Kevin Calvert starts to impress for Sunderland Harriers

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SUNDERLAND Harrier Kevin Calvert pulled off the best performance of his short athletics career in the Heaton Harriers’ Memorial 10k Road Race in Newcastle yesterday.

The 25-year-old finished third, in a personal best of 32.55 to chop 35 seconds off his previous 10k fastest time in Exhibition Park.

He said: “I set out to run 5.15 miles and stuck to my plan. I felt strong and I think the extra training is beginning to pay off.”

The former Hartepool United academy footballer is now up to 70 miles each week since leaving Sunderland Strollers and coming under the guidance of coach, former marathon international Glenn Forster.

He has improved his 10k time by nearly four minutes since taking up the sport in 2010.

It was Morpeth’s Jon Taylor that led the way, clocking 30.23, 19 seconds outside his own course record to finish 52 seconds ahead of clubmate Ian Harding.

Sunderland, with Calvert moving through to third after second placed Richard Morrell dropped out, were pipped by Tyne Bridge Harriers for first team prize. Both clubs tied on 66 points but the Newcastle club were awarded the trophy after their last and fourth counter finished 24th to Sunderland’s 26th position – Paul Collins (36.57).

Collins was second over-50 to finish behind clubmate Paul Merrison who was the third counter for the Wearsiders in 20th (36.25). Over-45 Brian Bewick was second runner home for Sunderland in 17th (35.24). Jim Wightman was first over-60 in 148th (43.20) in a field of nearly 500. Kevin Carrahar finished 135th (42.53) and David Savage was144th (43.15). Houghton Harrier Tom Grey was 37th (37.35).

Scottish invader Louise Warren of Glasgow Victoria Park won the women’s race in 40.24 from Laura Jardine of Heaton Harriers (41.16) and third-placed Louise Rodgers (Unatt) (42.12). Sunderland Harriers had Rachel Moore in 254th (48.02) and Anji Close 262nd (48.22).

In the young athletes races, Sunderland Harriers had medallists in Patrick Crombie with second (16.55) in the under-17s behind Morpeth’s Johnie Nisbet (16.35). Joel Jones was third in the under-15 boys’. Houghton Harrier Ben Mitchell was tenth. Sunderland’s Owen Jackson finished fifth in the under-11s race.

Results: 1 Jonathan Taylor Morpeth 30.23, 2 Ian Harding Morpeth 31.31 3 Kevin Calvert Sunderland Harriers 32.56 4 Daniel Bradford Shettleston 33.05, 5 Luke Adams South Shields 33.13, 6 Conrad Franks Gateshead 33.28, 7 Ian Durham M45 34.35, 8 Stephen McKenna Tyne & Wear Rescue 34.38, 9 Philip Sanderson Elvet M40 34.39 10 Jack Neeson Tyne Bridge 34.40,11 Paul Turner 34.39, 12 Graham Hunt Durham 34.55, 13 Lee Bennett M40 35.00, 14 Sparrow Morley Tyne Bridge 35.09, 15 Keith Lowery M45 35.14,16 Ben Foster South Shields 35.21, 17 Brian Bewick Sunderland Harriers M45 35.24, 18 Kenny Tyne Bridge M40 35.26, 19 Brian Hetherington Wallsend M45 35.53, 20 Paul Merrison Sunderland Harriers M50 36.25, 21 Kevin Jefress Unatt 36.30, 22 Lucas Longman Heaton 36.37 23 David Warren Low Fell 36.38, 24 Paul Hilton Tyne Bridge M40 36.54, 25 Michael Hindmarch North Shields 36.56, 26 Paul Collins Sunderland Harriers M50 36.57.

H St Aidan’s finished eighth team in the regional final of the English Schools’ Cross Country Cup at Guisborough on Saturday.

They placed Ben Liddle 20th, Ben Craig 22nd, Luca Irvine 31st and James McAnaney 34th.