Despite blustery winds, there were still some excellent performances at the first round of the NECAA annual Throws Festival, which was held in conjunction with the Spring Track Relays and Open Miles, organised by the North of Tyne Athletics Network, held at Churchill Playing Fields on Saturday 30th March 2019.
Event winners all received Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals respectively for their achievements, and although they had no athletes competing in Track Events, Morpeth Harriers still managed to claim no less than Six Gold Medals in the Throws Events.
Four of the six Golds went to Sister and Brother siblings Jessica and Edward Gardiner,
who managed two each, which clearly meant that the weekend,
and Mothering Sunday alike, went without any family squabbling, or claims of bragging rights, as if.
Their proud Father Alan was also there on the day to witness their respective excellent achievements, which included four new personal best performances, and a Meeting Record going to the older Jessica.
Her record came in the Under 17 Women’s Hammer competition, which saw her win with a best throw of 39.81m, which was achieved in her first of four attempts, bettering her previous figures by a whole 1.53m (five feet in old money), which also now sees her ranked No 1 in the region, and eighth in the UK, a fine early season effort indeed.
Jessica won by a clear four metres over Darlington’s Rosie Thompson,
who produced an on the day best of 35.56m.
Later in the competition, she won the Discus, also with a new personal best of 31.33m,
again inflicting defeat on Thompson, on this occasion by the comfort of around 3.50m.
Gardiner, bettering her previous figures by 1.38m (just over four foot in old money),
now sits at No 3 in the UK, and 1st in the region as a result of her splendid efforts.
Younger brother Edward, having his first full taste of competition, and the pleasure of increased implement weights, from the Under 15 Boys age group, won Gold medals in the Discus and his preferred Javelin, an event in which he was Northumberland Schools County Champion last summer.
Both respective performances of 19.72m, and 25.12m, were naturally personal best performances, efforts which see him currently ranked No 1 and No 2 in the region, and inside the top 50 in the UK.
In the Javelin, Edward beat Cameron Marshall of Gateshead Harriers, who had an on the day best throw of 19.63m.
Morpeth Harriers other two Gold medallists on the day were Under 20 athletes Bobby Griffiths
and Ruaridh Lang, who will both feel encouraged by these early season performances.
Griffiths very comfortably won the Javelin, establishing a new Meeting Record of 37.09m,
which although is a little adrift of her lifetime best of 42.27m, still offers some degree of satisfaction,
bearing in mind that she was also competing in some of the worse conditions of the day, after the drizzle emerged.
Lang, who won his Gold in the Discus, which was held earlier in the day, had a best effort of 42.90m,
which was also a Meeting Record, which would have certainly satisfied him, being an early season performance, despite being slightly adrift of his lifetime best of 43.78m, and hopefully will have also placed a hint of an expectant smile on the face of his dedicated coach Paul Reed, who indeed was on hand to witness his performance.
So all in all, good things look to be in store from Morpeth Harriers,
and their band of specialist talented throwing experts.