In a superb night of friendly, yet intensive competition, Morpeth Harriers retained their hold on the winner’s trophy at the annual North Eastern Counties Athletics Association Track Relays, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium, last Wednesday.
They won by a total of 23 points from second placed Tynedale Harriers, with Gateshead Harriers a further 14 points adrift in third place.
Four event wins, seven seconds and three third placed efforts from the club were the major highlights of their overall success, and Team Manager Dave Thomas spoke highly of his squads performances, including some made by athletes that he was forced to draft in at the last minute, singling out Under 13 Boy Oliver Geoghegan, and an injured Rosie Winter filling in for late absentees, which had frustrated him.
The four wins came from their Under 15 Girls 4 x 100m squad, courtesy of Ellie Longstaff, Mia Belton, Amy Lott and Alice Geoghegan, who combined to win in an excellent 51.92s, the Under 15 Boys 4 x 100m squad of Charlie Lane, Ben Waterfield, Fergus Barclay, and Oliver Geoghegan, who won in 52.48s, the Under 17 Men’s 4 x 100m squad of Robbie Anderson, Sam Yates, Matthew Heslop, and Owen Priest, who claimed victory in 47.91s, the same Under 15 Girls quartet, who secured victory in the 4 x 200m event in 1m55.94s.
Undoubtedly the seven second places on the night added well to the clubs tally, and these placings were achieved by their Senior Men’s 4 x 100m squad, courtesy of Phil Pitt, David Storey, Matthew Waterfield and Jake Jardine, who posted a finishing time of 45.47s, the Senior Women’s 4 x 100m squad, courtesy of Lauren Smith, Jessica Young-Rogers, Lynsey Storey, and Kirsty Lang, who posted a total time of 53.49s, the Under 15 Girls 4 x 100m B team, who combined to finish in 55.40s, courtesy of Abby Leiper, Melody Brooks, Lucy Charlton, and Rosie Winter, the Under 13 Boys 4 x 100m squad of Sam Dent, Elliot Mavir, Adam Howliston, and Owen Omoigue, who clocked 58.21s, the same Senior Women’s quartet in the 4 x 200m, who posted a combined time of 1m55.98s, the Under 17 Men’s 4 x 200m quartet, who clocked 1m39.17s, and the same Senior Women’s quartet added the 4 x 400m to their nights successes, posting a time of 4m53.4s.
The three third places on the night, came from their Under 13 Girls 4 x 100m squad, courtesy of Freya Caygill, Olivia Gent, Ellie Wickens, and Hannah Lott, who posted a time of 58.77s, the same quartet also secured third place in the 4 x100m in 59.40s, and their Senior Men posted a time of 1m39.1s in the 4 x 200m event.
Morpeth also had a couple of excellent fourth placed efforts from their Under 15 Girls 4 x 200m B team, courtesy of Abby Leiper, Melody Brooks Lucy Charlton, and Rosie Winter, who clocked 2m10.99s, and their Under 17 Women’s 4 x 200m squad, courtesy of Nadine Arkle, Holly Peck, Lily Heaton, and Kayleigh Wenn, who combined in a time of 2m00.98s.
Another fourth place was achieved by the clubs quartet of Senior Men, in their 4 x 400m event, posting a time of 3m53.29s.
A total of 17 clubs took part, and many thanks to all NECAA Officials who volunteered their services on what was a very long night.
* Morpeth Harriers siblings Jessica and Edward Gardiner very effectively ended their highly successful 2018 outdoor athletics season in fine style, when they produced respectively excellent performances at the North East Counties Throws Festival, held in conjunction with the Sprint Relays Meeting at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on the evening of Wednesday 5th September.
In the Under 15 Girls 3k Hammer, Jessica got very close to her lifetime best with an on the night best of 37.95m, however she remains firmly at No 2 regionally.
Meanwhile, in the Under 13 Boys 3k Hammer competition, Edward produced a new best of 18.26m, which very much improved on the 12.85m that he had thrown at the same meeting in 2017.
* Morpeth Harriers had two podium finishers in Saturday’s Simply Health Junior Great North Run, held a 4k course encompassing the quaysides of both Newcastle and Gateshead.
Holly Peck finished in third place in the Under 17 Women’s event, posting a time of 15m07s, and club colleague Bertie Marr was an excellent third also in the Under 13 Boys event in 14m57s.
Two places behind Bertie was Morpeth’s Ryan Davies, who finished in 15m08s.
Davies elder brother Dylan also had an excellent run, when finishing eighth in the Under 15 Boys event in 14m02s.
Another prominent Morpeth finisher was Daniel Melling, who finished eighth in the Under 17 Men’s event in 13m40s.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were as follows: -
U17 men - Brad Brown (43rd) 16m43s, and Ben Gray (59th) 18m16s.
U15 boys - Sam Parker (61st) 17m29s, Joe Oliver (74th) 17m50s, and Will Smith (165th) 20m37s.
Under 13 boys - Adam Howliston (63rd) 17m48s.
Under 15 girls - Olivia Carruthers (57th) 19m24s, Erin Power (58th) 19m29s, and Laura Melling (67th) 20m00s.
U13 girls - Ellie Wickens (270th) 24m58s.
U11 girls - Keira Peck (50th) 20m43s, and Saveena Mullin (148th) 23m37s.
Three Morpeth Harriers were also in action in the Great North 5k event on the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside.
Alex Cunningham finished seventh in 17m52s, one place and fifteen seconds ahead of younger brother Thomas, and Dylan Gooding finished eleventh in 18m43s.
* At the time of going to press, results reveal that seventeen Morpeth Harriers finished Sunday’s Simply Health Great North Run Half Marathon.
First home from the club on the Newcastle to South Shields event was Andrew Hebden, who finished an excellent 112th in 81m19s.
Next home was Jake Masterman, who finished in 171st place in 83m56s.
Another prominent finisher was Tony Lewis, who was 198th in 84m41s.
Other Morpeth results were as follows: -
David Swinburne (716th) 92m36s, Matthew Boyle (721st) 92m38s, James Johnson (1,039th) 95m14s, Scott Allan (1,417th) 97m44s, Michael McKean (1,911th) 100m34s, Eric Adams (2,261st) 102m27s, Gary Mason (2,924th) 105m20s, Lesley Chapman (6,677th) 116m21s, Jenny Glossop (9,064th) 121m40s, Clare Walker (9,210th) 122m00s, Mark Crosby (10,443rd) 124m37s, James McFetrich (15,500th) 133m52s, Lorraine Axtell (30,913th) 160m39s, and Josie Goodfellow (36,417th) 175m02s.
* In what was effectively her last outing of the summer season, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman finished sixth in the Women’s event of the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York, USA on Sunday.
Weightman posted a finishing time of 4m21.31s on a rain-soaked surface.
The event was won by fellow International and close friend Jenny Simpson for the seventh consecutive occasion, posting a time of 4m18.38s.
* Two athletes from Morpeth Harriers took part in the annual Tees-Pride 10k, sponsored by Wimpey, and held in Middlesbrough on Sunday 2nd September.
Finishing in an excellent 28th position, and posting an equally excellent time of 36m44s, which was only a mere nine seconds adrift of her lifetime best, Jane Hodgson was also the second Women’s finisher, behind Gerda Steyn, a top class South African Marathon runner.
Steyn finished an excellent fifth overall, beating many of her top Male counterparts, posting a superb finishing time of 33m58s, which for her, was a new lifetime best, so in that alone, there was no Female opponent who was going to match her on the day, so much credit to Hodgson for at least getting so close.
Morpeth’s other participant was O50 Veteran Man Steve Haswell, who finished in 86th place overall in 40m58s, and was sixth in his age category. The event had a total of 2,032 finishers.