Griffiths throws her way to top of the UK rankings in javelin

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Throwing a brand new personal best of 42.27m, gave Morpeth Harrier Bobbie Griffiths an outstanding victory in the Women’s Javelin at Sunday’s Northern Athletics Senior Track and Field League match at Hexham

It was a throw which pushed the talented Under 17 athlete to the top of the UK Rankings for her age group.

In addition to this performance, Griffiths also won the B String Discus, with a best of 29.10m, and her throw of 33.11m, gave her second place in the A String Hammer.

Claire Reid of Morpeth also performed well, by finishing second in the A String Discus with 29.68m, accompanied by a very welcome win in the B String Hammer (30.11m), also a second place in the B String Javelin (17.39m), and a third place in the A String Shot Putt (9.23m)

Backing up Reid well in the B String Shot Putt for Morpeth was Naomi Arkle, who finished third with a best of 6.66m.

Arkle, was to have her moment of glory a little later in the afternoon however, when she was part of a truly excellent Morpeth Women’s 4 x 100m victory in 51.1s, alongside younger sister Nadine, who was not only making her Northern League debut, but also a running comeback after almost eleven months of relative inactivity due to a succession of injuries, plus regular relay specialist Jessica Young-Rogers, and another Morpeth debutant Kayla Devon.

Devon also produced a good result in the Triple Jump, finishing as second A String, with a best performance of 10.40m.

Backing her up in the B String was fellow debutant Katie Stafford, who also finished second, with her best jump of 8.17m.

On to the Men’s events, where Morpeth had two A string winners in Alistair Douglass, who clocked a new personal best of 1m59.3s in the 800m, and Thomas Straughan, who won the 5000m in 15m31.7s, which also represented a new personal best.

Jake Masterman, very nearly added a third A String victory for Morpeth in the 3000m Steeplechase, only losing out by a fraction of a second in the final run in, to Leeds City athlete Mohammed Abshir.

Masterman posted a finishing time of 10m12.6s, which also represented a new personal best performance.

Backing him up well in an excellent winning B String performance, the only one of the day, was Mark Snowball, who clocked 10m25.8s, which equalled his personal best performance, that he had achieved at Morpeth last July.

Snowball had earlier tasted some individual glory in the 400m Hurdles B race, by pipping Gateshead specialist Richard Kaufman for second place, posting a time of 69.8s.

Another good Morpeth track performance came in the 100m, where Sean O’Hara finished second in the A race in 11.7s, with Kenny Harrison getting second in the B race in 12.1s.

This pairing also lined up in the 200m, where O’Hara again finished as second A String in 23.6s, and Harrison was fourth B string in 24.5s.

North Eastern Under 17 Men’s 400m champion Matthew Waterfield finished as third A String in 51.2s, and Mitchell Cryer finished as fourth B string in 67.8s.

In the Men’s Field events, Morpeth welcomed back Craig Charlton to league action following injury.

His best result came in the Shot Putt, where he finished as second A String, with a best of 12.96m, being backed up by Steven Appleby’s fifth in the B String with 8.19m.

The pair also performed well in the Hammer, where Charlton finished as third A String, with a best of 27.82m, with Appleby throwing 20.18m for fifth in the B String.

Appleby also produced respectable performances of 32.67m and 20.15m in the A String Discus and Javelin events, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.

In the B String Discus, Charlton finished second, with a best of 30.23m.

David Thomas finished third in the A String Triple Jump (12.09m), and fifth in both the A String Long and High Jump events, with 5.39m and 1.50m respectively.

In the Men’s 4 x 100m Relay, Morpeth finished third in 47.3s, courtesy of Kenny Harrison, Jake Jardine, Mitchell Cryer, and Sean O’Hara.

Alistair Douglass, Jake Jardine, Jake Masterman, and Matthew Waterfield all lined up in a Morpeth 4 x 400m squad, who managed to finish fourth in 3m45.3s.

Final result: (Subject to further scrutiny) - 1st Tynedale Harriers 347pts, 2nd Gateshead Harriers 341pts, 3rd Middlesbrough AC 336pts, 4th Leeds City 329pts, 5th Morpeth Harriers 325pts, 6th Skyrac AC 306pts.

Currently after two matches, with two still remaining, Morpeth Harriers remain rooted to the foot of the table with a total of 4.5 league points.

However, both matches so far have been very close, a slightly better turnout from some athletes would help resolve what looks like developing a relegation issue.

The next fixture is at home at Morpeth on Sunday 9th July, when Team Managers David Swinburne (Men), and Mike Bateman (Women), would hope to have a stronger team at their disposal

Griffiths warmed up well for Sunday’s Northern League match at Hexham, by taking part in the second City of York Summer League Meeting on Saturday.

She won the Under 17 Women’s Javelin with her best throw of 39.73m, and finished second and fourth respectively in the Hammer and Discus events, with throws of 41.5m, and 26.28m.

Little did she know on Saturday, that she was to improve he Javelin by almost three metres on the following day.

This athlete is certainly going places at the moment, and it is clearly evident that she is building up a genuine fan club following amongst her Morpeth Harriers team-mates, plus her little brother Roy, who adores her and idolises her.

Under 17 athlete Daniel Melling of Morpeth Harriers was just a mere second adrift of his personal best time of 17m17s, when he crossed the line in first place, in the Newcastle Park Run on Saturday.

Not far behind him in third place, was his more Senior club colleague Rob Morris, who posted a time of 17m25s, which was his first run on that particular course.

Another excellent Morpeth first finisher on Saturday was John Butters, who was first over the line at Wallsend Rising Sun, who clocked a good 16m36s for the 5k distance, this also being his first time on the course.