Prestigious night for Harriers hopefuls

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THE very prestigious BMC Grand Prix meeting, held at Sports City, Manchester on Saturday night, proved to be relatively successful for five athletes from Morpeth Harriers, including Olympic hopefuls Laura Weightman and Nick McCormick, writes George Patterson.

Whilst Weightman triumphed in recording a superb win over a very talented Women’s 1500m A race in a season’s best 4m09.42s, McCormick will feel a little disappointed that he lost out for victory to Gateshead’s Ross Murray, who clocked a new personal best of 3m36.69s, which is also a new Gateshead Harriers club record, previously held by non other than their legendary president Brendan Foster, who clocked 3m37.64s in Christchurch, New Zealand in February 1974.

McCormick with 3m41.62s, was still a long way short of his best of 3m33.9s, and he will have to work very hard over the forthcoming weeks if he is going to make an impact on the UK selectors.

Eoin Everard will feel well pleased with his seasons best of 1m51.13s, which saw him place fourth in the Men’s 800m A race, and Lewis Timmins managed a seasons best of 3m56.79s for seventh in the Men’s 1500m F event.

Equally pleased will be Ashley Gibson, who moved even closer to her personal best, when she clocked 4m23.94s for third in the Women’s 1500m B race.

Meanwhile, Weightman produced a seasons best performance of 2m04.06s, when placing fifth in one of the seeded 800m at the Trafford Grand Prix meeting, held at Stretford, Manchester on Tuesday, May 15.

She was just outside her personal best of 2m03.18s, which she had achieved at the same venue in August 2010.

Harrier Ian Hudspith ran a superb seasons best of 30m00s, when he placed 18th in a strongly contested Great Manchester 10k Run on Sunday.

This also saw him finish as first Over 40 Veteran Man, and fourth Vet overall behind illustrious race winner Haile Gebresellassie of Ethiopia, who clocked 27m39s.

Other Morpeth Harriers in the field were Peter Newton, who ran well to finish 27th in 30m27s, a seasons best, Michael Dawson, who clocked a very respectable 32m07s to finish 43rd, and two places and 10 seconds behind Dawson, came his Morpeth Harriers club colleague Nick Swinburn.

Another Morpeth Harrier competing was Kate Chapman, who finished as 40th Lady in 41m20s.

l AT Sunday’s Loughborough International match, Jonathan Taylor of Morpeth Harriers finished just outside his personal best, when he finished fourth in a class field in the 3000m Steeplechase, with a clocking of 8m54.55s.

l TEN Morpeth Harriers were among the 100 finishers who took part in Saturday’s Newcastle Park Run, in Exhibition Park.

They were led home by Thomas Straughan, who will be pleased that he clocked a new personal best of 17m19s, over the 5k circuit, when finishing fourth.

One place behind him, and running the event for the first time was Fergus Bates who clocked 17m30s.

A week after winning his first ever North Eastern Championship Medal in the Senior Men’s 3000m Steeplechase, Morpeth Harrier John Woods opted for a slightly more even, and lower key playing field, to finish eleventh in 18m03s.

Youngster Sam Hancox continues to improve, and he finished 14th in 18m26s, he was one place and three seconds ahead of club colleague Chris Waugh.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were as follows: Rob Hancox (32nd) 19m09s, Graeme Leathard (46th) 20m08s, Les Cavill (65th) 21m13s, Marie Drozdowicz (fifth Lady) (95th) 22m21s, and Peter Maylia (205th) 27m28s.