Home sweet home for young Harriers

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In a tightly-fought second round North East Youth Development League Division 1 match held at their new home track at King Edward VI School on Sunday, Morpeth Harriers came out on top by a margin of 32 and a half points over their closest rivals Blaydon Harriers.

The host club certainly performed well, with good results coming from both genders and across the three age groups.

Action from the high jump. Picture by Steve Miller.

Action from the high jump. Picture by Steve Miller.

Morpeth also achieved three new league records, one courtesy of Ryan Green, whose victory in the Under 17 Men’s 800m, saw him clock 1m59.2s, which, although was just a little over two seconds adrift of his personal best, was nevertheless a very satisfying performance, considering he missed the recent North Eastern Championships, because of a tummy bug.

The club also had the added satisfaction of a double-points victory in this event, energised by a B-race victory by Jacob Hopkins in 2m08.7s.

Green also achieved winning success in the long jump, with a best of 5.64m, and he rounded off his day’s individual performances nicely with a second place in the triple jump, with a best 12.11m.

At the time, it equalled the league record, only to be bettered shortly afterwards by New Marske’s Jack Colmer, whose 12.37m won the contest.

Euan Jones proved to be a winning long jump team-mate to Green in the long jump, with a best of 4.90m.

Elliot Moore and Toby Parks proved to be a most formidable Morpeth Harriers double act in both the Under 17 Men’s discus and shot events.

Unfortunately, Moore could only finish second in both A-string events to the same athlete, Ben Mitchell of Houghton. He produced a best of 25.85 in the discus and 10.16m in the shot.

However, in both cases, the B-events were won in excellent fashion by Morpeth’s Toby Parks, with respective bests of 25.48m and 10.01m.

Both of these athletes are predicted to have bright futures by their coach, former Morpeth Harriers throwing supremo Paul Reed, who was still enjoying his own very illustrious competitive career until just a few years ago and had also experienced British League action with Wolverhampton and Bilston and latterly Border Harriers, before settling back with his local club.

Elsewhere in the Under 17 Men’s events, there were good winning B-string performances by Kenny Harrison (11.8s) in the 100m and Euan Jones in the 200m (25.3s).

In the Under 17 Men’s high jump, there were respective second places for Jamie Warburton (1.56m) and Jacob Hopkins (1.25m).

Morpeth Harriers’ other league record breaker was the very much in-form Megan Deakin.

The Benfield Motor Group Athlete of the Month was an excellent winner of the Under 17 Women’s 300m in 42.9s and she was well backed up by Amber Cormack’s B-race win in 46.7s.

Cormack also had her own moment of glory, when she won the 800m in 2m30.8s.

Deakin was also a key player in Morpeth Harriers’ Under 17 Women’s 4 x 100m relay success, when taking victory in 53.7s. Other key Morpeth Under 17 Woman athletes were Louise Brett, Kirsty Lang and Abby Sheldon.

Brett finished second in the long jump (4.23m) and also finished third in both the 300m hurdles (56.3s) and triple jump (9.01m).

Lang finished second in the 200m (28.4s), second in the high jump (1.35m) and third in the 100m (13.9s).

Sheldon did well to finish second in the 1500m (5m22.0s), third in the javelin (18.20m), and fourth in the Shot (5.66m).

She also joined forces with Deakin, Lang and Lily Hood, to pull off an excellent 4 x 100m relay win for Morpeth in the Under 17 event, in a time of 53.7s.

The bulk of the day’s points for Morpeth Harriers undoubtedly came from their excellent Under 15 Boys’ section.

North Eastern medallist Sean O’Hara was one of the stars who certainly shone, by winning both the 100m (12.0s) and 200m (24.4s).

O’Hara was well backed up in the respective B-races, with wins by fellow North East medallist Jake Jardine in the 100m (12.0s) and Jack Balmbro (26.9s).

Balmbro linked up with Will Kelly for another Morpeth double victory in the shot (9.50m), with Kelly weighing in with 7.08m.

Kelly had more glory in the 300m, when he linked up with Declan Stoker to record a double victory, with respective clockings of 40.1s and 41.0s, Kelly’s effort proving to be a league record.

North Eastern gold medallist Ruaridh Lang, younger brother of Kirsty, pulled off an excellent individual double victory in the javelin (27.42m) and discus (28.31m). Adam Shewry took the B-event of the discus with 10.58m. Shewry also finished second in the 1500m A-race in 5m03.2s, backing up Alex Cunningham’s 5m08.6s, which saw him take the B-string.

The finest moment of the day for the Under 15 Boys came in the 4 x 100m, where Sean O’Hara, Will Kelly, Mitch Green and Jake Jardine pulled off an excellent victory in 48.9s.

Kieran Hedley finished second in the 800m in 2m10.8s and he was well supported by Joe Dowd’s B-string victory in 2m27.2s.

In the Under 15 Girls’ events, Bobbie Griffiths made an excellent debut for Morpeth, by winning the javelin with a best of 24.29m and finished as second B in the discus, with 13.97m, and second B in the shot, with 6.89m. Naomi Arkle (16.76m) and Georgia Priest (7.89m) also had respective seconds in the A-strings of the discus and shot.

Best points result from the Under 15 Girls came courtesy of Harriet Priest and Ellie Boughen, who pulled off a double victory in the high jump. Harriet had a best clearance of 1.25m and Ellie managed 1.20m.

In the sprints, Naomi Arkle recorded two thirds, clocking 13.8s in the 100m and 28.9s in the 200m Hannah Brown backed her up with a third in the 100m B (14.0s) and a very industrious Jessica Young-Rogers scored an excellent second in the 200m B in 29.2s.

Rogers managed another second in the B-event of the javelin (13.56m), backing up debutant Bobbie Griffith’s victory. She also finished third in the long jump A (4.07m), with Georgia Priest finishing as second B with a best of 4.05m.

Hannah Brown finished third in the A-race of the 75m hurdles in 13.1s, and Harriet Priest took second in the B-string in 13.2s.

Naomi Arkle, Jessica Young-Rogers, Hannah Brown and Georgia Priest combined to finish third in the Under 15 Girls’ 4 x 100m relay in 56.5s.

In the Under 13 Boys’ events, the performances of Jake Lloyd (1.30m) and Patrick Darroch (1.15m) of Morpeth Harriers, in the high jump particularly stand out, as they took second place in their respective A and B-strings.

Lloyd also finished second in the B-string 800m in 2m45.2s, supporting Thomas Cunningham’s A-string effort, which saw him finish fifth in 2m43.3s.

Angus Stout finished first in the B-string 200m in 31.6s, supporting Reuben Wilkinson’s 30.2s in the A-race, which saw him finish fifth.

Morpeth Harriers’ Under 13 Boys rounded the day off well by finishing third in the 4 x 100m relay in 59.9s, courtesy of Josh Nelson, Patrick Darroch, Luke Haxwell and Reuben Wilkinson.

The best performance from the Morpeth Under 13 Girls’ squad, came in the 100m, from respective A and B-efforts by Nadine Arkle (14.3s) and Holly Peck (15.4s), which saw them finish second on both counts. Peck also enjoyed a second in the 1500m in 5m41.9s.

Arkle and Peck also teamed up in the 200m, finishing third in both cases in times of 30.1s and 33.1s respectively.

Match result: 1st Morpeth Harriers 715.5pts, 2nd Blaydon Harriers 683pts, 3rd Durham City 606pts, 4th Tynedale Harriers 601pts, 5th New Marske 594.5pts, 6th Houghton Harriers 458pts.

Morpeth Harrier Ian Hudspith finished third in Sunday’s Middlesbrough Riverside 5k Road Race in a time of 14m50s and he was also the first Over 40 Male Veteran finisher.

Nathan Shrubb and Andrew Lawrence of Morpeth Harriers, finished fourth and fifth respectively in a highly-competitive Poole 10k, in Dorset, on Sunday. Shrubb clocked 32m36s, while Lawrence’s 32m43s set new figures for the London-based banker.

Six Morpeth Harriers competed in Saturday night’s BMC Grand Prix Meeting, held at Sports City, Manchester.

Richard Morrell could feel very pleased, when he finished fourth in the Men’s 1500m B-race in a new personal best time of 3m45.76s.

By contrast in the earlier run Men’s A-race, Nick McCormick will feel a little disappointed in finishing eleventh in 3m47.12s.

As would Lewis Timmins, who finished eleventh in the Men’s 1500m D-race in 3m59.41s.

In the Women’s 1500m A-race, Morpeth Harrier Ashley Gibson finished sixth in a season’s best time of 4m19.67s, which was about a second adrift of her personal best.

Two Morpeth Harriers competed in the class-filled Men’s 5000m A-race and could feel well pleased with their evening’s efforts.

Jonny Taylor finished third in a season’s best of 14m08.41s, while Nick Swinburn set new figures of 14m10.76s, when placing sixth.