Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wearmen Stage the Best Effort for Region

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wearmen Stage the Best Effort for Region

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND Harriers were the pick of the region's teams in the men's four-stage event finishing in 11th place, the same as they did in last year's contest.

Fielding the same quartet as 12 months ago of Patrick Martin, Brian Rushworth, Mark Hood and Gavin Massingham, the Wearsiders had aimed for a top-10 spot this time round - but they were denied that target by just seven seconds.

With close to 150 teams contesting the increasingly popular event, Martin's first-leg finish of 14th was just the start Sunderland wanted.

Rushworth was next to keep up the good work but, though he recorded a time just 30 seconds slower than Martin, it was not enough as he slipped down the field to 25th at the half-way point of proceedings.

Hood pulled back some of the lost ground on the penultimate leg and handed over to Massingham in 13th place.

With the gaps between the leading teams widening, it was all Massingham could do to haul in two of his rivals and in the end 11th place was a respectable position in which to finish.

Ever-improving Durham City Harriers, who led for a while through Sean Moralee on the first stage before he slipped back to 13th at the changeover, got the better of Gateshead on the last leg to finish in 29th position, beating their Tyneside rivals by one place and 11 seconds.

Gateshead, with Chris Parr I handing over in second place at the end of leg one - his effort brought him the eighth equal best time of the day - saw Alan Buckley take over for his final contest in Gateshead colours before linking up with Leeds City, a club close to his home.

Unfortunately, the World Cross Country representative could not quite go out in flying colours and he slipped back to seventh.

Though Michael Thompson and Kieran Flannery did their best to keep Durham at bay, in the end Gateshead had to settle for 30th. …

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