Morpeth Harriers’ star performers at Saturday’s English Road Running Association’s Road Relay Championships, held at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, were undoubtedly their U17 Men.
They went into their three-stage contest, fielding exactly the same squad who won the North of England Championship three weeks ago in Manchester.
Daniel Melling produced a modest and steady run on the first of the 3 x 3.88k legs, finishing in 36th spot, posting a time of 12m46s, which was only around 40 seconds adrift of the medals.
Taylor Glover produced a superb run on leg two, posting a fourth fastest of the leg time of 12.05, which saw him climb a mammoth 26 places to tenth, and 19 seconds adrift of third, and a possible medal-winning opportunity.
Third and final leg runner Rory Leonard posted a fifth fastest of the leg time of 12.03, which saw him finish fifth, and was 23 seconds adrift of the medals, which were won by Aldershot, Charnwood, and Cambridge, definitely representing a Southern, Midland dominance.
Morpeth still proved to be the champions from the North, just holding off sixth placed Vale Royal by 10 seconds.
The respective times of Leonard and Glover, proved to be ninth and tenth equal of all.
In an event fairly well dominated by Southern and Welsh Clubs, the club’s Senior Men finished 20th in their six-stage Road Relay Championship, courtesy of Ian Hudspith (18m01s), Thomas Straughan (18.43), Carl Avery (18.00), newcomer George Lowery, formerly Jarrow and Hebburn (18.47), Robert Balmbra (19.08) and Jordan Scott (18.55).
They finished as fifth club from the North, and first from the North East.
The competition was won by Swansea Harriers.
Emma Holt’s individual win was certainly a most talked about performance at the second Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture, held at Druridge Bay on Sunday.
The Morpeth Senior Woman has definitely put her injury worries behind her, that she suffered at the end of the last cross-country season, and is showing a new zest, which is not only welcome from her own point of view, but also her club.
Holt achieved her second Harrier league victory in eight days, by seizing her opportunity at the very end of two gruelling laps of effort, to win by a three-second margin from the fast pack, having given 200 and 100 seconds to most of her rivals. It also gave her a second individual gold medal in the series.
Another second medal went to club colleague Jane Hodgson.
This time for her it was bronze, as she came home as second fastest from the fast pack behind Holt, and only 15 seconds adrift.
Young athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers were in fine form representing their respective schools at the first round of the annual English Schools Cross Country Cup competition, held in the Gateshead Bowl, behind Gateshead Stadium.
Pick of the bunch were the Intermediate Boys of King Edward School, who took victory by the margin of 11 team points ahead of the usually formidable Royal Grammar School of Newcastle, and will progress to the second round of the competition.
They were led home by Euan Duffin, who finished second, only losing out for victory to Harry Morris, of the Newcastle School, who regularly competes for Gateshead Harriers, by the slender margin of five seconds.
Further King Edward team support to Duffin, came from fellow Morpeth Harriers Thomas Cunningham (3rd), and Ben Walker (7th).
Holly Peck was another star performer, winning the Intermediate Girls race.
She faced stern opposition from Newcastle High School’s Olivia Katory, and Hermitage School’s Emily Chong, who finished second and third.
Peck eventually stole away to win by a comfortable margin of twenty-six seconds, and led King Edward to fourth team place.