The annual Sunderland cross-country relays took place at Farringdon on Saturday 2nd September,
Morpeth Harriers men claiming first and fifth places.
The event, a traditional low-key curtain raiser to the cross-country season, takes place over a 1.8 mile circuit - including a testing hurdle over a deep stream - with teams of four contesting the annual trophy.
Rob Balmbra got Morpeth off to a tremendous start, his 8 minutes 49 seconds the fastest time of the day,
and though the club dropped to second on Ali Douglas’ leg (9m 24s) as Houghton Harriers moved into first place with a strong leg by their second place runner, James Young quickly regained first slot on leg three (also 9m 24s).
It was left to Chris Smith to bring the baton home, and this he did comfortably, his clocking of 8m 56s making him one of only four runners on the day to run below 9 minutes. Behind him,
Tyne Bridge moved into second overall, with Houghton Harriers third.
There was also a very promising team performance from a young Morpeth B team,
who finished in a commendable 5th place, ahead of the A string of many other clubs.
Mark Snowball got the race underway, clocking 9m 50s to finish in 8th position.
He was followed by Tom Innes, whose 9m 52s moved the team up to 6th, and Dean Lonsdale,
whose 10m 10s gained a further place. Richard Castledine anchored the team with 9m 54s.
In the Junior races, held over the same venue but run as individual events,
there were a handful of Morpeth’s younger athletes competing.
Best performance of the day was that of Daniel Melling, 2nd in the Under 17s in a time of 9m 31s,
while Daniel’s sister Laura was 20th in the U13 girls (14m 4s).
Kiera Peck was 9th (4m 35s) in the short course U11 girls.
In the U15 boys, Andrew Hudspith was 15th in 10m 52s and Jonny Kdd 18th in 10m 57s.
Joe Hudspith was 6th (11m 27s) in the U13 boys and James Tilley 13th in 12m 4s.
Report by Peter Scaife