5k race is dominated by Morpeth Harriers

A DOMINANT performance by Morpeth Harriers’ Senior Men was capped by the victory of Nick Swinburn in the North East Championship 5k race, writes Peter Scaife.

With the leading group of six – which included five of his club colleagues – having been led by Mark Hood of Sunderland Harriers for the first lap of the two-lap course at the Silksworth Sports Complex, he was able to get away on the second to win in a fast time of 14m36s.

Hood finished in second place some three seconds behind and he was followed in close order by a procession of Morpeth Harriers, with Lewis Timmins (14m44s) just getting the better of early leader Peter Newton (14m46s).

Chris Sampson, home from Spain for a summer break and no doubt finding the cool and breezy conditions something of a change, finished in fifth place in 15m6s, ahead of last year’s winner Matt Nicholson in sixth (15m13s). David Swinburne was close behind in 17th place in 16m18s.

Sarah Wilkinson had an excellent race to finish in second place in the women’s race and also claim the Over 40 title in a time of 17m13s. Marie Drozdowicz was first Over 50 in a time of 20m29s.

Chris Bradley had a good run to finish in 84th place in 19m31s.

Swinburn followed up his success at Sunderland by winning the hilly Harrogate 10k in a time of 31m8s, well over a minute ahead of his nearest challenger Mike Burrett of Leeds City (32m46s) and only 15 seconds outside of the course record of Stephen Hepples.

l Morpeth’s Jonathan Taylor recorded an excellent victory in the 3000m steeplechase the English Athletics Championships at Bedford.

Although still a relative novice at the discipline, Taylor ran out a comfortable winner in a time of 8m54.51s. He followed it up with a new outdoor 3000m best at the British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting at Stretford.

Taylor placed third in a time of 7m58.83s – a time which almost equalled his indoor best at the distance of 7m58.60s.

At the same meeting, Michael Dawson finished ninth in the 3000m C race with his time of 8m43.60s – just outside his best ever.

At a Regional BMC meeting at Jarrow, the top Morpeth performance came from 14-year-old Phil Winkler, who took six seconds off his previous best for 1500 metres – his time of 4m22s giving him second place in the B race.

Lewis Timmins tuned up for the 10,000 metres at next weekend’s UKA World Championship Trials by finishing second in the 1500 metres A race, recording a time of 3m56.7s.

Further down the field, Michael Dawson was ninth in 4m09.3s and Laura Weightman 12th in 4m16.6s, her best time of the season.

l Morpeth’s Nick McCormick finished eighth in 3m40.71s in a high quality 1500m race at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.

l The fourth North East Athletics League meeting at Gateshead last Wednesday saw a number of good performances from Morpeth Harriers athletes.

Best of these, on her debut for the club, came from Ria Fairnington, whose winning height of 1.45m in the Under 13 Girls High Jump was the best by a North East athlete this season and moved her up to joint sixth place in the national Under 13 rankings.

The versatile Glendale Middle School athlete also won the 200m in 29.0 seconds and placed second in the long jump with a leap of 4.04m.

In the Under 13s 800m, Morpeth’s Carrie Collins finished fifth in 2m49.7s with clubmate Sarah Brown sixth in 2m50.9s.

Alison Brown made a big improvement on her personal best in placing third in the Under 15s 800m A race in 2m32.4s, with Beth Woolley finishing sixth in 2m45.5s. In the B race, Molly McDonald was second in 2m37.3s (sixth overall) and Alice Kelly fourth in 2m48.7s.

A time of 2m06.5s in the Senior graded races gave Laura Weightman a comfortable win in the Senior Women’s 800m, while Melissa Turner (9m56.2s) and Sarah Wilkinson (10m13.2s) placed second and third in the 3000m behind Blaydon’s highly-rated Hester Dix.

In the Under 13 Boys age group, Euan Jones (3.96m) and Daniel Bell (3.19m) were second and third in the long jump, having previously finished third and seventh overall in the 200m with times of 29.4 and 31.1 seconds respectively.

The Under 13s 800m saw Jacob Hopkins take over three seconds off his best with his time of 2m31.1s, earning him third place.

There were also personal bests in the Under 15s 800m races and there might have been more with better race seedings.

Morpeth’s Phil Winkler was the fastest of the competing athletes with a winning time of 2m09.4s in the A race.

Behind him, Ryan Green was fourth in 2m13.8s and newcomer Jarod Lewis sixth in a new best of 2m20.6s. Joe Elder was fourth in the B race with a pb of 2m13.6s.

Another recent recruit Alex Nesbitt was also prominent in the age group, finishing second in the 200m B race (25.9s) and third in the long jump (4.59m).

Joe Robertshaw continued his good season with a new best of 23.6 seconds in the graded 200m races, which gave him second place out of the Under 17s taking part, while Henrik Paulsen clocked 27.3s for eighth place.

Jonnie Nisbet improved his best 800m time to 2m03.2s in the graded races to finish third among the Under 17s.

In the Senior Men’s competition, Craig Pickup won the shot with a putt of 9.56m and placed second in the javelin with his throw of 29.48m.

Mike Hegarty was the lone Morpeth representative in the 3000m, finishing fourth in 9m42.6s.

l There were two Morpeth runners in Heaton Harriers’ Anita Nott Women’s Only race in Jesmond Dene.

Kate Chapman ran well to finish fourth in 22m48s, while Marie-Louise Drozdowicz added to her growing reputation with eighth place in 23m46s, which gave her an impressive win in the Over 50 age group.

l Andrew Lawrence was second to an unknown athlete at the Town Moor Park Run on Saturday morning, finishing in a time of 16m28s. Behind him, John Butters ran a new personal best time of 18m15s.

Other Morpeth finishers were: Graeme Leathard, 19m21s; Kevin Bray, 19m37s; Mike Steven, 19m52s; Leslie Cavill, 20m21s in a new pb and Claire Bruce, 22m45s.

Lawrence did win the 5km Park Run at Bushy Park a week earlier by the narrow margin of two seconds in a time of 16m23s.

Kevin Bray finished 20th (19m47s) and Mike Steven 27th (20m08s).

l Michael McKean finished 11th in the final Jesmond Dene Handicap 5km race. He clocked a time of 19m58s off a 19-30 handicap. He was fifth fastest on the evening.