Weynay finishes third as Morpeth take two titles

The Northern Echo: TOUGH GOING: Action from the National Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park TOUGH GOING: Action from the National Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park

MORPETH HARRIERS carried off two senior men’s team titles as new Sunderland star Weynay Ghebresilasie had to settle for the bronze medal in the snow, slush and mud of the English National Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park.

Snow was still falling when the event began, leaving a four-inch blanket over the reclaimed colliery site in the shadow of Penshaw Monument and many athletes, travelling from all parts of the country, had difficulty reaching the North-East venue.

Ghebresilasie, the 18-yearold Eritrean asylum seeker who carried his nation’s flag at the London Olympics before walking out of the athletes village, did not have to travel far from his new home in Millfield, Sunderland. But the former soldier found the conditions totally alien to what he was used to in his native Africa.

The North of England junior champion battled manfully, however, to finish in third place after 10K of two gruelling laps, 47 seconds behind the winner, Aldershot’s Ian Bailey.

Morpeth demonstrated their great strength in depth by winning the six-man and nine-man team awards in the 12K senior men’s race.

Durham City Harrier Dan Garbutt was the first North- East man home in a superb fifth place – and then came a string of Morpeth Harriers, headed by Teessider and Great Britain international Jonathan Taylor, who was eighth, 34 seconds behind Newham and Essex Beagle Keith Gerrard, who won in 41 mins 21 secs.

Taylor, who had won the European Cross Country Championships trial in Liverpoool in November, was supported in the six-man team race by Richard Morrell (11th), Lewis Timmins (15th), Matt Nicholson (21st), and Graeme Taylor (46th).

Ryan Stephenson (52nd), Nick Swinburn (74th) and veteran Ian Hudspith (75th) clinched the nine-man team award.

Former Wallsend Harrier Sonia Samuels, now competing for Sale, was runner-up, exactly a minute behind Louise Damen in the senior women’s 8K race.

Durham City’s Great Britain cross country international Rosie Smith chose to compete in the Scottish Championships at Falkirk, finishing runner-up for the second year in succession.

The Northern Echo: Competitors found the conditions to be very
muddy at Herrington Country Park
Competitors found the conditions to be very muddy at Herrington Country Park

In the other races Middlesbrough’s Joshua Cowperthwaite was eighth in the under- 13 boys’ race, while Birtley’s Lydia Turner was 12th in the under-17s.

The Northern Echo: Competitors found the conditions to be very
muddy at Herrington Country Park
Competitors found the conditions to be very muddy at Herrington Country Park

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree