North East call-up for Martin brothers

Jack Martin.
Jack Martin.
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THE Martin brothers, Patrick and Jack, have both been selected for the North East team to contest the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships and World Trials at Birmingham on Saturday, March 9.

They have maintained their allegiance to the North East despite transferring from Sunderland Harriers and joining Stockport after moving to the North West.

The brothers both gained selection after their performances in the Northern Cross Country Championships, over a strength-sapping snow covered course at Knowsley Safari Park on Saturday.

Patrick finished runner-up and Jack was 11th to clinch their places in a strong North East nine-man squad that defend their six-to-count team title.

Patrick, not noted as a runner that enjoys heavy-going, surprised many by thriving over the Safari Park snow-covered course to come away with double silver after Stockport finished second in the team contest.

He said after the race that he will not be competing in the National Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park on February 23 as he is building-up to his first marathon in the autumn.

“I’m looking towards the Frankfurt Marathon, as the Commonwealth Games are in Glasgow next year and there will be places to be won in the England team. I’ve got to give it ago and try and win selection,’’ said the 27-year-old.

“If I have fully recovered from the northerns, I will do the Alsager 5 on Sunday and then I’m doing the Wilmslow half marathon in March.’’

This will be Jack’s debut in the Inter Counties men’s championships over 12k at Cofton Park.

Both Patrick and Jack won North East cross country titles under the colours of Sunderland Harriers where they were long-time members of the club. Patrick won the junior (under-20) title in 2004 plus the senior title in 2009 and Jack, 24, took the under-13 crown in 2000.

The World Championships take place in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz on Sunday, March 24.

The North East team is: Andrew Wiles (New Marske), Carl Smith (Leeds), Lewis Timmins (Morpeth), Johny Taylor (Morpeth), Patrick Martin (Stockport), Jack Martin (Stockport), Dan Garbutt (Durham) Richard Morrell (Morpeth), Matt Nicholson (Morpeth).

The women’s team will be led by Durham’s Rosie Smith who represented GB in the European Championship in Budapest in December.

The women’s team is: Alex Snook (Jarr & Heb), Kerry Matthew (Midds Mandale), Rosie Smith (Durham), Ashley Gibson (Morpeth), Joshie Stone (Midds), Emma Holt (Morpeth), Aiveen Fox (Durham), Tracy Millmore (Birtley), Rachel Lundgren (Gosforth).

Sunderland Harrier Oliver James is included in the junior men’s team as is Washington’s Barry Maskell, who competes for Gateshead. Danielle Elliott (Sunderland Harriers), Eleanor Daglish (Houghton Harriers) and Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett (Birtley) have all been selected for the under-15 girls’ team.

Sunderland Harrier Joel Jones is reserve for the under-17 men’s team and Alex Brown (Houghton Harriers) is reserve for the under-15s team.

H The rearranged Durham County Schools’ Cross Country Championships will be staged at Meadowfield on Saturday. The Inter Counties has been moved to February 9 in Cleveland.