'A total of 36 competitors took part in the Morpeth Harriers Trials Events, held at the Morpeth Track at KEVI High School on Saturday morning.
Following the cancellation due to Covid of the opening fixture of the NEYDL season, the club took the opportunity to give some of their younger athletes, particularly the untested, an opportunity to experience the feel of a Track and Field Meeting, with events over 100m, 300m, 400m and 800m on the Track, and Long Jump and Shot Putt in the Field.
Although there was good turnout on the cool but sunny morning, the club would still like to have seen more, who regularly turn up for the Monday sessions, take part.
Nevertheless, the club's Young Athletes Team Manager was still upbeat, and was pleased with some of the potential he had witnessed, particularly from the 19 Boys and 17 Girls who had shown their capabilities.
Amongst the contingent were three athletes from the Under 11 age group, (two girls, and one boy), who unfortunately are still too young for league competition this year.
The biggest age group turnout came from the Under 15’s, who comprised thirteen, (eight boys, and five girls).
In the Boys events, Will Hodgson was the fastest Under 13 over 100m with 14.5s, in the Under 15 100m, Conner Phillips was equal fastest with Sam Dent in 13.8s, for Dent, it equalled his personal best, and Evan Logan was the only Under 17 Boy who tackled the 100m, clocking 12.6s.
Over 400m, saw Joseph Close emerge as the fastest Under 15, with 61.8s, while in the Under 17 400m, Will De Vere Owen was fastest with 55.8s. He was also fastest Under 17 in the 800m with 2m08.1s.
In the Under 15 Boys 800m, Joseph Close, again emerged as fastest with 2m15.7s, and Daniel Scott was fastest Under 13 at the distance, posting a time of 3m01.6s.
Scott also triumphed in the Long Jump (2.8m) and Shot Putt (4.92m).
In the Under 15 Boys Field Events, Oliver Tomlinson produced a personal best in the Shot Putt with 4.15m, and Sam Dent improved his personal best to 4.52m in the Long Jump.
Cameron Dale was the only Under 17 Male athlete to compete in the Long Jump, producing 4.60m.
On to the Girls performances, where Freya Caygill equalled her personal best in the Under 15 100m, clocking 13.9s.
She was also the leading Under 15 performer in the 800m, posting 2m48.7s.
The best Under 13 performance in the 100m came from Alexandria Hodgson, who clocked 15.9s.
Molly Roche was the best Under 13 800m performer, posting a time of 2m59.2s.
Caitlan Flanagan posted a time of 2m37.7s as the only Under 17 800m runner.
In the Under 13 Girls Field Events, Megan Potrac was first in the Long Jump (3.10m), and the Shot Putt (4.65m).
Ella Tillmouth produced the best Under 15 Long Jump performance with 3.99m, and Olivia Gent was the sole Under 17 Female Field performer, achieving a best of 3.79m in the Long Jump.
Many thanks go to all the Club Officials, and Coaches, and willing parents on the morning, who all helped to make the event both enjoyable and successful, and the club can now look forward to its forthcoming NEYDL fixture at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday 16 May with anticipation, and determination.
All interested Young Athletes are asked to contact Team Managers (Boys) Mark Brown (07535774648), and (Girls) Vina Desai (01670511071), as soon as possible if they can, and wish to be selected for the fixture.
5k and 10k races have taken place over two recent weekends at the Middlesborough Sports Village following what seems to be a quickly established national pattern of graded heats. The Endeavour 5 and 10k runs were held on a one kilometre closed circuit with a number of Morpeth Harriers to the fore.
The first of these on 11 April saw Alex Brown set a new personal best in winning the fastest heat with a time of 14: 23. In the same heat, fellow Harriers Kieran Hedley and Sam Hancox also ran well, with a pb for Hedley, sixth in 14:58 and an eighth place for Hancox in 15:02.
There were also pbs for Under 20 Dan Melling (15:21), U/17 Joe Anderson (16:40) and U/15 Will de Vere Owen (15:57 in later heats. Meanwhile, leading world O/55 Guy Bracken showed he was on the comeback trail with a time of 16:30.
Last weekend the follow-up 10k took place with Sam Hancox again involved. After being in the thick of the action for most of the race and set for a pb of close to 30 minutes, young Sam unfortunately collapsed within yards of the finishing line and ended up with a dnf to his name. Fortunately, no serious damage seems to have been done and a combination of the heat plus the Hancox’s ability to seemingly push themselves to the limits seems to have been the reason. Rob reports that Sam was even well enough to take on board the traditional post-race Macdonalds!
Won by Lewis Gamble-Thompson of New Markse in 30:03, Tommy Straughan in 7th (32:42) and Adam Pratt in 8th (32:57) both had good runs.
In the following heat Mark Snowball came in in 2nd place (36:38) behind Wallsend’s Danielle Hodgkinson (34:44).
Click here for a gallery of images from the 10k event by Karen Harland.
by Peter Scaife
The first Track and Field meeting to be held at KEVI this year took place under balmy spring skies on Sunday. Organised by North East Counties Athletics Association in accordance with UKA Covid guidance, athletes were given the chance to compete in 200, 800 and 3000 metre events, with field opportunities in the Hammer, Long Jump, Discus and Shot Putt this time.
First up for Morpeth in the 200m was O/60 Paul Bellingham, clocking 30.90s in his heat, and followed by O/50 Jason Dawson who won his with a time of 27.96 seconds, Neil McAnany recording 29.82 in the same heat. U/17 Ellie Wickens was 2nd in hers with 29.18s. 400m hurdler specialist Nisha Desai posted 27.20s in heat 10, with Josh Adams running the club’s fastest time of the day, 24.75s, in heat 11. Fastest run of the day overall was by Gateshead’s Matthew Williamson when winning heat 12 in 23.44s.
There were some good performances in the following 800m track races, Josh’s father Eric winning his heat in 2 minutes 26:01 seconds and Under 15 Oliver Tomlinson racing well to take heat 9 in 2:21:08, his younger sister Emma having run 2:50:99 in heat 2. Lindsey Quinn was 3rd in heat 7 in 2:34:14 with U/15 Kate Kennedy behind her in 2:39:72. U/15 Joe Close ran 2:13:12 in heat 12, with the club’s fastest time of the day by Liam Roche when finishing 4th in the next heat in 2:06:98. Jason Dawson doubled up in heat 9 to record 2:24:97.
Gateshead’s impressive Under 20 David Race picked up where he left off last year by recording the day’s fastest time of 1:52:36. Both Tomlinsons, Close and Roche were all among athletes who recorded personal bests.
There were only four heats of the day’s last track race the 3000m, with U/17 Ryan Davies setting a new personal best but just losing out to Blaydon’s Will Collinson having led for much of the way in heat 3 (9:21:04). Loughborough student and U/20 Dan Melling ran Morpeth’s fastest time of the day of 8:52:74 in heat 4, won by Loughborough colleague Blyth Harrier Josh Fiddaman with a tremendous kick over the last 200m in 8:45:06. Behind Melling U/17s Bertie Marr (9:14:31) and Will de Vere Owen (9:17:17) placed 6th and 7th. Melling, Marr and de Vere Owen also all ran pbs. O/60 and O/65 vets Andrew Dippie and Dave Nicholson clocked 12:35:17 and 11:17:39 respectively in earlier heats.
In the field, Morpeth’s furthest long jump of the day was by Abbie Ross with 4 metres 87 centimetres, some 35 cms behind winner Amy Stewart of South Shields. Gateshead’s Joseph Grey jumped 5:88m for longest overall.
Brother and sister team of Jess and Ed Gardiner had a busy afternoon, competing in both Discus and Hammer. Jess threw 32 metres 10 cms in the Discus with younger brother Ed 29:32. Longest throw of the day was by NSP’s James Wordsworth with 46m.
In her first competitive outing of the year in main specialism of the Hammer, Jess was a little down on her best with a throw of 37:87m, but with little technical training possible over the last few months, improvements will come as training resumes in earnest. Gateshead’s Lexie Ellis was just ahead with 38:56m and Border Harrier Damon King threw 45:89m. Ed Gardiner threw 28:58 in his first competition with the heavier hammer.
As at the previous weekend’s Cross Country Relays at Thornley, however, while many athletes professed themselves understandably a little rusty and out of sorts, all participants, the handful of permitted spectators, the coaches and officials were again delighted to see some degree of normality resuming to the sport. However, the number of Morpeth Harriers taking part, particularly in comparison with local rivals such as Gateshead and NSP was disappointingly low, Track and Field competition having perhaps come a bit too early for many.
James Young continued his fine run of early season form with an outstanding time of 3 minutes 37.2 seconds when winning the 1500 metres at The Bryan Clay Invitational meet at Azusa, California last weekend.
The Academy of Art student’s performance came a month after his 4:00:04 for the mile indoors, and sees Young fifth in the UK rankings for the year so far.
James was also less than a couple of seconds off the Morpeth Harriers 1500m record of 3:35:74 held by Nick McCormick and set at Crystal Palace in 2005.
Nothing to do with Inspector Morse, the Endeavour 5k took place over a flat one kilometre closed road circuit at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday, 11 April.
Having been sadly cancelled a couple of times due to restrictions in place, the event followed what is now becoming an established pattern of graded heats with many athletes recording not just fast times but personal bests.
Alex Brown's 14 minutes 23 seconds was the fastest time of the day and a new pb as he won his heat ahead of Middlesbrough Mandale’s Josh Cowperthwaite (14:27) and New Marske’s Lewis Gamble-Thompson (14:28).
Morpeth's Kieran Hedley placed in 6th with a pb of 14:58, and Sam Hancox was one place behind in 15:02.
In the previous heat U/20 Dan Melling recorded a pb of 15:21 when finishing 5th, a couple of places ahead of Tom Straughan (15:37).
Guy Bracken, now getting to the top end of the O/55 vets, showed he is getting over injury scares and starting to come back to his best when clocking 16:30. U/17 Joe Anderson followed him home in 17th in 16:40, also a pb.
Will de Vere Owen, still an Under 15, was 2nd in heat 3 in 15:57 (pb).