Despite the unseasonal conditions, there were a host of excellent performances by athletes from
Morpeth Harriers at the first in the series of six Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Grand Prix meetings,
held at a very chilly Monkton Stadium in Jarrow, on Wednesday 27th April 2016.
Amongst those excellent performers were three of the clubs Long Throwers,
who all performed well amidst difficult conditions.
Thankfully there was very little wind factor, which slightly tempered the chilly edge.
Although producing an excellent new personal best of 11.96m, an improvement of 15cm,
Andrew Knight just lost out for overall victory in the Under 15 Boys Shot Putt by a mere centimetre
to Darlington’s Luke Allen, whom he had marginally beaten in the Gateshead Medal Meeting four days earlier.
It will be very interesting to see how these two shape up against each other in the forthcoming season,
as they will both compete in the four North East Youth Development League Division 1 fixtures,
amongst other things.
Another athlete performing well from the Paul Reed stable is Craig Charlton,
and he produced a new outdoor best of 12.36m, to win the Senior Men’s Shot Putt.
Reed’s other athlete in action was Charlotte Pickering –Pruvot, who despite
being outside her best with 10.49m, won the Under 17 Women’s Shot.
On the track, Morpeth Harriers had four individual winners on the night, and no less than seven personal bests.
Having her first outing as an Under 15 Girl on the track,
Holly Peck cut an impressive figure when winning the Under 15 Girls 1500m,
in a new personal best of 5m01.6s, bettering her previous figures by three seconds.
Finishing fourth in the same event was Peck’s club colleague Lily Heaton,
who was also having her first Under 15 Girl track outing, and she set new figures of 5m11.2s,
knocking a whole eleven seconds off her previous best.
Rhiannon Hedley, who formed a superb Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls squad
alongside Peck and Heaton, still remains in that age group for this track season,
and she began it well by winning the 1500m in 5m10.6s, which was agonisingly just four seconds
outside her personal best, nevertheless an excellent early season performance,
which no doubt will be bettered as the season progresses.
Another excellent Under 13 performer for Morpeth Harriers was Ben Walker,
who finished a close second in the Boys event in 5m04.4s.
In a very competitive Under 15 Boys 1500m, Morpeth Harrier
Ross Charlton finished fifth, producing new figures of 4m44.3s.
The Graded 1500m races, involving Under 17, Under 20 and Senior athletes,
saw Morpeth Harrier Kieran Hedley clock the fastest Under 17 Men’s time with his clocking of 4m07.9s,
which was a second inside his previous time for the distance.
Sixth fastest Under 17 Man on the night was Morpeth’s Matthew Waterfield,
who clocked 4m34.4s, beating his previous best by all of 22 seconds.
Another impressive Morpeth Under 17 Men’s performer was newcomer Liam Marsh,
who improved on his previous best by 21 seconds, with 4m37.6s,
making him eighth fastest Under 17 Man on the night.
Another Morpeth Under 17 Men’s performer in the Graded 1500m,
was Connor Marshall, who proved to be eleventh fastest in his age group.
Morpeth’s Jacob Hopkins proved to be third fastest in the Under 20 Men’s 1500m, with his clocking of 4m27.5s.
Two Morpeth Harriers competed in the Senior Men’s 1500m.
Chris Smith was third fastest with his clocking of 4m09.0s, and Kevin Calvert was fifth fastest with 4m16.8s.
Morpeth’s Abby Sheldon was sixth fastest in the Under 20 Women’s 1500m in 5m11.5s.
Sean O’Hara of Morpeth Harriers began his outdoor track campaign well, when winning the Graded 150m in 17.3s.
It was the first time that the Eddie Hedley coached athlete had tackled the distance.
Just a fraction behind him was club colleague David Storey, also coached by Hedley,
who clocked 17.8s, and was very clearly the fastest Senior Man on show.
Two Morpeth Harriers were in action in the Graded 300m.
Joe Dowd was easily the fastest Under 17 Man, with a time of 39.4s,
and Matthew Waterfield clocked a time of 41.8s, which saw him finish as fourth fastest.
All in all a very encouraging start to the Track and Field season,
all we have to hope for is getting out of the current trough of Arctic weather.