Strong Sunderland Harriers squad eyes Durham relay glory

Lydia Stoker leads the way in the Under-11/13 track and field age group
Lydia Stoker leads the way in the Under-11/13 track and field age group
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Sunderland Harriers bid to get among the prizes in the Durham City Harriers Summer Cross Country Relays at the University Playing Fields tomorrow.

Over 200 teams are expected to contest the two three-stage relays, starting at 6.30pm.

It is in the senior men’s relay and veteran men’s relay that the Wearsiders are setting their sights on.

They are fielding two strong teams that are capable of upsetting the applecart in the 3x3000m relay over two laps of 1500m.

Men’s team manager Albert James said: “I have yet to finalise the teams, but it is the best squad that I have had in the two years that I have been in charge.”

The senior men and women get proceedings underway at 6.30pm. James will select his A team from Andy Powell, Craig Isherwood, Sparrow Morley, Steve Rankin, Matty Devin and Mark Smith.

Rankin was the fastest club runner in the Tynebridge Harriers 5k at Newcastle on Sunday with 15.54 for eighth position.

The team of Ian Dixon (10.35), Oliver James (9.25) and Kevin Jeffress (9.42) finished third last year.

The women’s team could be Michelle Avery, Jess Fox and new club member Sarah O’Mahoney.

In the veterans’ over-35 men’s race, the team bids to repeat their winter success over the same course. The January team was Steve McMahon, Ian Dixon and Kevin Jeffress. The veteran men and veteran women’s relay starts at 7.05pm.

Runners and supporters should be aware there are major delays entering Durham from the A690 due to the Millburngate Bridge being down to one lane due to repairs.

To avoid delays, travel to Bowburn and then turn onto the A177 to the venue.

Sunderland Harrier Michael Edwards finished 12th (36.11) in the Billingham 10k won by South Shields Harrier Luke Adams (32.37). Washington Running Club’s Alan Foster was 35th (39.08), Callum Greig (Run Peterlee) finished 41st (39.30) and over-50 Michael Armstrong (Sunderland Strollers) was 50th (40.34).

The Sunderland Harriers track and field grand prix for all age groups is approaching its finale. The latest scores are: Under 11/13: 1 Lydia Stoker 42pts, 2 Lucy Gardener 34, 3 Freya Doran 24, 4 John Harris 24, 5 Joe Tisseman 18. Under 15/17: 1 Molly Gardener 70pts, 2 Declan Murray 70, 3 Eve Quinn 54, 4 Sean Mackie 52, 5 Reece Carroll 50, 6 Kyle Howard 46, 7 Jack Smith 46. Under20/Senior: 1 Jessica Fox 68pts, 2 Mark Smith 66, 3 Michael Wilson 50, 4 Sparrow Morley 32, 5 Jack Tallentire 32, 6 Phil McCluskey 24, 7 Nathan Reed 24.

Sunderland Stroller Lesley Watson will lead a women’s club cross country taster session around the Farringdon course on Saturday, starting at 10am. Meet at the parkrun start/finish. This will cater for anyone who is thinking of taking part in the 2015/16 Harrier League season, explain how it all works and ensure they have a good turn-out for every league fixture. The club session on Wednesday, August 26 will also be based at Farringdon and focus on cross country preparation.

The Strollers are organising their own Backhouse Park Relay on Wednesday, September 2. This is a fun relay for teams of two men and one woman and they are selected at random.

The course is two laps around the park, a total of 1.8 miles. The women will run the first leg. The race starts at 7pm. Afterwards, there is a presentation of prizes for winning teams and fastest male and female at Ashbrooke.