Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Athletics: A Golden Treble for Sofiya

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Athletics: A Golden Treble for Sofiya

Article excerpt

SIX young Teesside athletes had a day to remember when they represented Durham at the Clubs for Young People National Athletics Championships in Telford, writes RICK BETTS.

And the youngsters came away with an impressive haul of 14 medals including four golds.

Middlesbrough's Sofiya Pela-aliyu put the disappointment of not being selected for the forthcoming English School Championships behind her with a series of stunning performances.

The 16-year-old became the first Teesside athlete to win three individual gold medals on the track as she raced home in first place in the 100m, 200m and 300m races.

And Pela-aliyu then returned to form part of the silver medal winning 4 x 100m relay team.

The other gold medal performance came from 12-year-old Ashley Gray of Yarm.

The Yarm School pupil put in a tremendous performance as a last minute substitute to take the gold in the boys' 200m.

Joe Cox, from Ingleby Barwick was also in fine form as he smashed his 400m personal best to win silver in a time of 52.50 seconds.

And brother and sister duo Katy and Jack Farrow, from Middlesbrough, both took wellearned medals in their track events.

Katy took home the silver medal in the 1500m while younger brother Jack took bronze in the 800m and sprint relay.

The final member of the group to put in a medal winning performance was Yarm's Sam Norton.

Norton, the younger brother of Cleveland Schools' record-holder Jayme, took the silver medal over 100m before combining with 200m winner Ashley Gray to take another silver in the relay event.

The performances of the young athletes enabled the athletes representing Durham to win five of the eight team trophies on offer at the Championships.

And team manager Simon Healey was overwhelmed by the youngsters' performances.

"It's been a great day for the team and the area, and the children did us proud," he said. …

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