Harrier Joe’s slip costs him place in final

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IT was a disappointing early exit for Morpeth Harriers’ U17 star Joe Robertshaw, at the first day of the North of England Indoor Athletics Championships, held at Sheffield Arena, over Saturday and Sunday, writes George Patterson.

The North Eastern Counties 400m outdoor bronze medallist, running the Indoor 400m Championship for the first time, unfortunately slightly misjudged the camber during his heat and straddled the dividing line at the edge of his lane long enough to catch the eagle eye of an observing track judge, who, in turn, issued notice of a disqualification.

This meant immediate elimination from a competition that almost certainly would have given Robertshaw at least a minor medal to show for his efforts, as he had more than clearly won his heat by at least five metres, which in turn would have seen him safely through to the final.

Afterwards, a clearly distraught, yet philosophical Robertshaw, declared that he had taken a great deal of experience from the occasion and would hope to put this disappointment behind him as quickly as possible, and will obviously seek to experience more of this type of event, in order to gain a wider tactical knowledge for the future.

On the same day, Morpeth Harriers U15 Boys sprinter Alex Nesbit went out in the heats of the 60m when finishing fourth individually, as fifth fastest overall with 8.07s.

After winning her heat in 58.27s, former Morpeth Harrier, now Trafford AC Nisha Desai, won herself an individual silver medal in the final of the Senior Women’s 400m, with an improved clocking of 57.37s.

l For the second week running, a record number of competitors turned out for the Newcastle Park Run on Saturday, in Exhibition Park.

Among the 364 finishers were five from Morpeth Harriers, who were led home by Gary Jones, who finished third in 16m54s, just short of his best for the 5k circuit.

However, one Morpeth Harrier who bettered his previous best was Thomas Straughan.

Having his second run, he managed to clip 62 seconds off his previous best, when placing 11th in 17m36s.

Third home was Morpeth’s Park Run regular Graeme Leathard, who finished 44th in 19m40s.

Mike Steven was next home for the club, finishing 91st in 21m12s, and eight seconds behind him was Marie Drosdowicz, who gained the extra satisfaction of a new personal best on the course, when finishing as 11th Woman overall in 96th place.

l Ben Harrison of Morpeth Harriers continued his good winter form, when he placed 22nd in a relatively strong senior men’s field, in the mid-Lancs cross country fixture, held at Hyndburn on Saturday.

l At the second day of the North of England Indoor Athletics Championships on Sunday in Sheffield, Morpeth Harrier Alex Nesbit clocked a new personal best, when finishing second in his heat of the U15 Boys’ 200m, with a time of 25.76s.

Unfortunately, 25.81s could only gain him fifth in the final.

Morpeth’s Michael Dawson finished fourth in the final of the senior men’s 3000m in 8m55.66s.

Jarod Lewis finished third in his heat of the U15 Boys’ 800m in a time of 2m16.71s.

Although this was a personal best, it was still not quite good enough to gain a place in the final.

l More news from Park Runs, where in Leeds, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman finished as first Woman, in a time of 16m57s.

l Morpeth Harriers still have an unclaimed prize from their annual 11k Road Race on New Year’s Day.

The prize was won by unattached competitor Christine Dungait (No 173), who finished 69th in 49m37s.

Morpeth Harriers would like Ms Dungait to contact them, either by email on morpethharriers@aol.com or by ringing club secretary Mike Bateman on 01670712228, or press officer George Patterson 01670734295, passing on contact detals for the prize to be forwarded.