Harriers in action at the Grand Prix finale

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Seventeen athletes from Morpeth Harriers were in competitive action at the sixth and final Start Fitness North Eastern Grand Prix meeting at Gateshead’s International Stadium on Wednesday, August 13.

Thankfully rain stayed away, however, a stiff breeze prevailed and fast times were hard to achieve.

Two athletes from the club did achieve winning performances in terms of time and a few had good minor placings.

Thomas Straughan was the fastest Senior Man in the 3000m, which was well deserved as it was achieved in the very last event of the night, which had got underway just before 9.30pm.

Straughan didn’t let the cold night get to him as he clocked 9m12.38s.

Morpeth’s John Butters ran well in this event, finishing as fourth fastest in 9m40.78s.

Another fast Morpeth Senior Men’s track performer on the night was new signing Andy Wiles.

The former New Marske Harrier ran the second fastest time of 1m56.92s in the Graded 800m.

Nathan Cox maintained his recent excellent run of form, when he clocked the second fastest U17 Men’s time of 2m01.43s in the Graded 800m.

Also competing in this event was his Morpeth Harriers club colleague Adam Weightman, who finished as fifth fastest in 2m14.29s.

Clocking a time of 2m28.15s, Morpeth Harrier Amber Cormack proved to be the fastest U17 Women’s performer in the Graded 800m.

Her club colleague Abby Sheldon was third fastest with 2m30.86s.

In the Junior Men’s Graded 800m, Morpeth Harrier Phillip Winkler was second fastest with his time of 2m02.61s.

Henrik Paulsen was the fifth fastest in the Junior Men’s 400m with his clocking of 57.76s.

In his first ever 3000m, Morpeth’s U15 Boy athlete Alex Cunningham emerged as third fastest with his clocking of 10m53.95s.

Another good Morpeth Harriers U15 performance came in the Graded 400m, where guest athlete Will Kelly finished fourth in the company of U17 Men, posting an excellent time of 58.39s.

Back with the U15 Boys proper and Declan Stoker of Morpeth Harriers continued his measured improvement, when he clocked 25.43s in the 200m, emerging as fourth fastest.

In the U15 Boys’ 800m, Morpeth’s Joe Dowd and Jamie Duguid were fifth and eighth fastest, with respective clockings of 2m19.83s and 2m27.23s.

Ross Charlton of Morpeth Harriers had an excellent night in the U13 Boys’ events. He finished second in the 800m in 2m33.46s and likewise in the long jump with his best effort of 4.10m.

Morpeth Harriers other competing U13 Boy was Josh Nelson, who was fourth fastest in the 200m with 32.38s and finished sixth in the 800m in 2m46.84s.

Back to the Senior Men, and Craig Pickup was Morpeth Harriers only senior field eventer on show. He finished second in both the shot putt, with a best of 9.88m, and the javelin, with 27.81m.

Much-travelled endurance specialist Andrew Lawrence of Morpeth Harriers achieved his own personal piece of glory on Saturday, August 16, when he won the Coll Half Marathon in Aringour, Scotland, in a new personal-best time of 72m48s.

Jonny Taylor of Morpeth Harriers finished fourth in a top-class Men’s 5000m field at the BMC Track meeting held on Saturday, August 16, in Solihull. Taylor clocked 14m17.04s, which was slightly adrift of his pb.

A total of 967 runners finished Saturday’s Gateshead Trail Race held in Watergate Park, Lobley Hill. Eight of those finishers belonged to Morpeth Harriers.

The club’s first home was Jane Hodgson, who, in finishing 24th overall in 37m46s, was second woman.

Morpeth Harriers only male participant was U15 Boy athlete Adam Shewry, who was one place behind Jane in 38m14s.

Lorna MacDonald was third home from the club and was third lady overall in 45th place in 39m49s.

Other Morpeth Harrier finishers were as follows: Alison Brown (126th) 44m14s, Jane Blackett (399th) 51m37s, Sue Smith (422nd) 52m11s, Claire Walker (421st) 52m10s and Margaret MacDonald (498th) 54m22s.