Tight win for young Harriers seals title

MORPETH Harriers eventually emerged from their third-round North East Youth Development League fixture as winners in what had been largely a tightly-fought match between the first four clubs at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow, on Sunday, writes George Patterson.

This inevitably means that the Northumbrians will be the first Division One champions of the newly-formed league, with one fixture remaining at Claireville Stadium, Middlesbrough, later in July.

It was also very much a double team management triumph for Paddy Paulsen (Men) and Ken MacDonald (Women), as their respective squads worked willingly together to achieve a truly excellent result. So much so, that the points tallies were well spread between the two genders and three age-group athletes.

The club’s male athletes managed 18 victories, four of them bringing maximum points, and not to be outdone, Morpeth Harriers’ female athletes managed 14 victories, one of them resulting in maximum points.

Joe Dowd was a hero in the U13 Boys’ events, where he took victory in both the 100m and 200m sprint events, clocking 14.0s and 29.4s respectively.

Another winner was his clubmate and sometimes training partner Alex Cunningham, who achieved a very handsome nearly six-second-margin victory in the 1500m in 5m16.0s.

It was particularly pleasing to see some very good field event success in this age group, when Ruaridh Lang, younger brother of U17 athlete Kirsty, claimed victory in both the javelin (25.26m) and shot putt (7.71m).

Field events were also a strong point in the U15 Boys’ events, where Morpeth Harriers achieved no less than six individual winners, two of them resulting in maximum points.

Particularly successful here was Mitch Green, younger brother of Ryan, who achieved a double victory in the pole vault (1.90m), and javelin, where he threw 13m more than his closest rival, with his best of 23.28m.

Mitch was well backed up in the javelin, with debutant William Kelly, younger brother of Elliot, taking the B-event with a best of 4.78m.

William had also tasted track success when he won the A-race of the 300m in 42.8s, being well backed up by Declan Stoker taking the B-race in 43.6s.

More maximum points were achieved in the U15 Boys’ shot, with Elliot Moore winning the A-event with his best of 9.90m, being well backed up by Kieran Hedley’s 5.06m to take the B-event.

Another winner in the U15 Boys’ events for Morpeth Harriers was Sean O’Hara, who won the 200m in 25.0s, after earlier just being edged out in the 100m with 12.4s.

O’Hara was also a very useful second in the A-string long jump with 4.71m, backing up Euan Jones’s excellent B-string victory with 4.50m.

Jones had also finished as second B-athlete in the 200m won by O’Hara, with his clocking of 26.9s.

Another good Morpeth Harriers performer in the U15 Boys’ events was Kieran Hedley (second, 1500m A-race) 4m41.6s.

Morpeth Harriers achieved a superb double victory in the U17 Men’s 1500m, courtesy of Elliot Kelly (4m35.8s) and Joe Elder (4m48.3s).

There were also wins by Ryan Green (400m) 52.7s, and Joe Elder (Discus) 17.91m.

In the sprints, Mitch Gray and Alex Nesbitt proved a formidable partnership, with Gray finishing third in the A-string 100m in 12.4s, and second in the A-string 200m in 25.0s.

Meanwhile, Nesbitt’s respective clocking of 12.6s and 25.8s brought him victory and third place in the B-events.

Morpeth Harriers’ sole maximum-point victory in the female events came in the U17 Women’s shot, where the A-string event was won by Lucy Pargeter (6.62m) and the team manager’s daughter Molly MacDonald provided the B-string victory with 4.97m.

Pargeter also achieved winning success in the 300m hurdles in 58.0s.

Molly MacDonald also won the B-string 800m in 2m37.7s, backing up Hannah Sheerin’s third in the A-string in 2m34.7s.

Sheerin also won the B-race of the 1500m in 5m55.3s, backing up Charlotte Jewell’s third in the A-race in 5m37.1s.

Jewell also finished second in the discus with 13.15m.

Kirsty Lang achieved a very impressive personal-best win in the high jump, with her clearance.

She clearly showed a penchant for activity, when she finished a very useful third in both the 100m (14.0s) and 200m (29.7s) events.

Rosie MacDonald, the other half of team manager MacDonald’s twin daughters, finished third in the B-race of the 200m in 30.3s.

She also placed second in the B-race of the 300m in 48.3s, giving excellent support to Amber Cormack’s A-race performance, which saw her place second in 44.6s.

In the U15 Girls’ events, Morpeth Harrier Naomi Arkle had an excellent victory in the 200m in 29.8s.

Arkle was also an excellent second in the shot, with a best of 6.77m, which in turn was well backed up by Georgia Priest’s B-string victory with 6.02m.

Priest also enjoyed a B-string victory in the long jump with 3.52m, backing up Lauren Eadington’s 3.55m, which saw her finish as fourth A-string.

Bethany Smith proved to be an excellent B-string support to the aforementioned Naomi Arkle victory in the 200m, as she finished second in 30.1s.

Other good Morpeth U15 Girls’ performances came from Lauren Eadington (third, 800m, 2m43.8s) and Lizzie Rank (third, 1500m, 5m29.8s.

Morpeth Harriers U13 Girls produced one A-string victory, which came from Bianca Strey in the javelin, with a best of 14.22m, which was well backed up by the B-string performance of Nadine Arkle, younger sister of Naomi, who finished second with 8.72m.

Nadine also represented her club in the two A-string sprints, where she finished fourth on both occasions, clocking 15.3s in the 100m and 31.3s in the 200m.

She was well backed up respectively, however, by two B-string winners in Harriet Priest (15.4s) and Hannah Brown (31.3s).

Brown and Priest also linked up well in the 70m hurdles, with the former finishing second in the A-race in 13.1s and the latter taking the B-race in 13.6s.

Another good Morpeth Harriers U13 Girls’ performer was Ailsa Jones, younger sister of Euan, who ran well to finish second in the 1500m in 5m34.5s, and clearly showed her all-round versatility by finishing second in the A-string long jump with 3.46m.

Ailsa was well backed up in the B-string long jump by Jessica Young-Rogers, who won with a best of 3.40m.

Harriet Priest cleared 1.15m in the high jump to add that to her two aforementioned B-string victories.

In the six 4x100m relay events, which wound up the 76-event programme, Morpeth Harriers managed two second places, three thirds and a fifth place and they very nearly pulled off a victory in the U13 Girls’ event, had their last changeover athlete not taken an unfortunate tumble in the act of receiving the baton.

Final match result (subject to further scrutiny): 1 Morpeth Harriers 691pts; 2 Blaydon Harriers 687; 3 Durham City 662; 4 New Marske Harriers 621; 5 Jarrow & Hebburn 439; 6 Birtley AC 306.

THERE were some excellent winning performances by athletes from Morpeth Harriers representing East Northumberland, at the Northumberland Minor Schools Track and Field Championships, held at Hexham’s Wentworth Stadium, on Saturday.

Most notable of these was Sean O’Hara, who superbly completed a sprint double in the Year 8 boys’ 100m and 200m, with respective clockings of 12.5s and 25.0s, despite a blustery wind.

Another Morpeth Harrier accompanying him in the 200m was Declan Stoker, whose clocking of 27.5s gave him fourth place.

The Year 8 boys’ 800m, saw Kieran Hedley secure a good victory in 2m19.2s and his Morpeth Harriers clubmate Josh Burton finished third in 2m28.5s.

Joe Dowd won the Year 7 boys’ 200m in 28.2s and finished fifth in the 100m in 14.0s.

Another Year 7 boys’ winner was Ruaridh Lang, whose 20.75m secured a tight victory in the discus.

Ruaridh also finished fourth in the javelin with 24.32m.

Matthew Waterfield just missed out fractionally for victory in the year 7 boys’ 300m, with his clocking of 45.7s.

In the Year 7 boys’ 1500m, Alex Cunningham and Cameron Dick finished sixth and seventh with respective clockings of 5m15.0s and 5m15.8s.

The best result from a Morpeth Harrier in the Year 6 boys belonged to Mark Booth, who placed second in the 800m in 2m34.3s.

Cameron Lane-Fox finished fourth in the long jump, with a best of 3.73m.

The best results for Morpeth Harriers in the Girls’ events were achieved by the Arkle sisters Nadine and Naomi.

Nadine finished third in the Year 6 80m in 12.4s.

Meanwhile, Naomi finished third in the Year 8 100m in 14.4s, and fourth in the 200m in 30.9s.

Lizzie Rank finished fourth in the Year 8 1500m in 5m46.0s, and fifth in the high jump with her clearance of 1.30m.

Lois Scott finished ninth in the 1500m in 6m22.5s.

The best Morpeth Harrier result in the Year 7 Girls’ events belonged to Ailsa Jones, who finished fourth in the 800m in 2m45.7s.

Jessica Young-Rogers finished sixth in the 100m in 15.0s, two places ahead of her Morpeth Harriers club colleague Bianca Strey, who clocked 15.32s.

Kate Seymour finished seventh in the 1500m in 5m43.2s.

LAURA Weightman continued her build-up to the UK trials and the forthcoming World Championships in Moscow on Sunday, the eve of her 22nd birthday, when she finished an excellent fourth in the Senior Women’s 1500m at the Birmingham Grand Prix at Alexander Stadium.

She was also first Briton in a race dominated by international talent and, although her time of 4m06.22s was probably a little short of what she may have wished, her determination to finish as close to the leaders as possible was clearly demonstrated.

The event was won by the race favourite Abeba Aregawi of Sweden in 4m03.70s, who slowed the race down to her own desires somewhat.

Laura’s British counterparts Hannah England, Laura Muir and Lisa Dobriskey, finished further back in seventh, eighth and 10th positions, with respective clocking of 4m07.23s, 4m07.76s and 4m08.08s.

JONNY Taylor and Nick McCormick of Morpeth Harriers both travelled to Ireland on Tuesday, June 25, and took part in the highly-competitive and prestigious Belfast International Track meeting.

Taylor ran well, producing a time of 8m03.08s, to finish second to Spain’s Victor Corales in the Men’s 3000m.

Corales clocked a tremendous 7m57.80s.

Meanwhile, McCormick also did well; by finishing sixth in a classy Men’s 1500m field behind Australian International Collis Birmingham, who clocked 3m37.18s.

McCormick set a new season’s best of 3m43.99s.

LEWIS Timmins of Morpeth Harriers won the New Marske Summer Coast 5k Race on the evening of Wednesday, June 26.

Timmins won in a time of 15m08s, putting a 30-second winning margin between himself and Sunderland Harrier Kevin Calvert.

There were 145 finishers.

MORPETH Harriers wish Ryan Green and Amber Cormack well when they represent Northumberland at the English Schools Track and Field Championships, taking place at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium this Friday and Saturday.