Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Young Promise

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Young Promise

Article excerpt


But veteran Jim stays on track for medals

TWO of Cleveland's most promising young athletes were in fine form at the English Schools National Cross Country Championships held at Mansfield's Berry Park, writes MIKE COTTON.

Ricky Stevenson and Jonathan Taylor, who have both represented the England Schools team at intermediate level, were competing this year in the senior boys event and finished in second and eighth places respectively in the 300-strong field.

Taylor, of Middlesbrough's St Mary's College, led during the first lap with Stevenson, of Guisborough's Prior Pursglove College, handily placed in sixth to eighth place.

By the third lap of the three-lap, four-and-a-half-mile course, Stevenson had moved up to second place, finishing only nine seconds down on the race winner Alastair Brownlee of West Yorkshire, with Taylor an excellent eighth.

Cleveland had excellent backing from Andrew Wiles (M'bro College) who was 36th and Adam Mitchell of Yarm's Conyers School who ran a courageous race to finish 81st, having lost a spike at the start and running almost the entire race with only one shoe.

Whitby's Alec Duffield, running for North Yorkshire, also an English Schools international at intermediate level, was running in his first year in the senior group and finished an excellent 30th.

Cleveland finished in tenth team place out of the 44 competing counties and were the highest placed in the Group C category for small counties.

Cleveland were also the leading Group C county in the intermediate girls championship with their 16th overall team placing.

Jessica Russon (Redcar Community College) was again in top form to finish very highly in 38th place with Kirsty Legg (Acklam Grange School) running the race of her life to finish 77th, a place in the first 100 being considered a benchmark of excellence at the Nationals.

Also achieving that distinction was Russell Best of Guisborough's Laurence Jackson School with his 43rd position in the intermediate boys race.

Durham's Kate Avery, who runs for Shildon in the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cross Country League, was in superb form to win the English Schools title. …

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