In their opening 2018 North Eastern Youth Development League Division 1 fixture, held at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday 29th Ap[ril 2018, Morpeth Harriers & AC Young Athletes squad finished in third place, behind runaway winners Harrogate, but just slightly adrift of second placed hosts New Marske, and slightly ahead of fourth placed North Shields Poly.
Amongst the results, Morpeth managed a total of 18 A string and 9 B string victories,
on a day when a lot of their athletes were cutting their teeth in Track and Field events.
Although, Team Managers Mark Brown (Boys), and Dave Thomas (Girls), were a little disappointed with their general turnout, they nevertheless heaped well deserved praise upon their respected charges,
who did turn out, to produce some encouraging performances.
The lions share of good performances came from their Under 17 Men,
who managed five and four of the A and B String wins.
Bulk of the good performances came from the Field, where Ethan Stephenson won both the Long and Triple Jump events, with bests of 5.88m and 12.32m, both new personal bests.
He also narrowly lost out on a third A string victory in the High Jump,
where he cleared 1.75m, just a mere 3cm adrift of a lifetime best.
The Morpeth Triple Jump result was boosted by Matthew Heslop’s B string win with 11.30m.
In the throwing events, Andrew Knight reigned supreme, easily winning the Shot,
by claiming a new league record with 16.69m.
Knight went on to also record a win in the Hammer, also a league record,
with a best of 39.44m, a new lifetime best, and finished second in the Discus
to North Shields Poly supremo James Wordsworth, hurling a best of 33.49m,
agonisingly just slightly short of his personal best.
The Morpeth Discus result however, was boosted by Luke Haxell’s B string win
with 30.09m, which was a new personal best.
On the track, Robbie Anderson recorded an A string victory in the Under 17 Men’s 100m, with a time of 12.30s.
He also finished third in the 200m in 26.25s, and there was an excellent second in the 800m for Ross Charlton (2m10.71s), and Tom Balsdon finished third in the 1500m in 4m32.32s, knocking another two seconds off his previous figures.
The next best Morpeth performers were their Under 15 Boys,
who managed four A string and two B string victories on the day.
Two of those A string victories came from Ben Waterfield, who won the 800m in 2m13.35s, knocking nearly six seconds off his previous figures, and went on to clear 1.60m in the High Jump, again a new personal best.
The High Jump brought Morpeth a double victory, as Koffi Avornyo took the B string with a best of 1.55m.
Another double victory came in the 1500m, where Euan Duffin took the A race in 4m38.40s,
a new personal best by around twenty-one seconds, and Dylan Gooding took the B race in 4m55.55s,
Max Marr crowned his competitive debut well, by winning the A string Long Jump (4.94m),
finishing second in the A string 100m (13.14s), and third in the A string 200m (27.09s).
Koffi Avornyo, backed him up well by finishing second in the B string 100m in 14.78s, and B string Long Jump with 3.80m, a new personal best, and Charlie Lane finished second in the B string 200m in 27.95s.
Lane also finished second in the 300m in 43.24s.
Oliver Geoghegan produced a new personal best throw of 22.74m, to finish second in the Under 15 Boys Javelin.
On to the clubs Under 15 Girls, who were their third equal best performers on the day, recording three A string victories, and two B string wins, plus they produced the only 4 x 100m Relay victory of the day, winning it in 53.24s.
Two of the three A string wins came from Ellie Longstaff, who won the 100m in 13.58s, and 200m in 28.52s.
Alice Geoghegan, sister of Oliver, helped Morpeth to a double victory in the 100m,
by winning the B race in 14.28s, a brand new personal best performance.
Morpeth secured another double win in the 75m Hurdles, courtesy of North Eastern, and Scottish Indoor Champion Amy Lott, who won the A race in 11.88s, which equalled the figure that she had set in September last year,
also at Middlesbrough, competing against the West Yorkshire League.
Again, it was the name of Geoghegan who helped with the double win,
taking the B race, and again setting new figures of 12.66s.
Another good Morpeth Under 15 Girl track performance came from Mia Belton, who finished second in the 300m, only losing out by a fraction of a second to North Shields Poly’s Rosie Hughes,
as she posted a finishing time of 45.71s.
There were also some excellent A string second places for Ellie Longstaff and Alice Geoghegan,
and a B string second place for Lucy McConnell in the Under 15 Girls Field events.
Longtaff produced a best of 4.25m in the Long Jump.
Geoghegan was again called to the action, as she produced a best throw of
24.66m in the Javelin, losing out by two metres to Harrogate’s Abigail Sorrell.
Meanwhile McConnell, bettered a Morpeth Long Jump performance,
by finishing a close second in the B string with 3.84m, a new personal best by 12cm.
Also, third equal in the clubs’ best performers on the day were the Under 13 Boys,
who managed an excellent four A string victory, alongside one B string win.
This result can be classed as most creditable, as a great deal of this age group
were competing for the first time at such a level of track and field.
Three of the four A string wins came on the track, courtesy of Bertie Marr,
younger brother of Max, Ryan Davies, and Owen Omoigue.
Marr won the 800m in 2m35.89s, Ryan Davies won the 1500m in 5m09.49s, marginally a new personal best,
and Omoigue, tasted sweet fresh success in the 75m Hurdles, despite clattering a few on the way,
and breaking one in his warm up, into the bargain.
The other Under 13 Boy A string winner was Adam Howliston, who won the High Jump,
with his best clearance of 1.29m, which was a new personal best.
Howliston also helped the club to their sole Under 13 Boy double win, when he took the B string 1500m in 5m30.11s, which also represented a new personal best performance.
He rounded off a superb day’s work by finishing second in the B string 200m with a time of 32.69s.
Another good Morpeth performer on the day was Joe Dixon, younger brother of Daniel Dixon,
who third in the B string 800m in 3m05.72s, and fourth in the A string Shot Putt with 4.36m.
Morpeth’s Under 17 Women managed two A string wins, courtesy of Lily Heaton in the 800m,
where she posted 2m29.53, which was two seconds adrift of her personal best,
and Holly Peck in the 1500m, who clocked 5m05.50s.
The only Morpeth Harriers age group who didn’t manage any wins, were their Under 13 Girls, whose best performers on the day were Kaitlyn Waddell and Hannah Lott, younger sister of Amy.
Waddell finished second in the A string High Jump (1.20m), with Lott finished
second in the B string, where her clearance was 1.10m.
Lott went on to finish second in the B string Javelin, with a best throw of 10.73m.
At the time of going to press, we could not fully confirm the final match score,
as results are still very much under closer scrutiny.
With three matches remaining, there is still very much a great deal of work for the team managers to do,
and for more athletes to show more commitment, in order for Morpeth to retain their hold on the Division 1 title.