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McLeod denies Morpeth a medal
FORMER Elswick Harrier Ryan McLeod - son of Olympic Games 10,000m silver medallist Mike McLeod - ran the fastest time in the National Six Stage Road Relay Championships at Sutton Coldfield to help Tipton Harriers take third place - and deny Morpeth a medal position.
The 28-year-old winner of this summer's Great North and Yorkshire 10Ks hoisted the Staffordshire club from 24th to sixth on the third 5K leg in a time of 16 mins 55 secs, the only runner to dip under 17 minutes, and his team, briefly in second, moved up to take the bronze medals behind Sale and Belgrave.
Morpeth, the North of England bronze medallists, added Teessiders Jonny Taylor and Richard Morrell to their squad and finished only 25 seconds behind Tipton after trailing them by 61 seconds going into the final leg in eighth place.
But former Great Britain international Ian Hudspith, now a 43-year-old veteran, put in a supreme effort to overtake four rivals and make up 36 seconds on Tipton anchorman Ben Gamble, who slipped from second to third.
Morpeth also provided the second placed North-East team in 30th position, 15 places ahead of Gateshead.
No North-East teams competed in the women's four-stage championship.
Durham City Harrier James Askew scored his third 10K success of the year yesterday when he was a comfortable winner of the the Richmond Castle road race. The 22-year-old winner of the Pitstop and Mermaid 10Ks beat North York Moors veteran Alasdair Tatham by 18 seconds in a time of 35 mins 23 secs.
South African Nicolene van Staden, winner of last month's Yorkshire 10K at Ripon, took the women's title, beating Kendal's European Cross Country Championships Great Britain international and 2009 Richmond Castle winner Sarah Tunstall by 12 seconds.
Results - Men: 1 J Askew (Durham City) 35 mins 23 secs; 2 A Tatham (North York Moors M40) 35.41; 3 G Duffy (Billingham Marsh House) 36.03.
Women: 1 N van Staden (Winchester/Army) 38.28; 2 S Tunstall (Kendal) 38.40; 3 S Barlow (Ripon W35) 40.05.