Sunderland star Wilson to miss Harrier league moor meeting

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Michael Wilson, runner-up in this month’s Junior Men’s North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships, will miss next week’s North Eastern Harrier League meeting at Newcastle’s Town Moor.

Sunderland Harriers’ team manager Albert James had the 800m specialist penciled in as one of his expected team counters in the senior men’s race.

But the Seaham athlete is unavailable as he intends to concentrate on the indoor season for the rest of the winter.

The Wearsiders are top of the first division at the half way stage of the season, with only three fixtures remaining.

But Wilson feels he has some unfinished business on the indoor scene after tasting some success in his limited foray indoors last winter.

He finished second in the Welsh senior 800m at Cardiff (1.53.74) and was first in the Varsity match 1500m at Lee Valley, competing for Birmingham University.

Wilson’s performance in the North Eastern Cross Country Championships at Sedgefield was one of his best over the mud and his form suggests there could be a lot more to come. Unfortunately, he will miss out on the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Birmingham in March as he is at the wrong end of the junior age group.

With Wilson absent from the Harrier League, James will spend time ensuring that he has adequate cover for the six-to-count team race over the tough Town Moor venue, which takes in both strength-sapping hills on the three-lap 6.5 miles course. The fixture will take place on Sunday, January 10.

Sunderland Harriers’ Irish member, Liam Roarty, went back to Ireland for Christmas and took the opportunity to race in his home club, Clonliffe Harriers’, Christmas Cracker 5k.

The Sunderland University sports science student recorded a PB of 16:11. He beat his previous best mark of 16:47. Roarty finished fifth overall and third counter for Clonliffe who won the team prize.

Sunderland athletics supporters will have a great deal of interest in the London Marathon in April, which will be the official trial for the Rio Olympics.

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon and former Sunderland Harrier Ian Bloomfield have both different targets.

Dixon goes into the race with the Olympic qualifying time of 2.31 in her pocket after clocking 2.29.30 in the Berlin Marathon in September.

She is one of only two British athletes that have achieved the mark. The other is Sonia Samuels of Sale Harriers who recorded 2.28.04 in the same race as Dixon.

A good performance from the pair will ensure their seat on the plane to Brazil.

Chester-le-Street’s Bloomfield, 63, will bid to improve on his UK over-60 best of 2.44.27 from Manchester in 2014. His time is nearly two minutes faster than the next best.

Sunderland Harriers’ Barry Marlee and Colleen Compson were lucky in the club draw for London Marathon places. Marlee, an over-45, clocked 3.57.16 in London last year. Compson makes her debut.

Morpeth Harriers annual road race is held on New Year’s Day at 1.00pm, over a distance of approximately 11k.

The race is over an attractive scenic course, through the traditional route via Mitford, Mitford Steads and the Whalton Road.

Registration is from 11.30p at the race headquarters is at Morpeth Harriers clubhouse/Moirpeth Rugby Club, Grange House Field. Mitford Road, Morpeth. Entries are £8, £10 unattached.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers Old Monks Race takes place on Sunday at 11am. Registration takes place at Hart Village Hall.