Local clubs falter at Northern Cross Country Relay Championships
A sprinkling of North East clubs travelled to Sheffield to contest the Northern Athletics Cross Country Relay Championships at Graves Park.
While they did not win any medals, there were some good performances from individuals and clubs alike.
Birtley claimed the fastest individual laps in both the Under-15 Boys’ relay and the Senior Women’s event through respective performances from Chris Perkins and Lydia Turner.
International athlete Turner, who is gradually getting back to her best after a long spell of illness and injury, recorded the quickest time in the women’s three-stage relay.
She lifted the club from 14th to a final eighth with her blistering leg of 11.36 to claim the best time of the day, one second faster than Rotherham’s Natasha Hatswell.
The first two Birtley legs were run by Lorna Graham who finished 31st (14.13) and Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett 14th (12.08).
Chris Perkins was by far the fastest Under-15 Boy with his lap of 6.45 with Lancaster’s Rhys Ashton (6.52) the next best.
Durham finished 25th in the Senior Men’s relay with Luke Pickering their best athlete on show with his leg of 10.46. Birtley were 26th with Adrian Bailes clocking 10.19 for eighth on the first leg. Preston won the race with their Patrick Dever the quickest overall with his 9.44 stint.
Houghton Harriers Under-17 team, missing one of their top runners in Henry Johnson, came sixth through Sam Gibson (7.21), Izaack Taylor, (7.48) and Will Bellamy the joint 5th fastest (7.03) along with Middlesbrough’s Archie Lowe.
Paul McLachlan chopped 26 seconds off his previous best to lead a number of Sunderland Harriers home in 12th place in the Temple Park 5k yesterday. He recorded 18.14. Clubmate Jenna Wilkinson was first female in 13th (19.21), followed by Over-40 Nicola Woodward in 15th (19.32), Paul O’Brien was 16th (19.34) and in 19th was Vicky Haswell with 20.29.
The race winner was Wallsend’s Andy Graham (16.20) with former Sunderland Harrier Sparrow Morley second (16.28). Bedford’s Chris Thornley, who trains with Sunderland, finished third (16.42).