Harriers show the victory sign at Churchill

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SOME fine performances from both genders enabled a handsome victory for Morpeth Harriers’ Senior Track and Field squad in their third round Northern League Division Three match at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay, on Sunday, writes George Patterson.

While John Thompson and David Swinburne were able to field a reasonably strong Men’s section, Women’s Team Manager Mike Bateman was well pleased with what was possibly the best turnout for many years by his charges, with the exception of a couple of areas, and was pleased with their contribution.

Highlight of the Women’s section came from performances by Elaine Telford and newcomer Beth Laidler in the sprints, Ailsa McGregor in the Hurdles, and Claire Reid and Chelsey Morrison in the Field events.

Telford won the 100m in 13.1s, and Laidler obliged by taking the B race in 14.5s.

The pair also combined in the 200m, where Telford took second in the A race in 28.2s and Laidler finished third in the B race in 31.0s. Not content with this, the pair also took a double victory in the Long Jump with respective performances of 4.81m and 4.33m.

They also played their part along with Sarah Wilkes and Rosie McDonald to achieve an excellent Women’s 4x100m victory in 57.2s.

McGregor enjoyed victory in the 100m and 400m Hurdles in respective times of 20.1s, and 75.1s, and also placed third in both the High Jump (1.35m) and Triple Jump (8.49m). Elaine Telford also finished third in the B event of the Triple Jump with 7.79m.

Claire Reid managed two wins and two seconds in the field events. She took victory in the Discus and Shot Putt, with bests of 33.40m and 10.39m, and her second places came in the Javelin (19.45m), and Hammer (24.36m).

In three of those events she was well backed up by the B string performances of Under 17 athlete Chelsey Morrison, who achieved a win, and two second places.

She won the Hammer with 21.36m, then achieved 16.93m in the Discus, and rounded off a splendid afternoon’s work by putting 6.62m in the Shot.

In the Women’s 3000m, Kate Chapman and Marie Drozdowicz combined to take second places in the respective A and B races in 11m57.8s, and 12m41.1s. In the A races of the 400m and 800m, Gemma Floyd finished third and fourth with respective clockings of 68.1s and 2m32.3s, and was well backed up by the B string performances of twin sisters Rosie and Molly McDonald.

Rosie achieved a personal best performance of 68.5s to take the 400m B race, and Molly finished third in the B string 800m in 2m45.2s.

Molly and Rosie also combined with Sarah Wilkes and Ailsa McGregor to finish second in the 4x400m Relay in 4m42.0s.

In the Men’s events Jack Hepple’s two sprint victories stand out alongside Nick Swinburn and James Taylor’s wins in the 5000m and 3000m Steeplechase, and the Appleby brothers did very well in a number of field events.

Hepple’s 11.4s in the 100m was a new personal best, with his 23.1s in the 200m just being fractionally outside.

He was well backed up in the 100m by Wayne Gedge, who finished third in the B race in 13.1s, although Henrick Paulsen’s 12.8s in the non-scoring race would have seen him finish second in the B race.

Paulsen really showed his mettle in the 200m, when he took the B race in 26.3s.

Nick Swinburn comfortably won the 5000m in 15m56.8s, and was well backed up by Thomas Straughan’s B string victory in 17m15.8s. Swinburn had earlier finished second in the 1500m A race in 4m15.5s, and Under 17 athlete Elliot Kelly backed him up well by taking the B race in 4m33.6s.

Making his Northern League debut for Morpeth, James Taylor enjoyed a superb victory in the 3000m Steeplechase in 10m21.4s.

He was well backed up by the B string victory achieved by John Woods in 10m59.8s. Taylor also finished second in the 400m Hurdles in 65.6s.

Paul Appleby enjoyed A string victories in the Discus (33.78m), and Shot (9.45m), and he was well backed up by the B string victories by Stephen with 31.78m and 8.67m respectively.

The Hammer event also saw the two combine, with Paul finishing second in the A string with 26.75m, and Stephen finishing likewise in the B string with 21.52m.

Paul also enjoyed his B string victory in the Javelin with 34.69m, which backed up his team manager John Thompson’s A string effort of 36.85m, which saw him place second.

Other good placings in the Men’s events came from Philip Winkler (2nd 400m A) in 55.3s, and Joe Elder (3rd 800m A) in 2m17.2s.

In the Men’s 4x100m Relay, Morpeth finished second in 49.7s, with the combined efforts of Wayne Gedge, John Thompson, Henrik Paulsen, and Jack Hepple, and their 4x400m squad finished third in 3m55.5s, courtesy of John Woods, Elliot Kelly, Joe Elder, and Philip Winkler.

Match result: 1 Morpeth Harriers 381pts, 2 North Shields Poly 350pts, 3 Wallsend and Blyth 291pts, 4 Houghton 273pts, 5 South Shields and Birtley 232pts, 6 Richmond and Zetland 163pts.