HOUGHTON Harriers young athletes finished with a flourish to snatch four first places in the final North Eastern Grand Prix at Gateshead.
The Wearsiders went into the last and sixth meeting of the summer with two of their athletes leading their categories.
But a late charge by under-17 sprinter Jake Philpott and junior man and fellow sprinter Lewis Thompson, saw the duo join junior woman Laura Fenwick and under-17 Georgia Oliver at the top of the podium.
They also had Phillippa Ellis finish third under-13 and Savannah Lloyd finish fourth in the under-15 girls’.
Philpott won the long jump (5.53) and was second in the 200m (24.13) to ensure first place. Thompson surged to the top of the table by finishing first in the long jump, third in the 200m and fourth in the shot for a seven points victory.
Hurdler Laura Fenwick won her category by a massive 18 points, scoring PBs in the 100m hurdles (18.22) and 400m (65.80).
Fenwick (JW) continued her outstanding recent form of late posting new PB’s in both the 100mH and 400m with times of 18.22s and 65.80s respectively.
Thrower Georgia Oliver was just as emphatic with her 16 points winning margin.
The other Houghton athlete with a chance of making a top six place and onto the prize list, Ben Mitchell, did not compete. But he had a valid excuse as just days before he finished fifth in the under-17 England Athletics Combined Events championships at Bedford with a total of 5,042 points.
Sunderland Harrier Sam McKenzie dropped from first to second in the senior women’s grand prix, being overtaken by North Shields athlete Rosa Fojut, winning by seven points.
The Start Fitness presentation of awards will take place at Gateshead Stadium on Monday, September 29, at 7.30pm.
H Sunderland Harriers senior men’s team improved from their fourth place of last year to third (29.42) this time in the Durham City Harriers Cross Country Relays at at the university grounds.
Ian Dixon clocked 10.35 for the 3060m course on the opening lap to bring the Wearsiders home in 12th place.
Oliver James, in his final race before heading back to the States on Thursday to continue his college studies, stormed round his two laps to bring his team into third (9.25).
This was the second fastest time of the day, behind Durham’s Dan Jenkin, who was the fastest overall with his first leg stint of 9.23.
Anchorman Kevin Jeffress got on terms with leaders Durham and Tyne Bridge, but he was beaten for speed in the final stages to bring Sunderland home third with his run of 9.42 for the fifth quickest time.
Durham (29.35) won from Tyne Bridge (29.36) and joining Jenkin in the team were Rob Eaton (10.11) and Andy Graham (10.01).
Sunderland Strollers finished 12th with Steve Rankin recording 9.58 on the first leg.
Sunderland Harriers under-15 boys’ team enjoyed victory in their 3x 1500m relay.
They led from the off after Sean Mackie opened a big gap on his rivals on the first leg, clocking the fastest overall time of 4.59. James Lloyd (5.56) and Kyle Howard (5.31) completed the winning team.
Houghton Harriers finished second with Matthew Smith (5.35), Adam Littleton (6.08) and Jamie Reed (5.11).
Houghton won the under-13 girls race with Eva Hardie (5.52), Anna Pigford (5.57) and Lily Hardie (5.59).
H Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett (Birtley) won the Northern Athletics under-17 1500m championship at Wigan in a time just outside her best (4.41.62).