North East XC Championships 2023 – Junior Report

After recent snow melt and extra wet weather in the build up, the course at Temple Park in South Shields was always going to be on the muddy side for the North East XC Champs and it didn’t disappoint… Proper Cross Country conditions!

We were going prepared with a shiny new club tent making it’s debut. Hot chocolate, tea, coffee and catering thermos were kindly provided by Jamie Callaghan and greatly received by all, as well as much needed shelter for our athletes to keep warm and dry. Birthday cake and other goodies also awaited our soggy runners when they had finished!


We had 2 boys running in the Under 11 category, with Acer Tarn’s 6:55 fast enough to finish an excellent 4th out of a field of 56. Elis Smith was 12th in 7:17. Great running boys and nice to see the next generation of juniors enjoying the mud! A great way for Acer to celebrate his 10th birthday earlier this week too!


We’re lucky to have such a stacked U13 Boys team this year, featuring talented runners from both Year 7 and Year 8. With 52 runners in the field, all 5 of our athletes finished in the Top 16! An excellent achievement and testament to the hard work they put in training with Bernie and their parents.

Ollie Curran finished 5th in 15:15 which is a superb result as a first year U13 up against many older boys. Donovan Tarn was next home in 10th position with a time of 16:20. Terrific stuff from Donny to be 2nd Harrier home. Lucas Rogers had a great run to finish 13th in 16:26 ahead of James I’Anson in 15th with 16:34 and Dan Callaghan, another first year U13, 16th in 16:37. With only 17 seconds between our 2nd and 5th runner, I’m sure we’ll see some more epic battles between these boys!

Despite an initial mix-up in the results where 4 teams were somehow amalgamated into Chester Le Street AC (And I’m not even sure they had ANY runners in the race!) – Our boys were rightfully crowned North East U13 XC Champions! Great achievement!

Although we didn’t have enough runners to make up a girls team, Sasha Patterson and Eleanor Gibson represented the club well with Sasha finishing 11th in 17:35 and Eleanor 30th in 19:35, out of a field of 46.


We had strong Girls and Boys teams in the U15 categories and with good performances, could be in with a chance of medals despite most of our runners being first year U15s.

We had sisters Matilda and Charlotte Owens with Caitlin Lloyd making up our girls team. With 3 to count towards the team event, every position was going to be important in this race. It was Charlotte who came out on top this time in the battle between the siblings, finishing 5th in 19:30, only 22 seconds behind the winner. Incredible run from Charlotte! Matilda would have wanted a better run but still finished in a very credible 8th place running 20:21 to give the team a great chance of a podium place. Then it was a nervous wait to see where Caitlin could finish. She brought it home brilliantly in 24:43 despite her lack of XC experience on a tough, sapping course in 31st place which was going to mean it was so close between 2nd and 4th team placings…

After a nervous wait, the results were finalised with the Darlington girls finishing on 44 points, just 1 point ahead of both Gateshead Harriers and North Shields Poly on 45. It really couldn’t have been any closer as they sealed the Team Silver! It just shows that every position counts in team XC. Well done girls!

The boys team featured 3 first year U15’s. Birthday boy Rowan Steel turned 14 for this race (Thanks for the birthday cakes Jen!) alongside Matthew Foster and Finn Pentland-Rice, and 2 second year U15’s in Daniel I’Anson and Willoughby Croslegh.

Rowan, aiming for a top 10 placing, was first home in 8th with a very solid run in 17:51 on a tough course measuring around 2.85 miles. Daniel was next home in 13th running 18:33 to follow up his great run at the Thornley Farm XC relays, followed by the final counter for the team award, Matthew Foster in 17th and 18:53. Despite losing a shoe in the mud (not for the first time!), Finn was next Harrier home in 20th with 19:37, followed by Willoughby in 20:06 for 26th place out of 40 finishers.

It was a stacked race individually, but it all depends which clubs have the strongest team on the day. Tynedale Harriers had a VERY strong team with a 3rd and 5th place finish from their second year U15’s, helping them to take Team Gold with 24 points. Our boys took a terrific Team Silver with 38 points, comfortably beating Tyne Bridge Harriers into 3rd with 61 points. Another excellent showing, following up the Silver gained at last months North East XC Relays.


Our U17 Girls team consisted of the now familiar line-up of Freya Talman, Savannah Tarn and Zara Jones.

Zara was amongst the leading group right from the gun, eventually finishing 2nd behind the impressive Charlotte Dillon. An excellent run, finishing in 22:32 and our only athlete achieving an individual podium position on the day. Savannah finished 17th in 25:49, 19 seconds ahead of Freya in 21st with 26:08. This put the girls in 4th place overall, but as times for the team competition are combined with the U20 Women, it was an excellent team performance overall for the 3 first year U17’s!

Owen Ovens was the singular entrant in the U17 Boys race. Owen looked strong throughout and he achieved 14th out of 36 finishing in 27:22. Well done all!

    Your Basket
    Your basket is empty