Despite Icy cold conditions, around 41 brave young athletes from Morpeth Harriers battled
their way round Temple Park, South Shields, on Tuesday 16th January 2018, when competing
in the 2018 renewal of the Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships.
Most of them were representing East Northumberland, with some
lining up for North Northumberland, Tynedale, and Newcastle Schools.
The club provided seven medallists on the day, plus they will have no less than
twenty-seven athletes going through to compete at the forthcoming Northern Inter
Counties Schools Competition on Saturday 3rd February at Barnard Castle,
the final stepping stone before the English Schools Championships, scheduled
to be held at Temple Newsham, near Leeds, on Saturday 17th March 2018.
Rory Leonard (Senior Boys), and Holly Peck (Intermediate Girls), representing East Northumberland,
both secured well earned Gold Medals, being the major highlights of the clubs’ athletes’ performances.
Leonard won with just over a minute to spare over his more Senior club colleague Kieran Hedley (Newcastle),
with another fellow Morpeth Harrier Taylor Glover (East) coming home in third place to secure a Bronze medal,
and a superb one, two, three of medals for the club.
Not far behind Glover, and having a superb run of his own was
club colleague Matthew Waterfield, (East) who finished fifth.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the Senior Boys event were
Liam Marsh (East) (12th), Joe Ramshaw (Newcastle) (13th),
Matthew Briggs (East) (14th), and Alex Cunningham (East) (15th),
who also all qualified to run at the Inter Counties.
Holly Peck, who is certainly maintaining an excellent run of form, won the Intermediate Girls event,
and a much-prized Gold medal, with 49 seconds to spare over Tynedale’s Susannah Fielding,
who just outpaced area colleague Hannah Tumla, for the Silver medal.
It was also Peck’s fourth successive Northumberland Schools Cross Country victory, having
previously won the Minor Girls, Junior Girls (twice), and this Intermediate Girls Championship.
Finishing fourth just outside the medals was Morpeth Harrier Lily Heaton,
who is certainly showing a welcome return to form.
She will also join Peck in Northumberland’s Inter Counties squad,
along with Kirsty Duffin (East), who finished fourteenth.
The Intermediate Boys event saw the club provide another two on the day
medallists in Ross Charlton (East) and Daniel Melling (Newcastle),
who respectively secured Silver and Bronze medals.
Charlton and Melling will also be joined at the forthcoming Inter Counties competition by Daniel Dixon (East),
who is just in the early stages of a competitive comeback following illness over Christmas.
Dixon finished fourth, and they will also be joined two other Morpeth Harriers in the shape
of Tom Balsdon (East) (8th), and Brad Brown (East), who ran well to finish fifteenth.
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the Intermediate Boys event were,
James Gilholme (North) (21st), Andrew Hudspith (Newcastle) (24th),
William Donaldson (Newcastle) (33rd), Sam Bradley (East) (39th),
and Cameron Walker (East) (40th).
No fewer than five Morpeth Harriers qualified from the Junior Boys event,
including Euan Duffin (East), who won himself a well-earned Silver medal,
just missing out on the Gold by sixteen seconds to
Newcastle’s Ethan McGlen, who runs for Gateshead Harriers.
Other prominent club finishers were Dylan Davies (East) (6th),
Sam Tate (East) (9th), Dylan Gooding (East) (15th), and Ben Waterfield (East) (16th).
Although he was outside the qualifiers, Jonny Kidd (East) is gradually showing better form,
as he ran well to finish 27th in a field of 61, that also included fellow Morpeth Harrier
Callum Rowell (North), who finished 51st.
An excellent run saw Morpeth Harrier Gracie Hufton (East) finish just outside the medals,
when finishing a well earned fourth in the Senior Girls event.
Club colleague Kay Errington (Newcastle) will also be joining her
in the Inter Counties competition after finishing eleventh.
A trio of Morpeth Harriers progressed to the Inter Counties
following excellent respective runs in the Minor Boys event.
Bertie Marr (North) finished seventh, and not far ahead of
Joseph Hudspith (Newcastle) (9th), and Ryan Davies (East) (10th).
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the Minor Boys event
were Dylan Walker (East) (24th), and Harry Jackson (North) (46th).
Morpeth Harriers had six athletes in action in the Junior Girls event.
They were led home by Rhiannon Hedley (North), who finished twelfth,
and will line up in the Inter Counties.
Other club performances came from Rebecca Bradley (East),
who only just missed out on an Inter Counties place by a whisker
when finishing seventeenth, Orla Callaghan (East) (27th),
Laura Melling (Newcastle) (40th), Mia Belton (Tynedale) (48th),
and Faye Archibold (North) (53rd).