Sunderland Harriers included in England squad for British Masters’ and Irish International Cross Country Championships

Kevin Jeffries

Kevin Jeffries

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Four Sunderland Harriers have been included in the England squad for the British Masters’ and Irish International Cross Country Championships at Glasgow in November.

The five-way match featuring the home countries and Ireland also sees one Sunderland Stroller selected for England.

The Harriers’ included in the team are Over-35 Kevin Jeffress and Over-55 Paul Merrison. While down as reserves are Over-35 Steve McMahon and Over-45 Michael Thompson.

Lynne Valentine is included in the Over-60 women’s team and she is the first Stroller to gain an international masters vest.

Jeffress and Merrison were included in last year’s international in Dublin with McMahon reserve. This is the first call-up for Thompson.

This will be Jeffress third vest and his best position was 11th in Nottingham in 2014.

He earned his selection after finishing third in the British Masters’ championship in Bath.

Merrison is a regular in the England team and on his last two appearances he has finished eighth and ninth in his age category. He finished third in Bath.

Both McMahon and Thompson have impressed with their results during the year.

Valentine has dominated the women’s Over-60 results in the North East throughout the 2016 with a one hundred percent winning record.

Twenty four North East athletes have been named for England.

They are: M35 - Matthew Hornsby (Durham City Harriers), Kevin Jeffress (Sunderland Harriers), Christopher Smith (Morpeth Harriers). Reserve - Steven McMahon, (Sunderland Harriers). M40 - John Butters (Morpeth Harriers). M45 - John Clifford (Evenwood Road Runners), Terry Scott (Tyne Bridge Harriers). Reserves Michael Thompson (Sunderland Harriers), Fergus Bates (Morpeth Harriers). M50 - Guy Bracken,( North Shields Poly). M55 - Paul Merrison, (Sunderland Harriers). Reserve Philip Teece (Darlington Harriers). M60 - Brian Martin (Quakers Running Club). M65 - Reserve Mark McNally (Elswick Harriers). M75 Reserve - Ian Barnes, (Darlington Harriers).

Women: W35 - Carla Maley, ( North Shields Poly). Reserve Angela McGurk, (Jarrow & Hebburn A.C). W40 Reserve - Stephanie Maclean Dann (North Shields Poly). W45 Elaine Leslie (Jarrow & Hebburn A.C.). W50 - Sue Phillips (Darlington Harriers).W55 - Carol Page (Alnwick Harriers). Reserve - Stephanie White (Tynedale Harriers). W60 - Lynne Valentine (Sunderland Strollers). Reserve - Maggie Lorraine (Gateshead Harriers).

Sunderland Harriers and Houghton Harriers are entered for Saturday’s senior men’s Cutlers Four-Stage Cross Country Relay and Northern Championship race at Sheffield on Saturday.

The Sunderland team is likely to be Barry Maskell, Sparrow Morley, Steve McMahon and Jack Tallantire.

Houghton make their event debut and will select their four from Alex Brown, Lee Dover, Rory Graham, David Gribben and Steven Johnson.

Other North East teams travelling to Graves Park are Durham, Elvet and Birtley.

Houghton also have teams entered in the Under-15 boys’ relay with Will Bellamy, Matthew Cleugh, Henry Johnson and Jack Seeney and the Under-15 girls’ with Eva Hardie, Lily Hardie and Lydia James.