Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett crowned her England international debut with a superb second place in the Lotto Cross Cup Junior Women’s race in Rotselaar, Belgium, yesterday.
The 18-year-old had the satisfaction of beating the girl who was ahead her in both the North East and the Northern Championships at Blackburn two weeks ago.
Burnett, who competes for Birtley AC, had Windsor’s Morven Goodrum (14min 46sec) 80 metres in front of her in the 4,200m race.
The Benedict Biscop Primary School teaching assistant recorded 15.02 to take second place and behind her came her England team-mates Ella Hughes (15.07) and North East champion Phillipa Stone of Middlesbrough was fourth (15.13) for an England clean sweep.
Burnett, who was runner-up in the North East Championship and was third in the Northern Championship, now heads for the National Cross Country Championships at Castle Donington a week on Saturday.
Shildon’s Kate Avery, second in the European Championship in December, won the women’s 6,200m race by well over one minute. She clocked 20.17 to win in style, with Belgium’s Veerle Devaeghere second in 20.33.
Sunderland Harriers’ women’s team of Nicola Woodward, Colleen Compson and Vikki Cotton have been promoted from second to first in the North East Masters’ Cross-Country Championships.
A North Shields over-45 runner, who finished 10th in the individual race, was mistakenly included in the over-35 team score. This gave Sunderland the title for the first time in the club’s history.
Sunderland Strollers moved up to second and Tyne Bridge Harriers to third.