Strollers on the right track

Paul Merrison.
Paul Merrison.
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SUNDERLAND Strollers’ finished third in the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League women’s first division to begin their push for honours at Jarrow yesterday.

They improved on their previous performance at Blaydon last month by four places to move into fourth spot in the league.

They had Rachel Ball in 15th (28.32), Kay Snowball 39th (29.21) and Ashleigh Ewen 48th (29.34).

Sunderland Harriers were 16th in division two with Michelle Avery their first counter, running from the fast pack, in 111th (26.50).

Jarrow and Hebburn’s Sarah McDonald won the race and Durham’s Kim Simpson was seventh.

Sunderland Harriers finished sixth in the men’s first division with Matthew Fearn 50th, Graham Lancaster 56th, Noel Hitchcock 72nd, Albert Martinez 88th, Alan Knebel 140th and Paul Redman 185th.

Sunderland Strollers were eighth with Steve McMahon 100th, Liam Taylor 137th, Michael Edwards 177th, Aidan Crowe 178th, Paul Dunlop 208th and Stuart Percival 223rd.

Wallsend’s Yared Hagos, from the slow pack, won in the day’s fastest time of 31.22.

Sunderland Harriers under-13 boys’ team triumphed in their event through James Lloyd, Nathan Bland tenth and Robert Dunlop 14th. The race winner was Houghton Harrier Henry Johnson.

Alex Brown was fifth in the under-15 boys’ race and his Houghton team finished third with Jack Bittlestone16th and Alex Middleton 23rd in support.

Cameron Vincent in seventh led Sunderland Harriers into fifth team place.

Tenth-placed Jessica Fox steered Sunderland’s under 20/17 team into fourth.

H Birtley’s Lydia Turner stormed into the under-20 British team for the European Cross Country Championships at Liverpool on Saturday.

She finished third overall (14.51) and first under-17 in the combined race to seal her place for Belgrade on December 8.

Aldershot’s Emelia Gorecka won in 14.27 and Turner’s clubmate, Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett, was 29th (16.27).

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon was 19th in the women’s race (28.07), finishing behind Durham’s Rosie Smith, (15th – 27.58) and Morpeth’s Olympian Laura Weightman (tenth – 27.40).

Former Sunderland Harrier Jack Martin was 20th (30.05) and four places and seven seconds behind Gateshead’s Olympian Ross Murray in the senior men’s race. Sunderland Harrier Oliver James failed to finish the junior men’s race after being down in the forties on the first lap.

H Sunderland Harrier Paul Merrison went to the top of the over-55 UK rankings after clocking 28.18 in placing 16th and winning his category in the Elswick Harriers’ Norman Woodcock five mile road race at Gosforth Park on Saturday.

Clubmate Rachael Moore won the over-40 women’s prize after finishing 91st in 37.42.

The race winner was Shildon’s Cameron Boyek in 24.41 and Durham’s Chloe Price won the women’s race.