The first meeting in the series of Start Fitness North Eastern Grand Prix events took place
at Monkton Stadium on Wednesday 18th April 2018, and twenty-two athletes
from Morpeth Harriers were in competitive Track and Field action.
Six Morpeth athletes competed in the graded 150m events.
Sean O’Hara was the fastest, finishing fourth in the first heat,
where he posted a time of 17.31s, being the first Under 20 on track.
Kenny Harrison produced a new personal best performance of 17.77s,
when finishing seventh in the same heat as O’Hara, and was sixth Senior Man.
Finishing just a hairsbreadth behind him was club colleague David Storey, who was timed at 17.78s.
Heat three, saw Morpeth Harrier Lauren Smith tackle the distance for the first time.
Finishing seventh in her heat in 20.52s, she was the second fastest Senior Woman.
Third fastest Senior Woman was club colleague Lynsey Cunningham, who was
second in Heat Four, posting a time of 20.84s, which was a new personal best.
Newcomer Kayleigh Wenn, finished sixth in the fifth heat in 24.31s, making her tenth fastest Under 17 Girl.
One of the clubs’ best performers on the night was Under 20 Man Matthew Waterfield,
who finished fifth in the first heat of the graded 300m, posting an excellent new
personal best of 36.99s, which made him second in his age group.
In his first ever 1500m, Waterfield’s younger brother Ben was also oneof the clubs’ top performers on the night.
He finished third in the Under 15 Boys event in 4m44.72s.
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the same event were Dylan Gooding and Dylan Davies,
who finished seventh and eighth, both posting respective personal best times of 4m51.10s and 4m52.36s.
Davies’s younger brother Ryan also performed well, finishing third in the
Under 13 Boys 1500m, also producing new figures of 5m09.66s.
In the Under 15 Girls 1500m, Rhiannon Hedley, who this year took a break from
winter cross country activity, did very well to finish second in 4m58.18s.
Carl Avery, Morpeth Harriers fastest long stage performer in the previous Saturday’s English National 12 Stage Road Relays, and the Northern Senior Men’s Cross-Country Championships, paced himself well in the graded 1500m Heat 1, where he finished eighth, as fourth fastest Senior Man, with his time of 4m05.32s.
In Heat 2, Morpeth had two competitors in the 14-strong line-up.
Alistair Douglass finished in fifth place, and he was tenth fastest Senior Man,
posting a time of 4m09.77, agonisingly just a mere fraction adrift of his lifetime best.
One who did record a new personal best however was Under 17 Man Ross Charlton,
who posted a time of 4m17.14s, when finishing eleventh, as seventh fastest in his age group.
Stepping up to new age groups, Tom Balsdon and Holly Peck certainly impressed in the third heat.
In his very first track 1500m, Tom posted 4m34.38s, when finishing seventh,
and was twelfth fastest in his age group.
Holly finished eleventh, and was second fastest in her age group, posting a time of 4m58.72s.
Another Morpeth Under 17 Woman tasting life in her new age group was Lily Heaton,
who in Heat 5 finished fifth, and as fifth fastest in her age group with 5m20.2s.
On to the Field Events, where Morpeth Harriers had no less than three event winners.
Established throws specialists Andrew Knight and Bobbie Griffiths as expected
took the respective honours in the Under 17 Men’s Shot, and Under 20 Women’s Javelin,
with their best on the night efforts of 16.28m and 38.70m.
Morpeth’s Koffi Avornyo proved too good for his rivals in the Under
15 Boys graded High Jump, with his best clearance of 1.50m.
Olivia Gent was slightly adrift of her personal best, when finishing
fourth in the Under 13 Girls Long Jump with 3.56m.
Newcomer Kayleigh Wenn performed well in the Under 17 Women’s
Long Jump, finishing fourth with a best effort of 3.83m.