Young runners put in a strong performance

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Young athletes overcame brutal conditions to put in strong performances at national championships.

North Shields Poly Athletic Club took on some of the best athletes from learner clubs in the North at the Northern Cross Country Championships, held at Knowsley in Liverpool.

Conditions were brutal, competitors battling a sea of mud for virtually the entirety of the course – making it the toughest course on the winter cross country calendar.

There were strong performances, particularly from the juniors.

Issy Robinson (Under 15) proved she is one of the most promising young females in the area. She had the earliest of starts on the day and despite battling illness, completed the course in a respectable time.

Josh Blevins (Under 13) came home as the second fastest athlete from any north eastern club.

The Under 15 race saw Tom Sursham finish in 24th spot overall pursued by team mates Josh Collinson and Mark Nash.

Kirsty Nash put in a gutsy performance in the Under 13 girls.

Husband and wife Helen and Jon Heaney were first back for the club in their respective races.

John Whitfield, a new Veteran runner for the Poly, helped to co-ordinate the teams and provided race guidance on the day. He put in a creditable performance to be second Male Veteran runner home for the Poly.