k Houghton Harriers will be rewarded for top finishes in the North East Grand Prix

Luke Carroll and Thomas Bowden.
Luke Carroll and Thomas Bowden.
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Houghton Harriers have eight athletes finishing in the top six of the North East Grand Prix and they will be rewarded for their performances at the presentation evening in September.

The Wearside club ended their grand prix season at the final meeting at Gateshead Stadium and they had much to cheer throughout the programme.

Athletes of the match awards saw Houghton achieve a double success with Under-15 Philippa Ellis winning the girls’ title through her amazing long jump performance.

The multi eventer, coached by Geoff Fenwick, improved her personal best by nearly a metre, clearing 5.69m to go to the top of the British Under-15 rankings.

She also gained points in the 200m (26.69) for a grade two performance and put the shot 9.24 for a grade four standard to win the grand prix easily.

Under-15 Henry Johnson, a double North East champion in the 800m and 1500m, won the 3000m in 9.08.4 to move to fifth fastest on the UK list.

He finished fifth in the grand prix, being much harder to gain points as a middle distance runner.

Four Houghton athletes came out on top of their grand prix tables in age categories, ranging from under-13s to seniors.

Luke Carroll (43pts) and Thomas Bowdon (41 pts) filled the first two places in the Under-17 table.

They ended their grand prix season in the 100m hurdles and 400m, Bowdon recording 57.29 for the 400m and 16.04 for the 100m hurdles, while Carroll’s times were 57.70 and 17.40.

Laura Fenwick won the senior women’s grand prix and claimed her final points in the hurdles, 400m and 200m.

Over-50 Phil McCluskey walked away with the senior men’s title for the ninth year in a row through the many events he successfully competes in.

He had a relatively quiet end to his grand prix season by only competing in the 200m, 400m, javelin and shot.

The Ellis family saw Philippa’s brother Dominic and sister Lexie also feature in the grand prix.

Lexie was Houghton’s youngest competitor and was runner-up in the Under-13s, picking up her final points in the shot and javelin.

Dominic, the youngest track and field official in the North East, finished fourth in the Under-20 contest after adding two points to his total through his 400m performance of 58.85.

While not involved in the final grand prix positions, there were impressive performances at Gateshead from Under-15 Will Bellamy, who was second to Henry Johnson in the 3000m (9.12.24) to also achieve a grade one standard.

Under-15 Nicole Phillips recorded a 3000m grade four standard with her run of 11.05.30.

The grand prix presentation of awards will take place at Gateshead Stadium on Monday, September 25 at 6.30pm.

Houghton Harrier Lee Dover finished fourth in the South Shields multi terrain 10 mile road race, clocking 57.49. The race was won by Kurt Heron (Ashington) in 54.42 followed by Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks (56.51) and Jarrow and Hebburn’s Johnny Evans (57.02).