Whilst temperatures had cooled there was still a depth of warmth in athletes’ performances at the annual Northumberland Schools Track and Field Championships, held at Gateshead International Stadium.
Amongst those were several from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers, who not only achieved wins in their respective events, but in some cases produced excellent championship bests.
Notable were junior throwers Ruaridh Lang (boys), and Bobbie Griffiths (girls), who were East Northumberland representatives and who achieved championship bests of the highest order.
These two athletes have been in exceptional form of late and they continued in this vein as they both achieved two event victories.
Lang’s best came in the discus, which he won comfortably by producing a championship best of 41.36m, which was just over eight metres clear of his closest rival, and was just under five metres ahead of the event best, and more importantly was well inside the English Schools standard, which will see him clearly through to those championships which take place at the same venue next month.
He also looks set to compete in the shot competition following a victory with a best of 11.32m, which although was still just over two metres short of the event best, was inside the English Schools standard, which will probably see him double up for what could be one of the county’s biggest prospects for a double haul of national medals.
Griffiths, for her part, also looks to be a good candidate for national medal prospects.
She won the junior girls’ javelin by producing an excellent 35.62m, which was just over a metre and a half inside the championship best, but was also two and a half metres inside the English Schools standard.
Griffiths also had an impressive victory in the discus with her best effort of 22.04m.
Apart from Lang and Griffiths, other Morpeth Harriers also managed nine individual victories on the day.
Ellie Burt was another who achieved two respective wins in the junior girls’ shot (9.56m), and hammer (20.10m), although in the latter, the East Northumberland athlete was starved of opposition.
Taylor Glover produced an excellent win in the junior boys’ 1500m in 4m24.63s.
Elsewhere in the junior boys’ track events, Joe Dowd finished second in the 800m in 2m08.75s, and Elliot Cowie finished third in the 300m in 41.37s.
Jacob Hopkins enjoyed his first individual track victory for some time when he won the intermediate boys’ 800m in a time of 2m06.80s.
Behind him in third place was his Morpeth Harriers club-mate Josh Burton, who was also representing East Northumberland, and he clocked 2m09.94s, something he would not have even dreamed of three weeks previously as he nursed a painful and restricting injury.
Another excellent intermediate boys winner was Scott Beattie, representing North Tyneside, in the 3000m in 9m09.21s.
Kieran Hedley produced a superb performance when finishing a close second to Tynedale’s Max Pearson in the intermediate boys’ 1500m, setting brand new figures of 4m14.75s.
In the intermediate boys’ field events, Mitch Green did well when finishing second in the triple jump, with his best effort of 11.49m.
Green also competed in the javelin, where he was fourth with his best effort of 30.78m.
Gregor Sharp had two third places in the intermediate boys’ discus and hammer, with respective efforts of 31.90m and 23.10m
In the discus he finished just ahead of his Morpeth Harriers club-mate Elliot Moore (31.59m).
Moore also finished fourth in the shot with his best of 10.41m.
The senior boys’ events saw two excellent respective wins for Morpeth Harriers Nathan Cox and Adam Gibbs.
Cox, representing North Northumberland, won the 800m in 1m58.82s, and Gibbs, representing North Tyneside, won the 1500m in 4m02.17s.
Second place in the 1500m went to fellow Morpeth Harrier James Young of East Northumberland, who clocked 4m15.91s.
Two excellent track performers from Morpeth Harriers in the junior girls’ events were Hannah Brown and Jessica Young-Rogers.
Brown won the junior girls’ 75m hurdles in 11.9s after winning her earlier heat in 12.1s
Young-Rogers enjoyed a victory in the 100m in 13.0s, after also winning her heat in 13.1.
She was close to making it a double victory in the 200m, however, found 27.63s a mere second adrift, when finishing third.
It was indeed an excellent day for Young-Rogers when she also placed third in the high jump with her clearance of 1.40m.
After finishing second in her heat of the intermediate girls’ 100m, East Northumberland’s Naomi Arkle of Morpeth Harriers finished third in the later run final in 13.42s.
Another third in the intermediate girls’ events was Abby Sheldon, who produced a best of 22.75m in the javelin.
Georgia Priest finished second in the intermediate girls’ shot, with her best putt of 9.66m.
Other Morpeth Harrier performances in the Northumberland Schools Track and Field Championships not already mentioned were as follows:
Junior Boys: 300m Matthew Waterfield (East) (4th) 41.64s, 800m Matthew Waterfield (East) (9th) 2m18.78s, 1500m Connor Marshall (East) (8th) 4m48.53s), Alex Cunningham (East) (11th) 5m00.14s.
Intermediate Boys: 100m Declan Stoker (East) (4th) 12.04s, Mitch Green (East) (5th) 12.14s, 400m Will Kelly (North Tyne) (6th) 56.39s, 800m Jamie Duguid (East) (6th) 2m20.29s, 1500m Cameron Kirk (Ncle) (7th) 5m02.18s, 3000m Adam Shewry (East) (4th) 9m59.80s.
Junior Girls: 800m Ailsa Jones (East) (9th) 2m38.35s, 1500m Kate Seymour (East) (7th) 5m40.16s, 75m Hurdles Harriet Priest (East) (6th) 13.17s, High Jump Harriet Priest (East) (6th) 13.17s, Long Jump Ailsa Jones (East) (6th) 4.17m, Shot Lottie Hume (North Nland) (5th) 8.59m, Discus Lottie Hume (North Nland) (4th) 19.63m.
Intermediate Girls: 1500m Abby Sheldon (North Nland) (5th) 5m22.97s, 1500m Lizzie Rank (East) (7th) 5m55.59s.