Harriers bag eight medals on first day of championships

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A TOTAL of eight medals were won by athletes from Morpeth Harriers on the first day of the North Eastern Counties Track and Field Championships, writes George Patterson.

The club’s best medal performance in very windy conditions at Gateshead’s International Stadium on Saturday came from sprinter Elaine Telford, who just outpaced Jarrow and Hebburn’s Janet Abladey to win the Senior Women’s 200m in 27.07s.

Silver medals came the way of Matt Nicholson and Hannah Rank in the Senior Men’s 1500m and Under 20 Women’s 5000m in respective times of 3m58.04s and 19m47.38s.

It was Rank’s first tackling of a championship 5000m after previously winning a gold medal in the younger age group 3000m.

Five bronze medals were won by Philip Winkler, Ailsa McGregor, Joe Robertshaw, Ross Floyd and Alison Brown respectively.

Winkler battled well in a tough Under 15 Boys 1500m to come home in 4m38.41s. His Morpeth clubmate Ryan Green finished 10th in 4m53.96s.

McGregor clocked 2m24.60s in the Under 20 Women’s 800m.

Robertshaw battled hard for his bronze in the Under 17 Men’s 400m where he clocked 56.70s. He went slightly better when finishing second in his heat in 54.56s.

The same can be said for Floyd, who was always in a medal position in the Senior Men’s 5000m, where he clocked 15m28.66s for his bronze. David Swinburne finished fourth in 15m58.22s.

Brown took her bronze in the Under 15 Girls’ 3000m, where she clocked 12m06.48s.

Other competing Morpeth Harriers who were not medallists on day one were as follows: Jacob Hopkins (fifth in Under 13 Boys 1500m final with 5m21.92s), Jonnie Nisbet (fifth in Under 17 Men’s 1500m final with 4m24.55s), Michael Dawson (sixth in Senior Men’s 1500m final with 4m17.62s), Daniel Bell (fifth in Under 13 Boys 100m heat with 15.19s) and Alan Selby (fourth in Senior Men’s 100m final with 11.47s).

Day two on Sunday saw athletes from Morpeth Harriers accrue two more medals.

Another gold medal came the way of sprinter Elaine Telford, who won the Senior Women’s 100m in 13.05s after fighting off a hard push to the line by Jarrow and Hebburn’s Janet Abladey.

In the Under 15 Boys’ 800m, Philip Winkler added a silver medal to the bronze he had won in the 1500m on day one.

He clocked 2m16.06s, which was just outside his personal best recently set at Shildon.

In the same event, his clubmate Ryan Green came eighth in the final in 2m26.56s. However, he can take great satisfaction from the fact that he had finished second in his heat, in front of Winkler, and set a brand new personal best of 2m14.46s – which took a whole 15 seconds off his previous best.

Jacob Hopkins made great strides over the two days, and added a fourth in the final of the Under 13 Boys’ 800m to his athletics CV in an excellent 2m35.27s.

Other Morpeth Harriers performances on the second day were as follows: Jonnie Nisbet (seventh in the Under 17 Men’s 800m final with 2m05.18s) and Alan Selby (seventh in the Senior Men’s 200m final with 23.84s).

l Morpeth Harrier Ian Harding bettered his previous time by more than a minute when he won the Les Allcorn Memorial 10k, held in Alnwick’s Hulne Park on Tuesday, May 10.

He was victorious in a time of 32m18s, which gave him a winning margin of nearly three and a half minutes over his nearest challenger Andrew Cairns of North Shields Poly.

Next home for Morpeth was Fergus Bates, who again put up an impressive performance to finish fifth in 37m35s. He was also first in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s section.

Second Over 40 was his Morpeth clubmate Michael Winter, who in turn was third home from the club in eighth place overall in a time of 39m16s.

There were other good Morpeth Harrier performances in the event as follows: Hamish McCallister-Williams (16th and second O/45 with 42m26s), Jane Briggs (20th, fourth Lady and first O/40 Lady with 43m07s), Peter Scaife (22nd and third O/50 with 43m49s), Hannah Rank (25th, fifth Lady and first Under 20 Lady with 44m05s), Shuna Rank (27th, sixth Lady and second O/40 Lady with 44m16s), Norman Clark (44th and third O/55 with 46m08s), Marie Drosdowicz (45th, 10th Lady and fourth O/40 Lady with 46m10s), Gordon Gemmell (50th and third O/45 with 48m08s), Margaret MacDonald (80th and second O/45 Lady with 54m18s).

In the accompanying 3k event for Juniors, Morpeth Harriers had dual winners in Philip Winkler and Alison Brown.

Winkler was first home overall in 11m39s and Brown was first girl home in ninth place overall in 13m00s.

Other club finishers in this event were Sarah Wilkes and Lizzie Rank, who were 21st and 40th respectively as third and 10th girls in times of 13m45s and 15m27s.

l George Hall was Morpeth Harriers’ leading finisher at a windswept Clive Cookson 10k Road Race, held at Monkseaton on Wednesday, May 11.

He finished fifth in a time of 35m25s and was also the fourth Veteran man home, with the first three places going to older athletes.

But Hall was given the prize for first Over 45 man.

Another excellent club performer on the night was Louise Laverton, who when finishing 47th overall in 40m31s was also third lady.

Other Morpeth Harriers in the event were: Mike Winter (30th and fourth O/40 with 39m19s), Susan Smith (173rd, 33rd Lady and seventh O/40 with 52m10s), and Jane Blackett (197th, 41st Lady and sixth O/45 with 57m23s).

l Ian Hudspith of Morpeth Harriers finished 18th in Sunday’s Bupa Manchester 10k in a time of 29m42s.

Other Morpeth Harriers results show Gary Jones as finishing in 85th position in the Men’s race in 34m04s, and Kate Chapman finishing 11th Woman in the masses in a time of 39m56s.

In an accompanying Elite Women’s 10k event, Morpeth Harrier Maxine Czarneka finished 28th in 36m50s.

l Morpeth Harriers Sarah and Neil Wilkinson travelled to Thionville in France to compete in the European Masters Non-Stadia 10k Road Race on Saturday.

Sarah ended up winning a Silver medal in the Over 40 Women’s section when she finished in 36m06s. Neil just missed out on a podium place in the Over 40 Men when he finished fourth in 32m31s.

l Nathan Shrubb and Nick Swinburn of Morpeth Harriers both competed in Sunday’s talent filled Bristol 10k Road Race.

Shrubb clocked a personal best of 31m08s when finishing 35th and Swinburn finished 46th in a season’s best 31m53s.

l Phil Walker competed in his first Newcastle 5k Park Run on Saturday, where he finished fifth in 17m17s.

Fellow Morpeth Harriers Graeme Leathard and Mike Steven finished 33rd and 61st in respective times of 19m39s and 21m08s. It was also Steven’s first run in the event.

l Peter Newton of Morpeth Harriers won Middlesbrough’s 5k Road Race on Sunday in an excellent 14m52s, which saw him finish seven seconds ahead of a talented Paul Pollock who runs unattached.