Morpeth Harriers and its athletes featured prominently in the recent
Morpeth Sports Awards evening, held on Thursday 23rd May 2019, at Morpeth Rugby Club.
The awards were presented by the newly elected Mayor of Morpeth Alison Byard, and among the Clubs recipients were Rory Leonard (Senior Male), Laura Weightman (Senior Female), Walter Ryder (Male Masters),
plus Senior and Under 18 Team awards, which went to the Morpeth Harriers
Under 20 Men’s Road and Cross Country Squad, and Under 15 Boys Road and Cross Country squads respectively.
Morpeth Harriers also featured in the main Mayors Award for 2018 achievements, which went to Daniel Dixon.
Jordan Scott was first home and Cat Macdonald first woman at the
13th Druridge Bay 10k on Bank Holiday Sunday 26th May 2019
A case once again of hometown boy makes good, Jordan had in fact won the race in its second ever year and maintains the select list of the ‘Amble Massive’ (Harding, Taylor, Scott) who have triumphed most years ever since the race’s inception. (And don’t forget, Laura W from only a bit further up the coast ran the race in its first two years when she was still at school). Jordan finished in a time of 34 minutes and 55 seconds (for comparison, in 2008 when he was nowt but a lad he won in its second year in 37m 33s).
Cat Macdonald was tenth overall and ran 40m 22s with sister Lorna chasing her all the way to finish as second woman in 41m 5s. Lindsey finished a bit further back but is making steady progress with a time of 48m 52s.
Jason Dawson also had a good run to finish in 6th place in 39m 31s and Phil Smith was 30th in 44m 56s. Ali D meanwhile paced Tayla round to finish together in 44m 42s, with Tayla 4th woman home.
In his first ever track 5000m, Morpeth Harrier Rory Leonard finished a very respectable seventh in a total field of twenty two top class athletes, who contested the premier of three Senior Men’s races covering the twelve and a half laps at the BMC Grand Prix Meeting, held at Sports City in Manchester, on the evening of Saturday 25th May 2019.
Leonard certainly locked horns with some of the country’s best, as he clocked a very respectable time
of 14m16.35s, behind Thames Valley’s Petros Surafel, who won in a very fast time of 13m52.79s.
The Morpeth Under 20 athlete can feel well pleased however, as he was by far the leading finisher in his age group ahead of three others, and he now goes firmly to the top of the UK Rankings for his age group, also currently ranking him 27th overall in the UK for the distance.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing in the same race as Leonard was Carl Avery,
who finished tenth in a seasons best of 14m27.81s.
Alex Brown of Morpeth Harriers finished nineteenth in the B Race of the 5000m,
posting a finishing time of 15m24.53s.
James Young of Morpeth Harriers was another club member who excelled on the night, as he produced a new personal best of 3m44.47s in the 1500m A Race, improving on his previous best by just over three seconds, and also a time that sees him ranked currently as 24th in the UK.
He finished a very close second to Preston’s Matthew Wigglesworth, who won in 3m44.03s.
In the 1500m C Race, Morpeth’s Kieran Hedley finished eleventh, posting a seasons best time of 3m58.37s.
Mhairi MacLennan, finished third in the Women’s 5000m, where she produced an excellent new lifetime personal best of 15m51.78s, when finishing third to Blackburn’s Jessica Judd (15m39.00s).
MacLennan’s improvement measured eighteen seconds on previous figures.
Alistair Douglass of Morpeth Harriers narrowly missed out on victory and getting his hands on the Jimmy Hedley Cup at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow on the evening of Wednesday 22nd May 2019.
Douglass ran hard all the way in the Senior seeded 800m A Race at the second meeting of the North Eastern Grand Prix competition, but just lost out to recent Terry O’Gara road race winner, and newly crowned North Eastern Counties 800m Champion Matt Linsley of Gateshead Harriers, who posted a time of 1m57.45s.
Linsley, who led most of the way, had produced a new lifetime best of 1m52.99 at the opening North East Regional BMC Meeting at Chester Le Street two nights previously, when finishing second to Houghton’s Under 17 athlete Henry Johnson, however it was clearly obvious that he was not going to lose out again, as he produced the strongest of finishes to deny Douglass, who lost out by slightly less than one second.
Douglass had been ill since returning from a recent holiday in Italy and was fortunate to make the start line at all, nevertheless his posting of 1m58.38s was truly a brave effort under such circumstances.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing in the 800m A Race was Under 17 athlete Ben Waterfield,
who finished sixth of eight in the race in 2m01.14s, just one second adrift of his lifetime personal best.
Waterfield was easily the fastest Under 17 Man in the three 800m races.
Rhiannon Hedley was fourth in the 800m C Race, posting a time of 2m21.49s.
Five athletes from Morpeth Harriers took part in the seeded 3000m,
which had a total of thirty competitors spread over the two required races.
Four of the five competed in the A Race, who were led home by Adam Pratt,
who just lost out in a rare photo-finish for such a distance, posting a finishing time of 8m55.37s,
which was just four seconds adrift of his lifetime personal best.
Houghton’s Will Bellamy clocked 8m55.13s, to claim his victory.
Karl Taylor battled away in his first race for some time, to finish fourth in 9m02.06s.
Morpeth’s Dylan Davies ran superbly against more Senior athletes and emerged to emerge as the third fastest Under 17 athlete, posting a new lifetime best of 9m50.43s, taking around four seconds off his previous figures,
a tremendous achievement by the youngster.
Dylan had run most of the race by stalking fellow Morpeth Harrier Brad Brown,
who eventually finished two places adrift of him.
Brown, a first year Under 20 athlete, was running the distance
for the first time, he posted a time of 10m36.52s.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing over the distance for the first time was Tayla Murdy,
who clocked 12m22.69s.
Murdy had also been holidaying with boyfriend Douglass in Italy
and had returned also feeling under the weather.
Under 15 Boy Bertie Marr had an excellent run in the Junior Graded 1500m A Race, finishing fifth
in a new personal best time of 4m37.14s, taking exactly three seconds off his previous figures.
He finished eleven seconds adrift of event winner Rowan Teasdale of Billingham Marsh House.
Morpeth’s other track performance came from Under 15 Girl Olivia Gent,
who was sixth in the Junior Graded 200m A Race, where she posted a time of 29.83s.
Morpeth’s Jessica Gardiner who has been in excellent form of late,
won both the Under 17 Hammer, and Discus events,
producing on the night best efforts of 36.92m, and 32.76m respectively.
Under 20 Man Ruaridh Lang won his age group Discus, producing a best effort of 42.14m.
Morpeth Harriers Senior Men and Women’s Track and Field squad made a disappointing start to their 2019 Northern League Division 2E campaign, when they finished fifth of six competing teams in their opening fixture at the re-arranged location of Beckett University in Leeds, on Sunday 19th May.
However Men’s Team Manager David Swinburne still held an optimistic view for the remaining four fixtures, despite the distinct lack of numbers, that both he and Women’s Team Manager Vina Desai had faced in putting their respective squads together, and he felt that the end result had been better than he had expected.
In the case of difference of match points between third, and their finishing position of fifth, he was fairly correct, as there was only thirty nine points between the Morpeth squad and Harrogate, and they had only lost out for fourth place by a mere six points, the ironic thing being that the fourth place just happened to be the closest rivals,
the combined squad of Wallsend Blyth.
Rock bottom on the day were Middlesbrough AC (Mandale),
who host the next match in June, who were sixty-five points adrift of Morpeth.
Match hosts Leeds City were obviously strong, and came out on the day winners,
twelve points ahead of Gateshead Harriers, who also showed many strengths.
Nevertheless, there were some bright spots within the Morpeth team performances,
particularly Under 20 Man Matt Waterfield, who was effectively a Talisman for the squad,
being the fastest performer in the Blue Riband 100m and 200m events.
In the 100m, Waterfield was selected to run the B Race, which he very clearly won, posting a time of 11.22s.
Morpeth were very close to a double victory here, but club colleague Sean O’Hara was just edged out in the A race, where he posted a time of 11.55s, which was just outside his own lifetime best.
In the later run 200m, Waterfield competed in the A Race, where his sheer speed excelled to edge out Gateshead’s Josh Errington, posting a personal best of 22.55s, in his first outing in the distance for two seasons.
Meanwhile in the B Race, O’Hara was again just edged out for victory, as he finished second in 23.57s.
In terms of workload, Morpeth’s Senior Man Mark Snowball can easily be singled out for special praise by Swinburne, as he tackled no less than four events in search of vital points, three on the track, two of them over obstacles, plus a field throwing event, no doubt getting home to Northumberland after a lengthy journey,
feeling a fairly tired man.
He firstly tackled the 400m Hurdles, finishing fifth in the A race, posting a time of 70.49s,
very fractionally eclipsing his previous best time.
Shortly afterwards, again over obstacles, however this time over Steeplechase Barriers and Water,
covering the seven and a half laps of 3000m, where he was fourth in 10m48s,
agonisingly just twenty-six seconds adrift of his lifetime best.
How he managed to muster himself to complete the later run 5000m, (twelve and a half laps),
to finish third in the A Race in 17m21.03, clearly demonstrated his dedication and willingness
to help his club to a respectable on the day result.
Graeme Thorpe also played his part well here, to get around, to finish third in the B Race in 18m18.15s,
his first track 5000m for a period spanning seven years.
Snowball also found time to throw a Javelin for the first time on the clubs’ behalf,
finishing fifth in the B String with a best of 17.52m.
This backed up a good effort by Hayden Richards, who was Morpeth’s only established Field Eventer on duty.
Richards finished third in the A String Javelin, throwing an on the day best of 47.38m, however his best effort in terms of points, came in the Hammer, where he managed a best of 34.25m, losing out by 70cm to Gateshead Harrier Fraser Wright.
Nevertheless, it was a lifetime personal best for Richards, bettering his previous figures by almost two metres.
Richards also finished fourth in the Discus with an on the day best throw of 20.90m.
Making his Morpeth Northern League debut in the Field events was Under 17 athlete Charlie Lane, who finished sixth in the A String Long Jump, producing a best of 4.68m, which was just slightly adrift of the personal best that he had achieved at Hexham in the NEYDL, the previous day.
Back on the track, Dean Lonsdale and Phil Winkler teamed up well in the 400m and 800m events for Morpeth Men.
In the single lap 400m, Lonsdale finished fifth in the A race, posting a finishing time of 55.57s.
Winkler meanwhile ran a faster time of 52.93s, to finish a very close second in the B Race, which was won by Gateshead’s Justin Cooper, who won by a one second margin.
It was a new lifetime best for Winkler, who is truly in the form of his life at the moment.
In the two lap 800m, the Morpeth pairing reversed their roles, with Winkler finishing third in the A Race in 1m57.41s, which was very close to his lifetime best.
Meanwhile Lonsdale was particularly delighted in winning the B Race, where he posted a time of 2m11.93s, and this following a lengthy period of inactivity, with little or no winter cross country outings of note.
Sam Hancox and Thomas Innes teamed up well in the 1500m,
where Hancox finished third in the A race in a time of 4m14.86s.
Meanwhile Innes excellently won the B race in a time of 4m22.06s.
In the Men’s 4 x 100m Relay event, Morpeth finished third in 52.05s,
courtesy of Charlie Lane, Dean Lonsdale, Sean O’Hara, and Matt Waterfield.
Morpeth Men’s 4 x 400m squad finished second to Gateshead, posting a time of 3m37.25s,
courtesy of Charlie Lane, Dean Lonsdale, Phillip Winkler, and Matt Waterfield.
On to the Women’s events, where Morpeth had ten athletes in competitive action.
The club had three event wins, all in the Field Events, courtesy of Under 17 Athlete Jessica Gardiner,
Under 20 Athlete Bobbie Griffiths, and seasoned Veteran Claire Reid,
who is always a shining example of determination.
Gardiner, who on the previous day broke the Under 17 Hammer record at Hexham in the NEYDL Match,
won the Hammer here, and throwing the heavier 4k implement for the very first time,
and this was her first ever Northern League outing.
She produced a best effort of 39.51m, which won by a 1.40m margin over Gateshead’s Leah Weatheritt.
This also takes Gardiner to No 1 regionally and puts her just outside the top 100 nationally.
Backing Gardiner up well for Morpeth in the B String was Claire Reid, who was very happy
to also acknowledge later that Gardiner had also just broken her own club record in front of her own eyes.
On the day, Reid managed a best of 27.38m, to finish second in the B event.
Gardiner and Reid teamed up again later in the Discus, where Gardiner finished third in the A String, producing a best of 33.62m, which was not only a new lifetime personal best for her, it also earned he an entry standard for the English Schools Championships, something she is already actively seeking in her favoured Hammer event.
Meanwhile Reid busied herself well, by winning the B String event, by producing an on the day best of 31.39m, which also makes her third regionally behind Gardiner, and Gateshead’s Sophie Littlemore,
who on the day won the A String Shot Putt, plus the B String Javelin.
Reid finished fourth in the A String Shot Putt, producing a best of 9.61m, whilst Morpeth’s Lauren Smith,
normally a sprinter, stepped in to Putt, finishing fifth with 5.26m, scoring valuable points.
Bobbie Griffiths showed her prowess, by producing a best of 40.31m to win the A String Javelin,
and once again it was Reid providing good B String backing, when finishing second with a best of 17.68m.
In the Long Jump, Jess Young-Rogers produced an on the day best of 3.95m to finish as fifth in the A String,
and Lauren Smith was a supporting B String for Morpeth, producing a best of 3.18m, also finishing fifth.
Although there were no track victories for Morpeth in the Women’s events, t
here were some good efforts on the day by their small band of athletes.
In terms of match points, the best points for Morpeth came from the 3000m and 4 x 400m events.
In the 3000m A Race, Gracie Hufton finished second, posting a finishing time of 11m34.15s, which was just short of her lifetime best, and Claire Calverley in her very first Northern League, finished third in the B race in 12m53.55s.
Also making her Northern League debut for Morpeth and running over the two lap 800m
for the first time was Rachelle Falloon, who finished third in the A Race in 2m24.96s.
Falloon also clocked a personal best when placing fourth in the A race of the 1500m,
with Claire Calverley claiming excellent points for Morpeth, when finishing third in the B Race.
Jessica Young- Rogers finished fourth and fifth respectively in the A Races
of the 100m and 200m, posting times of 13.13s, 27.65s.
In the corresponding B Races, on her debut Laura Kincaid finished fifth in 14.60s,
and Lauren Smith finished fifth in 28.88s.
Kincaid also teamed up with Lily Heaton for Morpeth in the 400m.
Clocking 68.45s, Kincaid was fourth in the A Race, and Heaton
managed the faster time of 65.95s, to finish third in the B Race.
For Heaton, it was her first outing over the distance.
Earlier in the day, she had also tackled the distance, but over Hurdles, where she had finished fourth in 77.18s.
In the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay, Morpeth finished fifth, courtesy of Laura Kincaid,
throws specialist Jessica Gardiner, Lauren Smith and Jess Young-Rogers, posting a time of 56.97s.
Lily Heaton, Rachelle Falloon, Lauren Smith, and Laura Kincaid combined to
give Morpeth second place in the Women’s 4 x 400m Relay in 4m39.10s.
FINAL MATCH RESULT
1st Leeds City 400pts,
2nd Gateshead Harriers 388pts,
3rd Harrogate Harriers 327pts,
4th Wallsend/Blyth 288pts,
5th Morpeth Harriers 282pts,
6th Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) 217pts.