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Worth her Weight in gold!

Byline: Tony Hodgson

THE Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside was awash with youngsters taking part in the Tesco Junior Great North Run, which this year was split into three age groups.

Nearly 5,000 of them converged on the banks of the Tyne to take part in an event which is growing every year.

In its infancy the event was more or less a fun run but now, especially among the older age groups, it is becoming much more serious - with competitors from all over the UK.

Morpeth's Laura Weightman was the area's only success this year and the England Schools' 1,500 metres champion was roared home by a huge crowd to win the 13-16 age group race - and her third Junior GNR title.

Weightman has been in superb form this year and it was no surprise she retained her crown - despite Dundee's Eilish McColgan, the daughter of Liz McColgan, pushing her all the way.

At the finish Weightman won comfortably by 27 seconds with Morpeth's Zoe Armstrong, who finished second last year, coming home in third place.

Weightman and Armstrong were the only local athletes to make the podium in the two older age group races with Warrington's Daniel Cliffe winning the 13-16 race ahead of Iain Lynn (City of York) and Derby's Ben Connor.

First local athlete to finish was Morpeth's Marcus Cram - son of Steve - who crossed the line in sixth position.

Weightman was joined back on the podium by Cram as the pair received the Stan Long Award for being the first local athletes to finish in their races - and on hand to do the presentation was Stan's widow Joan.

Stockport's Richard Hindley eased to victory in the nine-12 age group with Charlie Joslin-Allen (Hastings) and Simon Little (Carlisle Aspatria) joining him on the podium.

Gateshead's Barry Maskell was closest to the top three, finishing in sixth place.

In the girls' contest, victory went to Bridgend's Lora Roberts with Hannah Bethwaite (Ellenborough) in second and Abbie Hetherington (Carlisle Aspatria) in third.

In-form Sophie Taylor of Birtley just missed out on the presentation by five seconds to finish fourth.

The boys' under-nine event was won by Manchester's Michael Quin with Gateshead's Luke Kelly in second place, while the girls contest went to Edinburgh's Shannon Lyons with Miriam Jessett (Gosforth) in second place.

RESULTS - Under-17 boys (4.2 kms): 1 D Cliffe (Warrington) 14:00; 2 I Lynn (City of York) 14:30; 3 B Connor (Derby) 14:31. Local athletes in the top 100: 6 M Cram (Morp) 14:49; 11 J Moore (J&H) 15:10; 12 G Ritchie (J&H) 15:22; 16 A Douglass (Morp) 15:36; 20 R Pearse (NMske) 16:00; 21 J Marshall (C-le-St) 16:01; 23 S Barras (J&H) 16:04; 24 G Lowry (J&H) 16:04; 29 P Shuttleworth (Morp) 16:20; 31 L Hogg (Gates) 16:22; 32 S Hogarth (Birt) 16:23; 34 D Rutland (Midd) 16:27; 35 N Newton (Gates) 16:27; 36 J Askew (NAyc) 16:29; 37 C Walker (Gates) 16:29; 39 M Parry (Darl) 16:30; 43 L Ayton (DurC) 16:37; 59 D Gibbons (Hough) 17:11; 61 T Grey (Hough) 17:16; 70 J Boyd (Gates) 17:41; 72 N Phelps (Midd) 17:47; 77 B Henderson (NMske) 17:54; 89 C Scott (Berw) 18:14; 91 D Ilderton (Blyth) 18:16; 95 Etherington (Shild) 18:26.

Under-17 girls (4.2 kms): 1 L Weightman (Morp) 15:42; 2 E McColgan (Dundee) 16:09; 3 Z Armstrong (Morp) 17:08. Local athletes in the top 100: 6 D Pickavance-Clarke (C-le-St) 17:34; 7 S Loraine (Birt) 17:40; 8 R Lundgren (Gosf) 17:47; 14 R Oldham (Gates) 18:08; 16 S Edwards (Gates) 18:23; 17 S Goodfellow (Morp) 18:30; 19 D Oakley (Morp) 18:39; 24 S Allison (Midd) 18:56; 25 R Clarke (Darl) 19:10; 29 E Wood (Shild) 19:26; 35 B Ward (Darl) 19:59; 37 S Cheesebrough (Elsw) 20:00; 41 E Higgins (Midd) 20:10; 43 B Thompson (C-le-St) 20:15; 45 R Bennett (Gates) 20:37; 46 K Johnson (Blyth) 20:41; 51 L Mullen (Blyth) 20:55; 53 S Woods (NSP) 20:59; 59 L Brookes (M&C) 21:23; 70 A Richardson (Blay) 21:51; 71 E Rodgers (J&H) 21:56; 72 K Tiffin (Morp) 21:58; 77 V Brewis (Hough) 22:24; 78 E Sheppard (Midd) 22:32; 79 E Stone (Midd) 22:33; 81 R Steel (Morp) 22:44; 82 E Welsh (Morp) 22:48; 84 L Bain (Blyth) 22:50; 86 R Wilson (Gates) 22:55; 87 K Bulmer (J&H) 22:57; 95 K Reilly (DurC) 23:17.

Under-12 boys (3.5 kms): 1 R Hindley (Stockport) 12:33; 2 C Joslin-Allen (Hastings) 12:41; 3 S Little (Carlisle) 12:54. Local athletes in the top 100: 6 B Maskell (Gates) 13:21; 7 J Hepple (Morp) 13:31; 8 A Bailes (Birt) 13:31; 9 K Newton (Gates) 13:41; 11 R Loraine (Birt) 13:47; 15 J Nisbet (Morp) 14:02; 17 M Wilson (Sund) 14:06; 38 O Bennett (Gates) 14:58; 39 H Danby-Platt (Hough) 15:00; 40 S Wheatley (NMske) 15:01; 43 M Wilson (Quak) 15:05; 52 E Matthew (Morp) 15:19; 65 P Winkler (Alnw) 15:41; 74 J Cripwell (Elsw) 15:51; 78 P Campbell (NSP) 15:53; 92 A Lawson (Sedge) 16:12; 94 P Wallace (Hart) 16:13; 97 A Crago (Sund) 16:16; 100 R Metson (DurC) 16:17.

Under-12 girls (3.5 kms): 1 L Roberts (Bridgend) 13:56; 2 H Bethwaite (Ellenborough) 14:02; 3 A Hetherington (Carlisle) 14:03. Local club runners in the top 100: 4 S Taylor (Birt) 14:08; 8 F Lockhart (Gates) 14:49; 9 P Jonrs (Gates) 15:11; 11 B Oakes (Birt) 15:19; 13 S Wilkes (Morp) 15:33; 16 S Purvis (Morp) 16:02; 20 A Cheesebrough (Elsw) 16:14; 23 E Shashoua (Morp) 16:18; 24 A Etherington (Shild) 16:26; 28 B Gill (Gates) 16:45; 29 E Oakley (Birt) 16:46; 30 P Stone (Midd) 16:51; 51 S Forster (Birt) 17:46; 56 J Gibbons (Hough) 17:53; 58 F Herbert (Morp) 17:57; 61 H Buswell (Gosf) 18:01; 65 E Brookes (Morp) 18:16; 66 G Simpson (Gates) 18:16; 69 G Perrins (Gates) 18:20; 70 R Cook (Alnw) 18:21; 76 I Pearse (NMske) 18:30; 78 E Sandford (Alnw) 18:32; 86 L Chadwick (Tyne) 18:39; 97 S Addison (J&H) 18:51; 99 T Eames (C-le-St) 18:53.

Mini boys (1 km): 1 M Quinn (Manchester) 4:55; 2 L Kelly (Gateshead) 5:16; 3 W Forster (Gt Barford) 5:18. Girls: 1 S Lyons (Edinburgh) 5:11; 2 M Jessett (Gosforth) 5:39; 3 E Twell (Manchester) 5.45.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 3, 2007
Words:1154
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