On a day when team medals were very hard to come by,
Scott Beattie was easily Northumberland’s best individual performer,
and the county’s closest to a medal, when finishing a superb fourth in the Senior Boys 7k event,
at the annual English Schools Cross Country Championships, this year sponsored by New Balance,
and held at Nottingham’s picturesque Wollaton Park, on Saturday 5th March.
The Morpeth Harrier just missed out by one second at the finish line,
in adding yet another medal to his winter collection, when just being outpaced
by Leicester and Rutland’s Isaac Akers, who also beat him to his first
English National title at nearby Castle Donington seven days earlier.
Beattie however will reflect on a high quality performance,
on what was a relatively good surface that in contrast to other
recent venues that he has recently run on, was fairly ideal to the job in hand.
He led Northumberland to 21st team place, with fellow Morpeth Harriers Adam Gibbs
and James Young being amongst the supporting counts in 180th and 219th places respectively.
They were the second and fourth counters in a field 310 finishers that also included club colleague Joe Armstrong,
who was running in the colours of Durham, and was their first athlete across the finish line in 69th place.
Northumberland’s best team performers on the day were undoubtedly their Junior Boys,
who finished seventh in their 4.2k event, and were led home by Morpeth Harriers
Under 15 Boys North East Cross Country Silver medallist Daniel Dixon,
who produced what was the county’s second best individual performance behind Beattie,
when he finished a superb 19th, in a field of 337 finishers.
Morpeth team-mate and training partner Ross Charlton also produced a fine run,
to come home as second for Northumberland in an excellent 39th place.
Another Morpeth Harrier amongst the scoring six Junior Boys for
Northumberland was Daniel Melling, who did well when finishing in 119th place.
In the Intermediate Boys 5.7k, Morpeth Harrier Kieran Hedley finished in 55th place,
and was second counter for a Northumberland squad which finished as 24th team.
Also amongst the scoring counts was Taylor Glover, who was fourth home in 135th place.
Although not amongst the scoring counts Adam Shewry did well to finish 260th in a field of 335 finishers.
Holly Peck of Morpeth led Northumberland’s Junior Girls home to 24th team place in their 3.5k event,
with club colleagues and training partners Lily Heaton and Ellie Coxon also featuring amongst the scoring counts.
Heaton finished 175th and Coxon 198th in a field of 339, and were third and fifth supporting counts respectively.
Charlotte Jewell and Abby Sheldon of Morpeth Harriers both featured in
Northumberland’s scoring counts in the Senior Girls 4.2k event.
Jewell was third home for the county in 183rd place,
and Sheldon was fifth counter, finishing in 203rd place, in a total field of 307 competitors.