Sunderland Harriers make merry with four category wins in North East Masters’ 5000m

Kevin Jeffress (left) leads from Harriers club-mate Simon O'Donnell at Monkton.
Kevin Jeffress (left) leads from Harriers club-mate Simon O'Donnell at Monkton.
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Sunderland Harriers won four of the 5000m race categories in the North East Masters’ Track and Field Championships at Monkton on Saturday.

Kevin Jeffress, despite the heat, had a sparkling race and won by more than one minute from Harriers club-mate Simon O’Donnell.

Sunderland Harrier Jacqueline Etherington.

Sunderland Harrier Jacqueline Etherington.

Over-35 Jeffress recorded a solid 15min 47.5sec to win the race by nearly a lap from O’Donnell, who clocked 16.52.1 to win the Over-40 title.

Third placed Michael Thompson was the first Over-45 in 17.08.7 to capture that age group gold medal, while Paul Merrison added to the count by being first Over-55 to finish in 18.40.

New Sunderland Harrier Robert Walker won the M35 1500m in 4.35, while Jacqueline Etherington took the W35 metric mile in 5.14.0 and Vicky Younger was first Over-35 in the 800m 2.37.1.

The firefighter also picked up two golds in the field, with wins in the shot (7.80m) and javelin (22.90m).

Houghton Harrier Steve Todner makes his move.

Houghton Harrier Steve Todner makes his move.

Over-45 Anna Harris was first in her speciality – the long jump – winning with a leap of 4.82m. She also won the 200m (29.3sec) and was second in the 100m (14.2).

Houghton Harriers Steve Todner and Phil McCluskey shone in the sprints, winning six golds between them.

Todner took the Over-60 titles in the 100m (14.9), 200m (29.3) and 400m (67.7).

McCluskey won the same events in the Over-50 category in 13.4, 27.0 and 59.1.

He also won silver in the javelin (30.38). Steve Eccleston won the M70 1500m (6.28.5).

Alice Smith made it two wins in eight days with victory in the Aycliffe 10k yesterday.

The red-hot conditions certainly slowed times and Smith was one of the runners who found the high temperatures difficult to contend with.

The Sunderland Harrier said: “It was really hot out there and it definitely slowed me.

“I was looking to get under 37 minutesm so I can get an elite entry into the Great North Run. I have until August to achieve it, so I have still time.

While the Penshaw athlete was well outside her target timem she still won by more than two and a half minutes in finishing 15th overall in a field approaching 400, clocking 38min 31sec.

The second woman to finish was Darlington veteran Bernadette Caygill in 40.57.

Kevin Calvert was another Sunderland Harrier who tasted victory, with his win in the Elswick Harriers’ Six Mile River Run at Newburn.

He was a clear winner in 32.06, with Tyne Bridge Harrier Marc Fenwick second in 32.29.