Birtley’s Christopher Perkins secures bronze medal in English National Cross Country

Houghton Harrier Will Bellamy
Houghton Harrier Will Bellamy

Under-13 Christopher Perkins was one of only two North East medallists in the English National Cross Country Championships at London on Saturday.

The Birtley athlete finished third (11min 34sec) behind winner William Robjohns of Dorset club Poole AC (11.22) at Hampstead Heath.

Houghton Harrier Lydia James

Houghton Harrier Lydia James

This performance equalled his Northern Championship position of last month at Harewood. He had won the North Eastern Championship at Redcar in December.

The Gary Curtis-coached athlete is more famously known for setting a world-best for an Under-11 for the parkrun, recording 18.12 at the Riverside, Chester-le-Street, in 2015.

The other athlete from the region to claim a medal was Archie Lowe (Middlesbrough AC), who finished third in the Under-15 boys’ race.

He clocked 15.23 behind winner Mohamed Ali (Ealing and Southall) 15.13.

Houghton Harrier Will Bellamy, coached by Lynn Cooper, continued his impressive season by finishing seventh (15.42) in the same race, following his sixth position in the Northern Championship and being runner-up in the North Eastern Championship.

In the senior men’s race won by Adam Hickey of Southend (39.35). Morpeth Harriers’ Northern champion Carl Avery finished eighth (40.48) and Gateshead’s Calum Johnson was 11th (40.48).

Houghton Harrier Lee Dover finished 325th and Sunderland Harriers placed Ian Ritchie 347th and Steve McMahon 448th.

Emma Holt (Morpeth), in 42nd, and Georgia Campbell (South Shields), in 53rd, were the first two home from the North East in the women’s race. Sunderland Harrier Vikki Cotton finished 559th.

Chester-le-Street’s Emily Chong headed the region in the Under-15 girls’ event in 22nd place, while Houghton’s Lydia James finished 43rd.

Sunderland Harrier Jessica Fox, studying at McNeese State University in America, recorded her fastest indoor mile in the Southland Conference meeting in Birmingham Alabama.

Her best now stands at 5.12.07. She also posted her fastest 3000m (10.27.83).