The sun shone brightly, the wind dropped slightly, that all made for a superb spectacle of young athletics talent, as Morpeth Harriers & AC hosted the third-round match of the NEYDL Division 1 programme,
at the Morpeth Athletics Track, at KEVI School, on Sunday 25th June 2017.
It was also a day for records, as a total of seven league records fell, two to one athlete,
Lewis Cant of Blaydon, and three of those records too, went to Morpeth athletes
Bobbie Griffiths and Charlotte Pickering–Pruvot.
Griffiths broke her own record in the Under 17 Women’s Javelin,
beating her previous figures of 37.15m, set at Middlesbrough in April in the first-round match.
On Sunday, she threw an excellent 39.98, which although was still a little way
short of her own personal best of 42.16m, which currently ranks her as ninth in the UK,
and top of the regional rankings, it was still enough to win by a ten-metre margin over her closest rival.
Griffiths also broke the league record in the Hammer, which was also her own record.
She won by throwing a distance of 40.47m, a good 18 metres clear of her closest rival,
passing her own record of 37.59m, set at Jarrow last month.
It was also around a metre adrift of her personal best performance,
which currently ranks her as 51st in the UK, and No1 in the region.
Pickering-Pruvot was also at her glittering best in the sun, as she clearly won the A String Discus,
throwing a best of 34.38m, which equalled her personal best,
which was achieved in April at the throws fest at Whitley Bay.
It also broke the previous record of 32.14m, set by Blaydon’s Georgia Kyle at Darlington in 2016.
Closest to Pickering-Pruvot in the competition was Griffiths,
who took the B string with a best throw of 27.22m,
which provided Morpeth with one of a total of ten
double victories on the day, five coming from each gender.
Those double victories also contributed to what was a mammoth points total of 828,
possibly also a NEYDL league record, (subject to scrutiny),
which gave the host club a eighty-eight point margin over their close rivals for the league title, Harrogate.
On the day, Morpeth managed a total of 21 A String victories (Seven Male and fourteen Female),
and 24 B String victories (thirteen Male and eleven Female).
In total, the club achieved 25 Track wins, and 20 wins came from the Field.
Additionally, forty new personal bests were achieved by Morpeth athletes within the competition.
Three double victories by Morpeth athletes were achieved in the Under 17 Men’s Field Events.
Andrew Knight won the Shot Putt, by managing an on the day best of 14.63m,
which although was a little way short of his own league record,
was enough to win him the A String competition by over a three-metre margin.
His closest rival in the competition overall was his Morpeth compatriot Ruaridh Lang,
who took the B String with a best of 12.54m, which for him was a fractional personal best.
Knight also had a victory in the A String Hammer with 26.01m,
and Sam Yates, who threw the implement for the first time can
feel well pleased with himself, as he threw a best of 18.85m
to take the B String competition, to seal another Morpeth double victory.
A third throws double victory for Morpeth, came courtesy of Lang and Knight,
who combined excellently in the Discus, with the former taking the A string with 40.52m,
and the latter taking the B string with 29.71m.
Another Morpeth competitor in the Discus was Luke Haxell, who managed a best of 29.37m.
Haxell also competed well in the Javelin, finishing third in the A String with a best throw of 28.06m.
Middle distance running specialist Rory Leonard did well to take the B String Javelin
with a best effort of 25.75m, throwing the implement for the first time.
Leonard enjoyed another victory in the Under 17 Men’s 1500m in a time of 4m09.9s,
and Connor Marshall produced a personal best performance of 4m29.6s, when finishing as second B String.
Also competing in the event for Morpeth, were Ross Charlton (4m34.1s),
and Brad Brown (4m51.3s), who was running the distance for the first time.
North East Counties 400m Champion Matthew Waterfield of Morpeth
proved to be a clear winner of the one lap event, where he was a second
outside his own league record, posting a time of 51.7s.
Club colleague Owen Priest produced a personal best of 53.9s,
when taking the B race, to seal another club double win.
Other Morpeth performances in the event came from Taylor Glover (57.0s),
running the event for the first time, and Brad Brown (61.3s).
In the 800m Joe Ramshaw just missed out on an A String victory to
Durham City’s Ben Horsfield when he posted a time of 2m01.9s,
and Taylor Glover took the B race in 2m02.5s, which was a new personal best.
Another Morpeth Harrier in action in the 800m was Joe Dowd, who clocked 2m09.5s.
Morpeth were also well represented in the Under 17 Men’s sprints,
where Robbie Anderson bettered both his 100m and 200m times
by one second in each case, posting 11.7s and 24.7s respectively,
finishing second on both occasions.
Daniel Johnston and Sam Yates of Morpeth had respective wins
in the B String events in 11.8s and 25.2s, both personal bests.
Yates was another performer in the 100m along with club colleague Joe Dowd,
both posting personal bests of 12.0s.
There were some good results produced by Morpeth’s Under 13 Girl sprinters,
who produced double victories in both the 100m and 200m
It was particularly sweet for Ellie Longstaff, who took the A String events of both the 100m and 200m,
with respective clockings of 13.3s and 28.2s, the latter representing a new personal best.
The B String events were won respectively by debutant Melody Rose Brooks (14.1s),
and Mia Belton (29.7s), the latter representing a fractional personal best.
Other Morpeth performances in the 100m and 200m events came from
Olivia Hawkes (100m) (13.9s), Elisa Mae Swalwell (14.3s and 30.6s),
Sadie Charlton (18.7s), and Lucy McConnell (30.9s),
who were all making competitive debuts for the club.
Belton and Brooks also lined up in the 800m, where the former finished third
in the A String in 2m43.2s, and the latter took the B String in 2m44.9s.
Alice Geoghegan of Morpeth missed out by a mere whisker for victory in the
Under 13 Girls 70m Hurdles, taking a second off her personal best with her clocking of 11.9s.
Olivia Gent posted a new personal best of 14.9s, when finishing fourth in the B race.
Longstaff, Geoghegan, Belton and Brooks teamed up to forge an excellent
win for Morpeth in the Under 13 Girls 4 x100m Relay in 57.0s.
Morpeth’s Under 13 Girls distance specialists Laura Melling and Molly Ions
finished third and second respectively in the 1500m A and B Strings,
posting respective times of 6m10.7s, and 6m26.2s,
the latter representing a new personal best by sixteen seconds.
There were also some excellent encouraging performances from the
Under 13 Girl Field eventers, the best of these being Alice Geoghegan in the Javelin.
Throwing an on the day best of 24.29m, Geoghegan was just over two metres adrift
of the league record that she had set at Jarrow last month,
and debutant Sadie Charlton threw 3.50m, to gain some easy points in the B String.
In the Long Jump, Olivia Gent finished second in the A String,
with a personal best performance of 3.44m, and another Morpeth debutant
Elisa Mae Swalwell took the B String competition with 3.21m.
Other Morpeth athletes competing in the Under 13 Long Jump were Molly Ions (2.89m), and Mia Belton (2.87m).
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girl debutants Lucy McConnell and Melody Rose Brooks lined up in the High Jump.
McConnell cleared 1.25m to finish third in the A String, and Brooks cleared 1.10m for second in the B String.
Morpeth had Jessica Young-Rogers back in action in the Under 17 Women’s events,
following her absence in the second-round fixture due to exam commitments.
She immediately got back into winning form, taking both the 80m Hurdles and 100m events
with respective times of 12.3s and 12.5s, only just missed out in the 200m with 26.4s.
In the 100m and 200m events, she was well backed up by the winning B String
performances of Nadine Arkle, also returning to long awaited action following injury.
Arkle clocked 13.3s and 27.7s respectively, which clearly shows that she is
gradually getting closer to full fitness after a hard and brave fight.
Gracie Hufton won a hard-fought race to win the Under 17 Women’s 1500m in 5m26.4s.
In the 800m, Morpeth’s Ella Duffield and Kirsty Duffin took maximum points,
winning the A and B races respectively in 2m38.1s and 2m39.8s.
Duffield set new figures of 46.5s, when finishing third in the A race of the 300m,
and Katie Stafford, running the distance for the first time, finished second in the B race in 55.4s.
Stafford also finished third in the A String Triple Jump, with a best performance of 7.71m,
and fellow Morpeth athlete Kirsty Duffin was just a step or two behind her with 7.69m,
which saw her finish as second B String.
She was also part of a winning Morpeth Under 17 Women’s 4 x 100m Relay squad,
along with Jessica Young-Rogers, Charlotte Pickering-Pruvot, and Nadine Arkle,
who combined well to take a superb victory in 55.3s.
Morpeth Harriers best Under 15 Boy performer was undoubtedly Ethan Stephenson,
who had respective A String wins in the Long Jump and High Jump events.
In the Long Jump, he produced an on the day best of 5.40m, and cleared 1.70m in the High Jump.
Morpeth had good B String back up by Matthew Heslop in the Long Jump,
who produced a personal best performance of 4.79m.
Other Morpeth performances in the Long Jump came from Alfie Ward (4.51m),
and Charlie Lane (4.35m), who competed in this event for the first time.
Matthew Heslop also finished second in the Under 15 Boys 300m,
posting a time of 41.4s, taking one second off his previous figures.
Charlie Lane backed him up well by taking the B race in 42.8s.
Other Morpeth athletes competing in the 300m were Euan Duffin (47.1s), and Jack Lackenby (48.6s).
In the 800m, Ben Waterfield, younger brother of Matthew, finished second in the A race in 2m23.2s.
Not far behind him in terms of time, and taking the B race in 2m25.5s, was club colleague Bobby Stone.
Other Morpeth performances in this event came from Euan Doffing (2m29.2s),
Dylan Gooding (2m32.3s), Thomas Coulson (2m45.4s).
In the Under 15 Boys 1500m, Morpeth’s Ben Walker finished third in the A race in 4m56.4s.
Club colleague Jonny Kidd finished one second behind him to win the B race,
and not far behind them was Dylan Davies, who recorded a marginal personal best in 4m58.2s.
Alfie Ward posted a new personal best of 14.0s, when finishing third in the Under 15 Boys 80m Hurdles.
Ben Waterfield finished second in the B race in 15.0s.
Josh Adams ran two personal best performances in the 100m (13.0s)
and 200m (26.8s), when finishing fifth and fourth respectively.
Morpeth’s B race finishers were Jacob Clayton (100m) (13.7s),
and Charlie Lane (200m) (27.1s), who placed 3rd and 4th respectively,
the former representing a personal best performance.
Additional Morpeth performances in the Under 15 Boys 100m and 200m events
came from Arran Kirk (14.1s), Jacob Clayton (28.9s), and Thomas Coulson (31.1s).
In the Under 15 Girls track events, Morpeth’s Holly Peck was well to the fore,
winning the 1500m in 4m57.5s, and the B String 300m in 48.6s.
Another Morpeth winner on the track in the Under 15 Girls events was Amy Lott,
who ran a new personal best of 12.2s in the 75m Hurdles.
Lott also ran a new marginal personal best of 13.8s, when finishing third in the 100m B race.
In the 100m A race, Morpeth newcomer Olivia Taylor finished fifth in a tightly fought finish, posting a time of 13.7s.
Rosie Winter also finished fifth in a tightly fought 200m in 28.5s.
Morpeth’s other Under 15 Girls track performances came from Lily Heaton and newcomer Niamh Atchison
Heaton finished fourth and third respectively in the A races of the 300m and 800m,
posting times of 46.6s and 2m30.4s.
Atchison finished third in the B race of the 1500m in 5m47.9s,
and was an additional athlete in the 300m, posting a time of 53.3s.
On to the Under 15 Girls Field Events, where Jessica Gardner,
Rosie Winter and Olivia Taylor performed the Morpeth A string duties excellently.
Particularly eye-catching was Jessica Gardiner, who won the Discus by producing
a new personal best performance of 24.24m, adding a whole metre onto her previous best.
Gardiner also set new figures of 22.93m, when just missing out for a second victory in the Hammer.
She added over eight metres onto her previous best, such was the magnitude of her performance.
Gardiner competed for the first time in the Shot Putt, finishing third in the A String with 7.25m,
and her Morpeth club colleague Amy Lott backed her up well, by winning the B String
with a best effort of 6.52m, adding 20cm to her previous best.
Another personal best was achieved by Rosie Winter, who improved her Javelin by 3.50m,
to win the A String by a metre and a half from her closest rival from Harrogate.
Debutant Olivia Taylor added to her track successes by finishing second
in the A String High Jump with her clearance of 1,45m, only losing out for victory
on countback, and finishing as 6th A String in the Long Jump, with a best jump of 4.05m.
Although there were no A String wins by Morpeth’s small squad of hard working Under 13 Boys,
there were some excellent minor placings, which greatly added to their clubs mounting tally of valuable points.
Two of the best track results came in the 800m and 1500m events.
In the 800m, Oliver Bruce finished second in the A String in 2m33.4s,
and Noah Ions backed this up well by finishing second in the B String in 2m45.2s.
Additional Morpeth performances in the Under 13 Boys 800m came from Harry Jackson (2m51.3s),
Ethan McBride (2m55.3s), and in his first outing over the distance Oliver Geoghegan (3m08.3s).
In the 1500m A String event, Morpeth’s Sam Tate, making his debut, finished second, posting a time of 4m59.0s.
Backing him up very well with a B String victory, the only Morpeth Under 13 Boy win on the day,
was Ryan Davies, who ran a marginal new personal best of 5m28.2s.
Other Morpeth performances in the Under 13 Boys 1500m,
came from Adam Howliston and Sam Parker,
who posted times of 5m34.7s and 6m02.6s respectively.
Koffi Avornyo produced new personal best performances of 14.1s and 29.7s
respectively in the A String races of the 100m and 200m, finishing 4th and 5th.
In the B races, Harry Jackson finished fourth in the 100m (15.2s),
and Adam Howliston finished third in the 200m (30.4s).
Sam Parker (15.0s), and Fintan Ward (16.8s), finished third and second
respectively in the A and B races of the Under 13 Boys 75m Hurdles.
The best Field Event results for Morpeth in the Under 13 Boys section, came from the High Jump and Javelin.
In the High Jump, Koffi Avornyo finished second in the A String, with his clearance of 1.40m.
Adam Howliston backed him up well, when finishing second in the B competition with 1.20m.
Oliver Geoghegan bettered his Javelin performance by 5cm,
when throwing 22.66m, to finish second in the A String.
Ethan McBride backed him up well, when finishing second in the B String with 17.50m.
In the Under 13 Boys Long Jump, Harry Jackson finished fourth in the A String with a best of 3.47m.
Fintan Ward gave good backing to his club, when finishing as second B String, with a best of 3.45m.
Other Morpeth performances in the Long Jump came from Ethan McBride (3.15m), and Oliver Geoghegan 3.09m.
In the Under 13 Boys Shot Putt, Morpeth Harriers Oliver Bruce and Fintan Ward finished
fourth and second respectively in the A and B competitions, with best Putts of 5.05m, and 4.95m.
An additional Morpeth performer in the Under 13 Boys Shot Putt was Noah Ions, who managed a best of 4.63m.
Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes Team Managers Mark Brown (Male), and Dave Thomas (Female),
can certainly feel justifiably proud of their respective charges following this excellent result,
which looks to have given the club the perfect cushion going into the final fixture,
which will be held at Wentworth Stadium at Hexham on Sunday 16th July 2017.
Still, nothing will be taken for granted, it is never over until the Fat Lady Sings, wherever she is hiding.
Match Result (Subject to further scrutiny)
1st Morpeth Harriers 828pts,
2nd Harrogate 740pts,
3rd Blaydon Harriers 646pts,
4th New Marske Harriers 645pts,
5th Durham City 536pts,
6th Tynedale 456pts.
In closing, the club would want to thank their tremendous team of helpers who turned out on the day,
to ensure smooth running of events, and thankfully the weather played its part in making it
an enjoyable day all round, if not a big workload, thanks again to all who played their part.