For the third consecutive year, the North East Youth Development League
Select Squad triumphed over West Yorkshire in their annual
Track and Field Challenge Match, held at Middlesbrough
Sports Village on Sunday 2nd September 2018.
With a total of 76 events being competed in, the region won by a total of 837 points,
to their rivals 518, which marked a significant improvement on previous for West Yorkshire,
and the tough competition was much appreciated by athletes, and the contingent of supporters
on what was again a sunny day, however sprints, and Long and Triple Jumps were marred
by an untimely tail wind, which rendered some excellent performances illegal for upgrading,
with speeds averaging between plus 2.5 and plus 4.3.
The North East squad included no fewer than seventeen athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers,
and the team were once again excellently Managed by Harriers Coach Dave Thomas,
who was assisted by an excellent team of co organisers.
One of the Morpeth Harriers who fell victim to the plus wind problem was
Under 15 Girl Amy Lott, who won the 75m Hurdles in a new personal best time of 11.21s,
which unfortunately will not improve her ranking due to the illegality.
Normally the time would have seen her ranked as No 4 in the country.
Lott was also one of five Morpeth winners on the day, the others being fellow
Under 15 Girl Jessica Gardiner, who achieved two victories, and very nearly two personal bests,
Under 17 Man Ethan Stephenson, Under 15 Boy Euan Duffin, and Under 13 Boy Bertie Marr.
Gardiner won the Hammer by just over three metres from fellow North East thrower Lucy Nicklin of New Marske, throwing a new personal best of 38.28m, eclipsing her previous figures by just over two metres.
She also won the Discus by just over five metres from Longwood’s Niamh Woodhouse,
representing West Yorkshire, with her best throw of 29.55m, fractionally adrift of her lifetime best.
Staying with Field Events, Ethan Stephenson won the Under 17 Men’s Triple Jump,
by producing an on the day best of 12.38m, winning by 40cm from Cleethorpes athlete Keiran Vines.
The Under 15 Boys 1500m proved to be one of the most interesting contests of the day,
when Morpeth’s Euan Duffin beat Birtley and North East representative Chris Perkins
for the second time within twenty-four hours.
Duffin had beaten Perkins in the previous days cross country meeting
at Sunderland and managed to achieve his second victory by kicking away
from him with 250 metres remaining, to win by a margin of just over a second in 4m22.20s,
knocking a whole five seconds off his previous figures.
There was another 1500m victory for a Morpeth athlete, courtesy of Bertie Marr,
who managed to draw clear from club colleague Ryan Davies, to win by just under a second in 4m57.72s.
Another good 1500m performer was Tom Balsdon, who finished second
in the Under 17 Men’s event in 4m27.45s.
Morpeth athletes also accounted for no less than another five second places.
Two of those were achieved by Nat Arkle, who threw 22.67m in the Under 15 Boys Hammer
and achieved a new personal best of 24.17m in the Discus.
In the Under 17 Men’s Discus, David Sanderson threw a new personal best of 34.03m,
to finish second behind North Shields Poly’s James Wordsworth, making it a North East one-two.
Sanderson bettered his previous figures by just over three metres.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing in the Discus was Luke Haxell,
who finished fourth with an on the day best of 29.14m.
Matthew Heslop produced a new personal best performance of 5.68m,
when finishing second in the Under 17 Men’s Long Jump.
Back with the track, and in the Under 15 Girls 100m, with a wind speed of plus 2.2,
Amber Witt of Morpeth produced a new personal best of 12.93s, when finishing second.
Morpeth Harriers accounted for no less than six third placed performers.
In the Under 17 Men’s Hammer, Luke Haxell produced a new personal best of 24.54m.
Club colleague David Sanderson threw the Hammer for the first time and achieved 23.73m for fourth place.
In the Under 15 Boys Javelin, Daniel Dowd threw 38.11m for third place,
only a mere fourteen centimetres adrift of second, and just over two metres
adrift of the winner Fred Yates of the North East.
Morpeth’s Ben Waterfield had two third places in the Under 15 Boys events.
He was third in the 800m in 2m10.59s, also in the 300m in 44.48s.
In the Under 15 Girls Javelin, Rosie Winter threw 22.14m for third spot.
Koffi Avornyo of Morpeth equalled his personal best clearance of 1.55m
in the Under 15 Boys High Jump for third place.
Under 15 Girl Mia Belton of Morpeth was just run out of a top three place in the 300m,
where she posted a time of 44.27s.
The North East won three of the 4 x 100m Relay events.