Avery hits top spot at last in Gibside Trail

Michelle Avery.
Michelle Avery.
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SUNDERLAND Harrier Michelle Avery at last won yesterday’s Gibside Trail race after being runner-up for the last three years.

Just awarded the Harriers’ female athlete of the year trophy, for her many race wins on the local scene, the primary school teacher can now add this title to her growing portfolio.

She finished 38th overall in a field of over 400, clocking 47.34 for the tough course, beating Sarah Lister 44th (47.51) of host club Blackhill Bounders.

Sunderland Stroller Lyne Valentine finished 140th (54.51) to win the over-55 prize.

Sunderland Harriers also had two other athletes in the limelight, with Paul Redman and Peter Richardson both having outstanding runs.

Redman, 45, was third over-40 in 12th (44.16) and Richardson was first-over 60 in 60th (49.41).

Jarrow and Hebburn’s Brendan McMillan won easily (40.21) from over-45 veteran, Elswick’s Phil Sanderson (41.26).

Sunderland Strollers had nine members in the first 100. They were: Tim Allsop fifth over-40 in 16th (45.29), Steve McMahon eighth over-40 in 20th (45.53), Gavin Sword 42nd (47.48), Andrew Duke 55th (49.12), Steve Tinwell 62nd (49.54), William Bowman 84th (51.10), Ritchie Gerry 88th (51.28), Peter Scammel 92nd (51.45) and Tony Allen 97th (51.52).

Results (7 miles approx) 1 B McMillan (J&H) 40:21, 2 P Sanderson (Els M45) 41:26, 3 M Hedley (Jes J) 42:07, 4 J Bell (Black B, U20) 42:44, 5 I Dunn (Blay, U20) 43:07, 6 P Duffy (Black B) 43:13, 7 G Walker 43:29, 8 R Coupland (Walls) 43:32, 9 S Beckett (Crook) 43:38, 10 G Moore (NSP, M40) 43:56.

Women: 1 M Avery (Sun) 47:34, 2 S Lister (Black B, W35) 47:51, 3 S Thew (NSP, W35) 48:47, 4 B Whitfield 49:33, 5 E McKnespiey (Carl, W40) 50:07, 6 L Bone (SSh, W35) 50:29.

H Oliver James is making his presence felt, competing for New Orleans University, while on an athletics scholarship in the United States. He had a good run in at the Choctaw Trials in Mississippi, finishing first freshman and winning the bronze medal.

H Sunderland Harriers won three team events in the Young People’s County Cross Country Championships at Aykley Heads yesterday.

They were Under-17 Girls: Jessica Fox first, Alex Pearson second and Chloe Connelly third. Under-15 Boys Sean Mackie second, Jack Smith third and Cameron Vincent fourth. Under-13 Boys: James Lloyd third, Nathan Bland fourth and Robert Dunlop eighth.