Darlington Harriers sprints coach Chrissie Clifford has been awarded a leading honour in the recent England Athletics North-East awards.

Chrissie won top spot as Development Coach of the Year. In a ceremony hosted by Olympic athlete and BBC Radio Five Live presenter Alison Curbishley, Chrissie received her award for the work she has done building up a very successful young squad of athletes, four of whom won through to the finals of the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Birmingham earlier this year.

Six athletes in all represented Harriers at the championships, Josh Phillips, Andrew Clifford, Faye Bowles, Lorna Goldsmith, Joe Kiribige and Kate Blaylock doing the club proud.

This was an unprecedented success for such a small club and was achieved by the dedication of not only the athletes but the hard work and commitment of coaches such as Chrissie, who balances her coaching alongside a full-time job and four children.

Chrissie is now working towards her Level Three coaching award and is being mentored by another International athlete, Jared Deacon, from his base at the English Institute of Sport in Gateshead.

She is not the only figure at the club to have been rewarded for a fine season. Josh Phillips and Beth Ward have both been commended by their school, Hurworth Comprehensive, for their "outstanding achievement to sport". Josh and Beth had a marvellous season on the track and at cross country.

Beth represented not only her school, town and county at cross country but also competed in the English Schools Cross-Country championships in Leeds and was a successful member of the Harriers Young Athletes track and field team.

Josh did all of the above and also was county champion at 800m and went on to the English Schools track and field finals at the Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham during the summer with a season's PB of 2mins.03secs for the 800m.

Steve O'Neil is a winner at last. He headed the field in the Kirkby Overblow 10k trail race near Harrogate last weekend in a time of 39 mins 32 secs. A couple of weeks previously he was in action at the Horsforth 10k near Bradford, finishing 10th in 35:15.

A large contingent took part in the hilly Richmond Castle 10k in North Yorkshire last weekend. Colin Taylor was first over the line for Harriers in 38 mins 6 secs, with Paul Kelly not far behind in 19th with 39:25. Hot on his heels was Ronnie Read, who finished 25th in 39:59.

Steve Hutchinson was 48th in 41:54 and Linda Noble was 84th in 44:49. Sue Phillips was 125th in 46:50 and Brian Hannah was 145th in 47:32. Emma Morley was 196th in 50:24 and Shirley Gibson was F60 winner in 219th place in a time of 51:26.

A place behind was Joanne Tonkin in 22oth place and in 267th position was Jackie Nicholls in 53:55. George Prince was M70 winner in 334th place with a time of 58:52 and Steve Dauber crossed the line in 349th place in 59:48. Annette Hubery was 416th in 67:50.

This weekend the focus returns to cross-country with the second round of the North Yorkshire and South Durham Harrier League at Barnard Castle.