Jonathan justifies his international credentials

A LATE international call-up for Morpeth Harrier Jonathan Taylor was found to be very much justified, when he finished an accomplished 10th in illustrious company in the televised Men’s 8k race, at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting, held in Holyrood Park on Saturday, writes George Patterson.

The Teesside based 10k specialist was a replacement for Belgrave’s Phil Wicks, and he did the Great Britain team, who finished second to the USA, proud when he came home as fourth counter behind team captain Frank Tickner (fifth) 25m55s, Steve Vernon (seventh) 26m00s, and Tom Humphries (eighth) 26m07s, in a time of 26m13s.

He was not far behind winner Ayad Lamdassem (25m44s), of Spain, representing Europe, who managed to turn the tables on fellow European Atelaw Bekele, who on this occasion finished third (25m47s), after he had defeated the Spaniard at the recent European Cross Country Championships.

Taylor can also feel pleased by the fact that he finished ahead of previously selected fellow Brits, Keith Gerrard, James Walsh, James Wilkinson, Derek Hawkins, and Ryan McLeod.

l A RECORD 327 finishers took part in Saturday’s Newcastle Park Run, among them six Morpeth Harriers.

Michael Thomsen was first home for the club, finishing fifth in a new personal best of 18m30s, closely followed by Thomas Straughan on his first run on the 5k circuit, to finish seventh in 18m38s.

Graeme Leathard was next home in 43rd place in 20m20s.

Mike Steven finished 76th in 21m53s and Maria Drosdowicz came home in 92nd place in 22m25s as seventh lady.

Claire Bruce was 14th Woman when she placed 119th in 23m26s.

Elsewhere in Park Run’s, Morpeth Harrier Andrew Lawrence recorded an eight second marginal victory in Richmond Park, London, when he finished in 17m10s.

While stationed in Camp Bastion, Morpeth’s Craig McBurney took his opportunity to compete in their Park Run for the first time, where he finished third in 19m09s, approximately one minute adrift of the event winner.

Meanwhile, on slightly more local soil, Over 65 Veteran Paul Bentley finished 57th in the Durham Park Run in 24m08s.

l MORPETH Harrier Alison Brown produced a race winning performance on Sunday in the Borders League Cross Country meeting, held at Paxton House, near Berwick.

The Benfield Athlete of the Month for November, finished as first girl in the combined Young Athletes event, which covers ages up to and including U17 of both genders, when she finished 13th overall, with her time of 11m17s, being a good 38 seconds clear of her nearest girl rival.