Harriers edged out ... but new-look senior team impress with fourth place

Mark Smith.
Mark Smith.
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SUNDERLAND Harriers’ new-look senior men’s team performed with credit in the record-breaking Durham Cathedral Relays yesterday.

With nearly 300 teams entering the event, winning any sort of award was going to be difficult.

But the three-man squad, running together for the first time, ran up to scratch and surprised themselves by finishing in fourth place.

After Nathan Reed finished seventh in an unofficial 9min 46sec on the opening leg of the three-stage 3000m relay, behind Shildon’s Cameron Boyek’s fastest time of the day (10.01), the Wearsiders improved their position.

It was Mark Hood, making a welcome return to competition, who climbed into fourth with his clocking of 9.46 to equal Reed’s time.

Anchorman Michael Wilson, having his first competitive outing for seventh months, ran a solid race to maintain that spot to cut into third-placed Gateshead’s lead.

But the city club were too far adrift of the teams ahead of them to have any chance of making the frame.

Morpeth (27.45) had Lewis Timmins (9.13), Nick Swinburn (9.17) and Matt Nicholson (9.15) as their winning trio.

Durham City were second (28.01) and Gateshead third (28.55). Sunderland finished fourth (29.23).

But Sunderland did have something to celebrate as their over-55 veterans’ team of Paul Merrison (10.52), Peter Richardson (12.36) and Steve Winter (13.56), were given first place in their category in the provisional results.

Tyne Bridge Harriers (31.36) won the overall race by one second from Elswick.

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon recorded the fastest time of the day in the women’s relay over the same course as the men.

She charged through the field from 26th spot on the last leg to finish ninth in a blistering run of 10.29. The other Strollers were Rachal Ball (13.14) and Vicki Booth (13.26). The race was won by Newcastle University (35.15), with the hosts second (35.32).

Organisers Durham City Harriers were so overwhelmed by the entries, that they were unable to produce individual leg times and in depth team times on the day. Official results will be released later in the week.

H Sunderland’s Mark Smith won his first race and was crowned Durham Schools’ inter boys’ cross-country champion at Meadowfield on Saturday.

He was Wearside’s only winner. Mark showed all the grit and determination of his father, Sunderland Harrier Graham Smith, who gained international cross country honours and won the English Schools’ 3000m title in 1977 before going on to finish third in the Great North Run.

Durham Schools’ Results:-

Senior Boys (7km): 1 O Watson (Dur C) 23:10; 2 A Brown (Dur C) 23:19; 3 C Fenwick (Eas) 23:24; 4 I Dunn (Derw) 23:35; 5 J Catterall (Darl) 23:44; 6 T Goulding (Dur C) 23:45; 7 J Fenwick (Eas) 23:46; 8 J Bell (Dur C) 23:59; 9 L Emmett (S Tyne) 24:03; 10 D Newton (Darl) 24:15. Team: 1 Durham Central 54; 2 Gateshead 92

Inter Boys (5.2km): 1 M Smith (Wear) 19:35; 2 K Walker (Eas) 19:37; 3 J Wood (Darl) 19:51; 4 L Terrell (Gate) 20:06; 5 B Tinkler (Darl) 20:09; 6 N Klies (Wear) 20:11; 7 C Bain (Dur C) 20:13; 8 S Haycock (SW Dur) 20:14; 9 B Lambert (SW Dur) 20:22; 10 J Howe (Wear) 20:24. Team: 1 Darlington 70; 2 Gateshead 109; 3 South West Durham 124

Junior Boys (4.3km): 1 R Arthur (Dur C) 16:36; 2 B Davies (Darl) 16:44; 3 J Reed (Dur C) 16:47; 4 M Wakefield (S Tyne) 16:50; 5 J Hughes (Dur C) 16:54; 6 S Mackie (Wear) 16:59; 7 C Stainsby (Darl) 17:14; 8 M Wade (Dur C) 17:16; 9 M McGuire (Darl) 17:26; 10 K Davison (Darl) 17:45. Team: 1 Durham Central 46; 2 Darlington 59; 3 Gateshead 143

Minor Boys (2.2km): 1 S Hornsby (Darl) 8:24; 2 C Dougal (Dur C) 8:33; 3 R Longton (SW Dur) 8:34; 4 J Hopkinson (Gate) 8:38; 5 C Dixon (SW Dur) 8:49; 6 C Quinn (Eas) 8:51; 7 J Swales (Gate) 8:56; 8 R Wells (Darl) 8:56. Team: 1 South West Durham 84; 2 Darlington 105; 3 Gateshead 135

Senior Girls (4.3km): 1 S Montgomery (Gate) 17:55; 2 A Etherington (Dur C) 18:25; 3 E Alderson (Darl) 19:01; 4 R Bourne (Gate) 19:20; 5 R Lindsay (Dur C) 19:41; 6 A Fuller (Gate) 20:01; 7 A Tweddle (Dur C) 20:02; 8 A Coulson (W Wear) 20:29; 9 E Bowden (Dur C) 20:48; 10 S Bell (Dur C) 20:57. Team: 1 Durham Central 49

Inter Girls (3.8km): 1 O Bateman (Gate) 15:07; 2 S Burnett (Wear) 15:19; 3 K Gunn (W Wear) 15:25; 4 M Jordans (Darl) 16:39; 5 E Daglish (Dur C) 16:57; 6 A Leslie (S Tyne) 17:01; 7 R Mott (Dur C) 17:09; 8 J Hull (Darl) 17:34; 9 J Fox (Wear) 17:45; 10 F Best (Gate) 17:59. Team: 1 Durham Central 68; 2 Gateshead 95; 3 Darlington 139

Junior Girls (3km): 1 S Jones (SW Dur) 11:55; 2 K Noble (Darl) 12:35; 3 H Raw (Darl) 12:43; 4 L Hunter (Darl) 12:50; 5 J Leslie (S Tyne) 12:55; 6 J Moss (Dur C) 12:56; 7 M Carter (Dur C) 12:56; 8 M Crowther (Gate) 13:05; 9 L Tindle (W Wear) 13:05; 10 L Brown (W Wear) 13:08.

Team: 1 Durham Central 77; 2 Darlington 86; 3 Gateshead 132

Minor Girls (2.2km): 1 E Phillips (Darl) 8:44; 2 E Hardie (W Wear) 8:52; 3 L Hardie (W Wear) 9:22; 4 J Reed (Dur C) 9:25; 5 I Pentland (SW Durham) 9:33; 6 A Barlow (SW Dur) 9:35; 7 T Hewitt (Gate) 9:36; 8 J Crang (Gate) 9:39. Team: 1 West Wearside 64; 2 Darlington 96; 3 Durham Central 122.