Harriers clinch third place in home leg of Division 2 series

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A superb fighting performance saw Morpeth Harriers Senior Men’s and Women’s track and field squad finish a very close third in their home third round Northern Athletics Division 2 match, held at the King Edward School on Sunday.

Only 57 points divided the first three clubs, and Morpeth had to thank their on the day squad of both Male and Female athletes for producing a truly excellent result, with some fine performances.

In the Men’s events, Morpeth had no less than four double victories, all of them on the track.

David Storey won the A string 100m in 11.3s, and Kenny Harrison won the B string event in 11.5s.

Recent British Masters 5k Champion Chris Smith almost front ran the 1500m in 4m07.8s. Robert Balmbra took the B race in 4m15.0s.

Ady Whitwam showed great form when winning the 3000m Steeplechase in 4m07.8s, and Mark Snowball made it a double celebration when winning the B race in 10m25.8s.

Ian Harding won the 5000m A race in 15m43.1s, and Robert Balmbra had his second B string win of the afternoon in 16m46.9s.

David Thomas proved to be the only Men’s Field Event winner, taking his specialised event the Triple Jump, with a best of 12.91m.

The Morpeth Men also achieved outstanding wins in both the 4 x 100m, and 4 x 400m Relays posting respective times of 46.5s and 3m37.1s..

In the Women’s events, although there were no double wins, there were however two A string and three B string wins.

The Morpeth Women’s A string wins went to Morag Stead, who won the Women’s 3000m in 10m29.9s, and Field eventer Bobbie Griffiths secured a Javelin win with 31.25m.

Griffiths showed that she is in excellent form by winning the B string Discus with 26.52m, and further B string wins came from Jess Young-Rogers in the Long Jump with 4.34m, and fellow sprinter Naomi Arkle, who won the B string Triple Jump with 8.95m.

Match result:

1st City of York 398pts, 2nd Gateshead Harriers 365pts, 3rd Morpeth Harriers 341pts, 4th Skyrac AC 274pts, 5th Wallsend/Blyth 268pts, 6th New Marske Harriers 114pts.

This now virtually means that Morpeth are safe from any threat of relegation, and will be battling for third and fourth place going into the final match at Middlesbrough in early August.

* Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman was forced to battle all the way to the line to secure her Women’s 1500m place in this year’s Rio Olympics at the British Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Sunday 26th June.

Weightman and Dundee’s Laura Muir were neck and neck at the bell, and were still locked together with just over 200m remaining.

At that point Muir made a determined break for home, and was never caught, and crossed the finish line in 4m10.14s.

Meanwhile Weightman had a new battle all of her own with Wakefield’s Charlene Thomas as the pair hurtled down the finishing straight.

With around 30m remaining Thomas put in a determined lunge to claim the vital second place, however the braveness of Weightman saw her just manage to edge in front as they both crossed the finish line with very little between them.

Thankfully Weightman just got the verdict she wished for, by eight hundredths of a second, leaving Thomas very disappointed that she had just missed out.