The first major Cross Country Championship of the season took place last Saturday when the North Eastern Counties hosted their championships at Wrekenton.
And athletes had their first opportunity to show their early season form before final selection takes place for the Inter County Championships at Loughborough on Saturday, March 9.
With every age group covered for both male and female teams, from Under-13s to senior men and women, a mammoth task awaits North East selectors.
A total of 82 athletes plus non-travelling reserves will be selected for Loughborough for the 10 teams, when the selectors sit down to deliberate after the final selection race.
This is at the Northern Championships at Pontefract, on Saturday, January 26.
Of the 10 events on Saturday, the first three finishers in each race gained automatic selection for Loughborough and a North East vest.
Houghtons’ Under-17 Will Bellamy and Under-13 Brandon Pye booked their places on the team bus through finishing in respective third place finishers in their events.
Other Houghton Harriers who caught the selectors eye were Eva Hardie, with fourth place, and Anna Pigford, with fifth place in the Under-17 Women’s race, plus Henry Johnson, with ninth position in the Under-17 Men’s event.
Sunderland Harriers who are in with a chance of selection are senior athletes Alice Smith, Jenna Wilkinson and Kevin Jeffress.
Smith finished sixth woman and Wilkinson in her first season on the country scene took 15th position....