Gateshead hosts young ‘olympics’

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THE English Schools’ Championships returns to Gateshead for the fourth time on Friday and Saturday.

The so-called Schools’ Olympics was staged at Gateshead International Stadium last year and the venue also hosted the championships in 2008 and 2004.

Athletes qualified for the various county teams after they performed well in their own championships.

Durham staged their championships at Monkton and the Inter County Championships at Carlisle on June 23 gave athletes a further chance of making the team.

In last year’s English Schools’ championships at Bedford, Durham came out on top of the North East Counties winning six medals. Anthony Hogg scooped gold in the junior boys’ high jump, and the team also won one silver and four bronze medals. Hogg is selected again and has now moved up to the intermediate age group.

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

Durham have selected 35 athletes and the team is:

Junior Boys: Logan Powell 100m, Sam Griffin 200m, Michael Thompson 400m, Markhim Lonsdale 1500m, Garry Izomor 100m.

Inter Boys: Joel Jones 3000m, Luke Clark 3000m, Anthony Hogg high jump, David Kirkpatrick shot.

Senior Boys: Michael Bleasby 1500m, Oliver James 800m, Shaun Barras 800m, Cameron Boyek 1500m, Nick Wood, Barry Maskell 2000m steeplechase, Iain Swall discus.

Junior Girls: Lucy McIlroy 200m, Hollie Lancaster 200m, Beth Pringle 200m, Eleanor Daglish 1500m, Emma Johnson high jump.

Inter Girls: Stephanie Addison 100m, Amy Etherington 1500m, Sophie Montgomery 1500m, Mia Hodgson 80m hurdles, Lucy Turner 300m hurdles, Hannah Briggs.

Senior Girls: Laura Walker 200m, Nicole Burlinson, Chloe Price 800m, Katie Corner 400m hurdles, Georgia Whitfield long jump, Rachel McHugh triple jump, Carla McMullen 100m, Sarah Parsons discus.

H Sunderland Harrier Paul Cooper returned to the sport after a year’s absence to clock one of the fastest times in the Heaton Harriers’ Jesmond Dene yacht handicap road race at Newcastle.

The veteran with a handicap of 19min 50sec finished 29th in the seventh fastest time of 20.27. The fastest was Morpeth Harriers’ fell international Nick Swinburn who clocked 16.17 for 30th place.

H Tynedale Harriers host their popular Pie and Peas 10k tonight at 7.30pm.

Because of the wet weather the playing fields at Ovingham Middle School are waterlogged and cannot be used for parking.

The hosts are having to use the industrial estates south of the river (ie Prudhoe side) for parking – the same site that had to be used a couple of years ago.

This means a considerably longer walk to both registration and the school and the start in Ovington. Depending on where athletes get parked, there may be over a two mile walk to the start. There are no late entries. Darlington Harriers stage their 10k road race at Croft.

The Low Fell Watergate Trail Race will be held on Sunday at 10am. Also on Sunday is the Kilburn 7 miles Road Race near Thirsk. The race starts at 2.00pm.

H The Annual General Meeting of the North Eastern Harrier League will be held on Monday at 7.15pm at Gateshead Stadium. Any North Eastern Counties AA club affiliated to North of England/England Athletics Cross Country is entitled to have two members in attendance, both of whom are entitled to vote.

H Postal entries close for the Sunderland 5k on Monday July 18. Entry forms can be downloaded from the club website www.sunderlandharriers.org,uk.