Griffiths takes gold to defend her Northern U17 javelin title

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Four Morpeth Harriers were in action at the annual Northern Athletics combined Under 13/Under15/Under17 Track and Field Championships, held on Saturday and Sunday, at Leigh Sports Village in Greater Manchester.

Two came away with Championship medals, most notably Under 17 Woman throws specialist Bobbie Griffiths, who won gold in the Javelin, thus retaining the Northern title that she had won 12 months previously at Middlesbrough.

Griffiths managed to throw a best of 39.75m, winning by a margin of 1.73m, over her closest rival Harriet Cannell of Kingston Upon Hull.

On Saturday, Griffiths also came very close to a Bronze Medal in the Discus, where she finished fourth, hurling a best of 30.21m, losing out by a mere 39cm.

She also competed in the Hammer, where she was thirteenth, throwing a best of 35.20m, and the Shot Putt, finishing eleventh, with a best of 9.85m.

Morpeth’s second medallist in the Championships was Under 15 Boy Ethan Stephenson, who won a Bronze in the Triple Jump, producing a new personal best performance of 12.03m.

Stephenson also just missed a second Bronze Medal in the Long Jump, again producing a new personal best of 5.69m, just losing out by a mere 15cm.

Another Morpeth athlete just missing a medal was Under 13 Girl Ellie Longstaff, who finished fourth in the final of the 100m, posting a time of 13.45s, after finishing second in her heat in 13.69m.

Although she finished third in her heat of the Under 15 Girls 75m Hurdles in 12.36m, Morpeth Harrier Amy Lott made no further progress.

* In her first competitive outing since her excellent run in the World Championship Women’s 1500m Final, Morpeth’s Laura Weightman was left feeling somewhat disappointed by her run in Sunday’s Diamond League Meeting, held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, where she finished a distant eighth, posting a finishing time of 4m05.81s, which was a good four and a half seconds adrift of event winner Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia.

To be fair, Weightman’s World Championship involved three races in the space of four days, which may well have taken toll on her general race fitness.

The early pace, set by Sale’s Jenny Meadows, was a lively 63 seconds.

* Under 17 Morpeth Harrier Rory Leonard set new figures of 4m00.17s, when finishing fourth in the fifth fastest Men’s 1500m event, at the BMC Trafford Grand Prix meeting, held at Stretford on Saturday night.

It was Leonard’s seventh attempt at the distance this year, including one indoor appearance back in January, that has seen his performances decrease from 4m13.82s to this latest achievement.

Certainly, an excellent year of achievement on the track, and there looks to be more to come from this emerging talent.

* 169 enthusiastic competitors took part in the annual Run Northumberland Nunnykirk 10k Road Race on the evening of Wednesday 16th August 2017, including six members of Morpeth Harriers, who were led home by Over 40 Veteran Man Andy Leason, who finished thirteenth overall in 43m06s, nearly nine minutes behind race winner Kurt Herron of Ashington Hirst Running Club, himself a former Morpeth Harrier. Leason was second in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s category.

Five places behind Leason was club colleague Mark Crosby, who posted a finishing time of 45m16s, and was fourth in the Over 50 Male Veteran category.

Other Morpeth finishers in the event were as follows: -

Richard Kirby (19th) (4th O/45 Man) 45m21s, Mike Steven (27th) (1st O/60 Man) 47m32s, Jane Kirby (40th) (2nd O/40 Woman) 50m12s, and Jilly Bell (73rd) (4th O/45 Woman) 54m40s.