Wilson and Fox get nod for top awards

Fantastic  athletes, left to right, Phil McCluskey, Reece Carroll, Jessica Fox, Steve Cram, Mark Smith and Declan Murray
Fantastic athletes, left to right, Phil McCluskey, Reece Carroll, Jessica Fox, Steve Cram, Mark Smith and Declan Murray
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Sunderland Harriers held their annual meeting on Monday and the presentation of club trophies took place.

These were well deserved awards for those who have impressed throughout the past 12 months, with their athletics progress or with an achievement of significance.

Top spot goes to the best senior male and female athletes and ironically they have gone to juniors (under-20s), who can compete in senior competition.

Michael Wilson got the nod for top male athlete after his middle distance double in the North Eastern Championships junior 800m and 1,500m and for also finishing in sixth place in the 800m in the England Championship.

Jessica Fox was crowned women’s champion after winning the Kielder 10k women’s race on Saturday in a personal best of 41.02 and winning bronze medals in the North East Under-20 1,500m and Northern 3,000m.

Best male veteran was Phil McCluskey, who won the North East senior Grand Prix and also North East Veterans’ gold in the over-45 400m, and he was also third in the Scottish Championship. His best stands at 55.80.

Anna Harris was the top woman veteran by winning the over-35 bronze in the long jump at the British Masters’ Championship with a distance of 4.76.

Most improved award went to Andy Powell, with wins in the Lambton Run and Pit Stop 10k and second place in the Redcar half marathon. He has vastly improved his times over all distances.

The best newcomer was Matty Devlin, who was quick to make his mark after joining the club following his Pier-to-Pier race.

He was a club team counter in the Harriers’ winning team at the Pit Stop 10k, Angel Run and Sunderland Cross Country Relay.

The best 1,500m/mile cup was awarded to Oliver James, based in the States at The McNeese University, where he achieved a best of 3.52.40 for 1,500m and 4.10.71 for the mile.

Club merit awards went to boys: Mark Smith (17) for improving his 800m time by four seconds to 1.58 and for winning the club’s senior track and field grand prix. Sean Mackie (15) for representing the North East over the country and on the track and sprinter Declan Murray winner of the under-17 club grand prix and the North East Grand Prix.

Girls: Molly Gardener English Schools’ junior girls 100m semi-finalist and bronze medallist in the North East Championship.

Eve Quinn for improvement over 1,500m and 800m and Lydia Stoker for her plucky performances and winning the under-15 club Grand Prix.

Voluntary of the year was Len Christopher.