Morpeth Harriers Senior Women certainly made a promising start to this year’s Division One Harrier League campaign, by finishing third on the day behind winners Tynedale Harriers and second placed North Shields Poly.
The club were led home by Vicky Gibbs, making a competitive comeback following a period of injury.
Running from the Slow Pack, Gibbs finished eleventh overall.
Six places behind Vicky, was her Morpeth club colleague Emma Holt,
who is also recovering from injury, after missing most of the summer competition.
Running from the Fast Pack and giving five minutes to a good proportion of the 450 strong field,
Holt posted the fastest time of the day, although afterwards was strong enough to admit that she
had been running scared, with second fastest Georgia Campbell of Jarrow and Hebburn
only a mere four places and around ten seconds adrift of her.
Morpeth’s excellent scoring count was completed by newcomer Rachel Falloon,
who finished 30th from the Medium Pack, and posting the sixth fastest time, and Gwenda Cavill,
who finished 61st from the Slow Pack.
In addition to the scoring four, Morpeth Women were also well supported
by a further six who faced the starter.
Results were as follows
Sue Smith (116th) (Slow Pack),
Jilly Bell (131st) (Slow Pack),
Jane Briggs (135th) (Medium Pack),
Lorna MacDonald (146th),
Jill Bennett, making her Harrier League debut for Morpeth
by finishing 151st, from the Medium Pack,
Lesley Chapman (174th) (Slow Pack).
The annual Northern Athletics Autumn Road Relay Championships, were held at Sport City,
next to the Etihad Stadium, home of Premiership Champions Manchester City, on Sunday 23rd September
and our Senior Womens squad were there flying the flag for Morpeth.
A superb effort came from them and they turned out three teams under the Managership of Helen King,
who also very dutifully ferried them, and others down to Manchester.
Their respective squads finished in very respectable 23rd, 53rd, and 82nd places,
out of the 108 squads who started their 4 x 5.4k leg Relay.
The Morpeth Women’s A team, who included new signings Robyn Bennett and Rachel Falloon
on the opening and final legs progressed from 39th to 23rd over the four performances.
Bennett certainly gave her all as she got around in 23m40s, handing over to second leg runner Gracie Hufton,
who excellently clawed back eight places, with a superb clocking of 24m14s.
Lorna MacDonald moved the squad up a further six places, with a very sound 23m57s on the penultimate third leg, leaving Fallon to provide a very respectable finishing touch of 23rd place, with her clocking of 23m58s.
The Morpeth Women’s B team eventually worked their way through to finish 53rd,
and as twelfth B team, courtesy of Helen King (25m00s), Lindsay Turnbull (27m11s),
Jill Bennett, mother of Robyn (27m32s), and a returning Hannah Rank (25m35s).
Sue Smith (29m01s), an injured Pam Woodcock (31m09s), Cath Young,
making her debut after transferring from Blyth (30m26s), and Lesley Chapman (29m16),
gave their all in ensuring that Morpeth’s Women’s C team finished in a very respectable 82nd place,
and were tenth amongst the finishing C teams.
Currently the Morpeth Women’s squads are going through a rebuilding process,
and are certainly remaining competitive as they do so, and this particular result was indeed most welcome,
and was achieved with a great deal of supportive teamwork by all,
and all looks bright for their future competitive engagements over the forthcoming winter months.