Runners conquer the Cumbrian cold

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ATHLETES battled over a frozen course and into wind and snow when they contested the Inter Counties Schools’ Cross-Country match at Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, on Saturday.

The fell-like course was a real test for the youngsters from the four counties of Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Durham, who qualified for the race through their county championships.

This was the final event where athletes could impress selectors before the English Schools’ Championships at Ilton in Somerset on March 17. Following this event, six teams of eight for the junior, intermediate and senior races for boys and girls will be selected.

Durham runners won five of the eight events on the programme through senior boy Barry Maskell and senior girl Zoe Hewitson, intermediates Isaac Dunn and Lydia Turner, plus Year 7 athlete Lucy Hunter.

Other athletes in the frame for selection through a leading placing were senior boys: fourth Michael Bleasby, sixth Oliver James, eighth Shaun Barrass and ninth Adrian Bailes.

Inter Boys: Fourth Luke Clark, fifth Chris Peverley, ninth Liam Emmett, 11th Michael Wilson, 12th Tom Coyne, 13th Alex Brown, 18th Joel Jones and 25th Tobias Hunter.

Junior Boys: 17th Alex Brown, 19th Jack Curry, 20th Lewis Morgan, 22nd James Wood, 24th Jon Mellish and 25th Daniel Wright.

Senior Girls: Sixth Alison Seadon.

Inter Girls: Third Anna Fawcett, fifth Amy Coulson, eighth Bethan Thomas, ninth Amy Etherington, 32nd Anna Robinson, 33rd Alex Pearson and 34th Merial Smithson.

Junior Girls: Tenth Rosie Findlay, 14th Danielle Elliott, 24th Sophie Burnett, 31st Rebecca Brown and 34th Amelia Leslie.

Year 7 do not go to the English Schools’ Championships, but they were still catered for at Kirkby.

Leading Durham positions were: Year 7 Boys: Fourth Matthew Wakefield, seventh Callum Foster, 11th Max Weightman and 12th Kyle Davison.

Girls: Third Lizzie Cramb, 12th Katie Noble, 32nd Hannah Briggs and 35th Laura Hand.

H Sunderland Strollers and Sunderland University placed Chris Dunn 171st, Antione Racine 191st and Niall McArdle 204th in the British Universities’ Cross-Country Championships at Cardiff.

The race was won by Johhny Hay (Birmingham University) with Gateshead Harrier Ross Murray ninth.