MIDDLE-DISTANCE runner Karl Taylor emerged as one of Morpeth Harriers’ star performers in their third-round North of England Division Two Track and Field League match at a sun-drenched Claireville Stadium, in Middlesbrough on Sunday, writes George Patterson.
Firstly, he heroically led from start to finish, to win comfortably the Men’s 3000m steeplechase with 31 seconds to spare in a time of 10.08.5s.
Closest to him was his Morpeth Harriers club-mate Phil Caldwell, who took the B-race quite comfortably in 10m39.3s.
A little while later, Taylor returned to the track in the Men’s 5000m, however, on this occasion very coolly kept his final challenge until very late, passing the long-term leader and his Middlesbrough Mandale rival in the home straight, to win with three seconds to spare in 16m35.9s.
He also received another maximum-point support in this event from his club colleague Thomas Straughan, who ran superbly to finish third overall, taking the B-race in 16m57.7s.
Morpeth’s Jordan Scott made all the running in the Men’s 1500m until just before the bell, however, despite what could only be described as an aggressive performance, to finish third overall in 4m11.0s, and second in the A-race.
Finishing ninth overall in 4m29.8s, U17 athlete Elliot Kelly finished fourth in the B-race.
Morpeth Harriers debutant Nathan Cox, still an U17, gave excellent account for himself in the Men’s 800m B-race by winning in a time of 2m02.3s.
Club-mate Phillip Winkler, also an U17, finished just ahead of Nathan, to place third in the A-race in 2m01.9s.
Other good track performers for Morpeth Harriers were Jarod Lewis and Phil Caldwell in the Men’s 400m hurdles.
Lewis finished fourth in the A-race in 68.6s, with Caldwell a marginally 68.4s in the B-race, which gave him second place.
Pick of Morpeth Harriers’ field athletes were brothers Paul and Stephen Appleby.
Paul placed fourth in the A-strings of the hammer and discus with bests of 25.10m and 30.77m respectively, while Stephen finished fourth in the B-hammer with 21.00m, and second in the B-discus with 30.09m.
On a finishing note to the Morpeth Harriers Men’s performances, they were short of their top sprinters with David Storey (holiday), Jack Hepple (injured) and Mitch Gray and Alex Nesbitt (both work commitments), it was left to Henrik Paulsen to fill in some of the gaps.
He willingly competed in the B-100m, B-200m, and B-400m, and the 4 x 100m relay.
On to the Morpeth Harriers Women’s events, where Elaine Telford was definitely their best track performer on show.
The North East Counties 100m champion finished second in the 100m (12.6s), and likewise in the 200m in 25.8s.
She had excellent back-up in the 200m with Beth Laidler finishing second in the B-race in 28.3s.
The club’s best field performances belonged to Claire Reid (second) in the Women’s discus with 33.0m, (second) in the shot with 10.31m and Kirsty Lang, who cleared 1.45m for second in the high jump.
Chelsey Morrison was also a good support to Reid in the hammer, taking second in the B-event with 27.63m.
Reid threw an identical distance for fifth in the A-string.
Morpeth Harriers Women’s team manager Mike Bateman praised the efforts of his younger athletes who greatly contributed to their team’s tally.
Namely Louise Brett, Kirsty Lang, Lucy Pargeter, Beth Laidler, Rosie and Mollie MacDonald, Alison Brown, Hannah Sheerin and Charlotte Jewell.
At the end of the day’s competition, Morpeth Harriers finished in fifth place of six competing teams; however, team points are very much subject to further scrutiny.
This leaves them in fourth place cumulatively with one match remaining; that being at home, at Morpeth in August, when it is hoped they will be able to field a stronger squad.
RYAN Green (Intermediate Boys), and Amber Cormack (Intermediate Girls), Morpeth Harriers’ sole two participants at the Sainsbury’s English Schools Track and Field Championships, held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Friday and Saturday, emerged with a great deal of credit from their respective 800m performances.
Despite just missing out on chances of making their finals, they both clocked new personal bests and remained fairly upbeat about their achievements.
Green achieved his in his second round heat, where he clocked 1m57.17s for third place, with only the first two and two fastest losers going through to the final as of right.
His first heat saw him clock 1m59.19s.
Meanwhile, Cormack was also unlucky not to see a place in the second round, when she finished sixth in her heat.
Her clocking of 2m18.23s, was a new personal best by all of two seconds and she was only one place and a mere 14 hundredths of a second adrift of progression to the second round.