Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes Track and Field squad, ended their NEYDL Division 1 season in fine style,
by winning their final match at Hexham’s Wentworth Stadium on Sunday 16th July 2017.
Team Managers Mark Brown (Boys), and Dave Thomas (Girls), heaped praise on their hardworking squad,
as they pulled off a nineteen-point victory margin, over 2016 Champions Blaydon Harriers,
with the biggest threat Harrogate, finishing outside the first two for the first time
in the four matches, a further 71 points adrift.
This meant that Morpeth Harriers had won the league by a clear three points, thus regaining the
league title that they lost by a slender margin, twelve months previously at Middlesbrough.
By finishing third in the final match, Harrogate did remain in second place overall,
Blaydon’s second place makes them third overall, New Marske’s fourth sees them fourth overall,
and fifth and sixth placed Durham City and Tynedale face the drop for next season.
Morpeth’s Under 17 Men managed an excellent four A String and six B String victories on the day.
Throws specialist Andrew Knight, was responsible for two of those A String victories, one coming in his favoured event, the Shot Putt, where he managed a best of 14.48m, which although was some way short of his lifetime best, it still presented him with nearly a five-metre marginal victory over his closest rival.
Knight also had a victory in the Hammer, where his best throw of 35.31m
was a new personal best, and broke the league record.
He also finished second in the Discus with 32.07m, altogether an excellent trio of performances,
laced with that most welcome personal best.
Luke Haxell managed two B String wins in the Javelin and Discus, with bests of 23.89m and 27.13m respectively.
Under 17 Men’s A String successes on the track, came in the 400m,
courtesy of Matthew Waterfield (52.4s), who also posted an excellent new personal best,
when finishing second to Durham’s Ben Horsfield in the 800m in 2m00.5s,
taking four seconds off his previous figures, only losing out by a mere fraction
of a second in securing a second victory on the day.
Waterfield was very much involved in another Morpeth Under 17 Men’s win however,
when he, along with Robbie Anderson, Owen Priest and Sam Yates,
brought their 4 x 100m squad home to victory in 48.5s.
Taylor Glover achieved his clubs’ other A String victory, when he won the 1500m in 4m12.0s.
Morpeth had no less than four Under 17 Men’s B String track victories,
courtesy of Sam Yates in the 100m (12.8s), and 200m (26.5s),
Owen Priest (54.6s) in the 400m, and Rory Leonard (2m02.7s), in the 800m.
The club also achieved a good second place in the B String 1500m,
courtesy of Connor Marshall in a time of 4m34.6s, the fifth fastest in the event overall.
Morpeth’s Under 17 Men were shorn of the services of Ruaridh Lang,
the English Schools Silver medallist, who had been rewarded for his efforts in Birmingham,
with a trip to Dublin, to represent England in the Schools Track and Field International.
Had he competed at Hexham, it would have marked his very last appearance
for the clubs Young Athletes squad, as next year he will be too old for them.
Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Women managed three A String victories,
and had no less than seven wins achieved by their B String athletes.
Jess Young-Rogers won the 80m Hurdles in 12.3s, and had two close seconds
to New Marske’s Amy Carter in the 100m (12.9s), and 200m (26.6s).
Gracie Hufton won the 1500m in 5m26.1s, and Megan Winter won the Hammer,
producing a, best throw of 28.46m, which gave her a new personal best.
Winter’s excellent A String performance was well backed up by the B String victory
achieved by club colleague Hannah Brown, with 19.03m, which for her, marked a new personal best.
Brown also achieved a B String victory in the 80m Hurdles,
backing up Young-Rogers A String victory, clocking 13.1s.
Nadine Arkle had two B String victories in the 200m (28.3s),
and the Shot Putt (6.95m), and finished third in the A String 300m (47.6s),
running the event for the first time.
Another Morpeth athlete competing in an event for the first time was Kayla Devon,
who won the B String 100m in 13.6s. Devon also finished second in the A String Long Jump (4.25m),
and third in the A String Triple Jump (10.43m), the latter representing a new personal best performance.
Two personal bests were achieved by Katie Stafford, who won the B String Long Jump (3.79m),
and was fifth in the A String High Jump, with a clearance of 1.30m.
Kirsty Duffin cleared 1.25m, to win the B String High Jump,
and she finished second in the B String 1500m in 5m43.5s,
and third in the A String 800m in 2m41.7s.
Morpeth’s Under 17 Women finished a very close second in the 4 x 100m Relay, posting a time of 54.4s.
Unfortunately, a back injury prevented throws specialist Bobbie Griffiths
making her final appearance for the Morpeth Young Athletes squad,
as like Ruaridh Lang, next year she will be too old for the competition.
Ethan Stephenson’s Long Jump (5.48m), and High Jump (1.70m),
were Morpeth’s only Under 15 Boys A String victories,
however this age group did manage to achieve four B String wins.
Stephenson also managed to finish third in the A String 200m (25.8s),
an event he was tackling for the first time.
Other good Morpeth A String performers in this age group were Matthew Heslop,
who recorded new figures of 2m15.7s when finishing second in the 800m,
knocking a whole fourteen seconds off his previous figures,
Alfie Ward, who finished second in the 80m Hurdles in 14.5s,
and cleared the bar in the Pole Vault for the first time, to finish second with 1.90m,
no doubt a confidence booster for future competition.
There were also the third A String placings achieved by Charlie Lane (42.2s) in the 300m,
and Jonny Kidd (4m49.2s) in the 1500m, bettering his previous figures by three seconds.
Ben Walker also achieved much, when finishing second in the B String 1500m,
posting a new personal best of 4m53.7s.
Billy Cuthbertson, who was making his competitive debut for Morpeth
in the Under 15 age group, managed two B String victories
in the 200m (26.4s), and High Jump ((1.50m).
Other Morpeth B String victories in this age group, came courtesy
of Matthew Heslop in the 300m (43.0s), and Bobby Stone in the 800m (2m24.7s).
There were also second and third places respectively for
Ben Waterfield (15.6s) in the B String 80m Hurdles,
and Jacob Clayton (13.8s), in the B String 100m.
Alfie Ward added to his earlier mentioned achievements by finishing third in the B String Long Jump with 4.68m.
Morpeth’s Under 15 Boys 4 x 100m Relay squad finished second, posting a time of 53.1s.
It was also an excellent day for the Morpeth Under 15 Girls, who managed no less than four A String wins,
two of them by one athlete, to which they added one B String victory.
Field event specialist Jessica Gardiner won the Discus and Shot Putt
events to which she also added an excellent second place in the Hammer.
The Discus saw her produce a best of 22.81m, however her
7.29m and 23.48m respectively in the Shot Putt and Hammer
were both personal best performances.
Holly Peck and Amy Lott provided the club with their other two A String victories,
in the 1500m, and 75m Hurdles respectively.
Peck won the 1500m in 4m59.0s, and made her day even more special,
when winning the B String 300m in a new personal best time of 47.2s.
Holly also managed to finish fourth in a less familiar 200m B String,
posting a time of 30.5s, backing up Amy Lott’s personal best performance
of 28.7s in the A String, which saw her just squeezed out of a top three placing.
Lott did have the delight of achieving a new personal best of 12.0s,
when she won the earlier run 75m Hurdles.
Lott also did finish fourth in the B String Shot Putt, with 6.01m.
Although they weren’t victories, Lily Heaton did achieve two
good second placings in the A String 300m and 800m in 45.4s,
and 2m29.6s, the former representing a brand new personal best performance,
Second places were also the order of the day for the multi-talented
Rosie Winter, who certainly had a hard-working schedule.
Firstly, she finished second in the A String 100m in 13.7s,
finished second in the A String Javelin with a best of 22.20m,
just losing out to Harrogate for victory, and rounded her excellent
days’ work by getting second place in the B String Hammer competition with 16.75m.
Morpeth’s Under 15 Girls 4 x 100m squad finished a very close fourth in 56.0s.
On to the clubs Under 13 Boys, who although didn’t produce any outright winners on the day,
did produce some good supportive performances to add to their clubs mounting and valuable points tally.
Their most experienced performer Koffi Avornyo accounted for some of those valuable points,
by finishing fourth in the !00m (14.5s) and fifth in the 200m (31.4s), however his best result of his day,
came in the High Jump, where he cleared 1.40m for second place, only a mere 5cm denied him a victory.
These were all A String performances.
Another notable A String Under 13 Boy performer was Samuel Tate,
who finished third in the A String 1500m, being well backed up by
Ryan Davies’s fourth in the B String in 5m29.2s.
Edward Gardiner, younger brother of Jessica, marked his Under 13 Boys debut,
with a couple of excellent A String performances, which saw him finish second
in the Javelin (17.90m), and a very handy fourth in the Shot Putt, with a best of 5.83m.
Other Morpeth Under 13 Boys A String performances came from Adam Howliston,
who finished fourth in the 75m Hurdles in 16.3s,
and Harry Jackson in the Long Jump, who finished fourth with 3.82m.
Harry also finished third in the B String Javelin with 11.84m.
Morpeth’s Under 13 Boys 4 x 100m squad finished fifth in 60.8s.
Last but certainly not least in the review of the Morpeth performances are their Under 13 Girls,
who did excellently for such a small squad, (six to call upon),
managing three A String victories, plus two supporting B String victories.
Two of those A String victories belonged to very talented and promising sprinter Ellie Longstaff,
who has certainly put her early season injury problems behind her,
as she comfortable won both the 100m and 200m events,
posting times of 13.4s and 29.7s respectively,
which were very marginally adrift of her personal best.
Backing up Ellie in excellent fashion were Mia Belton and Lucy McConnell.
Belton won the B String 100m in 14.3s, which represented a new personal best by two seconds.
McConnell finished second in the B String 200m in 32.8s,
just losing out for victory by a nose to Blaydon’s Georgia Brown.
She did have her own personal moment of glory however,
when she won the A String High Jump, with her clearance of 1.15m.
McConnell also finished second in the A String Long Jump with 3.72m.
Getting the same distance was her Morpeth club colleague Olivia Gent,
who won the B String. This was an improvement for Gent by 28cm.
Morpeth also saw two good performances in the Shot Putt,
where Mia Belton finished second in the A String with 5.92m,
which represented an improvement for Belton of 2.70m, and Ellie Longstaff,
who also finished second in the B String with 4.64m,
also representing a new personal best by the magnitude of 97cm.
The Under 13 Girls squad rounded off a really excellent day of support,
by taking their 4 x 100m Relay in 59.2s, beating chasing rivals Harrogate by a whole second.
FINAL MATCH RESULT (May be subject to further scrutiny).
1st Morpeth Harriers 739pts,
2nd Blaydon Harriers 720pts,
3rd Harrogate 651pts,
4th New Marske, 647pts,
5th Durham City 586pts,
6th Tynedale Harriers 529pts.
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS (Total Match points shown in brackets)
1st Morpeth Harriers (3008) 23pts,
2nd Harrogate (2828) 20pts,
3rd Blaydon Harriers (2506) 14.5pts,
4th New Marske (2500) 12.5pts,
5th Durham City (2296) 10pts,
6th Tynedale Harriers (1861) 4pts.
Records at present show that the total match points accumulated by Morpeth Harriers
over the four matches is the biggest to date, and the match points of 832
scored in the third match at Morpeth are the biggest number in a single match.