Jack completes Martin double at North Eastern Counties Cross Country Senor Championships
Sunderland-born Jack Martin followed his brother Patrick, the 2015 champion, in winning the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Senor Championship at Redcar Racecourse on Saturday.
The former Sunderland Harrier took the race by the scruff of its neck to win by 31 seconds.
But he admitted that his win was not as easy as it looked: “I found it quite hard as I could not get into a rhythm due to the twisting nature of the course.”
The Stockport Harrier recorded 36.42 to beat Gateshead’s Calum Johnson (37.13) and Morpeth’s Carl Avery (37.22).
His victory was significant, as Jack and Patrick became only the second brothers to win the title in its 112 year history.
Elswick Harriers’ George and Bill Boak were successful from 1949, George winning in that year and Bill winning the title from 1950 to 1957.
The Sunderland women’s team won their first ever team medals in finishing third behind winners Jarrow and Hebburn and Morpeth.
They were led home on the pancake flat bone-dry course by sterling performances from Alice Smith in eighth (31.57), Vicky Haswell 11th (32.38), Nicola Woodward 17th (33.19) and Vikki Cotton 52nd (36.52).
The race was won by Sale’s Sonia Samuels (28.07) from Morpeth’s Emma Holt (28.55) and Jane Hodgson (29.07).
There was also medals for the Sunderland Under17/20 Women’s team who took the silver medals through back-to-form Jess Fox in sixth (23.37), Sarah Knight 12th (24.49) and Eve Quinn 19th (25.22).
Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett (Birtley), the early leader, eventually finished second (22.33) to Darlington’s India Pentland (22.12), who also led her club to the team title, four points ahead of Sunderland.
The Sunderland Under-20 Men’s team were also on podium in taking third place. They had Mark Smith in fifth (27.00), Chris Bell 12th (28.03) and Sean Mackie 15th (28.43),.
Houghton Harriers youngsters delivered a first class championship by winning a hatful of medals in the Under-15 age groups.
It was Henry Johnson that got the ball rolling by winning an exciting Under-15 Boys’ race. Third last year and winner of the Under-13 title in 2015, he ran a perfect race, making his move at the halfway point to win by eight seconds (12.55). Clubmate Will Bellamy took the runners-up position when he got the better of Middlesbrough Mandale’s Archie Lowe (13.09) in the home straight.
Closing the scoring for Houghton in the team race was Chris Coulson who finished 21st (14.42). And in a very tight team contest, Middlesbrough Mandale beat Houghton by just three points with Gateshead a further four points back.
The Girls’ Under-15 race also so Houghton in fine form with Lydia James taking the bronze medal (15.37) and with Anna Pigford ninth (15.55) and Nicole Phillips 10th (15.58) another team gold was in the bag.
Amy Leonard just missed out on a medal for Houghton in finishing 12th in 16.08.