Northumberland beat wind and opponents to claim victory

NORTHUMBERLAND regained the overall trophy from Durham after Saturday’s annual Inter County Schools match at Middlesbrough, writes LES VENMORE.

NORTHUMBERLAND regained the overall trophy from Durham after Saturday’s annual Inter County Schools match at Middlesbrough.

Although it was a warm and sunny afternoon, the performances were affected by a strong wind, especially for those hoping to achieve the qualifying standard for next month’s English Schools Championships at Birmingham.

Not surprisingly, some of the best performances came in the throwing events. Aaron Jeal and Martin Croft, of host county Cleveland, gained victories in the junior and intermediate hammer, while Jack Smith, of Northumberland, was once again in fine form in the senior discus. Reuben Cole, of Northumberland, won the intermediate 400m and long jump, while Phillipa Chambers led all the way to win the intermediate 3000m.

For Durham, Martin Lonsdale, who heads the UK rankings in the 800m, won the 800m and 1500m in the junior age group. He was competing as a guest in the shorter event, as he is the County champion in the 1500m. The 2011 English Schools Junior champion, Anthony Hogg, won the intermediate high jump and Oliver Whellans gained an impressive double victory in the intermediate hurdles.

Charlie Myers, of Cleveland, third in the English Schools junior event in 2011, won the intermediate pole vault. Henry Johnson finished strongly to win the intermediate 800m and Hannah Segrave clocked a personal best time to win the senior 400m.

Cumbria performed particularly strongly in the girls’ events with Megan Bates winning the intermediate 300m and 800m. Elliott Baines gained an impressive double victory in the 200m and triple jump.

Ethiopian Wondiye Fikre Indelbu was a runaway winner of yesterday's 16th Aycliffe 10km Road Race. Indelbu, who was third in his class (he has only one arm), in the Paralympic 1500m, has been living in Middlesbrough since September.

He has won the Park Run at Albert Park several times and was recently third in the Middlesbrough Riverside 5km. In the bright and sunny but breezy conditions, a leading group of four runners soon headed the 300-strong field after the first short loop, with Indelbu being joined by James Askew of Durham (winner in 2011 and 2012), James Bulman of New Marske and visiting American, Peter Falcon.

The group was down to three after the second circuit, with Falcon soon losing contact with his rivals. Indelbu made his bid for victory on the final lap pulling away to a 31-second victory margin over Bulman.

The performance was all the more remarkable as Indelbu ran the last 3km with only one shoe. Bulman, in second place, had the consolation of taking the first veterans' prize. Askew this time had to settle for third place.

The in-form Shona Fletcher, of Richmond & Zetland, won the women’s race by two minutes ahead of early leader Sharon Bulman, of New Marske, who was the leading veteran. Bernadette Caygill, winner in 2002 and 2003, took third place.

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