It was certainly an excellent day at the office for athletes from Morpeth Harriers & AC, who were competing in the Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships, held at Sport City, Manchester, on Sunday.
The club’s Senior Men achieved a set of bronze team medals in their six-stage event, and their four other competing teams on the day, all achieved top ten placings.
Posting the third fastest time of the day overall of 16m12s, Peter Newton got the Morpeth Senior Men into second place on the penultimate fifth leg.
However sixth and final leg runner, Thomas Straughan, succumbed to intense pressure from Derby’s Richard Weir on the final leg, and was forced to settle for Bronze medal placing, despite clocking 17m18s.
The earlier legs of Sam Hancox (17m06s), Ian Harding (16m59s), Nick Swinburn (16m34s), and Carl Avery (16m43s), had seen the squad progress from 15th to 4th.
Liverpool Harriers were the event winners, by a margin of 30 seconds from Derby, with Morpeth a further 18 seconds adrift.
Morpeth also had a Senior Men’s B team competing in the event, who managed to finish 23rd of 100 complete teams, and fourth of all of the B teams in the event.
The fact that they had finished in as high as they had, meant that Morpeth had also qualified for the National Relay finals at Sutton Park in two week’s time, to be eligible to field a B team.
Runners competing in the Morpeth B team were Andrew Lawrence, who managed to head the Morpeth A runner Sam Hancox on first leg, posting a similar time of 17m06s, Jake Masterman (18m50s), Fergus Bates (18m42s), Mark Snowball (18m30s), Karl Taylor (18m03s), and Jordan Scott (18m03s).
Daniel Dixon of Morpeth Harriers produced an excellent third fastest clocking of 9m00s in the U15 Boys three leg relay, which elevated Morpeth from seventeenth place to a final position of sixth, following the earlier legs of Daniel Melling (9m54s), and Thomas Cunningham (10m17s).
A truly excellent performance saw Morpeth Harriers U15 Girls finish sixth.
They got off to an excellent start, when Ellie Coxon came home in ninth place, posting a time of 10m41s.
Lily Heaton valiantly held on to this placing throughout her second leg posting of 11m23s, and Holly Peck ran well to claw back three places on the final leg, where she clocked an excellent 10m47s.
Posting an excellent tenth fastest of the day time of 9m50s, Morpeth’s Rory Leonard got Morpeth Harriers U17 Men’s squad off to an excellent start, when he finished seventh on the first leg of the U17 Men’s three leg relay.
Despite clocking 10m40s on the tough second leg, Liam Marsh slipped to 11th on leg two.
However, Kieran Hedley managed to get the squad back up to seventh, with his final leg clocking of 10m09s, which was the fourth fastest of the leg.
Connor Marshall of Morpeth finished 22nd in 10m40s on first leg, for an incomplete Morpeth Harriers B team.
Morpeth Harriers U13 Boys finished an excellent tenth in their three leg event, courtesy of Ben Walker (10m30s), Alex Porteous (10m54s), and Dylan Davies (10m31s).
* Morpeth Harriers held their first races in their annual Young Athletes Road Championships, on Lancaster Park,
It was their U13 athletes who got the four race programme underway, with Dylan Davies taking the Gold Medal in the Boys race, posting a winning time over the one and a half mile, one lap circuit, of 8m04s, which saw him just outsprint Ben Walker to the finish line by two seconds, with Alex Porteous taking the Bronze medal in 8m32s.
Rhiannon Hedley was an easy winner of the Girls race, posting a winning time of 9m24s.
Second place, and a Silver medal went to Mia Belton, who finished in 10m03s, just three seconds ahead of 2015 Under 11 Girls Champion Orla Callaghan, who now in an older age group, improved on her last years’ time by 32 seconds, and added a Bronze medal to her collection.
Other leading results were:
Boys: Dylan Gooding (4th) 8m38s, Ben Waterfield (5th) 8m39s, Bobby Stone (6th) 8m41s, Jack Livingstone (7th) 8m43s, Jack Barrett (8th) 8m46s, Charlie Lane (9th) 8m47s, Ciaran Leahy (10th) 9m00s, Callum Rowell (11th) 9m01s, James Tilley (12th) 9m05s,
Girls: Amelie Binns-Smith (4th) 10m07s, Rebecca Bradley (5th) 10m43s, Laura Melling (6th) 10m48s, Katie Fraser (7th) 10m52s, Fay Smith (8th) 10m57s, Francesca Takher (9th) 11m26s, Emma Gerrard (10th) 11m26s, Eadie Barakat (11th) 11m30s, Molly Ions (12th) 11m30s.
All medallists will receive their awards at a presentation in mid-November.