Athletics in the region continued its slow and controlled return to activity with a mixed age and gender Track and Field meeting, being held at Hexham’s Wentworth Stadium on Sunday 30th August 2020, organised under Covid 19 regulations by Team Decathlon North East, which also represented the second meeting of the Tyne Tees Grand Prix, the first being held at Middlesbrough earlier in the month.
Under the direction of local co-ordinator Richard Hunter, athletes enjoyed events covering 100m, 200m, 300m,400m, 800m, and 1500m on the track, whilst in the field, there were Pole Vault and Discus competitions.
Amongst those athletes were sixteen representatives from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.
Seven brand new personal best performances were achieved on the day, four of them coming from
the club’s contingent of fit and determined Under 15 Boys.
One of the most notable performances however came from new signing Millie Breese, who has just signed up with Morpeth full time, following an excellent early career with Alnwick Harriers.
In this her first year as an Under 17 athlete, she completely smashed her previous personal best by all of twelve seconds, in her heat of the 1500m, winning in 4m47.21s, taking victory from Chester Le Street’s Emily Chong by a margin of almost two seconds.
Another new Morpeth recruit, Tabitha Robson, previously with Tynedale, finished third in the same race, also posting new personal best figures of 5m30.58s, taking four seconds off her previous best.
There were some excellent new personal best performances achieved by Morpeth Under 15 Boy athletes.
The trio that ran in the 800m Bertie Marr, Liam Roche, and Ryan Davies, were second third and fourth respectively in their heat, posting times of 2m10.56s, 2m11.06s, and 2m12.80s.
Marr just lost out for victory to Gosforth’s Ethan Bond by two seconds, as he took two seconds off his previous best.
Roche took a mammoth eighteen seconds off his previous, whilst Davies bettered his previous by four seconds.
The other excellent Under 15 Boy performer was Edward Gardiner, who won his age group in the 1.25k Discus, by throwing a best of 31.89m, adding nearly four metres to his previous achievement.
Following her earlier achievement in finishing as fastest Under 20 Woman in the 100m, Morpeth’s Jessica Young-Rogers posted new figures of 25.31s, to win her heat of the 200m, from Gateshead Senior Beth Pringle.
Other Morpeth sprint performers were Matthew Waterfield, who was second fastest man in the 100m with 11.11s, and fastest in the 200m with 22.56s, Laura Kincaid who was fastest Veteran Lady in the 100m with 14.54s, and also fastest in the 200m with 30.0s, Phil Pitt who was fastest Veteran Man in the 100m with 12.05s, and second fastest in the 200m with 24.35s.
Back with the two lap 800m events, and Under 15 Girl Caitlin Flanagan was second fastest in her age group, when she posted a time of 2m35.26s.
Morpeth’s Ben Waterfield was second fastest Under 17 Man over 800m, posting a time of 2m09.44s.
Back to 1500m, and Sam Tate was seventh fastest Under 17 Man, with his clocking of 4m38.51s.
Veteran Man Andrew Dippie was second fastest in his category, posting a finishing time of 5m54.40s.
Returning to Field Events, and the 1k Discus, and perhaps most frustratingly, Morpeth’s Under 17 Woman Jessica Gardiner again fell just a little short of her best mark with an on the day best of 33.04m, which is around a metre short of her best during 2019.
She finished second to fellow Under 17 and Middlesbrough athlete Grace McDonald, who threw an on the day best of 35.10m.
The overall competition was won by Gateshead Senior Sophie Littlemore, who managed a best of 41.93m.
Morpeth’s other Discus thrower on the day was Ruaridh Lang, who finished fourth in the Senior Men’s competition with an on the day best of 38.92m, which was around a metre and a half adrift of his personal best.
There is more Track and Field action happening at Morpeth on Sunday 6th September
when the North East Counties Athletics Association host their second Covid 19 meeting.
PHOTOS FROM HEXHAM
(Courtesy of Alan Gardiner)