Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes opened their 2022 NEYDL Division 1 campaign by finishing fifth of six competing clubs in their fixture held at Churchill Playing Fields on Sunday 24 April, hosted by North Shields Poly.
New team managers David Swinburne (Boys), and Julie Roche and Judith Nutt (Girls), had clearly been hard at work, attempting to muster decent squads together, and could all rightly feel well pleased with the sterling efforts put in by those who turned out on what was a fairly cold day, with some Harriers, particularly in the younger age groups, experiencing serious Track and Field competition for the very first time.
Despite some shortages of numbers, there was still an air of optimism, and good-hearted enthusiasm in the Morpeth camp, as the day’s events unfolded.
The clubs’ biggest points scorers were undoubtedly their experienced Under 17 Men, who had nine athletes in their line-up. On the track, they secured two double victories, with one coming from the Field.
In the 800m, Will DeVere Owen took the A Race in 2m03.00s, taking a full second off his personal best, and club colleague Elliot Mavir took the B Race in 2m20.30s, just a mere fraction outside his best.
De Vere Owen also won the 400m A Race in 54.4s, his first attempt at the shorter distance.
Staying on the track, Morpeth enjoyed another double victory in the 1500m, courtesy of Bertie Marr’s 4m18.0s in the A Race, and Joseph Close in the B Race, clocking 4m23.40s.
In the 100m and 200m sprints, Morpeth were well served by Jack Dinning and Owen Omoigui.
It was Dinning’s first outing in the league for the club, and he finished second in the 100m A Race in 11.8s, and third in the A Race of the 200m in 24.9s.
Meanwhile Omoigui won both B Races in respective times of 12.2s and 25.2s, both new personal best performances.
On to the Under 17 Men’s Field events, where Edward Gardiner produced a superb A String victory in the Discus, where he also achieved a mammoth 39.29m, improving on his previous best by a whole seven metres, a performance that takes him up to sixth in the UK, and top of the North Eastregion.
Giving good support in the B String was Liam Roche, who produced a best throw of 11.28m, his first attempt at the event.
Owen Omoigui finished second in the A String Long Jump, with his best effort of 5.16m, also a new personal best.
In the Shot Putt, Will De Vere Owen putted 6.55m, finishing as fourth A String, Liam Roche took the B event with 6.23m.
On to the Under 17 Women, who were served by a total of only four athletes on the day; a bit disappointing, however, those who put themselves on the line did their level best to achieve.
Freya Caygill finished second in the 200m A Race in 27.0s, and third in the 100m A Race in 12.8s, which was equal to her best.
In the 100m B Race, Victoria Hodgson enjoyed a victory in 13.1s, which was a new personal best for her, and she also enjoyed victory in the later run 300m in 43.4s, taking a whole second off her previous figure.
Morpeth’s Caitlin Flanagan finished third in the 300m B Race in 47.7s, her first ever attempt at the distance.
Another Morpeth athlete competing in the 300m was Kate Kennedy, who clocked 48.8s, also a first attempt at the distance.
Kennedy also finished fourth in the 800m A Race in 2m31.90s, taking a whole eight seconds off her previous figures for the two-lap event.
Flanagan also competed in the 1500m A Race, finishing fourth in 5m08.10s.
Kennedy was the only Morpeth Under 17 Woman in action in the Field Events, where she finished fifth in the Long Jump with 3.64m, again a first ever attempt at the event.
Disappointingly again, Morpeth Harriers could only muster four athletes from their Under 15 Boys section.
Connor Phillips led the way here, finishing third in the A Race of the 100m in 12.3s, and second in the 300m in 40.4s.
His 100m performance, saw him take a fraction of a second off his previous figures, and the 300m was fractionally outside.
B String support in the 300m came from Steven Craske, who finished fourth in 53.4s, his first attempt at the distance.
Newcomer Harrison Armstrong finished fourth in both the A Race of the 800m and 1500m, with respective times of 2m38.50s, and 5m17.0s.
Steven Craske finished fourth in the B race of the 800m in 2m50.40s, and Thomas Moll was the Morpeth B String support in the 1500m, clocking 5m31.40s.
Craske showed great appetite for work, as he finished fifth in the Long Jump, producing a best effort of 3.40m.
Morpeth’s small band of Under 15 Girls, six in all disappointingly, still managed to achieve some respectable results.
Most notably the B String 100m win by Amy Longstaff in 13.3s, and the A String win in the 300m by Amelia Hamlin in 45.0s.
Hamlin also finished fourth in the A String 100m in 13.1s.
Longstaff also finished fifth in the A String 200m in 28.5s, and Abigail Kahn finished sixth in the B String in 31.7s.
B String support to Hamlin’s A String win in the 300m, came from Megan Potrac, who clocked 53.3s.
In the A String 800m, Morpeth’s Molly Roche finished fifth in 2m46.20s.
Morpeth’s leading performer in the Under 15 Girls Field Events was Alexandra Hodgson, who finished second in the Hammer with a best throw of 20.85m.
She also finished fourth in the Javelin with 17.63m.
Morpeth’s other Field eventer was Megan Potrac, who produced a best of 3.05m to finish sixth in the Long Jump, and 6.06m, to finish sixth in the Shot Putt.
Six athletes participated for Morpeth Harriers in the Under 13 Boys events, all of them tasting league competition for the very first time.
They also managed the clubs best 4 x 100m Relay performance of the day, finishing fourth in 64.4s.
Kyle Phillips and James Ellis masterminded the sprints for Morpeth in this age group.
Phillips, younger brother of Connor, finished fourth in the Arace of the 100m in 15.0s, and fifth in the 200m A race in 31.3s.
Ellis, meanwhile, gave B race support, finishing fourth in the 100m in 15.4s, and third in the 200m in 33.8s.
In the 800m, Daniel Vermass finished fifth in the A race (2m50.70s), and Evan Laude finished fifth in the B race in 3m06.50s.
Thomas Roche, younger brother of Liam and Molly, finished fifth in the 1500m A race in B String with a best of 4.37m.
Five athletes took part in the Under 13 Girls events for Morpeth Harriers.
Their best result on the track came in the 800m, with Emma Tomlinson finishing second in the A race, and Sophie Pledger finishing second in the B race.
Tomlinson’s time was 2m39.80s, which gave her an eight second improvement on her previous figures for the event.
Pledger clocked an impressive 2m56.30s, on this, her first appearance in the league.
She also finished sixth in the 200m in 31.3s, and also tackled the 70m Hurdles with gusto to clock 18.2s.
In the scoring 70m Hurdles, newcomers Maia Annis and Cecily Findlay finished fifth in the A and B races respectively, posting times of 14.6s and 16.4s.
Annis also finished sixth in the 100m A race in 15.7s, and Faye Heatley finished sixth in the B race in 17.0s.
Rounding off the Under 13 Girls track performances, Heatley also placed fifth in the 1500m A race, posting a time of 6m22.0s.
On to the Under 13 Girls Field Events, where undoubtedly the best performance belonged to Emma Tomlinson, who produced the clubs sole Under 13 Girl victory in the Javelin, which she won marginally over North Shields Poly’s Lily McColl, by producing a new personal best of 10.99m, an improvement of slightly less than two metres here.
Tomlinson also secured more points for her club, when finishing fourth in the B String Shot Putt with 3.98m, giving support to Maia Annis’s fourth in the A String with her best of 5.4m.
Annis also finished fifth in the A String Long Jump with 3.22m.
Faye Heatley finished fifth in the B String with 2.92m, and Cecily Findlay also competed for Morpeth, producing a best of 2.74m.
1st Harrogate 711pts, 2nd North Shields Poly 658pts, 3rdDarlington/Allerton 515pts, 4th Gateshead Harriers 450pts, 5th Morpeth Harriers 354pts, 6th Blyth/Alnwick 260pts.