Athletes competing in the annual Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships, held at Temple Park, South Shields on Tuesday 19th January,
faced possibly the best running conditions since the New Year.
All of the fallen snow had mostly disappeared,
and although the ground was relatively heavy due
to a great deal of additional rain, only a few icy pathways posed a threat
to runners overall performances, which on the day included several
exceptional efforts by athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.
On the day, the club managed no less than eight podium places from
the eight age group events, which was a superb achievement to say the least.
Holly Peck (Junior Girls), Daniel Dixon (Junior Boys)
and Scott Beattie (Senior Boys) were also all on the day event winners.
Peck, representing East Northumberland won with nearly thirty seconds
to spare over her Morpeth Harriers club colleague Lily Heaton (East), who took the Silver medal.
Finishing in fifth place, and also producing one of the outstanding
runs of the day was another Morpeth Harrier Ellie Coxon,
who was another athlete running for East Northumberland.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the Junior Girls event were
Lauren Cummings (East) (17th), Ruby Wyld (North) (31st),
Charlotte Bruce (East) (46th), and Nicole Teasdale (East) (64th).
Morpeth Harriers Athlete of the Month for December 2015 Daniel Dixon,
representing East Northumberland, very convincingly won the Junior Boys
event from his club colleague Ross Charlton (East), who took the Silver medal,
and another well placed club colleague was Daniel Melling,
representing Newcastle, who finished sixth.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Junior Boys event were
Brad Brown (East) (18th), Andrew Hudspith (Newcastle) (19th),
Thomas Cunningham (East) (21st), Mark Booth (East) (30th),
Sam Bradley (East) (48th), and Joseph Bell (54th).
The Senior Boys event saw a close battle throughout between
Scott Beattie (North Tyneside) and club-mate Nathan Cox (North);
however Beattie managed to break away at the end of the three laps,
to win by a margin of twenty one seconds.
Fourth place in the Senior Boys event went to James Young,
who was representing East Northumberland.
This was probably the closest to a one, two, and three for the club on the day.
Two other Morpeth Harriers, who finished in podium places as Silver medallists,
were brother and sister Kieran and Rhiannon Hedley,
who were both representing North Northumberland.
Following a close battle with Tynedale’s Max Pearson,
who had won the Northern Athletics Indoor 1500m
on the previous Saturday in Sheffield,
Kieran was eventually forced to settle for second place,
only losing out by a mere fourteen seconds at the finish line,
in the Intermediate Boys event.
Also prominent in the Intermediate Boys event was Rory Leonard,
who had also competed against Pearson in Sheffield.
Leonard, representing East Northumberland, finished fourth,
and just twelve seconds adrift of third placed Alex Wood (Tynedale).
Twenty seconds behind Leonard in fifth place was his Morpeth Club-mate
Taylor Glover, also representing East Northumberland,
who had felt ill before and throughout the event,
and had battled courageously to finish.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the Intermediate Boys event were
Joe Dowd (East) (9th), Adam Shewry (East) (14th),
Connor Marshall (East) (17th), Matthew Waterfield (East) (18th),
Jordan Hedgecock (North) (24th), and Alex Cunningham (East) (27th).
Competing in the Minor Girls event Rhiannon Hedley
ran exceptionally well throughout her race to finish
eighteen seconds adrift of Newcastle’s Olivia Kantony,
and a good thirteen seconds ahead of another Newcastle Girl Ava Taperell.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the Minor Girls event were
Amy Lott (East) (19th), Ailidh Dick (East) (44th), and Rebecca Bradley (East) (45th).
Ben Walker was probably the unluckiest Morpeth Harrier on the day
as he just missed out on a podium placing by a mere three seconds,
when he finished fourth in the Minor Boys event,
and was first home for East Northumberland.
Fellow Morpeth Harrier Dylan Davies was third home for East, finishing eleventh.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Minor Boys event were
Jack Barrett (East) (16th), Bobby Stone (North) (23rd),
Dylan Gooding (East) (31st), Charlie Lane (East) (45th),
Josh Adams (East) (51st), and James Herron (East) (63rd).
The Intermediate and Senior Girls event was run as a combined race.
In the Senior Girls section, Morpeth Harriers had two of their athletes in action.
Representing North Northumberland Abby Sheldon finished fifth.
Charlotte Jewell representing East Northumberland finished seventh.
In the Intermediate Girls race, three athletes from Morpeth Harriers were amongst the finishers.
First home was Kate Seymour, who finished thirteenth, and not far behind her was Gracie Hufton,
who really ran well to finish fifteenth.
Completing the Morpeth Harriers trio was Eve Smith, who finished in 36th place.
All three of these athletes were representing East Northumberland.