Third-place finish for Morpeth as league campaign winds up

Andrew Lawrence in the 5000m. Picture by Helen King
Andrew Lawrence in the 5000m. Picture by Helen King

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men and Women’s track and field squad completed their 2018 Northern Athletics Division 2E campaign, by finishing fourth in their final round match held at Darlington’s Eastbourne Sports Complex on Saturday.

Team managers David Swinburne and Vina Desai are pleased with their squads’ combined season-long efforts, which saw them finish third overall of six teams.

Morpeth, second-placed Wallsend/Blyth and fourth-placed Middlesbrough AC will stay in Division 2E next year, while Tynedale and Richmond and Zetland, who were hosts on Saturday, face life in the lower Division 3. Divisional champions Gateshead now face a play-off for a place in Division 1.

Harriers’ distance specialists Kieran Hedley and Andrew Lawrence provided the club with their two track victories.

Hedley won the 1500m A race in 4m05.9s, and Taylor Glover turned things into a superb double win, by taking the B race in 4m10.2s.

Lawrence won the 5000m in 16m53.6s, and Mark Snowball finished an excellent second in the B race in 18m06.3s.

Snowball was an example to all, as he took part in a total of five events, plus the 4 x 400m relay.

He also finished second in the 3000m steeplechase (10m36.3s), fourth in the 400m hurdles (73.5s), sixth in the long jump (4.21m) and triple jump (8.66s) and contributed greatly to his club’s 4 x 400m squad, who finished third in 4m15.6s, with additional support coming from Thomas Inness, Sean O’Hara, and Andrew Lawrence.

The 400m and 800m events were covered well for Morpeth by Alistair Douglass and Tom Innes.

In the 400m A race, Douglass produced a new personal best of 52.4s, when only losing out marginally to Gateshead sprint specialist Martin Ferguson in a head-to-head finish all the way to the line.

Meanwhile Innes took on the rigours of the one-lap event for the first time and did extremely well by finishing as second B athlete in 57.9s.

In the 800m, Douglass finished third to Tynedale’s English Schools Champion Daniel Joyce, posting a time of 1m57.5s.

The hotly-contested B race saw Innes finish fourth in 2m06.3s, a new personal best for the talented Under 20 athlete.

The 100m and 200m duties were shared between Phil Pitt, Sean O’Hara and David Storey.

Pitt finished third in the 100m A race in 11.7s, and O’Hara likewise in the 200m A race, posting a time of 24.4s.

Meanwhile, Storey secured more valuable team points by finishing second in the B races of the 100m and 200m, posting 11.6s and 24.4s.

Morpeth’s best Men’s field event performance of the day came in the javelin, where Hayden Richards threw a massive 48.21m, only just losing out by a mere 68cm for victory to Middlesbrough’s Steven Birse.

Richards also provided Morpeth A string support in the hammer, throwing 30.82m for fifth place.

Steven Appleby took part in no fewer than four throws events on the day for Morpeth.

His best performance came in the A string discus, where his best throw of 30.64m gave him fifth place.

Track specialist Alistair Douglass gave good B string support by finishing fifth, by producing a personal best of 20.11m

Meanwhile, Appleby finished third in the B string hammer (22.34m), fifth in the B string javelin (17.32m), and fifth in the B string shot putt (7.90m), giving support to Phil Pitt’s A string effort of 8.30m, which saw him finish sixth.

Claire Reid was the only Morpeth Women’s winner on the day, taking the discus A event, with an excellent 32.07m, which proved to be just over three metres better than her closest rival Kate Carmichael, of Middlesbrough.

Morpeth also scored well in the B string of the discus, with Kirsty Lang managing a new personal best of 20.77m for second.

Reid was definitely Morpeth’s most industrious field eventer on the day, with her next best result coming in the hammer, where she finished a good second behind Gateshead’s Leah Weatheritt, with a best throw of 32.00m.

Reid also threw 17.18m in the B string javelin to finish second, only losing out for a win by 76cm, backing up Charlotte Barnsley’s fourth in the A string, making her Northern League debut special by posting a new personal best of 20.27m.

A truly excellent day’s work was rounded off nicely by Reid, when she finished second in the A string shot putt, by producing an on-the-day best of 9.9m.

Lynsey Cunningham gave excellent B string support when she finished second with her on-the-day best of 6.42m.

In the long jump, talented Under 17 athlete Kayleigh Wenn finished third in the A string with 4.01m, and Lauren Smith took the B string with 3.48m.

Wenn also finished sixth in the A string triple jump with 8.44m, and Holly Peck was third in the B string with a best jump of 8.14m.

Kirsty Lang finished fourth in the high jump, by clearing a best of 1.35m.

Under 17 athlete Holly Peck finished third in both the 400m and 800m A string events, posting respective times of 67.1s and 2m27.5s.

Backing Holly up well in the B string events were Veteran athletes Helen King and Lindsay Turnbull, who finished third and second respectively, with times of 71.9s and 2m49.5s.

For Turnbull, it was her first 800m event as a Senior.

King and Turnbull teamed up for the first time for both of them in the 1500m.

In the A race, King finished third in 5m32.5s and Turnbull was second in the B race in 5m57.1s.

Two Morpeth personal bests were achieved in the 100m, where Lauren Smith finished third in the A race in 13.2s and Kayleigh Wenn got fourth in the B race in 15.1s.

In the 200m, Smith finished fourth in the A race in 27.7s, and Lynsey Cunningham was third in the B race in 30.5s.

Kirsty Lang finished second in the 400m hurdles in 81.0s.

Peck, King, Lang and Smith combined well to finish second in the Women’s 4 x 400m event in 4m45.0s.