Taylor just denied in thrilling race

IT took an excellent championship best performance from Tipton’s former Elswick Harrier Ryan McLeod to deny Morpeth Harrier Jonathan Taylor his opportunity of retaining the North of England Indoor 3000m title at Sheffield on Sunday, writes George Patterson.

McLeod won in 8m01.10s, with Taylor having to content himself with the Silver medal as he crossed the finish line in 8m04.97s.

Darlington’s Lewis Moses took the Bronze medal in 8m15.52s, making it a one two three for North East born athletes.

Berwick based Alison Brown of Morpeth Harriers continued her current run of excellent form when she travelled to Livingstone to compete for her Scottish club Edinburgh AC in the Scottish East District Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

She came away as a recipient of a team Silver Medal when she finished a well accomplished eighth, ahead of some rivals who had beaten her on previous occasions, as a third counter.

Alison had also produced an excellent performance a few days earlier by winning her event at the North Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships, where her Morpeth club colleagues Jessica Morrison and Sarah Wilkes finished fourth and sixth respectively.

All three girls can now look forward to representing the county at the forthcoming Northern Schools Inter Counties event, scheduled to be held at Temple Park, South Shields, at the beginning of February.

• The 2010 rankings compiled for Athletics Weekly and the Power of 10 by UK statistician Peter Matthews have now been completed, and several Morpeth Harriers figure prominently.

Best achievements for the club show Nick McCormick as topping the 5k and 5-mile Road tables with efforts of 13m58s and 23m33s respectively.

Other club colleagues to feature in those events respectively are Ian Hudspith (43rd) 14m45s for 5k, and Chris Sampson (25th) 24m22s for five miles.

Jonathan Taylor is Morpeth Harriers’ best performer over 10k, where his 29m37s ranks him 18th. Lewis Timmins and Ian Hudspith also feature here, with their times of 29m50s and 29m56s seeing them 25th and 33rd. In Hudspith’s case, he is also ranked as top Veteran Man.

Ian Harding is ranked 43rd for his 10-mile time of 51m48s, and the Half Marathon times of 65m15s and 65m52s give Nick Swinburn and Ian Hudspith 17th and 23rd placings respectively.

On the track, McCormick is fourth in the 1500m with his best of 3m37.97s, and his 7m54.08s in the 3000m gives him ninth place. He also scrapes home in 50th place in the 800m with 1m50.05s.

Laura Weightman is sixth in the 1500m with 4m09.60s, which also sees her finish as top of the Under 20 rankings. She is also second in the Under 20 rankings for 800m with 2m03.18s, which ranks her as 17th at Senior level.

Elsewhere, Ian Hudspith is ranked 14th over 10,000m, and is second Veteran Man with a best of 29m55.43s.

Chris Sampson is ranked 40th in this event with 31m17.36s. Sampson is also well ranked at 30th in the 3000m Steeplechase with a best of 9m22.10s.

Lewis Timmins is 19th in the 5000m with 14m01.69s. Jonathan Taylor is also well ranked over 800m, 1500m, and 3000m. His 1m49.95s for the 800m sees him in 46th place, his 3m42.90s for the 1500m gives him 25th spot, and his 8m09.02s for 3000m gives him 29th place.

Delyth James is 35th in the Women’s 10,000m with 39m49.02s, which also sees her as seventh Under 23. Joe Robertshaw’s superb best of 52.93s sees him excellently ranked at 18th in the Under 15 Boys’ 400m performances.

Although she no longer competes in the colours of Morpeth Harriers and now runs for Trafford AC, Nisha Desai, who from time to time does assist at the club, is ranked an excellent 12th in the 400m Hurdles with her best of 59.71s, and her best of 55.54s in the 400m sees her in 42nd spot.

• This weekend’s athletics action for Morpeth Harriers features the annual Durham Cathedral Relays held at the Racecourse area in Durham City.