Not for the first time, Morpeth Harrier Andrew Knight found the form of Stratford’s Lewis Byng just a little bit too much to come to terms with at the weekend.
The pair were competing in the first day of competition at the England Athletics combined Under 15/Under 17 Track and Field Championships, held at Bedford County Stadium on Saturday.
Fully appreciating that Byng would probably win the day, nevertheless a determined Knight got on with job in hand and maintained his season long form in the Under 17 Men’s Shot Putt, by finishing an excellent and clear second, by producing an on the day best of 16.66m, to Byng’s winning Putt of 19.45m.
This was a distance which fractionally bettered his lifetime achievement, and gave him is fourth England Athletics medal to date, albeit silver.
He now possesses two silver, one gold, and one bronze, the gold coming from this year’s Indoor Championships, which he secured at Sheffield in February.
Byng, and Knight, who only has one more competition as a Morpeth Harrier, also remain as No 1 and 2 in the UK Rankings, with Southampton AC’s Josh Wise at No 3.
Wise, who finished third on Saturday with a best effort of 15.83m, which also a new lifetime best, will soon be joined by Knight at Southampton, who very shortly heads south in a family move.
Knight’s last appearance as a Morpeth Harrier officially, will come next weekend, when he competes in the UK Schools Games in Loughborough, where he will again be facing high profile opposition.
* Rain and a brisk cold wind severely affected athletes’ performances at the annual Tartan Games Open Track and Field Meeting, held at Gateshead Stadium on Sunday.
Amongst those competing was thirteen from Morpeth Harriers, who, despite the conditions on the day, served up some fine performances, which included no less than four outright winners from the club, two from the track, and two from the field, with one athlete particularly achieving two wins.
That athlete was Ethan Stephenson, who despite the rain and an untimely wind, achieved an excellent win in the Under 17 Men’s Long Jump, by producing an on the day best of 5.84m, which was only a mere fraction adrift of his lifetime best.
Stephenson also enjoyed victory in the Triple Jump, where his only opposition came from guesting Birchfield Senior Scott Hall.
The Morpeth man produced an on the day best performance of 12.21m.
Meanwhile on the track, North Eastern Under 15 Boys 800m champion Ben Waterfield proved too good for his rivals, when he won in 2m15.85s.
His Morpeth Harriers club colleague Dylan Gooding also performed well to finish third in 2m29.08s.
Under 15 Hurdles specialist Alice Geoghegan defied the tricky conditions to seize victory from Darlington’s Darcey Garbutt in a photo finish, with the Morpeth girl getting the verdict with an identical time of 12.66s.
In the Under 15 Girls 200m, Morpeth’s Mia Belton qualified for a later run final by finishing second in her heat in 28.61s.
She finished third in the final in an improved 28.58s.
Morpeth’s Phil Pitt finished fifth overall in a combined Under 20/Senior/Veteran Men’s 100m.
The Over 35 Veteran posted a time of 12.49s and beat two Under 20’s and the only Senior Man to the finish line.
In a very close finish, Morpeth’s Alistair Douglass was given second place in a twelve strong field of Senior Men in their 800m.
Posting a time of 2m01.62s, Douglass just lost out for victory to visiting Macclesfield athlete Charlie Candlish.
Back with the sprinters, and Morpeth’s Ellie Longstaff won her way to the final of the Under 15 Girls 100m in 13.68s, but in a slower raced later final, she finished third in 14.1s.
The Under 13 Girls High Jump saw Morpeth’s Kaitlyn Waddell produce a new personal best of 1.25m, one of the days few due to the conditions, to finish second.
Club colleague Hannah Lott, younger sister of Morpeth’s Amy, equalled her personal best of 1.20m, when finished further back in the order, in seventh place.
Lott did do well for herself however in the 70m Hurdles, producing a new personal best of 13.06s, obviously possessing some of the early talents, that of her elder sister.
Her time proved to be the fourth equal fastest of ten competitors, which included Waddell, who was seventh fastest overall with 13.83s.
As a first timer, Lott also competed in the 100m, where her time of 15.84s, saw her finish fifth in her heat of three.
Waddell also competed in the 200m, finishing fifth in her heat of two, posting a time of 33.54s.
Competing in the Under 15 Girls Long Jump for the first time outdoors, Morpeth’s Alice Geoghegan produced a new personal best of 4.31m, placing her fourth of nine competitors.
In the Senior Men’s Discus, Morpeth’s Steven Appleby threw 31.11m for fifth place overall.
Competing in his first Tartan Games, Morpeth’s Under 13 Boy Sam Dent finished fifth in his heat of the 100m in 15.9s, and was also fifth of thirteen competitors in the Long Jump, with an on the day best of 3.82m.
Well Done indeed to all athletes and officials for managing a day offset by extremely unseasonal weather and conditions.
* Three Morpeth Harriers took part in Sunday’s annual Tynedale 10 Mile Road Race, held on a brand new out and back course from Ovingham Middle School to Bywell in Northumberland.
The event was won by Blackhill Bounder Jordan Bell, who posted a time of 55m09s, winning by nine seconds from Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks, with Heaton Harrier James Meader, a further 72 seconds further adrift in third place.
First home of the two Morpeth Harriers was Matthew Boyle, who finished in fourteenth place, with a time of 61m18s.
Second home from Morpeth was Over 60 Veteran Gavin Bayne, who was 28th in 66m57s, and was first in his category.
Over 65 Veteran Norman Clark was the other Morpeth finisher in 119th place in 78m49s and was second in his category.
The event had 274 finishers and incorporated both the NECAA and NEMAA Championships.
* Last week we reported on the successes of Morpeth Harriers Amy Lott and Jessica Gardiner in the Scottish Track and Field Championships, held in Aberdeen, however we omitted to include the two Silver Medals won by Gardiner’s younger brother Edward.
Edward had been an excellent double silver medallist on the Saturday in the Under 13 Boys Javelin and Discus.
In the Javelin, he produced an on the day best of 29.82m in his fourth of six throws.
This also presented him with not only his medal, but also a new lifetime best, improving on his previous figures by around 5m.
In the Discus, he won his silver medal with an on the day best of 23.91m with his final throw.
This was also a new lifetime best, improving on his previous figures by over 5m.
These two performances now also make him currently No 1 in the North East regional rankings for both events.