The 60 plus athletes who responded to the call of Morpeth Harriers respective Team Managers Mark Brown (Male) and Dave Thomas (Female), certainly did themselves and their club proud, by comfortably winning their second round North East Youth Development Division 1 League fixture, held at Hexham’s Wentworth Sports Complex, hosted by Durham City Harriers, on Saturday 18th May 2019.
They did it with one of the biggest match winning margins achieved in the league since its inaugural year.
Despite heavy overnight rain, and a day of constant drizzle, the Morpeth athletes spirits were certainly not dampened, as they got through their competition with a certain amount of panache, which included a number of new personal best performances, and a superb new league record being set by the clubs specialist Woman’s Hammer thrower Jessica Gardiner, who threw a massive 44.21m, to very comfortably win the Under 17 competition.
Gardiner’s current run of form, obviously spurred the previous week by her Gold Medal victory in the North Eastern Track and Field Championships, where she broke a championship record in the event, also saw her produce a new lifetime best in the Discus competition, which she comfortably won with a best throw of 32.94m, agonisingly, this was just a mere 6cm short of the National Standard entry that she needed for qualification for the forthcoming English Schools Championships, being held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium in July.
Showing a keen appetite for on the day work, she also threw 20.46m in the Javelin to finish second.
Jessica also received excellent club support in the corresponding B String events, where Amy Lott won the Hammer with a best throw of 26.76m, beating her closest rival by around seven metres, and Ailidh Dick won the Javelin with a best of 19.79m, winning by around five metres, and Dick added to this by finishing second in the Discus with a personal best throw of 14.02m.
In addition to the athletes already referred to, the respective efforts across the Morpeth squad, where throwers were willingly tackling some sprint events, and sprinters and some distance specialists were also willing to tackle Jumps or Throws, which clearly reflected a team spirit, which did please both Team Managers.
Clubs are also expected to provide on the day helpers, including parents, in certain areas,
and although the club did have some willingness shown, there clearly needs to be more effort here,
as the club does earn extra on the day points for this.
Without help, events may not take place, and the club would lose out long term,
many thanks however to those who showed willingness to assist where required,
to ensure every event went ahead.
Back with the competitive action, and we continue with the Under 17 Women, who including those already mentioned, enjoyed a grand total of twelve event wins plus a 4 x100m Relay, one of two on the day.
Five of those twelve came from A String athletes, and seven from the B String competitors, and additionally this age group enjoyed a total of nine personal bests, which included Gardiner, Lott and Dick.
Club newcomer Charlotte Earl certainly marked her debut well, by winning both the A String Long Jump (4.59m), and Triple Jump (9.97m), both of these being new personal best performances.
Morpeth enjoyed double victories in these events, courtesy of respective B String wins by Abbie Ross (4.42m),
and Holly Peck (8.50m), the latter of these being a new personal best.
In the Under 17 Women’s High Jump Emily Grimsby marked her club debut by finishing fourth in the A String
with her clearance of 1.30m, and fellow club debutant Elena McDonald won the B String event,
with a clearance of 1.25m.
Amy Lott added to her Hammer B String victory, by also winning the 80m Hurdles in 12.21s, and she also finished second in the A String 300m Hurdles in 48.97s, which further improved on her personal best.
Amber Witt and Rosie Winter were the ideal Morpeth pairing in the 100m and 200m events, where Witt finished second in the A String 100m in 12.85s, a new personal best, and again second in the 200m in 27.10s.
Meanwhile Winter was second in the B String 100m in 13.57s and finished second in the 200m in 27.85s.
Debutant Charlotte Earl was an additional Morpeth competitor in the 100m, clocking 13.98s.
Holly Peck produced a new personal best of 45.19s, when placing third in the A String 300m, and fellow Morpeth athlete Sophie Coaker tackled the distance for the first time and took the B race in 46.82s.
Kate Gaffing was an additional Morpeth competitor in the 300m, clocking 50.87s.
Coaker also finished second in the A String 1500m, posting a new personal best time of 5m27.55s,
and Gaffing won the B race in 5m33.98s.
Holly Peck, who had a busy day despite carrying a leg strain, finished fourth
in the Under 17 Women’s 800m, posting a time of 2m25.82s.
Morpeth’s hard-working band of Under 17 Women, pulled off a superb 4 x 100m Relay victory in 52.88s.
The clubs Under 17 Men, who had a total of twelve athletes in action for them, managed to pull off nine wins,
four from the A String and five from their B String.
Distance specialists Ben Waterfield and Dylan Gooding were both A String winners in the 800m and 1500m respectively, posting personal best times of 2m00.73s, and 4m18.70s.
Club colleague Dylan Davies took both the 800m and 1500m B String events, posting times of 2m23.70s, and 4m45.53s, the former representing a brand-new personal best.
Ben Waterfield also produced new figures of 53.12s, when finishing second in the 400m, and fellow Morpeth athlete Charlie Lane won the 400m B event in 56.76, just adrift of the lifetime best that he had achieved in the previous weeks North Eastern Counties Championships.
An additional Morpeth competitor in the 400m was Dominic Marshall, who clocked 62.01s.
Lane also ran in the 200m A race, finishing fifth and posting a new personal best time of 25.05s.
Dominic Marshall finished second in the B race in 26.69s.
Staying with the Under 17 Men’s track events, Morpeth’s Max Marr finished fifth in the A race of the 100m,
posting a new personal best of 12.26s.
Josh Adams finished second in the B String, posting new figures of 12.76s.
On to the Under 17 Men’s Field events, where Max Marr provided Morpeth
with a victory in the Triple Jump, with a best effort of 11.23m.
Marr also finished third in the A string Long Jump with a best of 5.34m,
and Charlie Lane was second B String, posting new figures of 4.86m.
Josh Adams of Morpeth was an additional competitor in the Long Jump for the first time,
where he achieved a best of 4.38m.
Throwing the heavier Javelin for the first time, Daniel Dowd comfortably won
the A String with a best effort of 42.15m.
Debutant Jacob Caygill was second B String, producing a best effort of 14.06m.
In the Under 17 Men’s Shot Putt, Theo Brown finished third in the A string, with new figures of 9.99m.
David Sanderson of Morpeth won the B String, producing a best of 9.14m.
Sanderson also won the B String Discus (30.37m), backing up Theo Brown’s (20.85m),
which saw him place third in the A String.
The Hammer event saw Sanderson finish second with 21.55m.
Two Morpeth athletes were dominant in the Under 13 age group events,
where a total of sixteen wins were achieved plus the clubs other 4 x 100m Relay win.
Seven wins came from A String competitor, and nine came from the B String.
In the Under 13 Boys events, Owen Omoigui had three wins.
He achieved a new personal best of 13.46s in the A String 100m, and went on to further personal best achievements and victories in the A String Long Jump, with a best effort of 4.41m, then cleared 1.27m to win the A String High Jump, again a personal best performance.
The Long Jump performance was particularly special, as it also marked a double victory for the club, with comeback athlete Alex Searro bravely clearing 4.12m to take the B String as support to Omoigui’s winning A String effort.
Particularly outstanding in the Under 13 Girls events was Georgia Turner, who for the second meeting in a row secured a hat-trick of A String victories, laced with personal best performances.
She threw an excellent 16.00m to win the Javelin, putted 6.66m to win the Shot,
and completed a superb day in the field by throwing 15.27m in the Discus.
The Shot Putt and Discus wins were particularly good, with B String wins also being
achieved by Hannah Lott (6.14m), and Keira Peck (14.21m) respectively.
Peck also finished second in the B String Javelin, throwing a best effort of 11.66m.
Going back to the Under 13 Boys events, it was particularly pleasing to see young Alex Searro back in competitive action following a potentially serious injury sustained on the Rugby field.
Quite surprisingly under such circumstances, in addition to his earlier reported Long Jump B String victory, he also finished an excellent third in the A String Javelin (14.11m), and second in the B String 100m (14.26s).
Elliot Mavir of Morpeth produced a personal best performance of 30.12s, when placing third in the A String 200m.
This result was made much sweeter for the club, as Finn Tillmouth won the B String in 30.35s.
Tillmouth also finished fifth in the A String 800m, posting a time of 2m49.61s.
Morpeth achieved a good result in the Under 13 Boys 1500m, where Oliver Tomlinson finished second in the A String (5m17.86s), and debutant Luke Robson, recently transferred from Blyth Running Club,
won the B race in 5m50.08s.
Other Under 13 Boys performances in the 100m came from FinnTillmouth (14.60s), Harrison Scott (14.90s),
Elliot Mavir (15.09s), which was a personal best, and Alex Jobson (17.11s).
Harrison Scott also competed in the 200m, posting a time of 31.02s.
Oliver Tomlinson, normally a young distance runner turned his hand to Under 13 Boys Field Events by finishing fifth in the Shot Putt (3.76m), and he also finished second in the Discus by throwing 9.48m.
Other Under 13 Boys Field Event performances came from Harrison Scott (3.54m),
and Luke Robson (3.17m) in the Long Jump, the latter representing new personal best figures.
Returning to the Morpeth Under 13 Girls performances, where in addition to Georgia Turner,
the clubs other wins here came from sprinter and hurdler Kaitlyn Waddell, who turned her hand excellently to the High Jump, winning the A String with a new personal best of 1.32m.
This was turned into an excellent double victory for the club by debutant Victoria Hodgeson,
who cleared 1.25m to win the B String.
Hodgeson also enjoyed B String winning success in the Long Jump, with a best effort of 3.49m.
Tamara Bowen finished third in the A String with 3.59m.
Other Morpeth performances in the Long Jump came from debutant Emily Rutherford
who cleared 2.97m, and Ava Grace Woodman who cleared 2.79m.
Other performances for Morpeth in the Under 13 Girls High Jump came from
Ella Tillmouth (1.20m), and Molly Baker (1.10m).
Emily Rutherford also competed in the Shot Putt, producing a best effort of 4.47m.
There were some excellent track performers also amongst the Under 13 Girls.
Particularly outstanding was Freya Caygill, who finished second in the A String races of the 100m, 200m and 800m, producing times of 14.20s, 29.43s, and 2m41.45s respectively, the first two being new personal best performances.
Supporting Freya excellently in the corresponding B String events were Victoria Hodgeson, who won the 100m in 14.37, Hannah Lott, who produced a new personal best of 29.66s in winning the 200m, and debut athlete Amelia Hamlin, who won the 800m in 2m47.32s.
Molly Baker produced a new personal best performance of 6m01.35s, when finishing third in the 1500m event.
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls triumphed in their 4 x 100m Relay for the second meeting in succession, posting a time of 58.01s.
Additional performances in the Under 13 Girls track events came from Kaitlyn Waddell (14.57s),
Ella Tillmouth (15.33s), and Tamara Bowen (16.00s) in the 100m.
Waddell’s clocking was a brand-new personal best.
In the 200m, Morpeth had additional performers in Amelia Hamlin (32.06s),
Ava Grace Woodman (32.92s), Ella Tillmouth (33.44s), and Emily Rutherford (35.92s).
Additional performances in the 800m came from Keira Peck (2m49.70s), and Zoe Parker (2m55.59s).
The thirteen Under 15 Boys from Morpeth who took part, achieved the clubs highest number of event wins on the day, by producing a total of fourteen, with six coming courtesy of A String performers,
and eight from the B String, with five being double wins by A and B athletes.
In the 100m, debutant Jack Kyte clocked 12.49s to take the A race, with Nat Arkle securing a B race win in 12.54s.
Kyte enjoyed his second victory of the day in the 200m, where he clocked 25.27s, and Harry Brown took the B race in a new personal best time of 27.85s.
Brown also achieved a new personal best as an additional performer in the 100m, where he clocked 13.34s, and another good additional performance came in the 200m, from Adam Howliston, who clocked a new personal best time of 29.26s.
Morpeth’s other Under 15 Boy A String winner on the track was Sam Parker,
who won the 80m Hurdles, posting a time of 16.37s.
In his first ever attempt at 300m, Bertie Marr finished second in 35.76s, and also enjoyed a B String
win in the 1500m, where he posted a new personal best time of 4m40.14s.
Sam Tate finished second in the A race, also posting new figures of 4m35.10s.
In the Under 15 Boys 800m, Matthew Walton finished third in the A Race in a new personal best of 2m26.60s,
and Liam Roche finished second in the B Race in 2m29.69s.
An additional performer for Morpeth in the 800m was Adam Howliston,
who produced his second track personal best of the day, clocking 2m36.56s.
In the 1500m, Morpeth had additional performances from Ryan Davies (4m41.18s), and Ethan Phillips (5m24.94s).
Equally there were some excellent scoring by the Morpeth Under 15 Boys Field Eventers, who in some cases received good support from some of the track specialists.
Their successes included no less than three double victories.
By producing a new personal best throw of 28.72m, Harry Brown won the A String Javelin,
by a clear margin of nine metres.
Edward Gardiner, younger brother of Jessica threw an excellent 26.52m to win the B String event.
In the Discus, Gardiner finished second in the A String with his best throw of 18.98m,
whilst Dan Waddington of Morpeth won the B String with 17.22m.
Waddington also enjoyed success by winning the A String Hammer, producing a best throw of 20.73m,
and he also won the B String Shot Putt with a best of 7.30m.
Partnering Waddington for Morpeth in the Hammer and Shot Putt events
was sprinter Nat Arkle, who also achieved two respective wins.
Arkle produced a personal best of 11.53m to comfortably win the A String Shot Putt by around 3.50m.
He won the B String Hammer by producing a best of 17.32m.
Competing in the Hammer as an extra Morpeth performer was Edward Gardiner,
who was throwing the implement for the first time in competition.
Gardiner produced an excellent 14.41m.
In the Long Jump A String, Morpeth’s Matthew Walton just missed out on a win with his 4.34m, losing out by 38cm.
Having his first ever attempt at the Long Jump, distance specialist Sam Tate finished fourth in the B String with 3.37m.
Also attempting an event for the first time was Sam Parker, who finished
a close second in the A String High Jump, with a best clearance of 1.45m.
Adam Howliston had a similar clearance, which in turn gave him his
third personal best on the day, and also provided him with a B String victory.
Morpeth Harriers small band of eight Under 15 Girls, managed to pull off a total of five wins on the day,
which included three from A String performance, and two from the B String.
The club enjoyed a double victory in the 200m, with Melody Brooks,
who was tackling the event for the first time, winning the A String in 26.95s.
Newcomer Emilia Grundy won the B String in 29.04s.
Additional Morpeth performers in the 200m were Olivia Gent, who produced new figures of 29.47s,
and Ellie Wickens, who clocked 29.48s.
There were two personal bests by Morpeth athletes achieved in the 100m.
Mia Belton finished second in the A String with 13.06s, and Alice Geoghegan
also placed second in the B String with 13.51s.
Additional Morpeth performers in the 100m were Emelia Grundy (14.11s), and Ellie Wickens (14.47s).
Mia Belton narrowly missed out on victory in the 300m, clocking 43.94s.
There was a distinct lack of distance specialists amongst the Under 15 Girls, however Sadie Charlton
bravely got around to score points in the 1500m A Race, finishing fifth in 7m03.33s.
Sadie also played her part by helping towards an excellent double victory in the Javelin, throwing 7.05m,
as a B String partner to Alice Geoghegan, who brilliantly won the A String,
by producing a new personal best performance of 29.27m.
Geoghegan also enjoyed another double victory, when lining up
as the B String partner to Melody Brooks in the Discus.
Brooks won the A String with a personal best performance of 17.54m,
and Geoghegan threw 15.63m to win the B String.
Sadie Charlton added more vital points when tackling the Shot Putt for the first time,
finishing fourth, with a best Putt of 4.51m.
In the Under 15 Jumps events, Olivia Gent produced a best of 4.20m, which were new figures for her in the A String Long Jump, where she finished third, and Abi Leiper’s valuable second place in the B String with a best of 4.11m, was a welcome contribution to the mounting tally.
Gent also scored more valuable points, when she cleared 1.30m in the High Jump, finishing second.
An additional Morpeth performer in the Long Jump was Emelia Grundy, who produced a best effort of 3.91m.
At the end of the day, this was indeed a superb result achieved by all of the willing Morpeth Harriers who turned out on the day, to achieve probably the best single match winning margin that the league has seen in its time of existence.
Although it was rain affected, spirits were certainly not dampened, in fact they were high,
and it was a genuine team spirit that shone through,
Well Done, One and All, including the hard-working Team Managers.
On to the next match at Middlesbrough on Sunday 23rd June,
where the club are now leading Division 1 by two league points,
with a margin of nearly 300 match points, a true championship challenge awaits us,
exciting times immediately ahead awaits us if we grab it as a united front.
MATCH RESULT (May be subject to further scrutiny)
1st Morpeth Harriers 894pts,
2nd North Shields Poly 532pts,
3rd Gateshead Harriers 490pts,
4th Harrogate Harriers 469pts,
5th New Marske 441pts,
6th Durham City Harriers 331pts.
CUMULATIVE LEAGUE POINTS TOTALS (After two matches)
1st Morpeth Harriers 11pts (1,548),
2nd Harrogate 9pts (1,258.5),
3rd North Shields Poly 8pts (1,144),
4th Gateshead Harriers 8pts (1,112),
5th New Marske 4pts (897.5),
6th Durham City Harriers 2pts (703).