Six athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers were amongst the respective medallists
at the annual Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships,
held at Temple Park Leisure Centre on Tuesday 17th January 2017.
Scott Beattie (Senior Boys), Rory Leonard (Intermediate Boys), and Holly Peck (Junior Girls)
were all excellent Gold Medal winners, on a day where several club colleagues also made their mark,
by producing performances which gained them automatic selection
to the forthcoming Northern Inter Counties Schools competition,
to be held at Kirby Stephen in Cumbria next month, which for some,
could provide the final stepping stone to the All England Schools competition,
which is scheduled to be held in Norwich in March.
Three Morpeth Harriers also gained minor medals in the championships,
which meant that the club provided a total of six outstanding medallists on the day.
Representing North Tyneside, Under 20 Men’s North Eastern Counties champion Beattie,
who has also recently gained national honours, was a very convincing victor of the Senior Boys 6.3k contest,
winning by a very comfortable margin of fifty-two seconds from his Morpeth Harriers club colleague Kieran Hedley,
representing Newcastle, who was very pleased to take the Silver medal ahead of Tynedale’s Max Pearson,
who took the Bronze.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing in the Senior Boys event was Jake Masterman,
who was representing East Northumberland. Masterman finished in sixth place.
Fresh from his Silver medal winning run in the North of England Indoor Championships,
Morpeth’s Rory Leonard (East), proved to be too good for his opposition in the Intermediate Boys event,
run over a distance of 5.3k.
He won with nineteen seconds to spare over club colleague Daniel Dixon,
also running for East Northumberland, to take a much-prized Gold medal.
Dixon took a well-earned Silver medal, and third place and Bronze medal went to Tynedale’s Alex Wood,
who managed to fend off the close attentions of fourth placed Taylor Glover (East), another Morpeth Harrier.
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the Intermediate Boys event were Ross Charlton (East) (6th),
Joe Ramshaw (Newcastle) (7th), Matthew Waterfield (East) (8th), Connor Marshall (East) (10th),
Liam Marsh (East) (12th), Daniel Melling (Newcastle) (16th),
Alex Cunningham (East) (20th), and Brad Brown (East) (41st).
Morpeth’s Holly Peck was certainly made to fight all the way to the finish line to take the Junior Girls 3.k title.
Representing East Northumberland, she won with just four seconds to spare over Newcastle’s Olivia Kantony,
with fellow Newcastle runner Ines Curran finishing very close behind in third spot.
Peck’s Morpeth Harriers club colleague Rhiannon Hedley produced an excellent run to finish a well-earned sixth.
This was perhaps first year Junior Hedley’s finest performance of the winter so far,
and the North Northumberland pupil can certainly take great heart from it.
Two places and seven seconds adrift of her was her Morpeth Harriers club colleague Lily Heaton,
who was representing East Northumberland, another excellent performance.
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the Junior Girls event were Alice Geohegan (Newcastle) (10th),
Lauren Cummings (East) (21st), Fay Smith (East) (33rd), Rebecca Bradley (East) (35th),
and Charlotte Bruce (East) (42nd).
Morpeth Harriers other medallist on the day was Junior Boy Thomas Cunningham,
who was representing East Northumberland in their 4k event.
He took the Bronze medal behind Newcastle pair Harry Morris and Ethan McGlen,
finishing just nine seconds ahead of fellow Morpeth Harriers Ben Walker (East) and Dylan Davies (East).
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the Junior Boys event were Andrew Hudspith (Newcastle) (15th),
Matthew Heslop (East) (24th), Dylan Gooding (East) (25th), Charlie Lane (East) (26th),
Ben Waterfield (East) (58th), and Bobby Stone (North) (61st).
Back with the Girls events, where Morpeth’s Gracie Hufton, representing East Northumberland,
produced a very eye catching performance when finishing sixth in the Intermediate race, run over a distance of 4k.
Other Morpeth Harriers inn action in this event were Ella Duffield (North) (17th),
Kirsty Duffin (East) (22nd), and Ellie Burt (East) (45th).
In the Minor Girls2.6k race, Morpeth Harrier Mia Belton, representing
Tynedale, had an excellent run to finish seventh overall.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in this event were Laura Melling (Newcastle) (14th),
Orla Callaghan (East) (15th), and Molly Ions (East) (65th).
Representing North Northumberland, Morpeth Harrier Abby Sheldon finished tenth in the Senior Girls 4k event.
In the Minor Boys 2.6k event, Morpeth’s Callum Rowell, representing North Northumberland finished 26th.
Athletes who finished in the top sixteen in each event, should see themselves selected to run for
Northumberland in the Inter Counties competition, with other discretionary places
being left in the hands of selectors.
The Gillian Mooney Memorial trophy run in honour of the former Northumberland Schools stalwart,
who put so much work into these championships during the late eighty’s and early nineties,
was presented to Newcastle Schools as overall winners on the day.
Whilst many of his club colleagues were competing at the Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships,
Jacob Hopkins, due to the fact that he attends Gateshead College, competed in the Durham Schools
Cross Country Championships at Barnard Castle School on Saturday 21st January 2017.
He finished 16th in the Senior Boys 6.8k event, and therefore may also see himself
selected to run in the Purple Vest of Durham at the Inter Counties in Cumbria.