A dream start

MORPETH Harriers certainly celebrated the hosting of their very first home track-and-field fixture at their new KEVI facility by producing what could only be described as a landslide victory in their second-round North East Youth Development League Division One match, writes George Patterson.

Added to the victory that the club had in their first-round match at Shildon in April, they now look set to become league champions with two rounds still remaining.

What was also quite an achievement was Morpeth Harriers’ total points score and the margin of their victory on the day.

They achieved a grand total of 779.5 points on the day, which also saw them finish 146.5 points clear of their closest rivals New Marske, with Blaydon a close third.

Double North Eastern gold medallist Ryan Green was certainly one of the Morpeth stars.

He achieved three wins in the U17 Men’s age group events, setting new figures of 52.9s in the 400m, and won the 800m in 2m00.3s, followed up by a triple-jump victory with an excellent best of 11.47m.

In addition to Green in the U17 Men’s events, Elliot Kelly stormed to an excellent win in the 1500m in 4m28.6s and was well backed up by Jarod Lewis’s 4m34.9s, which saw him take the B race.

Lewis also had A-race success in the 400m hurdles, which he won in 65.6s.

Other good U17 Men’s performances came from Joe Elder, whose 2m13.7s saw him win the 800m B race, to support the aforementioned Ryan Green A-string victory, and his second place in the B race of the 400m with 58.2s, again in support of a Green victory.

He also finished second in the A string long jump with 5.14m, being backed up by Alex Nesbitt’s 4.49m, which saw him finish second in the B competition.

Nesbitt’s 12.2s also saw him finish second in the U17 Mens 100m, being well backed up by Hans Paulsen’s 13.8s for a B race win.

Unfortunately Nesbitt’s 25.8s in the A race of the 200m was only good for fourth place, however, Mitch Gray gained some bonus points by taking the B race in a quicker 24.9s.

Elliot Kelly, Ryan Green, Hans Paulsen, and Alex Nesbitt combined to give Morpeth Harriers U17 Mens 4x100m squad a third placing in 51.4s, in a tightly run race.

There were also some outstanding performances from Morpeth Harriers U15 Boys section, who on the occasion contributed well to their teams points tally.

Most notable were Sean O’Hara, Euan Jones, Jacob Hopkins, Kieran Hedley, Mitch Green, and the new Field event pairing of Toby Parks and Elliott Moore.

O’Hara had a superb close win in the 200m in 24.9s, however, just lost out marginally in the 100m to his same Durham City opponent, with his clocking of 12.4s.

Euan Jones backed up O’Hara well by placing second in the B races of the 100m in 12.9s, and also second in the 200m with 26.8s.

Jones also had a second in the long jump with 5.01m.

Jacob Hopkins certainly seems to have found a new event to his liking in the 300m, as he achieved a handsome victory in the A race in 43.4s.

He was well supported by Declan Stoker’s B race victory in 45.7s.

Hopkins also finished second in the A race of the 800m in 2m17.0s, being well supported by Josh Burton’s 2m34.0s for second in the A race.

Kieran Hedley ran a superb 4m40.7s to take victory in the 1500m, and Adam Shewry ran well for second in the B race in 5m27.7s.

Shewry had earlier shown his willingness and versatility by finishing third in the 80m hurdles in 28.0s.

Mitch Green, who currently is unable to turn his hand to his first love of sprinting, because of a persistent injury problem, also showed his prowess in the field, by winning the javelin with a best throw of 20.44s, which was nearly a metre further than his nearest rival.

However, pride of place in the Morpeth Harriers U15 Boys field performances clearly belonged to the new pairing of Toby Parks and Elliott Moore.

The pair are clearly taking advantage of the club’s new track and field facility, and are currently being coached and mentored by former Morpeth Harriers throws supremo Paul Reed, such is the quality of their ability.

Parks won the A events of the discus (24.65m), and shot (9.99m), and Moore weighed in with 23.63m and 9.43m for respective B string victories.

The individual events in the U15 Boys section were rounded off superbly by an excellent 4x100m relay victory in 51.9s, courtesy of Jacob Hopkins Euan Jones, Sean O’Hara and Declan Stoker.

A race victories by Joe Dowd and Alex Cunningham were the major highlight of Morpeth Harriers U13 Boys performances.

Dowd won the 100m in 13.6s, and then just missed out by a whisker in the 200m with 29.3s.

Ross Charlton backed Dowd up well in the 200m when finishing third in the B race in 35.1s.

Charlton also finished third in the A race of the 800m in 2m51.8s, backing up Joe Briddon’s B race victory in 2m47.0s.

Alex Cunningham ran a superb 5m09.8s to win the A race of the 1500m, and Mark Booth backed him up well by taking the B race in 5m25.0s.

Cunningham also finished second in the javelin with a best throw of 9.95m.

Morpeth Harriers U13 Boys 4x100m relay squad finished second in 60.3s, courtesy of Cunningham, Charlton, Dowd, and Briddon.

A painful shoulder injury sustained in training was thought to have ruled out Morpeth Harriers talented U17 Womens long throw athlete Chelsey Morrison for the remainder of the season, however, defying the odds she managed to turn in two winning A string performances in the discus (16.05m), and Shot (6.91m).

Lucy Pargeter took the B event discus with her best of 14.70m.

Elsewhere in the U17 Women’s field events, Morpeth’s Kirsty Lang also performed superbly, when setting new figures for the high jump, albeit by 2cm with her winning clearance of 1.45m.

Also winners in the U17 Womens events for Morpeth Harriers were Amber Cormack, Hannah Sheerin, Louise Brett, and Megan Deakin, and Lucy Pargeter with good B string victories.

Sheerin’s victory in the A string triple jump with a best of 8.60m, meant that the club had gained wins in four of the eight field events on offer.

On the track, the outstanding performance certainly belonged to Amber Cormack.

Fresh from gaining two bronze medals at the previous weeks North Eastern Championships, Cormack really took the U17 Womens 800m by the scruff of the neck as she strode to an impressive victory in 2m21.4s.

Supporting her effort in the B race for Morpeth was Molly MacDonald, who finished second in 2m36.1s.

Hannah Sheerin added to her field event victory, by finishing second in the 1500m in 5m 29.8s.

An excellent double victory was gained by Morpeth Harriers U17 Women in the 300m hurdles, with Louise Brett taking the A race in 53.8s, and Lucy Pargeter taking the B race in 57.1s.

Brett also finished an excellent second in the 300m flat B race in 48.3s, supporting Rosie MacDonald’s 46.7s, which saw her finish third in the A race.

Megan Deakin secured two excellent B string victories in the 100m (13.8s), and 200m (29.3s).

These supported the A string performances by Kirsty Lang, who finished third in the 100m (13.7s), and second in the 200m (28.5s).

Rosie MacDonald, Kirsty Lang, Megan Deakin and Beth Laidler, combined to give Morpeth Harriers second placing in the U17 Womens 4x100m in 55.2s.

Naomi Arkle (100m), and Lizzie Rank (1500m), were Morpeth Harriers were the pick of the Morpeth Harriers performances in their U15 Girls section.

Arkle won the 100m in 13.7s, and Rank took the 1500m in 5m37.2s.

In the 200m, Arkle just missed out for a second victory with a clocking of 29.5s.

Bethany Smith also finished second in the B race in 30.3s.

Rank won the 1500m in 5m37.2s, and Harriet Grace finished second in the B race with 6m40.8s.

In the U15 Girls shot, Georgia Priest putted a best of 5.91m for second place.

Back on the track, Lauren Eadington finished third in the A race of the 800m with 2m41.9s, and Georgia Priest finished second in the B race with 3m15.6s.

Priest, Naomi Arkle, Bethany Smith, and Lauren Eadington combined to give Morpeth Harriers U15 Girls 4x100m squad a placing of third in 58.4s.

There were some truly excellent performances came from Morpeth Harriers small and relatively inexperienced U13 Girls squad.

Major highlights from this age group came from Kate Seymour, Bianca Strey, Nadine Arkle, Jessica Young-Rogers, Hannah Brown, Ailsa Jones, and an excellent winning 4x100m relay squad.

Seymour very comfortably won the 1500m in 5m52.0s, which was very ably backed up by Strey taking the B race in 6m44.6s.

Strey also did well in the field by finishing second in the shot with a best of 5.95m.

Nadine Arkle finished second in the 200m in 31.2s, and was well backed up by Hannah Brown’s victory in the B race in a slightly faster 30.8s.

This was Brown’s first of two B event wins, as she also cleared 1.15m to take the high jump, to Harriet Priest’s A string effort of a similar clearance for third place.

Harriet Priest also finished third in the B string 100m with 15.3s, supporting Jessica Young-Rogers (14.6s) in the A race for second place.

Young-Rogers also finished third in the A string long jump with 3.55m, and Ailsa Jones finished second in the B string with 3.48m.

Jones, Nadine Arkle, Harriet Priest and Bianca Strey combined to give Morpeth Harriers U13 Girls 4x100m squad victory in 60.0s.

Morpeth Harriers would particularly wish to thank their members and friends who turned up on the day ensure that their first ever track fixture on home soil was completed successfully, and to the members of KEVI, who gave very valuable assistance where required.

Final match result: 1 Morpeth Harriers 779.5pts, 2 New Marske Harriers 633, 3 Blaydon Harriers 600, 4 Durham City Harriers 496.5, 5 Jarrow & Hebburn 391, 6 Birtley AC 33.

ON Saturday, Morpeth Harrier Nick McCormick won the annual Sale five mile road race, in Manchester, in an excellent time of 24.11s, finishing 23 seconds clear of his closest rival.

SUNDAY’S Middlesbrough College 5k produced the most exciting of finishes, with Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn and New Marske’s Dominic Shaw locked together in pursuit of victory.

Both crossed the finish line in a new course record time of 14m43s, however, the Morpeth man lost out in the judges view.

Also having good runs in Morpeth vests were Matt Nicholson (fourth) 14m53s, Ian Hudspith (sixth) (first O/40 Man) 15m05s, and Mark McLeod (10th) 15m37s.

IN the BMC Classic, held at Sports City Manchester on Saturday, four Morpeth Harriers were in action.

Jonny Taylor and Richard Morrell both achieved personal bests over 5000m and 1500m respectively.

Taylor clocked a new lifetime best of 13m55.80, to win by a margin of just under two seconds.

Meanwhile Morrell finished fourth in a class filled Mens 1500m C race in an excellent 3m46.64s.

In the Mens 1500m D race, Morpeth’s Ryan Stephenson finished tenth in a seasons best 3m54.15s.

Ashley Gibson may feel a little disappointed with her thirteenth place in the Womens 1500m A race, which saw her a good ten seconds adrift of her best with 4m28.06s.

MORPETH’S Womens Olympic 1500m finalist Laura Weightman was in action at Saturday’s Diamond League Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA on Saturday, where she finished 11th in an excellent 4m05.54s, in what was a class 1500m field led home by Kenyan Hellen Obiri, in a time of 3m58.58s.