Sunderland Harriers women’s team have dropped straight back to the Second Division of the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League after gaining promotion last year.
At Alnwick on Saturday, the Wearsiders’ brief spell of competition at the top tier came to an abrupt end after the other two relegation threatened clubs, Tyne Bridge and South Shields, climbed to safety.
Tyne Bridge were rewarded for pulling in all their big guns to win the competition and jump from second bottom of the table to seventh with 37 points in the 10 strong league.
South Shields finished seventh and also scored 37pts, while Sunderland finished ninth, 23 points behind the Sand Dancers to finish on 39 pts and join hosts Alnwick Harriers in the journey to Division Two.
Sunderland’s team in the handicap race were fast pack runners Vicky Haswell in 41st (29.09) and Alice Smith 53rd (29.24), who won the overall veterans grand prix, plus slow packers Judith Shotton 81st and Michelle O’Neil 138th.
Sunderland Strollers finished fifth in the Third Division and they had Jenna Maynard, running from the medium pack, in 27th (30.52).
The fastest runner of the day was Heaton’s Danielle Smythe who got through to sixth from the fast pack (25.58), four seconds quicker than Gosforth’s Helen Warburton in seventh.
Washington Running club are celebrating after gaining promotion to the Second Division along with Wallsend. They had Kathryn Common from the medium pack in 40th. (31.28).
In the senior men’s race, Sunderland Harriers finished 10th and last in the First Division and Paul Redman was the club’s first counter in 205th. But they only slipped from third to fourth in the league.
Adrian Bailes (Birtley) was the fastest of the day (34.17) in getting through to fifth from the fast pack.
Washington’ s Paul Rodd finished 34th from the slow pack, Stroller Mark Anderson was 41st from the fast pack (36.56) and Houghton’s Lee Dover was 48th (37.03), also from the fast pack.
Brandon Pye was runner-up in the Under-13 event and was second in the grand prix. Will Bellamy was third Under-17 and runner-up in the grand prix.
Other Houghton grand prix winners were Amy Leonard fourth Under-15,
Under-17 Eva Hardie was third, Anna Pigford fourth, and Lydia James finished fifth.