Long trip to Somerset for young athletes

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THE 52nd Boys and 44th Girls Aviva English Schools’ Cross Country Championship takes place at Ilton, near Taunton, Somerset on Saturday.

The Durham County team has entered full teams in the six events on the programme.

For some of the athletes this will be their second national competition within eight days, having competed in the Inter Counties Championships at Birmingham last Saturday.

Teams of eight from the junior and inter events will be selected for England to compete in the Schools’ Cross Country International at Strathallan, Perth on Saturday, March 31.

Sunderland has three athletes that went on to gain their international vests in St Aidan’s David Clark in 1990, Malcolm Hassan, twice in 1998/97 and Pennywell’s Lee Browell in 1998.

Teams of eight are allowed to compete for Durham and the full squads including reserves are named below.

Junior Boys: Joe Armstrong ((Dur Central), Kieran Walker (Easington), Callum Plant (Dur Central), Alexander Brown (West Wearside), Jack Curry (Gates), Lewis Morgan (Gates), Cameron Bain (Dur Central), Joseph O’Hara ((Darl), James Wood (Darl), Jon Mellish (Sth Tyne), Daniel Wright (Sth Tyne), David Parker (Darl),

Inter Boys: Luke Clark (Sth Tyne), Isaac Dunn (Derwent), Liam Emmett (Sth Tyne), Chris Peverley, (West Wearside), Thomas Coyne (Sth Tyne), Thomas Goulding (Dur Central), Joel Jones (Easington) , Alexander Brown (Dur Central), Michael Wilson (Wearside), Oliver Watson (Dur Central), Tobias Hunter (Dur Central), George Rudman ((Gates),

Senior Boys: Cameron Boyek (Darl), Barry Maskell (Gates), Michael Bleasby (Darl), Jonathan Baines (Dur Central), Oliver James (Wearside), Shaun Barras (Gates), Adrian Bailes (Dur Central), David Wakefield (Gates), Kieran Reay (Dur Central), Patrick Crombie (Wearside), Jonathan Wilkinson (Dur Central), Matthew Fearn (Gates),

Junior Girls: Rosie Findlay (Sth West Durham), Olivia Bateman (Gates), Eleanor Daglish (Dur Central), Sophie Burnett (Wearside), Danielle Elliott (Wearside), Amelia Leslie (Sth Tyne), Rebecca Mott (Dur Central), Rebecca Browne (Gates), Hannah Waite (Sth West Durham), Danielle Coulson (Gates), Jodie Haswell (West Wearside), Emily Haley (Dur Central),

Inter Girls: Lydia Turner (Derwent), Anna Fawcett (West Wear), Amy Etherington (Dur Central), Amy Coulson (West Wearside), Bethan Thomas (Gates), Sophie Montgomery (Gates), Sarah Bell (Dur Central), Anna Robinson (Wearside), Alexandra Pearson (West Wearside), Elise Wild (Gates), Emily Bowden ((Sth West Durham), Meriel Smithson (Wearside),

Senior Girls: Zoe Hewitson (Darl), Chloe Price (Easington), Hayley Bradley (Dur Central), Alison Seadon (Gates), Elizabeth Wood (Darl), Eleanor Bradbury (Gates), Hazelle Webster Costello (Gates), Elizabeth Ward, (Darl), Alice McBain (Sth West Durham), Beatrice Taylor (Gates), Katie Blackett (Dur Central).

H Sunderland Harrier Graham Lancaster ran his fastest 10k for years when he finished 90th in 34.57 in the Trafford 10k on Sunday. His former clubmate Patrick Martin was forced by a sciatica problem to miss the race

Sunderland Strollers over-50 Michael Armstrong finished 69th in 3.25.05 in the Blackpool Marathon. Crook’s Patrick Duffy won the half marathon (74.17).

H The North East Veterans Cross Country Championships takes place at Jarrow on Saturday at Bedewell Park, Hebburn. Race 1 - 11.30 Women & Men over 65, 6k approx. Race 2 - 12.15 Men 35/40/45/50/55/60, 9k approx.