On Saturday 22nd June 2019, the annual North East Masters Track and Field Championshipstook place
at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow, and it was a busy and successful weekend for the club with some eleven
members competing who, between them, won in total, 9 gold, 8 silver and 2 bronze medals.
Winners of two gold and one silver apiece were Over 55s Peter Tynemouth and Neil McAnany.
Neil pipped Peter to the gold in the 300m hurdles with times of 52.1s and 54.7s respectively.
Neil also ran a fast 400 metres flat to take the O/55 title in a time of 1m 01.07s.
Peter, meanwhile, also took gold in the 100m hurdles in 19.5s. Both also had success in the jumps,
with Peter winning the Long Jump with a best of 3.84m
and Neil coming 2nd in his category for the Triple Jump with 8.24m.
There was one other success over the shorter distances,
Paul Bellingham picking up a silver in the O/55 200 metres with a best of 30.0s.
The 800m, 1500m and 5000m were all contested on the same day so spare a thought for Gavin Bayne,
at the top end of the Over 60 category these days, who, despite the inevitable niggles that accompany
the older runner ran in all three! 5th in the 800m, he compensated by picking up a silver in the 1500m
with a time of 5m 26.6s, only losing out to Michael Stacey of Low Fell, and went on to take another in his category
in the 5000m with a time of 20m 23.9s behind Sunderland’s Paul Merrison.
Over 70 Paul Bentley also picked up a silver over the same distance with 25m 05.7s
and Gary Jones, now back with Morpeth, missed out on a medal in the O/40s when, in a tough cat, he finished 4th.
Longstanding member Archie Jenkins showed that, despite being very involved these days with the administrative side of the sport, he has lost none of his desire to compete, and he was rewarded with no less than two golds, taking the O/65 1500m title in 7m.01s and the 800m in 3m 37.1s.
Also competing in both these events were Michelle Thompson and Jason Dawson.
Michelle showed the remarkable progress she has already made under new coach Chris Waugh
since joining the club by taking the O/35 gold in both races, with times of 5m 20.8s and 2m 38.06s.
Jason, meanwhile, had clearly got over the previous weekend’s ‘training’ (for which read ‘imbibing’)
in the Lake District, with a gold in the O/45 1500m (4m 51.4s) and a bronze in the 800m (2m 20.6s).
Finally on the track, evergreen Pam Woodcock picked up a good silver in the O/65 800m in a time of 3m 21.7s, losing out by only a second to Doreen Craig of Blaydon, who has only just moved into the category.
Morpeth’s representative in the throws was another club stalwart, Steven Appleby, who picked up Over 45 silver and bronze in the discus and shot respectively. He threw 31.06m in the discus and 7.76m for the shot.
Northumberland Schools have named a total of twenty-six athletes, of which twenty-four are permitted, to compete at the forthcoming English Schools Track and Field Championships, scheduled to be held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, over two days of competition on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July 2019.
Amongst the twenty-six, are seven from Morpeth Harriers,
three from the Male section, and four from the Female side.
All of the Male athletes are Senior Boys.
Field Event specialist Ruaridh Lang, Distance specialist Rory Leonard,
and Sprint specialist Matthew Waterfield are the three named in the Senior Boys selections.
The four Female’s are, Sprint Specialist Alice Geoghegan in the Junior Girls,
Throws Specialist Jessica Gardiner, and Hurdles specialist Amy Lott in the Intermediate Girls,
and Throws specialist Bobbie Griffiths is included in the Senior Girls line-up.
Morpeth Harriers offer all their selected athletes Best Wishes
and hope that they reap much success in the competition.
Matthew Waterfield, Rory Leonard, and James Young of Morpeth Harriers were all in action at the annual England Athletics combined Under 20 and Under 23 Track and Field Championships, held at Bedford County Stadium,
on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2019.
In his first appearance at such a level, despite equalling his personal best time of 49.39s in his heat of the Under 20 Men’s 400m, where he finished fourth, Waterfield went out in very tough conditions, where only eight progressed from 21, over the three heats, such was the standard.
Unfortunately, Leonard, who has already met qualification criteria over 5000m for the forthcoming European Championships in Sweden, went out in the heats of the Under 20 1500m, where twelve progressed from 24 over the two talent filled races.
Leonard could only finish eighth in Heat 1, clocking a time of 4m01.90s, which was someway adrift of his best.
Finishing fourth in his Saturday heat of the Under 23 Men’s 1500m, and posting a time of 3m49.93s, brought Young an instant qualification for the Sunday final.
In Sunday’s final, Young finished fifth of twelve, posting a time of 3m52.43s.
The Gold medal went to Wimborne AC’s Piers Copeland, who posted a finishing time of 3m50.49s.
Now in its tenth year, the Weetslade Relays, hosted by Claremont Road Runners, took place on a warm but breezy summers evening in Weetslade Country Park Wide Open. (Wednesday 19th June 2019)
The friendly, low–key atmosphere provided an opportunity for runners of all abilities to enjoy a multi terrain, traffic free course taking in a challenging hill climb and rewarding them with far ranging views of the coastline and an abundance of wild flowers en route.
Each team had to be composed of one woman, one veteran and any other athlete. We were fortunate to field six teams, all of whom finished in the top half of the results table. Morpeths A team Richard Johnson, Jane Hodgson and Sam Hancox claimed an emphatic victory with a one minute 20 second lead over second place finishers Tyne Bridge Harriers.
Richard Johnson rose ably to the challenge and was backed up by the fastest female and male performances of the night by Jane Hodgson( also the fastest V35 15:27) and Sam Hancox, fastest male runner (13:34). A timely confidence boost for Johnson and a job well done for the reliable Hodgson as she continues to return to fitness following a prolonged spell of injury.
A delighted Sam Hancox brought the team home in a total time of 43:20. As well as the fastest time of the night Sam produced the biggest smile of the evening and it was fabulous to see him leading the team home so decisively.
The Morpeth B team Matthew Briggs, Michelle Thompson and Lee Bennett finished in 7th place. Matthew celebrated completing his final A’ level exam in fine style by finishing strongly in second place in the first leg. Michelle , a welcome new addition to the club ran strongly on her first outing in Morpeth colours handing over to Lee who ran a solid last leg.
Our other teams including Jamie Johnson, Tayla Murdy and Jason Dawson finished in 22nd place. All three athletes proved to be pretty handy over the 2:67 mile course. Jamie competing in one of his first relays for the club and likewise Tayla showing her potential as a very capable and strong runner over the second leg. Jason Dawson, enjoying the opportunity to compete in more team events held his own on the third leg.
Andrew Hebden, Jill Bennett and Matthew Boyle finished in 27th place. Andrew enjoying a better run than he expected finished strongly in the second leg handing over to Jill Bennett,
followed by a very pleasing run by Matthew Boyle.
David Swinburne, Sue Smith and Paul Waterston made a compelling trio. Dave led the charge and Sue came up trumps with a top-notch run leaving the Glory leg to a resolute Paul bringing the team home in 38th place.
Another sturdy team effort came from Phil Walker, Frances Naylor and Mike Winter. Phil ran the fastest leg of the three and handed on to Frances who put in a first rate run leaving the unshakeable Mike Winter to bring the team home in 55th place.
A much better than previous performance, saw Morpeth Harriers Senior Track and Field squad finish third of six competing clubs in their second round Northern Athletics League Division 2E fixture, held at Middlesbrough Sports Village, on Sunday 16th June 2019.
Thankfully the recent heavy rainfall had not seriously affected the Track,
or the more susceptible infield, so all events went ahead as programmed.
The only rainfall during the match was early on in proceedings, and its period thankfully was only short,
however skies did remain threatening at times, to no avail, and as the afternoon progressed,
whatever wind factor there was dispersed, and athletes certainly welcomed the distinctly warmer aspects.
One such athlete who was well warmed up, was Morpeth Harriers sprint supremo Matthew Waterfield,
who was very unfortunate to lose out for first and second in the 100m, where he produced a lifetime best of 10.9s, but placed third in what was a blanket finish, with the winner Joe Ferguson of Leeds City getting a 10.7s clocking, and second placed Josh Errington of Gateshead getting the nod, in posting a similar time to Waterfield.
Not only was it a personal best for Waterfield, it was the first time he had dipped under the eleven second barrier, and he was within half of a second of his club’s own record of 10.5s,
set by Andy Abrahams at Woodford Green in 1987.
Waterfield was equally delighted when he reversed the fortunes in the later run 200m,
which he won, also in a new lifetime best of 22.1s, taking almost half a second off his previous figures.
Supporting Waterfield for Morpeth in the respective B races were David Storey,
who finished fourth in the 100m in 11.4s, a new personal best,
and Sam Yates, who also produced new figures of 24.5s in the 200m, finishing fifth.
Alistair Douglass just lost out for victory by a fraction of a second in the 1500m,
to Wallsend/Blyth’s Josh Fiddaman, where he clocked 4m08.3s.
Recent Northern 3000m Steeplechase Champion Adam Pratt produced excellent
Morpeth B String backing, winning in 4m10.9s.
In the 5000m Morpeth’s Thomas Straughan finished second in the A race to Wallsend/Blyth’s Jordan Middlemist, clocking 15m40.8s, and Ian Harding won the B String, posting a time of 16m11.6s.
Harding had earlier given good support to Daniel Melling in the 800m, by winning the B String in 2m17.3s.
It was Harding’s first ever venture into the two-lap event, and Under 20 athlete Melling competed well to finish third in the A String in 2m04.1s.
Morpeth’s Mark Snowball bettered his personal figures by all of one second,
when finishing second in the A String 3000m Steeplechase, posting a time of 10m11.6s.
The young talents of Owen Priest and Charlie Lane were in action in the Men’s 400m,
where Priest finished fourth in the A String in 53.9s, and Lane clocked 58.3s, to finish second in the B String.
Morpeth Harriers finished second in both Men’s Relays.
In the 4 x 100m, they posted a time of 45.5s, courtesy of Billy Handyside,
Sam Yates, Matthew Waterfield, and David Storey.
Owen Priest Charlie Lane, Daniel Melling, and Alistair Douglass
saw the Morpeth 4 x 400m squad home in 3m45.0s.
On to the Morpeth Men’s Field Events, where Throws specialist Craig Charlton literally worked his socks off to manage an A String victory in his strongest event, the Shot Putt, where he produced a new personal best of 15.33m.
Charlton finished second in the A String Discus, producing an on the day best of 33.91m,
also finished second in the Hammer, with 37.29m.
Supporting Charlton in the B String events of the Shot Putt and Discus was Alistair Douglass,
who finished second and third respectively, with new lifetime bests of 7.87m, and 22.31m.
Staying with the Men’s throwing events, Mark Snowball improved on his lifetime best in the Javelin,
throwing 19.95m, which bettered his old figures by 2.50m, a performance which saw him finish as fifth A String.
Throwing the implement for the very first time, Morpeth’s Sam Yates finished sixth
in the B String, with an on the day best of 14.70m.
Owen Priest, and the very hardworking Mark Snowball, both managed personal bests of 11.61m
and 8.76m respectively, to finish fourth and fifth in the A and B String Triple Jumps.
Concluding the Morpeth Men’s performances, Billy Handyside produced an on the day best of 4.90m,
to finish sixth in the A String Long Jump, and Charlie Lane finished as fourth B String, producing a best of 4.75m.
On to the Women’s events, where Morpeth had one A String winner in Bobbie Griffiths,
who won the Javelin, posting a best throw of 39.55m.
Throwing the Senior Javelin for the first time, Jessica Gardiner, who learnt twenty four hours earlier that she would be representing Northumberland at the English Schools Championships, celebrated her calling, by finishing second in the B String with 23.40m, and finished second in the A String Hammer (35.10m),
and third in the A String Discus (32.40m).
In the B String Discus, an equally hardworking Claire Reid, threw a best of 31.50, to comfortably win.
Reid also finished second in the B String Hammer (29.75m), and fourth in the A String Shot Putt
with a best of 10.19m.
Competing in the B String Shot Putt for the first time, Morpeth’s Helen King managed a best of 6.41m to finish fifth.
Unfortunately, Morpeth only had one Jumper at their disposal, and that was Under 17 athlete Holly Peck,
who finished fourth in the A String Triple Jump, producing a best of 8.41m.
Still feeling the effects of her efforts at the Inter Counties Schools the day before,
Peck also finished sixth in the A String 200m in a new personal best time of 28.2s.
Backing Peck up for Morpeth in the 200m B String event was Laura Kincaid, who finished fourth in 30.8s.
Kincaid also won the B String 400m in 67.8s and finished fourth in the B String 100m in 14.2s.
Lorna MacDonald finished third in the A String 1500m in 5m08.4s, a new personal best by all of five seconds,
being well backed up by Tayla Murdy, who finished as third B String in 5m49.2s.
The 400m A Race saw Morpeth’s Ella Duffield finish fifth in 67.7s, and Lynsey Cunningham
finished sixth in the 100m A Race, producing a fractional new personal best of 14.2s.
Duffield also finished fourth in the 800m A Race in 2m31.0s, and was superbly
backed up by Helen King, who took the B Race in 2m34.8s.
Helen also went on later to record a new personal best of 11m23.6s,
when finishing third in the A String 3000m, and Morpeth’s Taylor Murdy took the B String,
also setting new figures of 12m08.8s, taking fourteen seconds off her previous best
for the seven and a half lap event.
In the Women’s 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Relays, Morpeth Harriers finished
in fifth and second places respectively posting times of 60.30s and 4m42.9s.
Competing athletes in the 4 x 100m were Lynsey Cunningham, Laura Kincaid, Ella Duffield, and Holly Peck.
In the 4 x 400m, Morpeth lined up with Helen King, Tayla Murdy, Holly Peck, and Laura Kincaid.
Both Morpeth Team Managers, David Swinburne (Men), and Vina Desai, both agreed that this was a much better result all round from the first match, and are hopeful that the squad can build on this performance over the last two matches, the next being a home advantage in Morpeth in July.