Sunderland Harriers rewarded for productive year

Sunderland Harriers' very own award winners at their presentation evening.
Sunderland Harriers' very own award winners at their presentation evening.

Sunderland Harriers held their club presentation evening during their annual meeting at the Lakeside Social club at Gilley Law.

A big turn-out of club members ensured that the event created a good atmosphere for the award winners.

Twelve awards were made by the club president George Cockburn to athletes throughout the age groups.

And the winners of the best performance by a club member during the year were won by Kevin Jeffress and Nikki Woodward.

Jeffress won his prize for winning the Vale of York Half Marathon in a PB of 71.49, slicing two seconds off his previous best.

Nikki Woodward won the female trophy for winning the British Masters’ Over-40 800m in 2.21.94, chopping nearly 10 seconds off her best time.

Paul Blakey took the Over-40 Veteran award for being the first Sunderland Harrier to finish the Great North Run and the only club athlete to go under 80 minutes (79.46). He was also third veteran in the Over-45 category.

Vicky Haswell won the female Over-35 Veteran honour with her British Masters’ Over-35 800m championship win in a PB of 2.29.75.

Michael Wilson triumphed for the club middle distance prize by breaking the Sunderland Harriers’ 800m record that has stood since 2003 (1.48.63).

Wilson recorded 1.48.35 in the States where he is studying at New Mexico State University. His mother Ann was at the presentation to collect the trophy on Michael’s behalf.

Craig Gunn triumphed for the best newcomer title for his improvement over all distances.

His 5km time has come down from 17.34 to 16.27 sincehe joined the club. He was also third in the Fleetwood Half Marathon.

Tina Mitchell was judged to be the most improved athlete through her dedication and hard work. She has improved over the half marathon and marathon by 13 minutes and has knocked five minutes off her 10km time.

There were four young athletes’ awards and they were: Under-20 Sarah Knight, for winning the Durham Schools’ 3,000m. She was also a member of the Sunderland Harriers winning women’s team in the Northern 5km Championships at Silksworth.

Under-17 Andrew Rhodes, for first place in the North East long jump Championships with a PB of 5.75.

Under-15 Dillon Revell, in his first year at the club and winning two BMC races and North East Grand Prix events.

Under-15 Shenali Scott for second in the Under-15 race at the Farringdon Cross Country and being the overall fastest female runner from the club over the course.

Volunteer of the year went to former club secretary Les Arnott, who has come back to the club after a long absence and become a valuable member of the club’s events team.

In the election of club officials there was a change at the top with secretary Michael Hill standing down after nine years in the role.

Jason Waite, a 24-year-old accountant, is the new secretary and undertook his first committee meeting in his new role on Monday.

Houghton Harriers travel to Graves Park in Sheffield to contest the Northern Cross Country Relay Championships on Saturday.

They have an Under-17 Men’s team and a Senior Men’s team down to compete.

The Under-17 team is Will Bellamy, Izaak Taylor and Sam Gibson, while the four-man Senior team will be selected from Cameron Allan, Lee Dover, Rory Graham, David Gribben, Adam Middleton and Tom Whelan.

Sunderland Stroller’s Over-50 Gary Dunmore clocked 3.14.24 for 10th in his age group in the York Marathon on Sunday. Sunderland Harrier Over-45 Barry Marlee recorded a PB of 3.29.12.