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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by Val Baxter

December 2, 2013

Wallington Hall Harrier League Junior Report by Joanne Bell

It was icy cold and damp at Wallington Hall on Saturday but that didn’t deter you guys one bit. Your hard work and dedication certainly paid off with 22 young athletes under the age of 15 competing for Birtley AC out of a massive field of 309.

The new course, hosted by Morpeth Harriers at Wallington Hall, a National Trust Site, was a true cross country challenge, long, different and perhaps gruelling for some but that didn’t show one bit among our youngsters with some fantastic finishes, times and positions. Birtley AC again came away with two youngsters joining the fast pack and this was only the third Harrier League event this season. I think we are doing very well.

Our under 11’s began the day with an impressive seven boys and three girls competing. Overall 113 under 11’s ran. Matty Cleugh came in 2nd position a mere two seconds behind the winner. (You would never have guessed that Matty was quite poorly, earlier on in the week!) Chris Coulson came next for Birtley crossing the finish with a fantastic time of 6.21 followed by Michael Graham, Lucas Home and Aidan Hogg who all fought for a time of 6.25. Sam Hutchinson followed at 6.48 and Nathan Cowen at 7.03 minutes.

For the girls Tess Graham was again the first Birtley girl to cross the line for the club at 6.36 followed by a proud sprint finish by Erin Keller Clark at 6.36 and Lucy Blyth at 8.00 minutes.

For the under 13 and under 15 boys, two special lads did the club very proud by completing the course on their lonesome. Louis Gill for the under 13 boys came in at a fantastic 2nd place at 14.10 and he now joins the fast pack. Louis ran alongside 57 others. For the under 15 boys Kieran Taylor raced alongside 43 others and came in at 15.32 looking very strong and powerful as he flew up the final hill.

Six under 13 girls scored 59 points for the club thanks to Sophie Bell, Macey Bradshaw, Lea Brown, Bethan Frazer-Denholm, Molly Elliott and Michaela Swallow. As predicted and very deservingly, one of our special young ladies came in the top 10, Sophie Bell who gave an impressive sprint finish and everything she had to come in 7th place. Sophie now joins Lea and Molly in the Fast Pack. Well done Sophie.

Finally 63 points were awarded to the four under 15 girls who ran alongside 34 others. Our two fast pack girls, Lola and Rhianne came in at an excellent 10th and 21st position followed by Megan Blyth and Laura Kelly for a nail biting fight to the finish.

The Harrier League is back in February 2014 and I look forward to seeing you all fighting fit and strong ready for the next challenge. I am sure we will see more of you coming top 10 and more importantly bettering the fantastic times you have all achieved so far.

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