Richmond and Zetland Harriers: The 2003 Track & Field season is now into its second month and Richmond and Zetland Harriers have had competition in three Leagues and more in recent weeks.

The North Yorkshire South Durham (NYSD) League has been revamped for 2003 with five Tuesday evening fixtures and a sixth one on a Sunday afternoon, all counting towards Male, Female and Combined Team Trophies. Additionally, there are individual Male and Female awards in each of four age groups for selected single events. The first fixture at Clairville Stadium, Middlesbrough on Tuesday, April 29 featured the 200m, steeplechase and 800m on the track plus the javelin, Male long jump, Female high jump and triple jump in the field. Twenty-two Harriers competed and several came away with maximum points - Leanne Shaw U13G 200m, Rosie Adams U13G 800m, Douglas Roberts U13B 800m, Tom Rennison U13B long jump, Jessie Roberts U15G 800m (first in a brilliant Club 1-2-3) and Kim Bartram JL javelin. The team ended the evening second equal with Billingham Marsh House Harriers on 21 points, just 2 points behind the leaders MAC (Mandale).

RZH results: U13G - Rosie Adams 800m 2:43.1 and Leanne Shaw 200m 30.0; U13B - Timothy Bray 200m 36.5, 800m 3:11.7 & LJ 3m11, Charley Purkiss 200m 38.8, 800m 3:28.5 & LJ 2m93, Tom Rennison LJ 3m61 and Douglas Roberts 800m 2:35.4; U15G - Jo Adams 800m 2:35.7, Sophie Broadway 200m 29.9 & 800m 2:43.0, Jessica Gray 800m 2:36.4, Becky Rennison HJ 1m33, Jessie Roberts 800m 2:34.8 and Katie Roberts 800m 2:34.8; U15B - Jason Flannery 200m 27.9 & 800m 2:19.0; U17G - Becka Ayre 800m 2:43.9, Jenny Fenwick 800m 3:09.1, Leah Jackson 800m 2:38.5 and Georgina Zissler 200m 28.1; Junior/Senior/Veteran Men - Mike Brooks (MV2) 2000m steeplechase 8:14.4, Matt Prosser (J) 25.4, Shaun Purkiss 800m 2:25.4 and Dean Wilkinson 200m 26.2; Junior/Senior/Veteran Ladies - Kim Bartram (J) JT 25m25.

Later that week, on Friday, May 2, the Hambleton & Richmondshire Area Schools Athletics Trials were held at Clairville. Although the weather was poor and the sprint times recorded were incorrect, there was keen competition for County colours with the first two fastest, highest or furthest in each event qualifying for the North Yorkshire Schools Championships at York next month. Most of the Harriers (past and present) who competed "made the grade", most notably Sam Stanislaus who bettered his PBs in both the high jump and the triple jump.

RZH results: Junior Boys - James Bell 1st 80m hurdles, Andy Lagan 1st & Jason Flannery 2nd 800m, Chris Andrade 1st & Josh Miers 6th 1500m, Titch Robinson 4th long jump, Anthony Burke 1st & Shane Darby 4th triple jump; Junior Girls - Kim Osborn 6th 75m hurdles, Sophie Broadway 1st 200m & 4th long jump, Jo Adams 1st, Jessica Gray 3rd & Ashleigh Robinson 5th 800m, Jessie Roberts 1st, Scarlett Gray 2nd, Katie Roberts 3rd & Lindsey Johnston 6th 1500m, Becky Rennison 1st high jump; Inter Boys - Peter Akers 1st 200m, Simon Pinkney 1st 1500m, Sam Stanislaus 1st high jump & triple jump, Carl Outhwaite 1st hammer; Inter Girls - Laura McAlhone 2nd 200m & 1st 300m, Leah Jackson 2nd & Becka Ayre 3rd 800m, Sadie Potter 3rd 1500m, Becky Robinson 2nd long jump, Amy Poulter 2nd shot, Laura McLellan 2nd discus; Senior Boys - Geoff Pinkney 1st 1500m.

The opening fixture in Division 3NE of the Northern Men's League (NML) was the third T&F match in five days at Clairville. The Harriers' promotion from Division 4NE has brought competition from bigger and better Clubs but the problem of athletes at University, working away or "posted" abroad hasn't improved and on the day, it was a team of nine! Despite, or because of, this handicap, the team were up-for-it from the word go and Dan Brooks cleared the opening height in the polevault to score the Club's first points. This was followed by four A-string wins: Scott Wardman in the steeplechase, Jon Orange in the 5000m, John Wild in the hammer and Mark Flannery, making his debut, in the javelin. With good management, the team filled 27 out of 34 individual slots plus both relays and, with maximum points for Officials, they scored 277 points to finish 4th, just 8 points behind 3rd place Morpeth and only 17 points behind Houghton & Peterlee in 2nd, the second promotion slot.

RZH results: Dan Brooks 6th 200m B 27.1, 3rd 110m hurdles A 22.2, 2nd 400m hurdles A 67.0, 4th long jump B 4m65, 4th triple jump A 10m04 & 4th polevault A 2m10; Mike Brooks (MV55) 6th 1500m B 5:13.0, 3rd 3000m steeplechase B 12:31.6 & 5th 400m hurdles B 89.7; Mark Flannery 7th 100m A 12.8, 5th 1500m A 5:03.4, 4th discus B 19m84 & 1st javelin A 42m78; Ken Harker 3rd 400m B 56.3 & 2nd 800m A 2:07.9; Matt Prosser (JM) 5th 200m A 25.2, 3rd 400m A 55.4 & 5th long jump A 5m11; Jon Orange (MV40) 1st 5000m 15:53.3; Shaun Purkiss 7th 100m B 16.3, 5th 800m B 2:23.7, 2nd 5000m B 16:58.1, 4th hammer B 15m55 & 4th shot 6m56; Scott Wardman (JM) 1st 3000m steeplechase A 10:33.3; John Wild (MV50) 2nd discus A 32m37, 1st hammer A 36m29, 2nd shot A 9m53 & 1st javelin B 34m22.

The younger athletes opened their season in the aptly named Young Athletes League (YAL) with a match at the Riverside Stadium, Chester-le-Street on Sunday 4. The Bank Holiday fixture played havoc with the number of athletes and with the results, which are still to be confirmed. There were winning marks in the Under-13 Girls from Rosie Adams with 5m98 in the shot and a hat-trick for Leanne Shaw - 11.2 for 75m, 20.8 for 150m and 3m82 in the long jump; for Jo Adams with 16m20 in the Under-15 Girls discus and for Sam Stanislaus with 17.8 for the Under-17 Boys 100m hurdles plus another PB - 1m78 in the high jump.

Provisionally, the team finished 5th with 189 points, one point behind Sunderland but a long way short of the host Club who won with a massive 373 points total.


Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers

The second fixture in the Harrogate and District Evening League took place last week, at Ilkley, and the winner of the event was Jon Orange of Richmond and Zetland in a time of 26.06 minutes.

Richard Hall was the first Thirsk and Sowerby member to finish, in sixth place, in a time of 27.07. Peter Wilkin was 20th in 28.11 and John Yates 25th in 28.35. Richard Soper was 55th in 31.03, Oliver Harrison 58th in 31.16, Angela Hayward 71st in 32.04, Ernie Huck 86th in 32.48, Nigel Morgan 132nd in 35.20, William Hayward 143rd in 35.50, closely followed by David Shorrocks, 144th, in 35.56, then Steve Harrison 151st in 36.20, Pat Kirby 157th in 36.34and Kaye Mechie 174th in 38.12. There were 229 finishers in this well supported event, and the next League fixture is at Richmond on May 22.

Shildon R&AC

Shildon provided some fine performances at the North East T & F Championships held recently at Stadium 2000.

Leading the way were Natalie Owens and Gemma Morgan with gold medal performances. Natalie won the Under-20 Ladies 5000m, breaking the championship record. Gemma won the U17 Ladies 300m title with a time of 43.47. Elsewhere on the track, Warren Roberts produced two excellent performances to win two silver medals.

In the U15 Boys 1500m he led from the half-way point, and was only caught in the final few yards, recording a personal best time of 4.32.32. A day later in the U15 Boys 3000m he again set a personal best time of 9.54.93 en route to a silver. Adam Rogers picked up a bronze medal in the U20 men's 200m in a time of 26.04, Alex Todd won bronze in the U15 Boys 100m final in a time of 11.90 and Khalil Thompson won bronze in the U15 Boys 3000m in a personal best time of 10.13.88. On the field, Stephanie Thompson won a silver medal in the U17 Ladies Triple Jump with a club record distance of 10.03m.

In addition to the medal performances, the club also boasted many finalists.

Results: U13 Girls 800m - Amy Bunning and Natasha Heslop with Amy setting a personal best (2.45.0). U15 Girls 800m - Abby Wilson smashing her personal best (2.25.96). U15 Girls 1500m - Abby Suffield in a personal best (5.16.12). U20 Ladies 1500m - Natalie Owens. U13 Boys 800m - Simon Hewitson. Senior Men 800m - Paul Best in a personal best (2.03.76). U17 Boys 400m - John Burns in a personal best (57.62). U20 Men 200m - Adam Rogers. U17 Boys 3000m - Matthew Hewitson and Jalal Thompson.

* Anyone wishing to join the club can contact Neil Stockley on (01388) 776083. The club train on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Stadium 2000 arena in Shildon and compete in a number of track and field leagues throughout the summer.

Crook and District

The vets team continue to do well in the Durham Dales fell Challenge after good performances at the Cronkley Fell ten mile event. Geoff Hewitson was first back in tenth place in 1 hr 36mins.35 secs, Dennis Brown 13th in 1.39:16, Gerry Hehir 14th in 1.39:46, Graham Bradshaw 1.44:10 despite turning his ankle in a bad fall and Allen Purdham 2.30:22.

On the track John Nunn continues to improve by running 2 mins dead & finishing seventh for the 800 metres at the North-East track championships whilst Kevin Archer ran 4 mins 32 secs in the final of the 1500 metres.

Finally on the roads Colin Everson completed the Leeds half-marathon in a respectable 1 hr 32 mins.

Teesdale's Junior Schools' Cross Country

The cross country running match held at Barnard Castle Prep School last week was a great success. The competition has now been running for ten years.

Almost 150 runners competed from 13 different schools from around the local area. the 2km race was run in excellent weather conditions allowing all the children to perform at their best. Nathan Nicholson of Staindrop CE Primary School won the race with Jack Neville of Barnard Castle Prep School coming second. Perry Alexander (also from the prep school) came third and the leading girl home was Rachel Brown in ninth place from the prep school.

For most of the competitors winning wasn't important but the fun of taking part and the sense of achievement in competing the course. The fastest runner from each school was awarded a trophy and Barnard Castle Prep A won the team event trophy.

Many parents and friends turned out to support their schools and this atmosphere greatly increased the enjoyment that the competitors experienced.

The prize-winners for each of the competing schools were: Barnard Castle CE Emma Coupland; Barnard Castle Prep School Jack Neville; Bowes Hutchinson's Stacey McKitton; Butterknowle Mark Elstob; Cockfield Matthew Mott; Cotherstone Ross Landon; Hamsterley Helen Finlinson; Ingleton Benjamin Allison-Hughes; Middleton-in-Teesdale Steven Addison; Montalbo Daniel Tuck; Staindrop Nathan Nicholson; Startforth Morritt Thomas Heap; Woodland Robert Lowson.

Team positions: 1 Barnard Castle Prep A; 2 Montalbo A; 3 Barnard Castle Prep B; 4 Cotherstone A; 4 Staindrop A.

The afternoon was a great event and will be eagerly anticipated again next year.