Laura’s diamond season continues

Nick McCormick is delighted he will be making his half marathon debut in next month's Bupa Great North Run.
Nick McCormick is delighted he will be making his half marathon debut in next month's Bupa Great North Run.

AT the Samsung Diamond League Meeting in Birmingham on Sunday, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman continued her excellent season by finishing second in the 1500m event.

She clocked 4mins 11.79secs, just behind Anna Pierce of the USA (4m11.33s). Laura passed fellow Olympian Hannah England in the last ten metres, the latter eventually finishing fourth in 4m11.95s.

In the final race over two miles, which was won by Mo Farah in 8mins 27.24secs, Nick McCormick finished ninth (8m35.24s) and Jonathan Taylor was 10th in 8m51.98s.

l Once again, Morpeth athletes performed well at the 18th Tartan Games, hosted by Gateshead Harriers at the International Stadium on Saturday.

Ryan Green as expected dominated the Under 15 1500m – leading all the way to win in a time of 4min 29.47sec.

Claire Reid was another winner for Morpeth in both the Senior Women’s shot with a throw of 10.17metres and the discus (35.60m). She was second in the javelin (20.37m) behind Sedgefield’s Jane Spink (26.78m). Kieran Hedley took second place in the Under 13 800m after clocking 2min 25.10secs in a race won by Cheshire athlete Charlie Candlish (2m21.64s).

Philip Winkler finished third in the Under 17 1500m with a time of 4mins 29.54sec, behind Charlie Pasco of New Marske (4m07.37s).

Alex Nesbitt finished fourth in the Under 15 100m (12.45sec). The winner was Logan Powell of Sunderland (11.82sec). Alex had earlier finished third in his heat (12.63sec).

Mitchell Green was fourth in the Under 13 200m, clocking 30.20sec behind Gateshead’s Cameron McKnight (27.49sec).

Ria Fairnington took fifth place in the Under 15 long jump with a leap of 4.29m. Jarrow’s Emma Johnson was the winner (4.91m). Ria also clocked 28.81sec to finish third in her 200m heat, but did not contest the final.

Eight-year-old Rhiannon Hedley finished sixth in the Under 11 Girls’ 600m, clocking a time of 2min 26.83sec.

l At the Newcastle Park Run, Morpeth Harrier Jordan Scott took third place in a time of 16min 46sec and clubmate Mike Steven finished 42nd (20m59s). The race was won by Sale (and Shettleston) Harrier Daniel Bradford who clocked 16min 6sec.

Nick Swinburn finished 11th in the B 5000m race at the BMC Grand Final at Bedford. He clocked 15min 9.62sec in a race won by Russell Bentley of Kent (14m31.74s).

This Sunday, the 24th Tynedale Jelly Tea 10m Road Race, incorporating the North Eastern Counties Championship, takes place at Hexham (11am start).

There are also BMC Mile races taking place at Hexham on Saturday (1pm start).

l Morpeth Harrier Nick McCormick is delighted he will be making his half-marathon debut in next month’s Bupa Great North Run, but insists he still has ambitions to achieve on the track before making the switch to a road running career permanently.

McCormick, who will celebrate his 31st birthday five days before the Tyneside classic road race on September 16, is excited he will be competing in the high-profile race alongside big names like Haile Gebrselassie and Mo Farah.

He is a relative novice to road running, but has a strong cross country background. On the track, he just missed out on making the Olympic Games 5000m final after a decent run in his heat but feels the opportunity of having competed at the highest level of the sport will help him to prepare for the future.

His immediate major target is a medal at the European Championships in two years’ time followed by another Olympic appearance at the Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he is keeping his options open over which distance he will compete in.

“It was an unreal experience standing on the track and achieving one of the greatest ambitions of my life, running in an Olympic Games,” recalled McCormick after racing in front of an ecstatic capacity 80,000 crowd in London.

“I was just not quick enough, I didn’t have the 5,000m experience of those guys, they were great competitors.

“I’ve done the 5000m in the last few years but not regularly. Now, in the next couple of years I want to get the best out of myself over the distance and believe realistically I can finish in the top six at the European Championships final and even get a medal.

“My coach, Lindsay Dunn, feels the best plan for the moment is to continue on the track, then eventually move up to the marathon via the half marathon.

“I’m sure the Great North Run is going to be another unreal experience and I’m hoping that the spectators will encourage me by making decibels of noise.”