Although there was only one new personal best performance achieved, there were still some excellent efforts shown by the thirteen athletes from Morpeth Harriers & AC, at the fifth and penultimate Start Fitness North East Grand Prix Meeting, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium, on the evening of Wednesday 26th July 2017.
The performances included four overall event wins, two from the Track, and two coming from the Field events.
Despite the heavy prolonged rain earlier in the day, conditions were much improved by the time proceedings
got underway, and thankfully events were uninterrupted throughout.
James Young, who had run in an 800m in Stretford, Manchester the previous evening,
certainly showed no effects from that outing, as he took a handsome victory
in the first of four Graded 1500m events.
He posted a winning time of 4m02.0s, the fastest of the night,
finishing fractionally ahead of club colleague Taylor Glover,
who had hotly pursued Young throughout most of the three and three-quarter lap event.
Glover posted a time of 4m04.4s, which was only a mere fraction adrift of his personal best,
and he was easily the fastest in the Under 17 Men’s age group.
Another Morpeth Harrier in action in this particular race was Alistair Douglass,
who finished sixth in 4m11.7s, and he was third fastest Senior Man.
Other members of the club in action in the Graded 1500m events
were Connor Marshall, Thomas Innes and Holly Peck.
They all competed in the third race, where Marshall finished third in 4m29.0s,
as ninth fastest Under 17 Man, Innes finished fifth in the third race,
and was eleventh fastest Senior Man with 4m36.5s, in what was his first 1500m,
and Peck, running as an Under 15 Girl guest, clocked 4m50.2s,
just outside her personal best, when placing tenth in the third race.
In the 200m Graded races, Morpeth’s Sean O’Hara won the first race in 23.6s,
after finishing second in the A race of the earlier run Graded 100m in 11.7s.
Accompanying O’Hara in the 100m and 200m events was club colleague Robbie Anderson,
who finished third in the second 100m in 12.3s, and second in the third 200m in 25.9s.
He was fourth and fifth respectively in his Under 17 age group.
In the Field events, Morpeth throws specialists Ruaridh Lang and Andrew Knight
both had respective victories in the Graded Discus and Shot Putt.
Lang won the Discus, with a best throw of 46.08s, which was still some way short of his personal best,
however was still a good three metres clear of his closest rival,
Female Senior, Sophie Littlemore of Gateshead Harriers.
Closest in Lang’s Under 17 age group however, was another Gateshead athlete
Oliver Herring, who finished fourth overall, with a best of 31.00m.
Knight’s win in the Shot Putt, saw him produce a best on the night of 14.67m,
which was just over two metres clear of his closest rival, again Littlemore of Gateshead.
Closest in his Under 17 age group however was Max Tyrie of South Shields, who managed a best of 7.27m.
Back on the track, and the only Morpeth athlete to achieve a personal best
on the night was Under 15 Boy Jonny Kidd, who took a second off his 1500m time,
when finishing seventh in 4m48.2s.
Sister and Brother Jessica and Edward Gardiner competed respectively
in the Hammer, and Under 15 Girls, and Under 13 Boys Discus events.
Jessica was the first of four Under 15 Girls in the Hammer,
with her best in her set of throws, achieving 23.20m,
winning Darlington Harrier Rosie Thompson, by the margin of 16cm.
In the Under 15 Girls Discus, Jessica finishedas
third Under 15 Girl, with her best throw of 18.90m.
Meanwhile Edward finished second in the Under 13 Boys Discus,
his best throw being 13.38m, losing out for victory by the
margin of one metre to Gateshead Harrier Josh Hickson.
In one of her final outings prior to the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in London,
Morpeth’s Laura Weightman could take personal delight,
when finishing second to Pudsey and Bramley’s Alex Bell,
in the Women’s 800m A race at the penultimate BMC Gold Standards Meeting,
held at Stretford, Manchester, on the evening of Tuesday 25th July.
Delight, not in finishing second, but achieving a brand-new lifetime best for the distance of 2m01.87s,
taking nearly a second over her time that she posted in June at Chester Le Street, in the regional BMC event.
It clearly shows that Weightman is in the form of her life going into the Championships,
and can legitimately expect a good outcome from them, maybe not necessarily a medal,
but barring any mishaps, a world class time.
Weightman was one of four in action from her club on the night.
In the fourth fastest Men’s 800m event, Joe Armstrong posted a seasons best of 1m54.53s,
when finishing fifth, and two places ahead of club colleague James Young, who clocked 1m55.60s.
Rory Leonard, who was also in action at the meeting, had been hoping to better his 1500m time,
however frustratingly he was only a mere fraction of a second adrift,
as he clocked 4m01.88s, when finishing eleventh in a talent filled third fastest race of the night.
Former Morpeth Harrier Kurt Heron of Ashington Hirst Running Club,
won his clubs annual Fell–em-Doon 10k Multi Terrain Race on Wednesday 26th July.
He won with seventy-two seconds to spare over Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor, who finished second in 35m39s.
Next Morpeth Harriers finisher was Paul Banks, who was twelfth in 41m39s,
one second and one place in front of club colleague Gemma Floyd, who won the Women’s race.
Jim Alder was next home for Morpeth, finishing 34th in 45m01s.
Other Morpeth finishers were, Paul Adams (54th) 49m15s,
Helen Bruce (59th) 49m41s, and Claire Walker (93rd) 53m07s.
The event had a total of 245 finishers.
Morpeth Harriers are very pleased to announce their annual Athlete of the Year Awards for 2016/2017,
sponsored by Linden Homes.
They were presented to the three recipients at the Morpeth Athletics Track at KEVI School,
on the evening of Monday 24th July, by their Club Secretary Mike Bateman.
The final decision by the judges proved to be unique,
as all three chosen by the panel, were Field Eventers in Throwing Disciplines.
First place went to Under 17 Man Discus thrower Ruaridh Lang,
who indeed had a superb competitive year, which most recently brought him an English Schools Silver medal, which also resulted in him gaining an International Vest representing England, in the very highly profiled UK Schools International in Dublin, where he finished fifth in a very close competition.
Second placed award went to Under 17 Shot Putt specialist Andrew Knight,
who has had a superb year in his discipline,
progressing from a very modest distance of 13.35m to 15.10m
in his current throwing weight of Shot of 5k.
In 2016, when he was throwing 4k as an Under 15, he progressed from 11.04m to 14.30m.
Third placed award went to Under 17 Woman Javelin specialist Bobbie Griffiths,
who during the year in question progressed from 29.64m to 43.63m for the 500 Javelin,
and in the more Senior 600 Javelin, from 29.43m to 42.27m.
The three athletes are indeed a tribute, not only to themselves,
but also their sport, their club, and above all their coaches.
Lang and Knight are both coached by Paul Reed, whilst Griffiths
enjoys shared coaching between Dave Thomas, and Paul Wilson in York,
and are an example of some of the progression that has taken place
in development in Field Event activity in Morpeth,
however there is still a great deal of work to be done in this area,
some of which will only come from improved Indoor Facilities for Winter Training.
Morpeth Harriers provided the annual Northumberland Coastal Run with dual winners,
at the annual renewal of the historic Multi Terrain event on Sunday 23rd July 2017.
Ian Harding led the strong field of hardy finishers home to Alnmouth from Beadnell Harbour,
posting a winning time of 72m58s, finishing 131 seconds
clear of his closest rival Tom Charlton of Tyne Bridge Harriers.
Third place went to Michael Joyeux of Quakers, who was a further 32 seconds adrift.
Just behind Joyeux was Morpeth Harrier Chris Smith,
who just missed out on a Men’s Podium place, finishing fourth in 76m10s.
Jane Hodgson made it a Morpeth Harriers winning double,
when she came home 29th overall in 85m59s as first Female finisher,
six places ahead of her equally illustrious club colleague Emma Holt,
who had been hoping to regain her 2015 title,
who posted a finishing time of 87m05s,
which was more than a minute faster than her
winning time from twelve months ago, when she finished third.
Third placed Female was 2015 winner Jo Gascoigne – Owens
of the host club Alnwick Harriers, who was 55th in 90m38s.
Other prominent Morpeth Harriers finishers were,
Andrew Lawrence (13th) 81m02s,
Mark Snowball (34th) 87m05s,
Steve Patterson (54th) 90m29s,
Paul Waterston (67th) (6th O/60 Man) 92m45s,
Paul Banks (80th) (8th O/45 Man) 94m40s,
Mike Winter (81st) (9th O/45 Man) 94m41s,
John Davidson (105th) (16th O/45 Man) 96m53s,
Jim Alder (170th) (8th O/55 Man) 101m39s,
Mark Crosby (189th) (24th O/50 Man) 102m25s.
These were all Morpeth results known at time of going to press.