Athletes from Morpeth Harriers produced no fewer than six medals at the first day
of the North Eastern Counties Indoor Track and Field Championships,
held at the Gateshead College Indoor Facility on Saturday 18th February 2017.
The first day was for Field eventers, and Under 15 athlete Ethan Stephenson helped himself
to two individual Gold medals in the High Jump and Long Jump respectively.
His High Jump was particularly significant, as not only did he produce a lifetime best,
when he cleared 1.72m, it was also a Championship best winning performance.
Although his Long Jump performance of 5.43m proved to be a winner,
it was still around 20cm adrift of his lifetime best.
Another Morpeth medallist in this event was Alfie Ward,
who produced a best of 4.76m, which was a personal best by 10cm.
There was another Championship Best performance from a Morpeth Harrier however,
and that came in the Under 17 Woman’s Shot, where Charlotte Pickering – Pruvot
produced a lifetime best of 12.68m, adding a whole metre to her previous best to take a well-deserved Gold Medal.
Fellow Morpeth Harrier Bobbie Griffiths was agonisingly just 6cm adrift
of a Bronze Medal in this event, when she produced a best of 9.51m,
which was around 26cm adrift of her best.
In the Under 17 Men’s Shot Putt, Morpeth’s Andrew Knight proved to be a clear winner
by nearly two and a half metres, with his best effort of 13.47m, which was a new lifetime best by 8cm.
Naomi Arkle of Morpeth won a Gold Medal in the Junior Women’s Triple Jump,
with her best effort of 9.55m, which was also an excellent lifetime best by all of 60cm.
Another Women’s Triple Jump performer from Morpeth was Katie Hilton,
who jumped a best of 9.92m in the Under 17 competition,
this gave her fourth place, and only 7cm adrift of the medals.
It was also nearly 70cm adrift of her lifetime best.
Another Morpeth Triple Jumper was David Thomas, whose 11.97m
was only good for fifth place in the Under 20 Men’s competition.
He was also nearly a metre adrift of his lifetime best.
Thomas also competed in the Long Jump, where again he finished fifth,
producing a best of 5.69m in a very tight competition.
This again showed a shortage from his best, by around 50cm.
The second day of the Championships on Sunday 19th February,
which was for Track events, saw two more medals won by Morpeth Harrier athletes.
Ellie Longstaff, who had her first experience of serious Championship competition
in Sheffield two weeks ago, won a well fought for Gold Medal in the Under 13 Girls 60m,
in a new personal best time of 8.39s, having earlier won her heat, almost equalling her previous best.
Longstaff can feel well pleased with this superb achievement.
Another Morpeth athlete who can feel well pleased is Amy Lott, who won her first Championship
Gold Medal exactly a year ago, in the Under 13 Girls 60m Hurdles at the same venue.
This time round she was competing in the Under 15 Girls 60m Hurdles,
and over slightly higher obstacles, and she finished third to take
a much-prized Bronze medal, posting a new personal best time of 9.84s.
She was only 0.2s away from Silver, and 0.4s off the Gold.
Lott qualified for the final by finishing third in her heat in 10.11s,
so her improvement in her final was very formidable.
She also ran in the 60m flat, finishing second in her heat in 8.63s,
which was almost equal to her personal best, but went out in the Semi Finals,
despite posting an identical time.
Having finished second in her heat in the Under 20 Women’s 60m in 8.46s, a new personal best,
first day Gold Medallist Naomi Arkle could only finish fifth in her later run final, despite running a time of 8.47s.
Morpeth newcomer Phil Pitt finished second in his heat of the Senior Men’s 60m,
posting a time of 7.5s, and finished fifth in the later run final in 7.58s.
Katie Hilton just missed out on a place in the Under 17 Women’s 60m final,
when finishing fourth in her heat in 8.42s, which was fractionally adrift of her personal best.
A totally outstanding weekend for the Morpeth Harriers Indoor Track and Field specialists,
who did themselves and their hard-working coaches proud.