The hard-working Senior athletes from Morpeth Harriers shone in abundance, as they pulled off an excellent closely-fought victory,in their third round Northern League Division Three match, held at their home track at King Edward VI School, writes George Patterson.
It is a victory that guarantees them promotion to Division Two for next season, with one match remaining in August.
Efforts on the day were superb from both men and women, with the men achieving no less than four maximum point victories on the track, with one maximum point victory coming from the field, plus two second places in the 4x100m and 4x400 relay events.
the Morpeth women’s team were also just as equal to the task, as they amassed three maximum point track wins, plus one maximum point field victory, and added to that they triumphed in both relay events.
In the Men’s sprints, Morpeth Harriers Jack Hepple and David Storey were most dominant.
Hepple took the A string 100m and 200m in excellent times of 10.8s and 21.9s.
, which in both cases were just a fraction adrift of best, and Storey obliged with equally excellent clockings of 11.8s and 24.1s.
The clubs middle distance men also rose to the task by recording three excellent A string, and two B string wins.
In the 800m, Ryan Stephenson was a clear winner in 1m58.5s, with U20 star in the making Joe Elder, taking the B race in 2m08.8s, the third fastest time overall in the two heats.
The 1500m brought an A string win for Karl Taylor in 4m13.6s, whose very energetic day’s exploits we will enlarge upon further on in this report.
Morpeth Harriers just missed out on a B string win in this event, with Jacob Hopkins being marginally edged out despite the U17 athlete clocking 4m27.1s.
The Men’s 5000m brought another double victory for Morpeth, with Ady Whitwam taking the A race in 15m19.6s, which was nearly a minute clear of his nearest rival, who just happened to be his B race clubmate Karl Taylor, who was enjoying his second win of the day in 16m10.6s.
Taylor also went on to be part of Morpeth Harriers second placed Men’s 4x400m squad that also included Joe Elder, Jacob Hopkins, and Henrik Paulsen whose combined efforts saw them clock3m47.1s, only losing out for victory by three seconds.
In addition to his afternoon’s competitive activity, Taylor had also completed a 10 mile training run in the morning, whether he managed to stay awake to watch the evenings World Cup Final remains to be answered.
Joe Elder also finished third in the A string 400m in 55.4s, and Henrik Paulsen took the B race in 57.3s.
Philip Caldwell finished fourth for Morpeth Harriers in the 3000m steeplechase in 11m22.2s, and also fourth in the 400m hurdles in 71.0s.
Morpeth Harriers best men’s field event result came from the discus where Steven Appleby’s A string effort of 32.60m, gave him victory.
Craig Pickup took the B string with a best of 25.06m.
Appleby’s other day’s efforts saw him finish third in the A string hammer (20.10m), and second in the B string shot (8.41m).
John Thompson finished a good second in the javelin with 30.83m, and not far behind him in terms of distance was his clubmate Pickup, who was second B string with 30.33m.
Thompson also placed third in the B string hammer with 15.93m.
He also finished third in the A string long jump, with his best effort of 4.90m.
Thompson was well backed up well in the long jump by very promising U17 athlete Jamie Warburton, who managed a best of 4.82m.
Warburton also managed a clearance of 1.60m, to take third in the high jump.
Rounding off the Men’s field event efforts, Craig Pickup finished third in the A string shot, with a best of 9.11m.
In addition to the Morpeth Harriers Men’s 4x400m effort, the combined efforts of Joe Elder, David Storey, Henrik Paulsen, and Jack Hepple saw the clubs 4x100m squad just squeezed out by Chester- le-Street, despite a close clocking of 47.5s.
On to the Morpeth Harriers Women’s efforts, where firstly Beth Laidler and Megan Deakin between them pulled off two excellent maximum point sprint victories.
Laidler won the A string 100m in 13.1s, and Deakin took the B string in 13.4s.
The pair reversed roles in the 200m, with Deakin winning the A string in 27.6s, and Laidler taking the B string in 27.5s.
Both, along with Lily Hood and Kirsty Lang, were later to pull off a superb 4x100m relay victory for Morpeth in 55.9s, despite a dropped baton at the second changeover, losing some valuable ground.
Amber Cormack had a superb win in the 400m in 64.6s, and Rosie MacDonald competed well to take the supporting B race in 66.4s.
U17 athlete Abby Sheldon enjoyed two excellent A string third places in the 800m (2m34.5s), and 1500m events (5m11.6s)
She was well backed up in these events respectively by U20 athletes Molly MacDonald and Hannah Sheerin, who both enjoyed B race wins in 2m43.1s, and 5m22.4s.
In the Women’s 3000m, Morpeth’s Alison Brown finished fourth in the A race in 11m40.5s, and Kate Chapman was third B string in 12m05.2s.
On to the Women’s field events, where Morpeth Harrier Claire Reid was very much at her dominant best.
She managed four A string victories in the hammer (29.33m), discus (34.47m), javelin (20.44m), and shot (11.07m).
Morpeth’s best field result came in the javelin, where Reid’s winning A string effort was well backed up by Abby Sheldon’s B string win with her best of 17.26m.
Kirsty Lang also gave good back up by finishing as second B string in the discus with 16.30m.
Lang also had an excellent high jump, clearing 1.40m to finish as third A string, despite being selected as the B competitor.
Morpeth did have an excellent result in this event, with Louise Brett clearing 1.25m to take the B string.
Brett also went on to achieve an excellent second in the A string long jump (4.87m), and an excellent third in the A string triple jump (9.14m).
Lily Hood and Hannah Sheerin backed Brett up well, by taking the respective B string events with 4.48m and 8.28m.
Morpeth Harriers Women rounded off the day well, when the combined efforts of Rosie and Molly MacDonald, Louise Brett, and Amber Cormack, pulled off a 4x400m relay victory in 4m28.7s.
Full match result (Subject to full scrutiny): 1 Morpeth Harriers 399pts, 2 Houghton Harriers 375pts, 3 North Shields Poly 324.5pts, 4 Wallsend/Blyth 311.5pts, 5 Heaton Harriers/Tyne Bridge 277pts, 6 Chester-le-Street 171pts.
No fewer than eight new pb performances, were achieved by athletes from Morpeth Harriers at the fourth Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Grand Prix meeting, held at Gateshead’s International Stadium on Wednesday, July 9.
What was particularly pleasing was that three of those performances belonged to two of the clubs youngest athletes.
Nadine Arkle set new winning figures of 28.9s in the U13 girls 200m, and certainly appears to be very much on top of her form at present, and under the watchful eyes of her father Michael, himself a former sprinter with the club during the 90s.
The other young performer was Ross Charlton, who himself carefully masterminded no less than two pb in the U13 Boys 200m (30.0s), and 800m (2m33.8s), which saw him finish sixth equal and second respectively.
Another good young performer on the night was Alex Cunningham, who clocked a new pb of 2m30.1s, to finish as sixth fastest in the U15 Boys 800m.
Gregor Sharp threw 10.03m to win the U15 Boys shot, which was also a new pb.
In the U15 Boys 200m, Morpeth Harriers Jake Jardine and Will Kelly finished as second and fifth fastest with respective clockings of 24.7s and 25.8s.
David Thomas was eighth fastest in the 200m with 26.6s.
He also finished third in the triple jump with his best of 10.55m.
Mitch Green equalled his bp when winning the U15 Boys pole vault with his clearance of 2.20m.
In his first ever run in a Morpeth vest following his transfer from Wallsend Harriers, Jack Armstrong finished second in what was his first ever 800m in the U17 Men’s age group.
He clocked a very promising 2m14.2s.
Although not quite a new pb, Jack Hepple could feel well pleased with his winning effort of 10.7s, very close to his best figures, in the Junior Men’s 100m.
Hepple also tasted victory in the 200m in 21.9s.
One of Hepple’s Morpeth Harriers training partners Beth Laidler, however, enjoyed double delight, by producing two pb.
Firstly in the Junior Women’s 100m which she won in 13.0s, and then she finished second in the 200m in 27.5s.
In the U17 Women’s 800m, Amber Cormack was second fastest in 2m26.2s, and new figures of 2m31.3s, saw her Morpeth Harriers clubmate Abby Sheldon emerge as fourth fastest.
Hannah Rank of Morpeth Harriers, who is clearly enjoying he slow return to competitive action following her return from university, can feel well pleased that she managed to finish as third fastest Senior Woman in the 800m, with her clocking of 2m26.5s.
Hannah Brown won the U15 Girls 75m hurdles in 13.5s.
Richard Morrell won the Senior Men’s 800m in 1m55.9s.
In his first Grand Prix outing in a Morpeth vest, Daniel Moore clocked 2m10.9s, which was seventh fastest in the Senior Men’s 800m, which also saw him take victory in his individual heat, a heat that included his Morpeth clubmate Joe Elder, who clocked 2m15.6s, which placed him 11th in the Junior Men’s age group.
Morpeth Harrier Craig Pickup had a good night in the Senior Men’s throwing events.
He was second in the shot with his best effort of 8.55m, and a similar position in the javelin with 26.75m.
Sean O’Hara and Ryan Green were very much the pick of the Morpeth Harriers performers at the annual English Schools Track and Field Championships, held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Friday 11, and Saturday, July 12.
Both got to their respective finals in the Junior Boys 300m and Intermediate Boys 1500m, proudly wearing the Amber vests of Northumberland Schools.
After clocking a pb of 37.20s in his heat of the 300m, where he placed fourth, and managed to qualify as a fastest loser, such was the high standard; O’Hara clocked 37.25s to place sixth in the final.
Meanwhile Green won his heat of the Intermediate Boys 1500m in 4m04.4s, then went on to clock slightly better figures of 4m03.38s in the final, which would only give him eighth.
Other Morpeth Harriers competing for Northumberland at the English Schools Track and Field Championships were Declan Stoker (12.07s) (ninth Ht 2 Junior Boys 100m), Kieran Hedley (2m09.10s) (eighth Ht 2 Junior Boys 800m), Nathan Cox (1m57.94s) (sixth Ht 1 Intermediate Boys 800m), and Rebecca Murray (10.19m) (19th) (Junior Girls shot final).
Morpeth Harriers Emma Holt and Vicky Gibbs both produced top drawer performances in the Hamsterley 10k Trail Race, held in the forest and farmland of the picturesque county Durham tourist and nature spot on Sunday, July 6.
Finishing in ninth and 13th places respectively, they were first and second lady home in times of 39m04s and 39m47s.
It was Gibbs second appearance for her new club, and on this form she is certainly a most welcome acquisition to the Morpeth ranks.
Nick Swinburn of Morpeth Harriers clocked a brand new pb of 3m53.6s, when he won the main 1500m race at the latest in the series of BMC track events, held at Maiden Castle, near Durham City on Monday, July 7.
Also running in the A race was club colleague Lewis Timmins, who finished seventh in 3m56.3s.
Morpeth Harriers produced another winner on the night, with Ryan Stephenson taking the B race in 4m01.9s.
Phil Winkler also competed in the B race, finishing ninth in 4m17.6s, a little short of his best figures for the distance.
Morpeth Harrier Bob Marshall picked up another Veteran Gold Medal on Sunday, July 6, to add to the two Masters Cross Country gold medals that he achieved in the winter.
He was first Over 65 Veteran Man in the Scottish Masters 5000m, held at Grangemouth Stadium, in a time of 19m43.45s, which proved to be thirty three seconds in front of his closest rival Stuart Waugh of Calderglen.
Three Morpeth Harriers took part in the annual Bridges of Tyne 5 Mile Road Race on Tuesday, July 8.
The very popular event organised by the area’s newest road club Tyne Bridge attracted a large field.
First home from Morpeth Harriers was Jane Briggs, who was second Over 45 Woman in a time of 34m03s.
Second home was Mark Crosby, who was prominent amongst the Over 50 Men finishers in 34m55s.
Archie Jenkins was first Over 60 Man home in 36m12s.