Young athletes prosper

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MORPETH Harriers’ Young Athletes squad finished second to current league leaders Middlesbrough Mandale in their third and final Northern League Division One match, also their home promotion, at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on Sunday, writes George Patterson.

This was also the club’s very last appearance in the National Young Athletes League, as it is currently known, because the governing body UK Athletics has seen fit to completely re-structure the competition as from next season.

And the current situation is that Morpeth, along with most of their North East rivals currently competing in the leagues, are at odds with the authority and will seek to form their own independent competition following further consultations.

Back to the track and field action and despite being slightly short of a few athletes in the female section, the Harriers still managed to muster some fine performances.

Their best efforts undoubtedly came from their Under 15 Boys, particularly from Ryan Green, who produced his club’s best graded result on the day with his outstanding victory in the 800m. Although his clocking of 2m07.8s was a little way short of his personal best, it was still one of the best runs on the day. Euan Jones backed him up well by finishing third in the B race in 2m27.0s.

Green followed this up with another track victory in the 300m, where he clocked 39.9s. He was also well backed up by James Heppell’s B race victory in 41.1s.

Green also contributed to the two Under 15 Boys’ relay victories achieved by Morpeth Harriers. They won the 4x100m in 53.0s, and then went on to win the 4x300m in 2m55.8s.

Euan Jones had his own moment of personal glory when he superbly won the 200m B race in 27.6s.

Another good Morpeth Under 15 victory came in the 1500m, with Jarod Lewis taking the A race in 4m46.3s and Jacob Hopkins won the B race in 4m54.8s.

North East medallist Alex Nesbitt won the Under 15 Boys’ 100m in 12.4s, and Hans Paulsen finished third in the B race in 14.3s.

Nesbitt also finished third in the 80m hurdles A race in 14.5s, and Jarod Lewis finished second in the B race in 17.3s.

In the Under 15 Boys’ field events, Morpeth Harriers’ best result came in the javelin, with Hans Paulsen throwing 14.35m for third in the A string and an identical best throw for Jacob Hopkins saw him win the B event.

In the long jump, James Heppell’s best effort of 4.58m saw him place third in the A string, and Jacob Hopkins took second in the B event with 4.01m.

Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men managed victories in both the 4x100m and 4x400m in 51.9s, and 4m13.6s respectively. Joe Elder finished second in the 1500m in 4m46.7s.

Adam Smith had two second places in the triple jump (10.62m), and 100m B events (13.1s). Henrick Paulsen finished third in the 100m in 13.2s, and also in the 200m in 26.6s. In the 200m he was ably backed up by Elliot Kelly’s third place in the B event with 28.0s.

Morpeth Harriers pulled off three A string victories in the Under 13 Boys’ events.

Joe Dowd won the 75m hurdles in 14.9s, he also went on to win the B event of the high jump with his best clearance of 1.15m. In the 75m hurdles he was backed up by Ethan Howe’s second placing in the B event in 16.7s.

He also linked up with Howe in the high jump, who finished second in the A string with his clearance of 1.20m.

Mitch Green won the Under 13 Boys’ 100m in 14.6s and finished second in the 200m in 30.7s. Luke Wareing finished second in the 100m B event in 15.6s, and Joe Dowd finished second in the 200m B race in 30.7s.

Morpeth Harriers’ other Under 13 Boys’ victory came courtesy of Kieran Hedley in the 800m, where he clocked 2m24.6s. Cameron Dick crowned his Morpeth Harriers debut when he finished second in the 800m B race in 2m50.9s.

In the 1500m, Morpeth’s Philip Kirby finished third in the A race in 5m19.0s, and 5m23.0s saw Alex Cunningham finish third in the B race.

Morpeth Harriers’ Under 13 Boys’ 4x100m Relay squad finished second in 57.8s.

In the Under 13 Boys’ field events, Morpeth’s best result came in the long jump where Mitch Green finished second in the A string with a best of 4.04s and Tom Hizzet finished second in the B event with 3.70m.

Despite being under strength in some key areas, Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes Girls’ squad did their level best to support their male team colleagues.

One of the best results was achieved by newcomer Amber Cormack, who took the Under 15 Girls’ 800m B race in 2m30.5s, which proved to be the third fastest over the two heats.

Elsewhere in the Under 15 Girls, Morpeth Harriers Charlotte Jewell and Harriet Grace finished second respectively in the A and B events of the 1500m in 5m27.7s and 6m31.4s.

In the Under 17 Women’s age group Morpeth Harriers had an excellent result in the 800m, where Molly McDonald finished second in the a race in 2m34.7s and Beth Wooley took the B race in 2m45.5s.

Hannah Sheerin and Sarah Wilkes were a formidable pairing in the 1500m, as both finished second in the respective A and B events in 5m27.1s, and 5m41.4s. In the 200m Molly McDonald finished third in the a race in 30.4s, and Sarah Wilkes took second in the B race in 29.5s.

Alys McKee and Alice Kelly finished third in the A and B events of the 100m in respective times of 14.0s, and 15.5s. Lucy Pargeter placed third in the 300m hurdles in 61.0s.

In the Under 17 Women’s 4x100m and 4x300m relays, Morpeth Harriers finished second and first respectively with clocking of 58.5s, and 3m27.2s.

In the Under 17 Women’s field events, Chelsey Morrison was definitely the Morpeth workhorse. She finished second in the Hammer with a best throw of 24.66m, then putted 7.09m to take second in the A string of the shot, and also threw 16.25m to take fourth in the A string discus. In the B string shot, Lucy Pargeter’s 5.57m was good for second place, and Beth Wooley also finished second in the B string discus with 13.48m.

Morpeth’s Hannah Sheerin finished third in the javelin, with her best of 9.13m.

Naomi Arkle was definitely Morpeth Harriers’ star Under 13 Girl performer.

She finished second in the A event of the 75m in 11.1s, and went on to finish second in the 150m in 23.2s, added to those a second place also in the shot with 5.93m, and contributed to a third place for the Under 13 Girls’ 4x100m squad in 63.7s.

Supporting Naomi in the 75m for the very first time was slightly younger sister Nadine, who finished second in the B race in 12.3s.

Georgia Priest was B string support in the 150m and shot. She finished third in the 150m in 24.8s, however enjoyed victory in the shot with 5.89m.

In the Under 13 Girls’ 70m hurdles, Harriet Priest finished third in the A string, however Morpeth Harriers’ result was boosted by Teegan Dryden taking the B race in 15.3s.

Ailsa Jones secured two good third places in the 800m (2m54.3s), and long jump (3.15m).

Having finished runners up to Middlesbrough Mandale in all three matches, Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes will also finish as runners up for the season.

A great deal of gratitude is very much owed to respective team managers Paddy Paulsen (Boys), and Ken McDonald (Girls) for their sterling efforts throughout the campaign and for getting a good squad of willing and competitive athletes together to achieve an excellent result.

FINAL RESULT: 1st Middlesbrough Mandale 872pts, 2nd Morpeth 620pts, 3rd Houghton 511.5pts, 4th Chester-le-Street 455pts, 5th Birtley AC 348.5pts, 6th Alnwick & Blyth 265pts.

• Despite heavy rain throughout Friday, which continued overnight, the Northumberland County Schools Track and Field Championships still went ahead as planned at Gateshead International Stadium on Saturday.

Several Morpeth Harriers were amongst those taking part, and the club provided a number of winners on the day.

In the Senior Boys events there were three wins for Morpeth Harriers. Jack Hepple won the 200m in 23.6s, Jonnie Nisbet comfortably won the 1500m in 4m17.2s, and Philip Caldwell won the 2000m Steeplechase in 7m14.8s.

In the Junior Boys 800m, Ryan Green won in 2m09.9s. James Heppell clocked a new personal best of 2m16.1s when finishing fifth behind Green, and Sam Foster-Beattie finished sixth in 2m20.2s.

Rosie McDonald won the Intermediate Girls 300m in 46.5s, and there was a win for Hannah Sheerin in the 800m in 2m34.6s, which was a new personal best.

There were also a number of second places secured by Philip Winkler (Intermediate Boys 800m), 2m03.5s, a new personal best, Elliot Kelly (Int Boys 1500m), 4m36.3s, Jarod Lewis (Junior Boys 1500m), 4m38.8s, Beth Wooley (Intermediate Girls 1500m) 5m43.8s, and Alison Brown (Int Girls 3000m) 11m22.9s.

Molly McDonald finished third in the Intermediate Girls 800m in 2m40.5s, and just ahead of her Morpeth Harriers clubmate Sarah Wilkes, who finished sixth in 2m46.1s.

Kirsty Lang finished third in the Junior Girls High Jump, with a best clearance of 1.43m. Alex Nesbitt finished fourth in the Junior Boys 100m in 12.6s.

A new personal best of 2m33.5s was achieved by Amber Cormack in the Junior Girls 800m, and Charlotte Jewell also achieved a new personal best of 5m26.1s, when finishing sixth in the Junior Girls 1500m.

• A total of 203 finishers took part in the Run Northumberland Bamburgh 10k, held in the coastal village on Sunday.

First home for Morpeth Harriers, in fourth place overall, was Michael Thomsen, who clocked 35m25s. Thirteen seconds behind him in fifth place was clubmate Phil Walker, who was the first Over 45 Veteran finisher.

Next home for the club was Thomas Straughan, who finished seventh in 36m03s, and not far behind him in eighth place was Fergus Bates, who also clocked 36m03s, and was second Over 40 Veteran Man.

Ninth place went to Morpeth Harrier Richard Woods, who clocked 36m14s. In tenth place, in 36m46s, was Sam Hancox. Next home for the club was Sam’s father Rob, who finished 19th in 38m46s and was fourth in the Over 45 Veteran Mens category.

Stephen Bradley finished in 22nd place in 39m14s. In 89th place in a time of 49m49s was Pam Woodcock, who was also first Over 60 Lady finisher.

Next home for Morpeth Harriers in 92nd place overall was Sue Smith, who clocked 49m53s and was third Over 45 Veteran Lady finisher.

Jane Blackett completed the club’s tally of finishers when she came home in 155th place, and as ninth Over 45 Veteran Lady, in a time of 58m34s.

• Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn found himself narrowly beaten by Sunderland Harrier Brian Rushworth in the annual Penshaw Hill Race, held on Wednesday, June 13.

Swinburn and Rushworth had drawn well clear of the field of 72 finishers, however it was the Wearsider who eventually won the day by a mere three seconds, with Swinburn clocking 16m57s.