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North medal haul grows.

North-east athletes were among the medals on the final day of the Sainsbury's English Schools track and field championships at Gateshead International Stadium on Saturday.

Cleveland took the only gold when Richard Kilty from Northfield School, Stockton, won the intermediate boys 100m. Kilty, third in 2005, was a metre ahead of team-mate Yusuf Aliu.

Cleveland took bronze in the senior 400m hurdles with a strong finish from Scott Henderson.

Durham were the region's most successful county, gaining three medals on the day and a total of seven.

Kate Avery narrowly lost the junior girls 1500m in a sprint finish to Katie Holt of Staffordshire. Melissa Carr took second in the senior triple jump, while Sean Hall was third in the senior boys steeplechase.

Stacey Smith of Northumberland smashed her personal best time for second in the intermediate girls 800m. She, along with Kilty and Aliu, make up a total of seven North-East athletes who go to Grangemouth on Saturday to represent England in the match against Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Outstanding performers on view included Gloucestershire's Emily Pidgeon who narrowly failed to take the record in the senior girls 1500m and cross country internationals Stephanie Twell (Hants) and Sian Edwards (Northants) who fought out an exciting senior girls' 3000m with Twell out-kicking her rival and long-time leader in the final 100m. The pair were only just outside Paula Radcliffe's record.

In the intermediate boys 3000m, Simon Horsfield (Manchester) made up a 30m deficit on Abdirisak Ahmed (South Yorks) with 300m left, catching his rival in the final strides. Charles Clarke (Bucks) broke his own record in the intermediate 400m.

* BRITISH record-holder Chris Tomlinson has set himself up for what will be an intriguing long jump contest at next weekend's Norwich Union European trials in Manchester.

Tomlinson, with an 8m 9cm leap in Bad Langensalza, Germany, on Saturday moved to equal top of this year's UK ranking alongside Greg Rutherford. The Olympic finalist, determined to regain world class status after an injury-troubled 2005, was third behind Jamaica's James Beckford, who recorded 8.25m, and Botswana's Gable Garen amotse, who did 8.19m.

His coach Peter Stanley, who guided the career of world triple jump record- holder Jonathan Edwards, believes Tomlinson is on the mend and ready to approach his 8.27m national record.

"He's looking good and feeling very good as well, his confidence is high," said Stanley.

Stanley also rates the 18-year-old Rutherford, last year's European junior champion, and expects former Common-wealth champion Nathan Morgan, whose lifetime best is just a centimetre short of Tomlinson's domestic record, to ensure lively competition when the trials begin on Saturday.

"Obviously Greg is jumping well at the moment," Stanley said of the teenager, who bounced back after flopping in Malaga, Salamanca on Thursday.

"Nathan jumped 8.00m and 7.93m last month, so the three of them are coming along nicely."

He believes they will have a good chance at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2006
Words:492
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