Laura off to Moscow despite fall at UK trials

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ON Sunday, there was high drama at the Sainsbury’s-sponsored British Athletics Championships, which incorporated the World Trials, and unfortunately Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman was very much caught up in it, writes George Patterson.

The Olympic finalist had cruised through Saturday’s heats of the Women’s 1500m, posting a time of 4m14.15s, and was expected to confirm her a place on the World Championship plane for Moscow, having already run the A standard earlier this season.

She did not finish the final after an unfortunate fall, but thankfully she was not badly injured and she was still chosen by the selectors to represent the Great Britain squad.

With only 600m gone of the three-and-three-quarter-lap event in Birmingham, the first shock of the race came, with co-favourite Lisa Dobriskey, of Ashford, pulling out, reportedly having been spiked.

However, 400m further into the race, Laura’s chances came to grief.

With the pace having slowed somewhat, she moved out on the final approach to the bell, only to catch the heel of long-term leader Emma Jackson, of City of Stoke, who had won her heat the previous day.

This resulted in Laura unfortunately taking a fall and catching the spike of Charlene Thomas of Wakefield, who also tumbled to the ground.

While managing to pick herself up and compose herself to finish, Thomas seemed unhurt, however, the same could not be said for Weightman, and while she was escorted from the track by medical attendants, the race’s other favourite Hannah England of Oxford City, went on to take victory in 4m10.99s, and book her place on the plane for Moscow as UK Champion.

In condolence to the unfortunate Dobriskey and Weightman, England declared that she was disappointed to have achieved her success due to the misfortune of others.

Morpeth Harriers Nick McCormick and Jonny Taylor were also competing in Birmingham on Sunday.

They were both competing in the Men’s 5000m, and McCormick took the brunt of the front-running over the first 2000m.

After that, he left the front-running work to Aldershot’s Andy Vernon, who went on to win in 13m43.17s, to take the UK title.

Meanwhile McCormick managed to hold onto second place, despite constant pressure from Liverpool’s Jonny Mellor.

McCormick finished in 13m59.52s, with Mellor finishing third in 14m00.76s.

With both Vernon and McCormick’s times not achieving B standard, it looks as if Britain’s interest at the World Championships will rest with double Olympic Champion Mo Farah.

Meanwhile, Jonny Taylor finished seventh in 14m28.01s.

THANKFULLY, athletes were rewarded with slightly cooler conditions for their competition at the fourth Start Fitness-sponsored North Eastern Grand Prix meeting, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on Wednesday, July 10.

No fewer than 21 athletes from Morpeth Harriers were in action, and apart from a number of Grand Prix point-winning performances, there were 12 pbs achieved on a night of high standards.

Sean O’Hara, Joe Dowd, Amber Cormack, Ashley Gibson, Phillip Caldwell, Ryan Green and Mitchell Green were particularly outstanding.

Although just a little short of his pb, O’Hara was more than a match for his rivals in the U15 Boys’ 200m, when he won in 24.3s.

In the U13 Boys’ 200m, Joe Dowd set new figures of 28.0s, when just squeezed out for victory.

Amber Cormack also did well by placing second against more senior rivals in her seeded 800m in 2m19.0s.

Her Morpeth Harriers clubmate Hannah Sheerin finished sixth in 2m34.3s, a new pb.

Ashley Gibson set new figures of 9m23.3s when winning the Senior Women’s 3000m.

Phillip Caldwell won the Junior Men’s 2000m steeplechase in 6m53.7s.

Brothers Ryan and Mitchell Green kept things very cosy in their family, when setting new figures of 1.87m, and 2.00m respectively in the U17 Men’s high jump and U15 Boys’ pole vault.

Henrik Paulsen achieved a new pb of 25.1s, when placing second in the Junior Men’s 200m in 25.1s.

Hannah Brown achieved a new pb of 29.7s, when finishing third in the U13 Girls 200m.

Karl Taylor, who had excelled in the previous Sunday’s North of England fixture, continue his rich vein of form, when finishing third in the Senior Men’s 3000m, setting new figures of 8m58.2s.

Also running well, and finishing two places behind him was club mate Jordan Scott, who also achieved new figures of 9m01.7s.

Alex Cunningham achieved a new pb of 2m35.1s, when finishing sixth in the U13 Boys’ 800m.

Another Morpeth Harrier to achieve new figures was Alex Nesbitt, who was seventh in the U17 Men’s 200m in 24.9s.

Jarod Lewis, Elliot Kelly and Joe Elder all placed well in the U17 Men’s 800m, with Kelly setting new figures of 2m10.4s.

Lewis clocked 2m06.2s, and Elder equalled his pb of 2m13.6s.

Jacob Hopkins finished fifth in the U15 Boys’ 800m in 2m15.3s, with his Morpeth Harriers club mate Kieran Hedley finishing a couple of places adrift in 2m16.9s.

The Senior Mens Field events saw Morpeth Harrier Craig Pickup achieve 28.58m and 8.87m respectively in the javelin and shot.

Other Morpeth Harriers non Grand Prix scoring performances were as follows:-

U17 Men’s 100m Alex Nesbitt 12.2s; U15 Girls’ 200m Lizzie Rank 29.8s; U13 Boys’ 800m Joe Dowd 2m46.4s.

IAN Hudspith of Morpeth Harriers secured a magnificent victory in the 2013 Bridges of the Tyne 5-Mile Road Race on Tuesday, July 9, his time of 24:46 not only secured him first place, but also set a new course record.

This was Ian’s second road race victory in seven days, having won the Tynedale 10k.

Second place went to his Morpeth Harriers clubmate Matt Nicholson in a time of 25m31s.

Morpeth Harriers very nearly provided a one, two, three, with previous winner Ross Floyd coming home fourth in 26m14s.

In the female race, Morpeth Harrier Joanne Brown finished in fifth place overall, and was first Over 40 in 33m09s.

On a sweltering evening, 332 runners completed the out-and-back course along Newcastle Quayside.

REPRESENTING his employer Barclays PLC, Morpeth Harriers intrepid athlete-cum-explorer Andrew Lawrence, placed fifth in a class filled Standard Chartered Great City Race, in London, on Thursday July 11.

The event was won by Belgrave Harrier Phil Wicks, who was representing Legal and General.

Lawrence led Barclays to second team place in the Men’s team event.

ONE of the country’s most popular endurance races, organised by Alnwick Harriers, took place on Sunday, 887 finishers took part in the annual Northumberland Coastal Run between Beadnell and Alnmouth, run for the 34th occasion, including 19 hardy enthusiasts from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.

An early morning mist soon gave way to sunshine for those taking part.

The field were led home by Tyne Bridge Harrier Tony Carter, who reached the finish line on Alnmouth beach 81m49s after his start at Beadnell.

Exactly 4m23s behind him in 12th place overall was Morpeth Harriers first finisher Phil Walker, who was also fourth in a hotly contested Over 40 Male Veteran category.

Next home for the club was young Sam Hancox, whose improvement still continues to raise many eyebrows amongst his club colleagues.

Sam’s finishing time for 22nd place overall was 91m08s.

Four places and only a mere 23s behind him came his Veteran father Rob, who was 10th in the Over 40 category.

Next home from Morpeth Harriers was Ian Harding, who would normally be up with the front runners.

However, Ian is still making steady progress after a hernia operation, and he will feel much more positive from him finishing 48th overall in 94m27s.

Michael Winter and Jim Alder were next home for Morpeth Harriers finishing in 61st and 64th places respectively, with times of 96m22s, and 96m36s, and 25th and sixth in their respective Over 40 and Over 50 category positions.

Joanne Brown of Morpeth Harriers was second Over 40 Veteran Lady home in 89th place overall in 99m41s. She was also sixth female finisher.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were as follows:-

Tony Lewis (149th) 104m22s, Hamish McAllister-Williams (155th) (26th O/50) 104m46s, Norman Clark (258th) (fifth O/60) 110m45s, John Davidson (322nd) (116th O/40) 114m31s, Ed Hillier (327th) 114m51s, Paul Scott (375th) 116m47s, Shuna Rank (394th) (80th Lady) (32nd O/40) 117m43s, Mike Steven (441st) (82nd O/50) 120m56s, Claire Bruce (502nd) (381st Lady) (161st O/40) 125m15s, Geoff Calder (584th) (117th O/50) 131m28s, David Watson (704th) (200th O/40) 139m32s, and Jane Briggs (741st) (233rd Lady) (107th O/40) 142m51s.