North East Regional Cross Country action got fully underway on Saturday 1st October,
with the holding of the first in the series of Start Fitness sponsored Harrier League meetings,
at Cardinal Hume School, in Wrekenton, Gateshead.
Morpeth Harriers athletes were also involved in the thick of the action,
recording two excellent on the day team wins, and two individual victories,
along with some other good early season performances.
Running in his first Under 17 Men’s Harrier League, Rory Leonard
fully seized his opportunity of a two and a half minutes Slow Pack start,
to record a superb thirty-six second margin victory over his closest rival in his two lap event.
At halfway he had established a very healthy lead, and went on to take victory,
and an on the day Harrier League Gold Medal, and clocked the day’s second fastest overall time,
bettered only by club-mate Kieran Hedley, who was nine seconds faster from the Fast Pack,
working his way through the forty strong field to finish twelfth overall.
Hedley was also his club’s third counter in an effort that also saw them
achieve a team victory over tough opposition from Durham City Harriers.
Connor Marshall, who also had an excellent run to finish sixth from the Slow Pack,
in what was also his first Under 17 Men’s Harrier League outing,
was his club’s second counter, clocking the tenth fastest time on the day.
One place behind Connor, and also running from the Slow Pack was new club colleague Joseph Ramshaw,
who is currently unable to count for his new club, as he is in the middle of a transfer from Gosforth Harriers.
On this form however he looks to be a splendid acquisition,
and will sit well in the Morpeth Under 17 Men’s squad,
which is moving from strength to strength.
Other Morpeth Harrier performances in the Under 17 Men’s event
came from Joe Dowd (13th) (Slow Pack), Cameron Kirk (16th) (Slow Pack),
Alex Cunningham (23rd) (Slow Pack), and Josh Burton,
who despite taking a mid-race tumble, got up to finish 32nd from the Fast Pack.
Holly Peck began her Under 15 Girls Harrier League season well,
by achieving a thirteen second margin victory, and claimed an on the day Gold Medal.
She firmly seized her Slow Pack time advantage of eighty seconds, and also recorded the day’s fastest overall time.
With club colleagues Lily Heaton and Lauren Cummings also using their Slow Pack
starts to good effect by finishing fifth and seventh respectively,
Morpeth achieved an emphatic on the day team win over second placed Houghton Harriers.
Another excellent on the day performer for Morpeth was Ellie Coxon, who worked her way
through in the Fast Pack to finish fifteenth, recording the day’s fifth fastest time overall.
Daniel Dixon was the fastest on the day performer in the Under 15 Boys event.
He was his club’s second counter in a squad which finished third on the day behind Houghton and Durham City.
Daniel worked his way through from the Fast Pack to finish eleventh overall.
Two places ahead of Daniel was club colleague Thomas Cunningham,
who led the squad home from the Slow Pack.
The Morpeth team count was completed by Andrew Hudspith who finished fourteenth from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers running in the Under 15 Boys event were, Ross Charlton (16th) (2nd Fastest) (Fast Pack),
Daniel Melling (18th) (8th Fastest) (Fast Pack), Arran Kirk (41st) (Slow Pack),
and Bradley Brown (50th) (Fast Pack).
With a great deal of major competition ahead of them, Morpeth Harriers
had a much weakened band of Senior Men in action for them on Saturday.
Nevertheless, those who did turn out gave their all, however could only finish tenth in Division 1 on the day.
Leading them home in the 532 strong field of finishers was Jordan Scott,
who worked his way through in the Fast Pack, giving five minutes and two and a half minutes
respectively to the majority of the field, to eventually place 45th, and posting the fifth fastest overall time.
Morpeth Harriers next, and second scoring count came from Paul Brown, who finished 119th from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth scoring counts came from Mike Winter (153rd) (Slow Pack),
Paul Waterston (198th) (Medium Pack), Paul Bellingham (204th) (Slow Pack),
and Steve Haswell (246th) (Medium Pack).
Additional Morpeth Harriers in action were Gavin Bayne (256th) (Slow Pack),
who remarked on having his first Harrier League outing for approximately ten years,
Peter Scaife (293rd) (Slow Pack), David Nicholson (363rd) (Slow Pack),
and Steve Garrett (481st) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers Senior Women made an excellent start to their Harrier League campaign,
by finishing third in Division 2, with hopefully more to come as the season progresses.
They were led home by Emma Holt, who had a superb run from the Fast Pack,
carving her way through the 353 strong field of finishers, to an excellent eleventh place.
She posted an excellent second fastest time of the day of 23m25s, only eclipsed by Durham City’s
Scottish International Rosie Smith, who posted 22m15s from the Fast Pack, to finish in fourth place.
Obviously both Holt and Smith will be seeking to claim regional representative places in the latter half of the season.
Another Morpeth Harrier who also may be close to the selectors eyes is Jane Hodgson (formerly Mooney),
who on Saturday also produced a good run from the Fast Pack, to finish 27th, and was her club’s second counter.
Hodgson also posted the fifth fastest time of the day.
Next counter for Morpeth was Gwenda Cavill, who finished 49th from the Slow Pack,
and the club’s scoring count was closed by Helen Bruce, who finished 195th from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Women in action were
Frances Naylor (269th) (Slow Pack),
and Claire Hiscock (281st) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers Under 17/ Under 20 Women also performed well to finish as fifth team on the day.
They were led home by Gracie Hufton, who ran excellently to finish eleventh from the Slow Pack,
with further team support coming courtesy of
Alison Brown (19th) (8th Fastest) (Medium Pack),
and Abby Sheldon (22nd) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys finished as sixth team on the day,
and were led home by Jack Barrett, who finished thirteenth from the Slow Pack.
Further scoring counts came courtesy of Dylan Davies, who finished 20th from the Fast Pack,
recording the ninth overall fastest time, and Callum Rowell, who finished 25th from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys in action were, Aaron Haldane (30th) (Slow Pack),
Alex Porteous (31st) (13th Fastest) (Fast Pack), Bobby Stone (33rd) (14th Fastest),
and Reece Garrett (61st) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers small band of Under 13 Girls, led home by Rhiannon Hedley finished as ninth team in their event.
Hedley came through from the Fast Pack to finish fifteenth, posting the sixth fastest overall time.
Further Morpeth team support came from
Mia Belton (22nd) (Slow Pack), and Molly Ions (56th) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers were well represented in the non - scoring Under 11 age group events,
with twelve athletes taking part in the two events, which opened the day’s programme.
Seven athletes took part in the Boys event, with five facing the starter in the Girls event.
First home from Morpeth Harriers in the Boys event was Ryan Davies, younger brother of Dylan, who finished sixth.
Next home from the club was Joseph Hudspith, son of Mark, and younger brother of Andrew,
who was having his very first competitive Cross Country outing.
Joseph ran well to finish tenth.
Two places and four seconds behind Joseph was his Morpeth club colleague Dylan Walker.
Other Morpeth Harriers in the Under 11 Boys event were Harry Jackson (21st), Harry Boag (23rd),
Bruce Smith (34th), and Joe Dixon, younger brother, of Daniel, who finished 97th.
First home from Morpeth Harriers in the Under 11 Girls event was Maisie Dickinson, who finished in tenth place.
Second home for Morpeth was Keira Peck, younger sister of Holly, who finished fifteenth,
just one place ahead of Sophia Cunningham, who is also the younger sister of Alex and Thomas.
Other Morpeth finishers in the Girls event were Lauren Garrett, younger sister of Reece,
and daughter of Steve, who finished 31st, and Molly Haldane, younger sister of Aaron, who finished 54th.
A total of 165 finishers took part in the two Under 11 events.