Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thrilling Under-11s Finish Sets Tone for a Super Day; ATHLETICS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thrilling Under-11s Finish Sets Tone for a Super Day; ATHLETICS

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill McGuirk

WITH lots to play for the final Start Fitness North East Harrier League fixture of the season produced an exciting programme of cross-country running in Wrekenton.

Over the winter most of the courses used have had muddy sections but there was none to be seen here so competitors had to decide whether to don spikes or flats such was the firmness of the ground.

The under-11 event opened the day's proceedings and it proved to be a great advert for the sport with Gateshead's Ethan McGlen and Will Bellamy of Houghton battling it out.

After close to one mile of running, Bellamy just got his head in front at the line, though the timekeepers couldn't split them so both athletes were credited with five minutes 17 seconds.

Gosforth's Keiron Mutch crossed the line in third place in 5:28.

More than 100 boys and girls set off together and there was no doubting the winner of the girls contest as Natasha Stephenson (Gateshead) weaved her way through the field to finish in fifth place overall in a time of 5:34.

Houghton's Anna Pigford was second girl home (5:45) with Rhiannon Hedley (Morpeth) third in 5:53. Gateshead were celebrating again after Megan Cottee won the under-13 girls by 13 seconds after taking advantage of a 1min 20secs start.

Alnwick's Callie Henderson finished runner-up 13 seconds behind with Eve Helm of Tyne Bridge a further 14seconds back in third position. Fastest on the course was Grace Varley (Gateshead), who missed out on a medal by one second after working her way through to fourth place from the fast pack.

Tynedale's Ellen Ricketts finished in fifth place, three seconds adrift of Varley to record the second-fastest time, while Gosforth's Rhian Purves was third fastest overall in finishing in seventh place. The under-13 boys' race was won by Gateshead's Will Dixon, who held off Birtley's Matty Cleugh by two seconds with Arun Summerfield, also of Gateshead, finishing in third place a further eight seconds behind. …

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