Birtley in front with the day’s fastest time of 8.27. Turner snatched the gold medals, having seven seconds to spare on second club Leicester Coritanians, with Millfield School a further two seconds back in third.
Eritrian Weynay Ghebresilasie, having his first race for Birchfield since moving to Birmingham after leaving Sunderland Harriers, ran the second quickest overall time in the junior men’s relay.
The Olympic steeplechaser ran the opening leg for his new club and finished first in 8.46. But Birchfield eventually slipped back out of the medals in fourth.
Reading’s John Davies, who took his club into the bronze medals on the final leg, was the day’s fastest (8.37).
Gateshead’s Callum Johnson was the fourth fastest of the day with 8.52. Gateshead finished fifth after leading going into the final leg (Barry Maskell – 9.19).
Durham City’s Dan Garbutt was the third fastest of the day (15.35) in the senior men’s relay, but his club ended 57th. Morpeth were the leading North East team in 12th.
H Ricky Lightfoot (Ellenborough) won (65.44) yesterday’s tough Derwentwater 10-mile road race.
Houghton Harriers Had Steven Johnson 46th (65.44) and Shaun McGrath 79th (68.48).
Sunderland Harriers placed Alan Knebel 49th (66.08), Dean Phillips 108th (71.52) and David Savage 115th (72.58).
H Sunderland Harrier Steven Duffy, running for Northern Frontrunners, finished ninth (35.40) in the Scarborough 10k yesterday.
The race was won by New Marske’s Andy Wiles (32.58).