Long makes an immediate impression
In his first outing in a Morpeth Harriers vest, and his first track 10,000m race, new club acquisition Mark Long certainly made himself known, not only to his new club colleagues, but also the north east athletics fraternity, as he carved out a superb win over 25 laps at Monkton Stadium on Wednesday evening, to clinch the area championship.
Long ran a very close race alongside 2017 champion Greg Jayasuriya, of Middlesbrough & Cleveland, in pursuit of a glorious gold medal, before heading off on his own with around seven laps remaining, to eventually cross the finish line, posting a time of 32m11.22s, winning by a margin of just over 33 seconds.
Following a year very much in the athletics wilderness, Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox is indeed back, and very much bouncing.
The recent Blyth 10k Road Race winner produced yet another emphatic win in Sunday’s Terry O’Gara 5k Road Race, held at Wallsend, finishing in a time of 15m29s.
Also finishing well to the fore for Harriers were U17 athlete Daniel Melling and Tom Inness, who finished in seventh and eighth places, posting respective times of 16m42s, and 16m50s, both new personal bests.
Three of Morpeth Harriers’ throws specialists were in winning action at the Gateshead Harriers Open Medal Meeting, held at Gateshead Stadium on Sunday.
Andrew Knight certainly maintained his excellent early season form in the U17 Men’s shot putt, by considerably improving on his lifetime personal best with a superb 16.96m.
Ruaridh Lang, amade a steady start, by hurling a best of 40.78m in the U20 Men’s discus.
And in her first outing of the season, Bobbie Griffiths was a clear winner of the Women’s javelin, with her best throw of 39.95m.
Rory Leonard was the highest placed of the region’s runners in Sunday’s London Mini Marathon, that was integrated into the main event as a British Athletics Challenge.
He led the NE U17 Men to a close second in the team competition, by finishing second to East Midland athlete Luke Duffy. Leonard only just missed out on individual victory by two seconds, posting a time of 14m26s over the 5k course.
The curtain finally came down on the Start Fitness North East Harrier League season, with the holding of the annual presentation of awards at the sponsors premises on Grainger Street in Newcastle.
Among the awards were Morpeth Harriers’ Holly Peck, who was second in the U15 Girls Grand Prix, Taylor Glover and Daniel Melling who were first and second in the U 17 Men’s Grand Prix, and Emma Holt and Jane Hodgson, who were respective winners of the Senior and Veteran Women’s sections.
Morpeth Harriers were also honoured by their Senior Men taking the Division 1 title, and Tom Inness and Richard Castledine were on hand to receive the winner’s trophy on behalf of the club.
Jane Hodgson accepted the Women’s Division 1 trophy on behalf of the club, and Taylor Glover and Daniel Melling accepted the U17 Men’s winner’s trophy.