Durham Schools annual Cross Country Championships,
which were held at Meadowfield, near Durham City,
on Saturday 16th January 2016.
Although most of the snow that had fallen during the previous week
had mostly disappeared, the course was left frozen in places,
with odd traces of mud in one or two areas.
Joe Armstrong and Jacob Hopkins were in the Senior Boys line-up,
Armstrong representing Durham Central, who also won the team race,
and Hopkins representing Gateshead College.
Armstrong led from the gun to the finish line, and was never headed,
and he came home in 22m46s for the 7.1k distance,
winning by a thirty nine second margin over his closest rival Kieran Walker of Sedgefield.
Meanwhile Hopkins who had been lying in ninth place for most
of the contest, slipped back to finish an eventual 12th in 26m42s.
However both of the Morpeth athletes still qualified themselves to compete
in the forthcoming Northern Schools Inter Counties Championships,
which will be held in Cleveland in early February.
They will be competing alongside several of their club colleagues,
who will be in action for Northumberland Schools.
This is the last stepping stone for all, targeting the
English Schools Cross Country Championships,
scheduled to be held at Nottingham in March.