Houghton Harrier Alex Brown’s rise to prominence on the cross country scene was further emphasised in the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League at Wrekenton on Saturday.
The Under-20 junior man clocked the fastest time of the day (30min 33sec) in the senior men’s event, running from the fast pack in the handicap race.
He was giving away a start of 4min 40sec to the slow pack and 2min 20sec to the medium pack, charging through to 20th position in a field of almost 600.
He headed Jarrow and Hebburn’s Andy Burn in 22nd (30.39) and Durham’s Dan Jenkin 24th (30.52).
The race was won by Ashington Hirst’s Kurt Heron, running from the slow pack, (31.48).
Brown had a double reason for celebrating as he led Houghton to first place in the Third Division team result.
Rory Graham was 38th in an actual time of 36.08, Adam Middleton was 50th (36.53), Stephen Johnson 66th (37.20), Lee Dover 103rd (32.28) and Alan Foster 115th (38.23).
Sunderland Strollers won the Division Two contest, led home by two slow pack runners in John Cook in fifth (33.43) and Callum Thom sixth (33.46).
They were followed by Andy Duke in 65th (37.20), Andrew Forbes 68th (37.21), Mark Anderson 113th (33.40) and Ritchie Gerry 203rd(37.48).
Sunderland Harriers’ challenge for the First Division Championship got off to a steady start.
They finished fourth behind Morpeth and Durham, with Tyne Bridge Harriers third.