A much better than previous performance, saw Morpeth Harriers Senior Track and Field squad finish third of six competing clubs in their second round Northern Athletics League Division 2E fixture, held at Middlesbrough Sports Village, on Sunday 16th June 2019.
Thankfully the recent heavy rainfall had not seriously affected the Track,
or the more susceptible infield, so all events went ahead as programmed.
The only rainfall during the match was early on in proceedings, and its period thankfully was only short,
however skies did remain threatening at times, to no avail, and as the afternoon progressed,
whatever wind factor there was dispersed, and athletes certainly welcomed the distinctly warmer aspects.
One such athlete who was well warmed up, was Morpeth Harriers sprint supremo Matthew Waterfield,
who was very unfortunate to lose out for first and second in the 100m, where he produced a lifetime best of 10.9s, but placed third in what was a blanket finish, with the winner Joe Ferguson of Leeds City getting a 10.7s clocking, and second placed Josh Errington of Gateshead getting the nod, in posting a similar time to Waterfield.
Not only was it a personal best for Waterfield, it was the first time he had dipped under the eleven second barrier, and he was within half of a second of his club’s own record of 10.5s,
set by Andy Abrahams at Woodford Green in 1987.
Waterfield was equally delighted when he reversed the fortunes in the later run 200m,
which he won, also in a new lifetime best of 22.1s, taking almost half a second off his previous figures.
Supporting Waterfield for Morpeth in the respective B races were David Storey,
who finished fourth in the 100m in 11.4s, a new personal best,
and Sam Yates, who also produced new figures of 24.5s in the 200m, finishing fifth.
Alistair Douglass just lost out for victory by a fraction of a second in the 1500m,
to Wallsend/Blyth’s Josh Fiddaman, where he clocked 4m08.3s.
Recent Northern 3000m Steeplechase Champion Adam Pratt produced excellent
Morpeth B String backing, winning in 4m10.9s.
In the 5000m Morpeth’s Thomas Straughan finished second in the A race to Wallsend/Blyth’s Jordan Middlemist, clocking 15m40.8s, and Ian Harding won the B String, posting a time of 16m11.6s.
Harding had earlier given good support to Daniel Melling in the 800m, by winning the B String in 2m17.3s.
It was Harding’s first ever venture into the two-lap event, and Under 20 athlete Melling competed well to finish third in the A String in 2m04.1s.
Morpeth’s Mark Snowball bettered his personal figures by all of one second,
when finishing second in the A String 3000m Steeplechase, posting a time of 10m11.6s.
The young talents of Owen Priest and Charlie Lane were in action in the Men’s 400m,
where Priest finished fourth in the A String in 53.9s, and Lane clocked 58.3s, to finish second in the B String.
Morpeth Harriers finished second in both Men’s Relays.
In the 4 x 100m, they posted a time of 45.5s, courtesy of Billy Handyside,
Sam Yates, Matthew Waterfield, and David Storey.
Owen Priest Charlie Lane, Daniel Melling, and Alistair Douglass
saw the Morpeth 4 x 400m squad home in 3m45.0s.
On to the Morpeth Men’s Field Events, where Throws specialist Craig Charlton literally worked his socks off to manage an A String victory in his strongest event, the Shot Putt, where he produced a new personal best of 15.33m.
Charlton finished second in the A String Discus, producing an on the day best of 33.91m,
also finished second in the Hammer, with 37.29m.
Supporting Charlton in the B String events of the Shot Putt and Discus was Alistair Douglass,
who finished second and third respectively, with new lifetime bests of 7.87m, and 22.31m.
Staying with the Men’s throwing events, Mark Snowball improved on his lifetime best in the Javelin,
throwing 19.95m, which bettered his old figures by 2.50m, a performance which saw him finish as fifth A String.
Throwing the implement for the very first time, Morpeth’s Sam Yates finished sixth
in the B String, with an on the day best of 14.70m.
Owen Priest, and the very hardworking Mark Snowball, both managed personal bests of 11.61m
and 8.76m respectively, to finish fourth and fifth in the A and B String Triple Jumps.
Concluding the Morpeth Men’s performances, Billy Handyside produced an on the day best of 4.90m,
to finish sixth in the A String Long Jump, and Charlie Lane finished as fourth B String, producing a best of 4.75m.
On to the Women’s events, where Morpeth had one A String winner in Bobbie Griffiths,
who won the Javelin, posting a best throw of 39.55m.
Throwing the Senior Javelin for the first time, Jessica Gardiner, who learnt twenty four hours earlier that she would be representing Northumberland at the English Schools Championships, celebrated her calling, by finishing second in the B String with 23.40m, and finished second in the A String Hammer (35.10m),
and third in the A String Discus (32.40m).
In the B String Discus, an equally hardworking Claire Reid, threw a best of 31.50, to comfortably win.
Reid also finished second in the B String Hammer (29.75m), and fourth in the A String Shot Putt
with a best of 10.19m.
Competing in the B String Shot Putt for the first time, Morpeth’s Helen King managed a best of 6.41m to finish fifth.
Unfortunately, Morpeth only had one Jumper at their disposal, and that was Under 17 athlete Holly Peck,
who finished fourth in the A String Triple Jump, producing a best of 8.41m.
Still feeling the effects of her efforts at the Inter Counties Schools the day before,
Peck also finished sixth in the A String 200m in a new personal best time of 28.2s.
Backing Peck up for Morpeth in the 200m B String event was Laura Kincaid, who finished fourth in 30.8s.
Kincaid also won the B String 400m in 67.8s and finished fourth in the B String 100m in 14.2s.
Lorna MacDonald finished third in the A String 1500m in 5m08.4s, a new personal best by all of five seconds,
being well backed up by Tayla Murdy, who finished as third B String in 5m49.2s.
The 400m A Race saw Morpeth’s Ella Duffield finish fifth in 67.7s, and Lynsey Cunningham
finished sixth in the 100m A Race, producing a fractional new personal best of 14.2s.
Duffield also finished fourth in the 800m A Race in 2m31.0s, and was superbly
backed up by Helen King, who took the B Race in 2m34.8s.
Helen also went on later to record a new personal best of 11m23.6s,
when finishing third in the A String 3000m, and Morpeth’s Taylor Murdy took the B String,
also setting new figures of 12m08.8s, taking fourteen seconds off her previous best
for the seven and a half lap event.
In the Women’s 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Relays, Morpeth Harriers finished
in fifth and second places respectively posting times of 60.30s and 4m42.9s.
Competing athletes in the 4 x 100m were Lynsey Cunningham, Laura Kincaid, Ella Duffield, and Holly Peck.
In the 4 x 400m, Morpeth lined up with Helen King, Tayla Murdy, Holly Peck, and Laura Kincaid.
Both Morpeth Team Managers, David Swinburne (Men), and Vina Desai, both agreed that this was a much better result all round from the first match, and are hopeful that the squad can build on this performance over the last two matches, the next being a home advantage in Morpeth in July.