An individual outright winner in the men’s race wasn’t enough to save the Senior Men from relegation in the end. Rob Foster, one of our junior coaches, made his competitive debut for the club with a brilliant run. Sitting on the shoulder of the two leaders for the first couple of laps, he pulled away in the third to win by almost a minute, a performance that had Alan Currie desperately scrabbling for his camera, having opted to take video on the day! But Sunderland Harriers, our main competition for the drop, had come determined to stay up with a turn out of 22 senior men and some of their strongest runners. Their six counters all finished in the top 31 – an incredible team performance, which not surprisingly saw them as first team on the day, leapfrogging Tynedale in the process. We actually had one of our best team performances of the season, with 6th place (out of ten teams). We never really recovered from our performance at Wallington – the only time we finished in the bottom two. After Rob, counters for the men were Chris Baber (medium pack) in 98th, a typically strong run from Mike Little in 102nd, Steve Hill in 108th, Peter Murphy 153rd and team captain Andy Green (fast pack) in 159th. In terms of the individual Grand Prix performances, Jonny Currie finished a very impressive 16th in his first season as a senior, and Andy Green deserves special mention for his 5th in the Vet Men, which is a very competitive category.
Meanwhile the Senior Women showed how comfortable they are in the top division, with another solid performance, 6th on the day and 4th in the league to end the season. Counters on the day were Grace Rowley (another great run in 22nd), Fran Little balsting through from the fast pack in 43rd, with Kim Bluck (medium pack) not far behind in 59th. With 209 finishers in the senior women’s race, it must be time for the Harrier League to increase the number of women counters. Tynedale had another good turnout, with ten on the day – enough for three teams! Karen Robertson’s great run from the fast pack (just outside the team placings) was enough to win another bronze in the Vet Ladies Grand Prix, matching last year.
The highlight of the season has been once again our brilliant juniors, with great success in both the team leagues and individual grand prix. The U13 Girls and U17 boys both sealed their league wins, the U13 boys finished a fine 2nd, U15 girls 5th, U15 boys 4th (and would have won if they had fielded a complete team at Wrekenton first time round). The U13 girls were 3rd team on the day, led home by Ellen Ricketts with another great run for the fast pack – hers was the second fastest time of the day. This was enough for her to claim bronze in the individual U13 girls grand prix – well done, Ellen! The other team counters at Wrekenton were Alex Lea in 12th and Roisin Lally in 18th. With Isobel Maxwell-Gray just behind her and Tynedale girls packing the next few places, there is great promise for this team for next season.
Charles Downs led the U13 boys home again with another strong run, finishing in 11th place and 3rd fastest time. This was enough for a well-earned bronze in the U13 boys grand prix. The next counters were Tom Murphy in only his second outing for the club in 32nd and Dan Emerson not far behind in 39th.
Max Pearson’s 2nd on Saturday earned him a bronze overall in the U15 boys grand prix. The other counters for the U15 boys on the day were Sam Myers, a great run in 11th and Jaycee Shotton unfazed by his debut in the fast pack, finishing in 21st. There was a surprisingly low turnout overall in the U15 girls race, and Tynedale weren’t able to field a full team, but Freya Murphy and Elena Bluck but ran well all the same.
the Under 17 boys rounded off their great season with 2nd placed team on the day, with Dominic Morley, Alistair Maxwell-Grey and Jamie Admas the three counters. We had four under 17 boys in the top ten of their overall individual Grand Prix, which shows the strength in depth of that squad.
So the end of another great cross country season, the signs of spring are here and the track and field season is coming up very soon. Huge thanks to all the organisers, officials etc from the Harrier League. The coaches who are helping nuture some fine talented young athletes and to Andy, Steph, Peter and Elaine for galvanising their respective squads through the season. A great team effort!
Full results on the Harrier League website as usual
Great videos from Alan!