Nick pipped to the post in UK gold medal race

Some of the Morpeth Harriers athletes who took part in the Elswick Cup race.
Some of the Morpeth Harriers athletes who took part in the Elswick Cup race.

THE UK Championships and World Trials at the weekend saw a hard-earned bronze medal for Morpeth Harrier Nick McCormick in the 1500m.

McCormick led for much of the race but was outpaced in the closing stages by winner James Shane and Andy Baddeley, finishing third in 3m41.66s.

In the 3000m steeplechase Jonny Taylor was only just outside the medals, finishing fourth with a new personal best of 8m48.57s.

Lewis Timmins was 11th in the 5000m in 14m52.42s, whilst former Morpeth athlete Nisha Desai, now with Trafford, was sixth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 59.24 seconds.

• There was a superb winning debut for Morpeth’s Peter Newton in the Northern Counties 10,000m track Championship at Leigh.

Newton had 150m to spare over Blackburn’s Ben Fish and Tom Cornthwaite, who finished second and third, and his time of 30m09.3s in the hot conditions was faster than anything he’d previously achieved for the same distance on the road.

Michael Dawson also recorded a creditable 32m24.5s for 13th place.

In the Northern Inter Counties Championship held at the same venue, Joe Robertshaw – representing the North East – placed third in the Under 17s 400m, improving his best time yet again to an excellent 50.34 seconds.

• Morpeth Harriers’ men were able to hold onto the Elswick Cup for the fourth consecutive year last week.

The 5k race, which sees runners complete one full lap of Newcastle Town Moor followed by a short lap of Exhibition Park, was won by Yated Hagos – an unattached Ethiopian who had won the Park Run the previous Saturday – in a fast time of 14m49s.

First home for Morpeth was Phil Walker, fifth placed in 16m31s and he was also first Over 40 finisher. He was chased all the way by youngster Jonnie Nisbet in sixth (16m32s).

With Paul Waterston in 14th in 17m3s, Morpeth’s men’s team were able to hold off the challenges of Heaton Harriers and North Shields Poly to claim the team prize.

Maxine Czarnecka had a fine run to finish as second woman to Hester Dix of Blaydon in a time of 17m35s, with Jane Hodgson in third in 17m51s.

Unfortunately, with no other Morpeth women running, they were unable to hold onto the women’s team prize that they had won last year.

John Butters ran a second personal best in five days for the distance (17m46s) when finishing in 20th place and Gavin Bayne was not far behind in 24th (18m5s). Other Morpeth finishers were: Sam Hancox, 43rd in 18m54s; Rob Hancox 46th in 19m2s; Mike McKean, 49th in 19m13s; Graeme Leathard, 53rd in 19m32s; Mike Steven, 64th in 20m10s and David Gray, 115th in 22m58s.

• The fifth North Eastern Athletics League meeting at Gateshead Stadium saw a number of good performances by Morpeth Harriers athletes.

Ria Fairnington repeated her good form from the previous meeting by winning the Under 13 Girls High Jump with a clearance of 1.35m and the Long Jump with a distance of 4.06m. She also took second place in the 200m in a time of 29.42s.

In the Under 15 Girls 1500m, Alison Brown ran a well-judged race to take nearly eight seconds off her previous best for the distance with a time of 5m15.41s, which gave her third place.

Morpeth vests were well to the fore in the Under 15 Boys 1500m, with Elliot Kelly third in 4m36.01s (a new personal best), Joe Elder fourth in 4m38.09s, Ryan Green fifth in 4m38.74s (also a PB) and Jarod Lewis in ninth place with 4m50.79s.

Sprinter Alex Nesbitt also did well in the Under 15 age group, taking fifth place overall in the 100m with 12.80s and sixth in the 200m (26.64s) whilst Mitch Green made an encouraging debut in the Under 13 100m by placing fourth in a time of 15.33s.

Joe Robertshaw continued his good form by placing second in the Under 17 section of the 200m with a time of 24.19s, whilst Henrik Paulsen finished fourth in 27.19s.

In the Senior age group, the versatile Craig Pickup repeated his Shot victory of the previous meeting with a putt of 8.63m before surprising himself to find that his relatively modest height of 1.40m was good enough for a win in the High Jump.