Youngsters go again in quest for English Schools’ selection

Houghton Harrier  Philippa Ellis.
Houghton Harrier Philippa Ellis.
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Athletes took their first step on the ladder for qualification for the English Schools’ Championships following the Durham County Schools’ Championships at Monkton.

The first two in each event have qualified for the Inter County match with Northumberland, Cumbria and Cleveland at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Saturday.

After this event, the team for the English Schools’ Championships, which is staged at Gateshead on Friday, July 8-9, will be selected.

The ESAA National Championships are the fourth largest athletics event in the World.

Entry to the event is by virtue of athletes being selected by county team managers to represent their county.

Prime consideration is given to performances at county championships, but other outstanding performances at other events may be taken into consideration.

Nearly all the UK Olympic Athletics team members have featured in the ESAA Championships.

The two outstanding performances came from South West Durham’s Rachel Bennett with her Junior Girls’ 100m victory in a national standard of 12.50 and Durham Central’s Emily Gargan with her national standard in the Senior Girls’ triple jump with a leap of 12.13.

The winning local athletes were: Junior Girls: 75m hurdles: Philippa Ellis (West Wearside) 12.4. Long Jump: Molly Elliott (West Wearside) 4.64. 200m: Tina Anderson (Easington) 26.2. High Jump: Anna Maw (Wearside) 1.46.

Inter Girls: 1,500m: Eve Quinn (West Wearside) 5.03.2. 3,000m: Sarah Knight (Wearside) 11.27.2.

Senior Girls: 1,500m: Jess Fox (Wearside) 4.55.9.

Junior Boys: Henry Johnson (West Wearside) 4.31.3. Inter Boys: Jamie Reed (Durham Central) 2.00.8.

Senior Boys: 3,000m: Alex Brown (West Wearside) 9.12.8. Shot: Ben Mitchell (West Wearside) 12.70.

Competitors in the Trail Outlaws Pieces of 8 10km were met with tough and wet conditions on Sunday.

The race was set around the trails surrounding Penshaw Monument, Cox Green and Offerton before finishing back at the Monument.

South Shields Harrier Luke Adams was the clear winner, clocking 41.17 and Sunderland Harrier Michael Barker was second with 42.33.

Blackhill Bounder Gary Wallace was third (43,23) followed by Sunderland Harrier Steve Rankin (45.46) and Sunderland Stroller Mark Anderson sixth (46.48).

This was Rankin’s fifth race since the previous Sunday where he finished seventh in the Washington Running Club’s 5km Bottoms Up Cup race after being sent the wrong way when 100m in the lead.

On Monday, he competed over 1,500m at Chester-le-Street in the British Milers Club Grand Prix, where he clocked a personal best for 1500m (4.12.3).

On Wednesday, he was off to Monkton where he clocked another PB for 800m with 2.08.7. The following day he joined 4,000 other runners in the famous Blaydon Race where he finished in an impressive 14th.

Sunderland Harrier Michelle Avery won the women’s race at Penshaw in 53.17 to finish 25th overall.

North Shields athlete Michelle Thompson was second (54.56), Victoria Booth of Sunderland Strollers was third (56.29) and clubmate Gillian Ritchie finished fourth.

Sunderland Harrier Vince Emmett was the first over-60 in 63rd (58.55).

Houghton Harrier Lee Dover finished second in a PB (34.59) in the Run Northumberland Bamburgh 10km, won by Tyne Bridge Harrier Mark Fenwick (32.11).

Rory Graham was 14th (37.39) and the other Houghton runner, Shaun Kelly finished 29th (40.16).

Sunderland Stroller Ken Tweedy was third over-60 in 64th (43.29) and Sunderland Harrier Tony Allinson finished 98th (44.59).

Sunderland Harrier Sparrow Morley won the St Albans 5km in 17.02 the day after competing over 1,500m in the Northern Athletics Championships in Manchester.

Elswick Harriers’ Newburn River Run is staged tonight over a 6.5-mile scenic, flat and predominately traffic free route.

It provides runners with the opportunity to post a fast time. Wherever possible, please car share. Parking is limited.

Race day registration is at Newburn Leisure Centre, Grange Road, Newburn NE15 8ND. Start time is 7.30pm.

On Sunday, The Aycliffe 10km takes place from Greenfield School, Greenfield Way, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 7PS. The race starts at 10am.