Timmins and Legg show college class

RUN IN THE PARK: Runners battle on in the North East Cross Country Championships at Temple Park, South Shields

RUN IN THE PARK: Runners battle on in the North East Cross Country Championships at Temple Park, South Shields

First published in Athletics & Olympic Sports by

TWO United States-based college students returned to their native North-East to race away with the senior titles in the region’s 105th Cross Country Championships at Temple Park, South Shields.

Morpeth Harrier Lewis Timmins, in his fourth and final year at Tulsa University, led his club to team victory by winning the men’s race by 42 seconds.

Then 20-year-old Teessider Kirsty Legg, studying at Butler University in Indianapolis, brought off the surprise of the championships when she beat defending women’s champion Rosie Smith by an emphatic 57 seconds.

Timmins, who flew home from Texas last month specially for the championships, only to find them postponed because of the weather, was relieved to find that they had been re-arranged for a new date 48 hours before he was due to return to Texas to complete his studies.

The 2004 North of England under-17 cross country champion prepared for his first crack at the North-East senior race by finishing 29th in the Lotto Cross Cup meeting in Belgium before scoring a runaway victory in his club’s annual 10K road race on New Year’s Day.

With Sunderland Harrier Patrick Martin unable to defend his title because of an ankle injury, 23-year-old Timmins’ preparations proved perfect as he beat clubmate Peter Newton in the testing 12.4K event, with Durham City Harrier Dan Garbutt a further 25 seconds away.

Middlesbrough Mandale Harrier Legg, who has proved one of the most exciting newcomers in collegiate athletics, prepared by running four cross country races for her university, winning the Illinois University 4K event and finishing a creditable 18th in the Great lakes Regional Championships in November.

The former Cleveland Schools 800m champion, who was invited to join Butler University after some impressive performances as a junior, demonstrated the vast strides she has made, dominating the 8.4K senior women’s race to build up a huge winning margin over former Great Britain World Junior cross country international Smith, who was challenging for her third championship. Third place went to Jane Mooney, who led Morpeth to the team title.

Billingham Marsh House Harrier Mike Jeffries won yesterday’s Old Monks six-mile race at Hart Village in a time of 30 mins 46 secs, beating North York Moors veteran Paul Lowe by 20 seconds, with Andy Chadfield (BMH) third in 31.35. The woman’s race was won by Hartlepool Burn Road over-35 Sarah Black in 41.28.

Results

Senior Men (12.4K): 1 L Timmins (Morpeth) 39 mins 34 secs; 2 P Newton (Morp) 40.16; 3 D Garbutt (Durham City) 40.41; 4 S Hall (Gateshead) 41.39; 5 M Whitfield (Bingley) 41.58; 6 J Buis (Heaton) 42.06; 7 I Twaddle (North Shields Poly) 42.12; 8 B Rushworth (Sunderland) 42.39; 9 D Bradford (Shettlestone) 42.55; 10 R Floyd (Morp) 43.05.

Teams: 1 Morpeth 102 pts; 2 Gateshead 160; 3 Sunderland 255.

Under-20 Men (8.4K): 1 P Hurst (Elswick) 26.03; 2 R Best (New Marske) 27.09; 3 L McCourt (Gates) 27.45; 4 G Hawkins (New Marske) 27.45; 5 J Askew (Aycliffe) 28.06. Teams: 1 New Marske 12; 2 Gosforth 24; 3 Gateshead 36.

Under-17 Men (4.7K): 1 M Shaw (New Marske) 20.55; 2 L Hogg (Gateshead) 21.35; 3 B Maskell (Gates) 21.48; 4 M Bleasby (Shildon) 22.00; 5 C Johnson (Gates) 22.07. Teams: 1 gateshead 10; 2 Shildon 23; 3 New Marske 26.

Under-15 Boys (3.9K): 1 L Clark (South Shields) 14.02; 2 G Chambers (Elswick) 14.03; 3 C Peverley (Chester-le- Street) 14.17; 4 C Pascoe (New Marske) 14.20; 5 L Watson (Middlesbrough Mandale) 14.31. Teams: 1 Elswick 47; 2 Gateshead 52; 3 Sunderland 57.

Under-13 Boys (3.1K): 1 A Weightman (Alnwick) 11.51; 2 H Johnson (ClS) 11.52; 3 J Armstrong (ClS) 12.14; 4 M Jackson (Tynedale) 12.32; 5 D Pickering (ClS) 12.35. Teams: 1 Chester-le-Street 10; 2 Tynedale 25; 3 Alnwick 32.

Senior Women (8.4K): 1 K Legg (Middlesbrough Mandale) 30.04; 2 R Smith (Durham City) 31.01; 3 J Mooney (Morp) 32.04; 4 M Stead (Morp) 32.05; 5 T Millmore (ClS) 32.12; 6 S Rogers (Heaton) 32.15; 7 A Turvey (Heaton) 32.21; 8 C Summersgill (Midd & Cleve) 32.28; 9 G Rutherford (Darlington) 32.53; 10 C Dickie (Morp) 33.22. Teams: 1 Morpeth 17; 2 Heaton 25; 3 Durham City 38.

Under-17 Women: 1 Z Hewitson (Shildon) 19.19; 2 C Price (Dur C) 19.28; 3 G Wallett (NSP) 20.03; 4 P Williams (Elswick) 20.17; 5 K Coulson (New Marske) 20.26. Under-20: 1 A Smith (M&C) 19.43; 2 R Lundgren (Gosforth) 20.00; 3 F Buckton (M&C) 20.22; 4 S McDonald (Jarrow & Hebburn) 20.57; 5 K McGrath (M&C) 21.26. Teams: 1 Gosforth 28; 2 New Marske 48; 3 Elswick 54.

Under-15 Girls: 1 L Turner (Birtley) 15.17; 2 C Loredo (IShildon) 15.44; 3 A Fawcett (ClS) 15.55; 4 S Forster (Birtley) 15.58; 5 A Etherington (Shildon) 16.18.

Teams: 1 Birtley 16; 2 Middlesbrough Mandale 42; 3 Blaydon 43.

Under-13 Girls: 1 P Chambers (Elswick) 12.51; 2 P Stone (Midd Man) 13.04; 3 K Waugh (gates) 13.17; 4 F Mc- Pate (Gos) 13.24; 5 R Findlay (Shildon) 13.32. Teams: 1 Middlesbrough Mandale 17; 2 Gateshead) 28; 3 Elswick 33.

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