Alistair Douglass of Morpeth Harriers narrowly missed out on victory and getting his hands on the Jimmy Hedley Cup at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow on the evening of Wednesday 22nd May 2019.
Douglass ran hard all the way in the Senior seeded 800m A Race at the second meeting of the North Eastern Grand Prix competition, but just lost out to recent Terry O’Gara road race winner, and newly crowned North Eastern Counties 800m Champion Matt Linsley of Gateshead Harriers, who posted a time of 1m57.45s.
Linsley, who led most of the way, had produced a new lifetime best of 1m52.99 at the opening North East Regional BMC Meeting at Chester Le Street two nights previously, when finishing second to Houghton’s Under 17 athlete Henry Johnson, however it was clearly obvious that he was not going to lose out again, as he produced the strongest of finishes to deny Douglass, who lost out by slightly less than one second.
Douglass had been ill since returning from a recent holiday in Italy and was fortunate to make the start line at all, nevertheless his posting of 1m58.38s was truly a brave effort under such circumstances.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing in the 800m A Race was Under 17 athlete Ben Waterfield,
who finished sixth of eight in the race in 2m01.14s, just one second adrift of his lifetime personal best.
Waterfield was easily the fastest Under 17 Man in the three 800m races.
Rhiannon Hedley was fourth in the 800m C Race, posting a time of 2m21.49s.
Five athletes from Morpeth Harriers took part in the seeded 3000m,
which had a total of thirty competitors spread over the two required races.
Four of the five competed in the A Race, who were led home by Adam Pratt,
who just lost out in a rare photo-finish for such a distance, posting a finishing time of 8m55.37s,
which was just four seconds adrift of his lifetime personal best.
Houghton’s Will Bellamy clocked 8m55.13s, to claim his victory.
Karl Taylor battled away in his first race for some time, to finish fourth in 9m02.06s.
Morpeth’s Dylan Davies ran superbly against more Senior athletes and emerged to emerge as the third fastest Under 17 athlete, posting a new lifetime best of 9m50.43s, taking around four seconds off his previous figures,
a tremendous achievement by the youngster.
Dylan had run most of the race by stalking fellow Morpeth Harrier Brad Brown,
who eventually finished two places adrift of him.
Brown, a first year Under 20 athlete, was running the distance
for the first time, he posted a time of 10m36.52s.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing over the distance for the first time was Tayla Murdy,
who clocked 12m22.69s.
Murdy had also been holidaying with boyfriend Douglass in Italy
and had returned also feeling under the weather.
Under 15 Boy Bertie Marr had an excellent run in the Junior Graded 1500m A Race, finishing fifth
in a new personal best time of 4m37.14s, taking exactly three seconds off his previous figures.
He finished eleven seconds adrift of event winner Rowan Teasdale of Billingham Marsh House.
Morpeth’s other track performance came from Under 15 Girl Olivia Gent,
who was sixth in the Junior Graded 200m A Race, where she posted a time of 29.83s.
Morpeth’s Jessica Gardiner who has been in excellent form of late,
won both the Under 17 Hammer, and Discus events,
producing on the night best efforts of 36.92m, and 32.76m respectively.
Under 20 Man Ruaridh Lang won his age group Discus, producing a best effort of 42.14m.