An on-the-day victory by a margin of nearly 120 points in their final-round North East Youth Development League match at the new Middlesbrough Sports Village confirmed Morpeth Harriers’ young athletes, both male and female, as division one champions.
It also meant that over the four fixtures, the club achieved a 100% record of match wins.
Very close competition raged throughout the day, resulting in only 232 points dividing first-placed Morpeth and the bottom-placed club, Tynedale Harriers.
Morpeth claimed no fewer than 20 outright A-string victories, enhanced by 22 B-string wins.
Declan Stoker was a star performer in the under-17 men’s sprints, winning both the 100m and 200m in 12.0s and 24.9s respectively.
Another under-17 performer Jamie Duguid, running in the 1,500m for the first time, won in 5m00.2s.
He finished second in the 800m in 2m23.1s and third in the A-string 400m in 65.1s.
There were some excellent performers among the Morpeth under-17 men’s field event specialists too.
Charlie Chisholm, competing in the javelin for the first time, threw a best of 22.59m, backed up by Hugh Weatherton’s B-string win with 17.63m, again a first-time effort.
Chisholm also produced a B-string win in the discus with 31.23m, a new personal best, giving good backing to Elliot Moore’s A-string effort of 31.74m, also a personal best.
Moore also enjoyed a win in the shot with 11.87m, again a personal best, and second place in the hammer, another personal best, of 28.61m, finishing behind Harrogate rival Tej Mekako’s league record throw of 33.42m.
Backing up Moore in the B-string hammer and shot events was Hugh Weatherton, who won respectively with efforts of 21.35m and 9.35m.
The under-17 men’s long jump saw a win for Morpeth’s David Thomas with his best effort of 5.56m.
Mitchell Cryer’s personal best of 4.33m saw him take the B string in support.
Thomas also produced 11.86m in the triple jump, but could only finish second to Harrogate’s Mekako, claiming his second league record of the day with 12.41m.
In the high jump, Thomas, competing for the first time, cleared 1.55m for second in the A string. Will Aitchison gave excellent B string support, winning with 1.35m.
Morpeth Harriers’ under-17 men’s 4x100m relay squad finished second to Gateshead in 49.7s, losing out by a second.
The club’s best female performers were its under-15 girls, with their best results coming from the field events, where their throwers recorded four double victories.
Three of those A-string victories were claimed by Bobbie Griffiths, two of them personal best performances.
Ironically, her favoured event, the javelin, did not yield a personal best, but her best throw of 34.42m was good enough to win by nearly 13m.
In the under-15 girls’ hammer event, Griffiths did produce a personal best of 23.43m to win the A string by a margin of just over 2m.
Another excellent performer in the hammer was Morpeth B string athlete Ellie Burt, winning with the second best throw of the contest of 23.14m, not far behind Griffiths’ overall winning effort.
Griffiths achieved her third victory, and second personal best of the day in the discus, when she hurled 28.09m, giving her nearly a 9m margin over her closest A string rival.
Making her Harriers debut, US-born Charlotte Pickering-Pruvot proved a formidable B-string partner to Griffiths in the discus, winning with a best of 21.37m.
Pickering-Pruvot, a New Yorker, had her own personal moment of glory, when winning the A-string shot with a best of 9.70m.
Ellie Burt won the B-string shot for Morpeth with her best effort of 8.61m.
Best performance in the jumps for Morpeth was produced by Harriet Priest, whose clearance of 1.36m in the high jump showed an improvement of 1cm and gave her her third A-string placement.
In the under-15 sprint events, Jessica Young-Rogers won the A-string 100m in13.2s, and Hannah Brown took the B string in 14.0s.
Although Young-Rogers produced a personal best of 27.0s in the 200m A string, she just lost out to New Marske’s Amy Carter by a hair’s breadth. Nadine Arkle won the B race in 28.4s.
Both Morpeth athletes in the 300m produced personal bests, of 46.3s and 46.9s, giving Harriet Priest and Ailsa Jones respective places of fourth and second in the A and B-string sections.
Another personal best came in the under-15 1,500m A race as Ellie Coxon finished second in 5m39.8s.
Gracie Hufton finished second in the B race in 5m40.6s.
Hannah Brown and Harriet Priest, competing in the under-15 75m hurdles, finished second in the A string in 12.5s and first in 12.8s to take the B race respectively.
The under-15 4x100m relay squad won in 53.9s.
Ruaridh Lang once again was the club’s star performer in the under-15 boys’ events.
The English schools bronze medallist again proved to be a league record breaker in the shot, when he putted a personal best for an A-string victory with 12.40m.
Making his Morpeth debut, Andrew Knight finished as fourth B string with 7.74m.
This pairing also teamed up in the discus, where Lang took the A string with a best of 42.04m and Knight produced a best of 17.87m to finish as second B string.
Taylor Glover and Connor Marshall achieved a double win in the under-15 boys’ 1,500m with times of 4m26.7s and 4m50.7s respectively.
The under-13 boys’ events saw Thomas Cunningham and Findlay Deakin finish in second places respectively in the 800m A and B races. Cunningham posted a time of 2m32.7s, and Deakin clocked 2m34.5s.
Andrew Hudspith and Dylan Davies proved a fine pairing in the 1,500m. Hudspith finished third in the A race in 5m15.3s, and Davies won the B race in 5m21.1s.
The club’s youngest age group for girls also performed well, with Holly Peck and Rhiannon Hedley providing a superb double win in the 1,500m.
Peck won the A race in 5m09.6s, and Hedley took the B race in 5m14.2s.
Despite clocking a personal best of 30.8s in the 200m A race, Grace Bathgate finished third. She was well backed up, however, by Amy Lott’s B-race victory in 31.3s.
Lily Heaton found North-East champion Natasha Stephenson too hot to handle in the 800m and finished second in 2m38.3s.
Naomi Arkle was in excellent form in the under-17 women’s events. She just missed out on victory in the A race of the 100m, clocking 13.7s, but later won the 200m A race in 27.7s.
Abby Sheldon was Morpeth’s other under-17 women’s track winner on the day, taking the 1,500m in 5m16.7s.
She also put in a winning performance in the javelin, posting 24.71m.
The final match result, subject to further scrutiny, was a win for Morpeth Harriers with 716pts, followed by Blaydon with 597.5pts and Harrogate with 592.5pts.
There were some truly excellent performances by athletes from Morpeth Harriers at the fifth and penultimate Start Fitness North East Grand Prix meeting, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on Wednesday 22nd July 2015.
Very prominent amongst those performances were Chris Smith, Scott Beattie, Carl Avery, Kieran Hedley, Daniel Moore and Holly Peck.
In the seeded Senior Men’s 1500m, Smith clocked a new personal best of 4m02.8s, when he won by a few strides from his Morpeth Harriers clubmate Scott Beattie, who was first Under 17 Man, clocking a new personal best of 4m04.4s.
A few strides behind Beattie was Morpeth Senior Man Carl Avery, who in his first ever track 1500m clocked an excellent 4m04.9s.
Not far behind Avery, was another Morpeth athlete Kieran Hedley, who clocked an impressive 4m08.4s.
Hedley was second Under 17 Man behind Beattie.
Other top Morpeth performers in the seeded 1500m were James Young, who was fourth fastest Junior Man with 4m13.0s, and Thomas Straughan, who sixth fastest Senior Man with a new personal best of 4m13.8s.
Another top Senior Man in action was Daniel Moore, who was fastest in both the 100m and 200m with impressive clockings of 11.6s and 23.3s respectively.
Fellow Morpeth Harrier Wayne Gedge was third fastest Senior Man in the 100m with his time of 13.0s.
In the Under 17 Women’s seeded 1500m, Morpeth’s Abby Sheldon was second fastest in 5m14.0s.
Holly Peck of Morpeth won the Under 13 Girls 1500m in 5m04.5s, outpacing club colleague Rhiannon Hedley, who clocked 5m06.9s.
Lily Heaton of Morpeth was fourth in 5m22.8s.
Ellie Coxon of Morpeth finished fifth in the Under 15 Girls 1500m in 5m20.6s.
In the Under 15 Boys 1500m, Connor Marshall of Morpeth was fourth in 4m46.2s.
Morpeth Harriers also had some good performers in the Field Events, quite notably Elliot Moore, Charlotte Pickering-Pruvot, and Dan Lloyd.
Moore putted 11.71m to win the Under 17 Men’s Shot.
Pickering-Pruvot, in only her second outing in a Morpeth vest, produced a best of 10.13m to win the Under 15 Girls Shot.
Dan Lloyd was second in the Under 13 Boys Shot with a best of 6.92m.
Andrew Knight was fourth in the Under 15 Boys Shot with a best of 8.71m.
In the Senior Men’s Discus, Morpeth Harrier Steven Appleby produced a best throw of 29.43m to take sixth place.
Pic attached, Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes Squad celebrating their League Victory at Middlesbrough Sports Village, Pic Courtesy of Steve Garrett.