On Sunday 11th September 2016, the very first Inter Area match between the
North East Counties and a combined Yorkshire Select took place at Middlesbrough Athletics Village.
The match was between the NEYDL and YDL, which are both equivalents of the
Young Athletes leagues that run throughout the summer period in their respective areas,
and athletes were selected on the basis of their performances across the four matches that were held during the season.
Yorkshire unfortunately arrived with a much weaker team than expected,
this had been largely due to another event promoter putting on an Open Track Meeting in their area,
despite being given advance warning of the Middlesbrough match being held.
The end result speaks very much for itself, as the NEYDL select had
a resounding victory by the margin of 1009 over 297 from a total of 75 events.
Whilst it was indeed an enjoyable victory following a great deal of hard work
put in by Team Managers, it was largely felt that the North East would have certainly
welcomed stiffer opposition in the act of winning the Shield that had
been designated as a trophy to what is hoped to be an annual event.
Although it was fairly breezy, warm sunshine was very much a welcome addition for all.
A very dominant North East performance was much highlighted in the Field Events,
where no less than three Morpeth Harriers enjoyed double victories.
Andrew Knight produced a new personal best of 33.11m to convincingly win the Under 15 Boys Hammer competition.
In what he classes as his premier event, Knight also enjoyed a convincing victory in the Shot Putt, with his best effort of 13.66m.
The Paul Reed coached youngster very nearly added a third victory to his tally,
when he finished a close second to North Shields Poly’s James Wordsworth in the Discus,
where he produced brand new figures of 29.45m.
In the Under 17 Women’s Hammer, Bobbie Griffiths secured a victory with a best of 29.95m,
where her Morpeth club colleague Hannah Brown finished second with 16.61m.
Griffith’s also took victory in her best event, the Javelin, however was made to fight all the way,
with a best of 35.14m, by Harrogate and Wetherby’s Alice Mann, who produced a best of 34.02m.
Although 28.64m in the Discus, only gave Griffith’s second place behind
Blaydon’s Georgia Kyle, it was a brand new personal best.
Griffith’s Morpeth colleague Charlotte Pickering–Pruvot finished third with 24.11m,
however did enjoy a victory in the Shot Putt with 11.22m.
Morpeth Harrier David Thomas enjoyed victories in the Under 17 Men’s Long Jump and Triple Jump events.
He produced a best of 6.17m in the Long Jump, and went on to win the Triple Jump with a best of 12.69m.
Ruaridh Lang won a very close competition in the Under 17 Men’s Discus,
when he produced a best of 38.91m, however in the Shot Putt,
he just lost out by 49cm to Chester le Street’s David Todd,
when he produced a best of 12.24m.
Lottie Hume produced brand new figures of 17.47m, to win the Under 15 Girls Discus,
however was just 23cm adrift of victory in the in the Shot Putt, despite also producing new figures of 9.40m.
Another Morpeth winner in the Field Events was Ethan Stephenson,
who produced 5.61m, to win in a very tough competition in the Under 15 Boys Long Jump.
Stephenson also finished third in the High Jump, with a clearance of 1.60m.
Katie Hilton finished second in the Under 17 Women’s Triple Jump,
only losing out for victory by 12cm for victory, with her best effort of 10.53m.
Adam Willoughby was 5cm outside victory in the Under 13 Boys High Jump,
with his clearance of 1.45m, and his Morpeth club colleague Koffi Avornyo finished fourth with 1.35m.
Koffi also finished fifth in the Long Jump with 3.50m.
Rosie Winter finished fourth in the Under 13 Girls Shot Putt, with her best effort of 6.68m.
On to track events where the North East enjoyed no less than 32 individual winners, plus all eight of the relays.
Morpeth Harriers provided six of those individual winners, and eight new personal bests were achieved by the clubs’ athletes.
Three of those personal bests came in one event, with Harriet Priest, Hannah Brown,
and Bekki Foster taking first, second and third places, with respective clockings of 12.57s, 12.58s, and 13.60s.
Running in his first ever Under 17 Men’s 3000m event, Morpeth’s Rory Leonard secured an excellent victory in 9m32.09s.
Club colleague Connor Marshall finished third, producing brand new figures of 10m00.94s.
Leonard also finished second in a later run 1500m race, posting a time of 4m37.20s.
24 hours after finishing third in her Junior Great North Run race,
Holly Peck was winning the Under 15 Girls 1500m in 5m09.20s.
Club colleague Lily Heaton finished fourth in 5m28.42s.
Owen Priest of Morpeth had an excellent victory in the Under 15 Boys 300m, posting new figures of 39.32s.
In the very first track event of the day, Morpeth’s Amy Lott won the Under 13 Girls 70m Hurdles in 12.00s.
Oliver Bultitude of Morpeth Harriers produced a brand new personal best of 16.83s,
when finishing second in the Under 17 Men’s 100m Hurdles.
Sean O’Hara won the Under 17 Men’s 200m in a time of 23.15s, and he finished third in the 100m in 11.61s.
Joe Dowd and Matthew Waterfield proved to be a dynamic duo in the Under 17 Men’s 800m and 400m events.
Dowd finished second in the 800m in 2m07.28s, with Waterfield finishing third in 2m13.77s.
In the 400m places were reversed, with Waterfield finishing second in 54.04s, and Dowd finished third in 57.57s.
Jessica Young-Rogers finished second in the Under 17 Women’s 100m in 12.68s, third in the 200m in 26.13s.
Accompanying Jessica in 100m was club colleague Katie Hilton, who finished third in 13.15s.
Gracie Hufton produced new figures of 11m57.31s, when finishing third in the Under 17 Women’s 3000m.
Whilst all of the regions selected athletes produced their best efforts, both on the track and in the field,
behind them was an excellent Team Management, led by Morpeth Harriers coach and mentor David Thomas,
who had done a splendid job getting the squad together for this unique occasion.
The added help coming from Gary Curtis of Birtley AC, Chris Mole of North Shields Poly,
Robin Rutherford of Darlington Harriers, and Mike Bateman of Morpeth Harriers
had fully supported the team effort, and was most appreciated by all.
We can all look forward to repeating the challenge on Yorkshire soil in 2017,
when the competition should be stiffer.
Photo Gallery - Thanks to Naomi Arkle ('A' level photography student)