Joe and Phil do Harriers proud

THE two Morpeth Harriers representing Northumberland in last weekend’s English Schools Championships both acquitted themselves well.

Running in what proved to be the fastest heat of the Intermediate Boys’ 400 metres, Joe Robertshaw finished sixth in a new personal best time of 51.21 seconds.

There was also a personal best of 2m06.32s for Phil Winkler, who placed sixth in his heat of the Junior Boys’ 800 metres.

Both boys have worked hard to achieve these times and will look forward to improving them further in the remainder of the season.

The club was well to the fore in the Blyth Junior beach races. Elliot Kelly won a closely contested Under 15 race in 5m28s, with Andrew Allan placing fourth in 5m56s, and Sarah Wilkes was second in the Girls section of the age group.

Ryan Green was surprised to find himself still eligible for the Under 13 category in the rules of the race and he was an easy winner in 3m54s – 28 seconds clear of the rest of the field.

l It was a frustrating afternoon for the Morpeth Harriers track and field team in their Northern League match at York on Sunday.

While there were some excellent performances from the men’s squad, an abysmal turnout in the women’s section has seriously dented the club’s promotion chances.

Elaine Telford, the only woman to compete, excelled with an impressive double win in the 100 metres (13.1s) and 200 metres (26.7s).

In the Men’s events there was also a sprint double from Alan Selby with times of 11.7s and 23.5s, with Will Driver also winning the B events in 11.6s and 23.8s.

Ian Harding was another Morpeth winner on the track, front running his way to victory in the 5000 metres in a time of 15m26.6s, whilst 16-year-old Jonnie Nisbet was only caught in the final straight of the 1500 metres, placing second in a new personal best of 4m20.1s.

John Woods led most of the way to win the 3000 metre steeplechase in 11m30.8s and he also picked up valuable points with a second place in the Triple Jump (11.18 metres).

However, the most prolific points scorer on the day was Angus Wood with second place in both the 110 metre hurdles and the high jump and a win in the B section of the long jump the best of his contributions.

Unfortunately, the day ended on a sour note for Wood as he pulled a hamstring in the sprint relay, although he bravely hobbled on to complete his leg and ensure that the team finished.

Ryan Simpson fully justified his promotion from the Young Athletes’ team with a second place in the long jump (5.50 metres) and a win in the B section of the triple jump, plus a useful leg in the 4x400 metres relay.

Once again the Appleby brothers made a big impact in the throws.

Paul produced an excellent throw of 34.69 metres in the discus to place second to Scarborough’s highly-rated Rob Russell and he was also third in the hammer (30.10 metres), before making a welcome return to hurdling with a win in the B section of the 110 metre hurdles.

Steven took third in the shot (9.12 metres), won the B section of the hammer and also placed second in the B discus with a throw of 30.70 metres.

There was also an encouraging debut from Craig Pickup, with second places in the B sections of both the shot and the javelin.

Team Manager John Thompson also gained a lot of points (some from quite unfamiliar events such as a third place in the 800 metres B race) and his assistant, Dave Swinburne, also made an important contribution despite recently returning from injury.

The team will need more of that sort of spirit, particularly from the Women’s section, in the final match, also at York, on August 14.

Whilst Scarborough have probably clinched the divisional title, second place is still wide open and a good showing from Morpeth would bring promotion.

l Morpeth Harrier Nathan Shrubb won the Blandford 10km on June 26 in a time of 34m1s, his margin of victory being 1m42s.

Another Morpeth athlete based outside the area, Andy Lawrence, won the Park Run 5km in Richmond, Surrey, on Saturday in a time of 16m45s.

Gavin Bayne travelled to Birmingham and took fourth place in the British Masters 1500m for the Over 55 age-group in a time of 4m54.17s.

Melissa Turner and Sarah Wilkinson took part in the New Marske Summer 5km at Redcar and were the first two women, finishing in seventh and ninth place overall behind the host club’s Dominic Shaw (15m43s).

Turner clocked 17m28s and Wilkinson led the veterans home in 17m37s.