Harriers reach for the sky at Grand Prix

THE continued spell of good weather conditions brought an excellent turnout of competitors to the sixth and final Start Fitness-sponsored North East Counties Grand Prix Athletics meeting, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium, last Wednesday.

Among the good performers were athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.

Ryan Stephenson continued to achieve success and the North Eastern 1500m gold medallist won the Senior Men’s 800m in 1m57.0s.

Not far behind him in third place was clubmate Lewis Timmins, who clocked 1m58.1s.

Very impressive in the U17 Men’s 800m was new signing Nathan Cox, who achieved new figures of 2m01.9s, when finishing second to Gateshead Harrier Henry Johnson.

In the 200m events, Natalie Price was an impressive U13 Girls’ performer, clocking a winning time of 29.4s.

Taking second place to her in terms of time was her Morpeth Harriers clubmate, Hannah Brown, who clocked 29.7s.

Brown also finished second in the U13 Girls’ 70m hurdles in 12.7s.

Henrik Paulsen and Morpeth clubmate Kenny Harrison were impressive in the Junior and U17 Men’s 200m events respectively.

Paulsen was second in his junior race in 25.6s, and Harrison finished likewise in the U17 Men’s contest in 25.7s.

These two also finished fourth and fifth in their respective 400m, with clockings of 59.9s and 57.2s.

In the U13 Boys’ 200m, Jack Balmbra and Joe Dowd finished fourth and sixth fastest with 27.9s, and 29.1s.

In the U15 Boys’ 200m, Morpeth Harriers’ three entrants Declan Stoker, Jake Jardine, and William Kelly finished fourth, fifth and eighth, with respective clockings of 26.0s, 26.1s and 26.3s.

Amber Cormack finished third in the U17 Women’s 300m in 45.2s.

Morpeth Harriers’ only competitor in the Senior Men’s 3000m, Michael Dawson, finished fifth in 9m05.9s.

In the field events, Ryan Green won the U17 Men’s high jump with his clearance of 1.75m.

Younger brother Mitch Green cleared 1.70m to finish second in the U15 Boys’ pole vault.

In the U15 Boys’ shot, Morpeth Harriers Elliot Moore and Toby Parks had respective bests of 10.41m and 10.12m, putting them first and second in the competition.

Moore also achieved a new personal best for his efforts.

Eire Marshall and Abby Sheldon will have gained more experience from their respective performances in the U13 Girls’ 200m and 800m, and U15 Girls’ 800m, with clockings of 32.7s, 2m50.9s and 2m40.1s.

Marshall’s 800m saw her finish as sixth fastest.

2012 MORPETH 10k winner Nick Swinburn did not defend his title on August 6, because instead the intrepid Morpeth Harrier was preparing himself for a much stiffer challenge.

Nick was one of the UK’s top mountain runners in Keswick to contest the World Team Trials and to battle for a much-coveted place in the World Mountain Championships, scheduled to be held in Poland in September.

This was the third and final race in the series and, as a result of finishing fifth in the Men’s field, Swinburn emerged as the leading man overall, which in turn, made him the UK Mountain Champion and also gave him a selected place for Poland.

In the end, it was a closely-fought affair at the head of the Men’s contest, with only three points covering the top three places.

With 98 points achieved, Swinburn edged out Ilkley’s Tom Adams 96, with Eryn’s Rob Samuels third on 95.

MORPETH Harrier Serod Batochir was left feeling somewhat disappointed by his performance at Saturday’s 14th IAAF World Championships Marathon in Moscow.

He never got to grips with the leaders, and although he seemed to be in a progressing 27th place at halfway, the Mongolian champion eventually slipped back to finish in 36th place in a time of 2hrs 21m 55s, just over 10 minutes down on his best time.

The event was won by the 2012 London Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda in a time of 2hrs9m51s.

JONNY Taylor and Lewis Timmins of Morpeth Harriers competed at the final BMC Grand Prix meeting at Stretford on Saturday evening.

Taylor finished fourth in a class-’filled Mens 1500m B-race in a time of 3m47.42s.

Meanwhile, Timmins finished third in the 1500m D-race in 3m54.77s.

MICHAEL Dawson of Morpeth Harriers won Saturday’s Newcastle Park run, completing the 5k circuit in the Exhibition Park in 16m33s.

Six more Morpeth Harriers also took part.

Jim Alder was just short of his best time when finishing 27th in 19m47s.

Richard Sill produced a new personal best of 20m29s when finishing 40th.

Further Morpeth Harriers performances were as follows: James McFetrich (new pb, 55th) 21m06s, Richard Driscoll (67th) 21m38s, Mike Steven (82nd) 22m14s and Carlos Werner (220th) 27m46s.

Heavy overnight rain made conditions very tricky for runners taking part in Sunday’s resurrected Exhibition Park Cup 5k race, now run under the stewardship of the region’s newest athletics club Tyne Bridge Harriers, formerly organised by Elswick Harriers.

The event also provided a new race winner in the form of recent Morpeth 10k champion Tadele Geremew of Elswick Harriers, who took victory in 15m13s, snatching victory by a margin of one second over Morpeth Harrier Ian Hudspith, who was first veteran man.

Second home from Morpeth Harriers was Thomas Straughan, who produced an excellent run to finish seventh in 16m41s.

Next home for Morpeth was John Butters, who was 19th in 17m32s.

In a close Women’s race, Morpeth’s Triathlon supremo Emma Holt placed second to Wallsend Harrier Danielle Hodgkinson.

Holt finished 31st overall in 18m18s.

Other Morpeth Harriers performances came from Peter Scaife (92nd and fifth Over-50 Men) 21m05s and Nick Armstrong (95th and eighth Over-45 Men) 21m13s.

MORPETH Harriers Mick Thomsen and Phil Walker travelled to Glasgow on Sunday to take part in the British Masters 10k Road Race Championships.

Mick finished 24th overall in 35m03s, and was 10th in the Over 35 Male veteran category.

Meanwhile, Phil finished 42nd overall in 36m31s, and was eighth in the Over 45 Male veteran section.