Seventeen athletes from Morpeth Harriers were in action at the third meeting of the Start Fitness
sponsored North East Grand Prix Series, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on the remarkably
cool evening of Wednesday 20th June 2018.
The event incorporated the Stan Long Mile, dedicated to the legendary Gateshead Harriers coach, and former mentor and friend of International legend, and former BBC Athletics Commentator Brendan Foster.
Henry Johnson of Houghton earned himself the winner’s trophy by winning the first of three-mile races in 4m17.10s, however not far behind him in third place, and posting a lifetime best of 4m18.85s was Morpeth’s Sam Hancox,
who got up to a top three place, despite being tripped in the early exchanges,
which nearly resulted in him being jostled out of the race.
The Mile B race also had its moments for a Morpeth Harrier, when after going for an opportune surge for home in the early stages, Under 17 athlete Daniel Melling found himself eventually reeled in by Wallsend Harrier Simon Lyon in the last 200m of the four-lap event, however once the home straight was reached Melling regained an advantage to eventually win in 4m36.60s, stealing nearly a second from the luckless Lyon at the finish line.
It was also Melling’s first ever attempt at the Mile distance, and considering his best for 1500m,
just over 100m short of the Mile distance is 4m31.3s, to take just around five seconds
more to run that extra, is certainly phenomenal for an athlete, still so young.
Morpeth also had another new “Miler” in action, in the form of Under 17 Woman Lily Heaton,
who finished tenth in the C race in 5m29.89s, her best for 1500m being 5m08.9s.
In the Under 15 Boys 200m, Morpeth’s Max Marr finished second in 26.19s, a new personal best performance.
Marr enjoyed further glory in the Field Events, when winning the Junior Long Jump competition as leading Under 15 athlete, with a best effort of 5.42m, which was also a brand-new lifetime best performance.
There were more Morpeth Harriers personal best performances achieved
in the Under 13 and Under 15 800m events.
Rebecca Bradley was tenth fastest Under 15 Girl, when she posted a time of 2m36.19s,
when she finished fourth in the B race.
In the Under 13 Boys A race, Morpeth’s Ryan Davies and Bertie Marr
finished second and third, posting new figures of 2m29.40s, and 2m33.0s.
The B race saw Joe Dixon achieve his very first individual race win,
clocking a personal best of 2m52.50s.
In the Under 15 Boys A race, North East Champion Ben Waterfield finished second
to Gateshead Harrier David Race, posting a time of 2m06.77s,
losing out for victory by a mere fraction of a second.
Finishing sixth in the same race was his Morpeth club colleague Dylan Gooding,
who posted a new personal best of 2m17.23s.
Another personal best was achieved by Dylan Davies,
who finished sixth in the Under 15 Boys B race in 2m29.68s.
Daniel Dixon, older brother of Joe, was the fastest Under 17 Man in the Graded 3000m,
posting a new personal best of 9m02.23s, when finishing second
to Sedgefield Harrier Senior Man, Kieran Walker.
Morpeth’s Matthew Waterfield finished an excellent second in the first heat
of two in the Graded 400m, and was very clearly the fastest Under 20 Man,
posting a time of 50.00s, which was agonisingly just a fraction short of his personal best.
Sean O’Hara finished fourth in the first heat of 3 Graded 200m, posting a time of 23.62s.
Further Field Event action saw Bobbie Griffiths finish third overall in the Senior Javelin.
She was the only Under 20 Woman competing, and she produced an on the night best of 36.35m.
In the Junior Javelin, her Morpeth club colleague Daniel Dowd threw
an on the night best of 37.91m to finish as second Under 15 Man.
Kayleigh Wenn of Morpeth produced 3.93m to finish tenth overall in the Senior Long Jump.
Being an Under 17 Woman, she was one of the youngest competitors.