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David masters conditions to win two gold medals at x-country

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David Nicholson added two more golds to his growing collection of veteran medals at the North East Masters Athletics Association Cross Country Championships held on marshy park land behind Darlington Rugby Football Club on Sunday afternoon.

In a relatively small field, Nicholson was first over 60 male and for the third consecutive year also collected a team over 55 medal, this year supported by club colleagues Paul Bellingham and Peter Scaife.

In addition to the individual and team golds, there was also success earlier in the day during the Men’s 65 and over categories, which was run over two laps instead of the later three and held in conjunction with the women’s race.

Longstanding Morpeth Harrier member Walter Ryder, a stalwart of the competition for many years, made the journey down from his home in Scotland to take a silver in the over 80 men’s category while Paul Bentley picked up bronze in the over 70s. With Archie Jenkins also taking part in the over 65, the team of Ryder, Bentley and Jenkins were able to collect a further team silver.

Exactly a week after crowning herself in glory, in becoming the first Morpeth Harriers Senior Woman to ever win a Northern title, Mhairi MacLennan finished a well placed seventh out of 700, in the Women’s 6.5k event, at the annual BUCS Cross Country Championships, held at a very wet and muddy Brunel University, in Middlesex on Saturday.

Posting a finishing time of 23m14s, the Edinburgh University student was thirty-five seconds adrift of fellow European representative Harriet Knowles-Jones, who was representing Manchester University

Testing muddy conditions were faced by athletes at the annual Northern Schools Inter Counties Cross Country Championships, held at Barnard Castle School, County Durham on Saturday.

Northumberland finished second in the Boys events, but could only finish fourth in the Girls section.

Several Morpeth Harriers were in action for Northumberland, with the best team performances coming from their Intermediate Boys and Senior Girls squads, who both had handsome team victories.

On the individual front, the best club performer was Kieran Hedley, who earned himself a Bronze medal in the Senior Boys event, behind Josh Cowperthwaite of Cleveland.

Hedley led the Northumberland Senior Boys to an on the day third team place behind North Yorkshire, with further team support including Morpeth colleagues Taylor Glover (6th), as second counter, and Matthew Briggs (31st) as sixth counter.

Northumberland’s squad of Intermediate Boys won by a margin of 27 points over Cleveland, with two Morpeth Harriers amongst their scoring counters.

Ross Charlton performed superbly to finish sixth. Daniel Melling was ninth.

Northumberland’s Senior Girls also produced an excellent on the day team victory, winning by a margin of 22 points over Cumbria, with Morpeth’s Gracie Hufton the fifth counter.

Euan Duffin of Morpeth had an excellent run in the Junior Boys event, leading Northumberland’s squad home to fourth team place. Another Morpeth Harrier amongst the scoring six was Dylan Davies, who was fourth home for the county when finishing an excellent 17th.

Morpeth’s Holly Peck (6th)led Northumberland’s Intermediate Girls home to fourth team place behind a strong Cumbria squad.

A truly excellent team result was achieved by Northumberland’s Minor Boys, who finished third on the day, but were only nine and six points respectively adrift of either first or second places.

Playing a big part in this team performance were Morpeth pair Ryan Davies and Bertie Marr, who finished 16th and 17th with identical times, and were fifth and sixth counters.