Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Morpeth Put in a Relay Good Effort; ATHLETICS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Morpeth Put in a Relay Good Effort; ATHLETICS

Article excerpt

MORPETH Harriers repeated their 2015 bronze medal performance in yesterday's Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships at SportCity, Manchester, writes BILL McGUIRK.

Twelve months ago the Northumbrians also finished in third place at Blackpool and this time round, despite missing two of their main men, pulled out all the stops to take the final place on the podium again.

Sam Hancox was the lead-off man for Morpeth in the six x 6,000 metres contest and came home in 15th place - Gateshead, who eventually finished 14th were in second place thanks to Chris Parr's fine leg - while Morpeth's second-string handed over in 14th spot.

Ian Harding took over from Hancox and moved through into eighth at the end of the second stage.

Nick Swinburn took over from Harding and continued the forward move up into fourth before passing over to Carl Avery, who just failed to bring Morpeth up into a medal position.

However, next man up Peter Newton had no problems as he posted the third fastest overall of the time of the day after moving Morpeth through into second place behind Liverpool.

Thomas Straughan had the honour of contesting the glory leg for Morpeth and though he was pushed back into third by Derby's international Richard Weir he still had plenty in hand to hold off the rest of the chasing pack.

With the event being a qualifier for the National Relays in two weeks time - the first 25 teams made it through to Sutton Coldfield - Gateshead were next North East team to qualify after finishing in 14th place - one place ahead of Sunderland - while Morpeth's B team also qualified in 23rd with lead-off man Andy Lawrence their quickest.

Those North East teams who made the trip to the Etihad Stadium but failed to progress to the National included Tyne Bridge, (33rd), Sunderland B (52nd), Durham City (65th), Birtley (74th) and Blackhill Bounders. …

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