Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Waugh the Leading Northern Light on a Great Day at Witton

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Waugh the Leading Northern Light on a Great Day at Witton

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill McGuirk Athletics writer

JUNIOR ATHLETICS THE region's youngsters were in superb form in the Start Fitness-supported Northern Cross-Country Championships in Witton Park, Blackburn. Despite horrendous conditions, five athletes picked up individual medals - three of them gold - together with two sets of team medals, one gold and one silver.

The programme got off to a flying start for the North East with Birtley's Kate Waugh opening the programme with an emphatic victory in the under-17 women's contest.

That was quickly followed by a goldmedal performance by Middlesbrough's Josh Cowperthwaite in the under-15 boys' championship.

After a superb fourth place on her England debut in Spain the previous weekend, Waugh was quickly into her stride - opening up a 15-metre lead inside the first 600 metres over the rest of the field.

However, before the half-way point the region's latest international was joined by Barnsley's Alice Moore and the pair ran together until, with around a kilometre to go, Waugh upped the tempo.

She pulled well away from her rival to win the 4.7k contest in 18min 26secs, crossing the line 18 seconds to the good while Elizabeth Greenwood (Blackburn) came home in third a further five seconds adrift of Moore. It was Waugh's third Northern title, having won the under-13s' in 2012 and the under-15s' two years ago.

Gateshead were the pick of the region's clubs in the team event, finishing in eighth place with Elisha Tait leading them home in 31st.

Cowperthwaite stamped his authority on his event by settling in at the head of affairs from the off to complete the 4.2k contest in 14:35 - 12 seconds clear of Sam Evans of Warrington.

Morpeth's Rory Leonard was next home in seventh, helping the Northumbrians finish in fifth spot.

Morpeth's Scott Beattie raced to victory in the under-17 men's 5.5k championship.

Beattie tracked long-time leader Hugo Milner (Derby AC) before making a forward move entering the final kilometre.

Beattie had opened up a significant gap with the finish gantry in sight.

The Derbyshire champion tried his best to reel in the leader - but Beattie had enough in hand to take the title by a matter of three seconds. …

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