Harriers turn up heat

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MORPETH Harrier Nick McCormick shot straight to the top of the UK Men’s 2011 1500m rankings at an event in the Netherlands, writes George Patterson.

He finished a close second in Nijmegen in a time of 3m38.07s. Agonisingly, he just missed out on the standard required for the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea and he was fractionally outside the B standard for London 2012.

A few days later in Huelva, Spain, McCormick made another attempt at the distance and finished fourth in 3m38.70.

• A busy weekend of track and field action saw Morpeth Harriers’ respective squads in very competitive action at Clairville Stadium in Middlesbrough on Saturday and at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow, on Sunday. The club’s Senior Men and Women won their second round Northern League Division Three match by a margin of 23 points. Once again the Men were dominant as they took maximum points from eight track events, including two relays, and won some deserved plaudits for some very determined field performances.

The Women’s section, which was supported by the turnout of five athletes, enjoyed five A string victories along with a handful of useful B string efforts.

For his own particular section, Morpeth’s Men’s Track and Field Team Manager John Thompson was very upbeat afterwards, and said that with similar efforts in the forthcoming two matches, the squad may well be in danger of promotion at the end of the campaign, as it was confirmed that the victory on the day, against the other competing squads’ performances, had sent them to the top of the table.

Highlights of the Men’s performances were the splendid 100m and 200m victories by Alan Selby, who is definitely nearing his best form with clockings of 11.2s and 23.0s respectively. B string victories in these events by Thompson (12.6s) and Under 17 rising star Joe Robertshaw (24.3s) added to the Morpeth dominance.

Robertshaw also enjoyed his particular moment of glory when he quite convincingly won his favoured event, the 400m A race, in a time of 53.7s – which given the cold windy conditions that prevailed on the day was a superb effort.

Angus Wood, who travels up from his Newmarket base to compete for his club, tenaciously won the B race in 65.4s. Wood also enjoyed later success with victory in the High Jump (1.55m), second places in both the 110m Hurdles (22.1s), and Long Jump (5.07m), plus a second place in the B string Triple Jump (9.60m), where in turn her was very ably supported a splendid and surprise A string victory by John Woods, whose final effort of 10.91m eased him ahead of talented Wallsend and Blyth athlete Craig Birch.

Thompson once again supported his squad well by winning the B string Long Jump with a best of 4.56m, however disappointingly and somewhat undeservedly, he was forced to call matters to an end for the day personally when ricking his back on clearing the final obstacle in the 110m Hurdles to win the B string in 26.4s. Thompson had also earlier finished second in the 400m Hurdles B string event in 76.9s.

In the Men’s distance events Morpeth Harriers were certainly in dominant form as they triumphed in everything bar the Steeplechase.

Fresh from his excellent personal best in the previous week’s Bupa London 10k, Peter Newton dominated the 5000m from the gun as he lapped everyone on the track to take a sweet victory by a margin of 110 seconds when he crossed the finish line in 14m44.2s.

The last man he lapped was his own clubmate Gary Jones, who quite convincingly took the B race in 16m25.4s. Other Morpeth A string track winners were Matt Nicholson and Druridge Bay 10k winner Ian Harding, who enjoyed success in the 800m (2m01.3s) and 1500m (4m15.1s) respectively. These two efforts were backed up well by Under 17 athlete Jonny Nisbet, who won both B events with well earned clockings of 2m08.8s and 4m29.6s.

The Appleby brothers Paul and Steven were once again reliable and dominant forces in the throws.

Paul enjoyed a new personal best when finishing second in the A string of the Hammer with a throw of 30.59m, and Steven finished second in the B string with 19.31m.

The pair went even better in the Discus, where Paul finished second in the A string with 33.07m and Steven won the B string with his best of 29.47m. Paul also enjoyed a B string victory in the Shot with 8.56m and Steven’s 8.72m earned him third place in the A competition.

The Men rounded their day off nicely when Angus Wood, Joe Robertshaw, Matt Nicholson, and Alan Selby got round to take the 4x100m relay in 49.3s, and the combination of Nisbet, Harding, Woods and Nicholson pulled off an excellent win in the 4x400m relay in 3m56.0s.

In the Women’s track events, Morpeth’s Elaine Telford dominated the 100m and 200m with wins in 12.6s and 26.3s respectively and was well backed up in the 100m when Under 20 athlete Ailsa McGregor took third in the B string with 14.9s.

It was a very busy afternoon for McGregor, as she showed both her immense talent and appetite for competition by achieving two of the squad’s A string victories in the 100m Hurdles (19.3s) and High Jump (1.33m), and finished third in the A string events of the 400m (69.8s) and 800m (2m37.0s) events. In the 400m she was backed up by fellow Under 20 athlete Hannah Rank, who finished second in the B race in 69.6s, and went on to win the 3000m B race in 11m41.8s.

Maxine Czarneka finished second in the A race of the 3000m in 10m21.8s to Scarborough’s Louise Brown.

More excellent points were gained in the field by Women’s Team Manager for the day Claire Reid, who won the Discus with a best of 31.65m and went on to finish second in both the Hammer (30.17m) and Shot (9.84m).

She added third places in the Javelin (18.59m) and Long Jump (2.95m) to her tally for a splendid afternoon’s work. Unfortunately, Morpeth could not call further on their five women athletes to mount a challenge in the two available relays.

Final match result – 1st Morpeth 372pts, 2nd Wallsend & Blyth 349pts, 3rd Skyrac 347.5pts, 4th Scarborough 340pts, 5th New Marske 259pts.

• Morpeth Harrier Nathan Shrubb finished sixth in Sunday’s Poole 10k in a time of 32m00s.

• Marie Drosdowicz was Morpeth Harriers’ sole competitor in last Thursday’s Angel View Run at Gateshead and she ran well to come home as ninth Lady in 41st place overall in a time of 36m27s. She was first home from the Over 50 Veteran Lady category.