Weightman sixth in US Diamond League meet

16 April 2015 .......       Leeds 1500m runner and Olympian Laura Weightman at home in Headingley. TJ100798g Picture Tony Johnson
16 April 2015 ....... Leeds 1500m runner and Olympian Laura Weightman at home in Headingley. TJ100798g Picture Tony Johnson

In her second track outing of the season, Laura Weightman, of Morpeth Harriers, managed to finish sixth in a talent-filled 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League Prefontaine Classic Meeting.

The event was held in Eugene, in the United States, on Saturday, May 28.

It was Laura’s first attempt at her specialised distance this year.

And her clocking of 4m03.04, although around three seconds adrift of her lifetime best, still suggests that she is on course to target a much prized second Olympic place later this summer.

The event was won by Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon in a time of 3m56.41s, with Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum finishing second in 3m58.10s, and another Ethiopian, Gudaf Tsegay, finishing third in 4m00.18s.

Laura was certainly not too far adrift of the leading protagonists, and her run certainly proves there is more to come from the Steve Cram coached athlete as the season progresses, providing she can remain injury-free in the run up to August’s big test in Rio.

In that itself, it is hoped that the next trip West that Laura makes will be to Brazil to compete for Olympic glory, and inevitably she will be up against some of the opposition that she faced on Saturday.

Under Cram’s guidance, there is no doubt that the Commonwealth Silver and European Bronze medallist will be very suitably prepared.

• A total of 89 competitors completed in one of the region’s toughest multi-terrain events on Wednesday, June 1, with Sunderland Harriers hosting their annual Penshaw Hill Race for the 26th occasion.

Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt, in 12th place overall, was first Woman home for the second year running, posting a finishing time of 18m44s, which was 2m20s behind the host club’s Nathan Reed, who was also taking victory in the Men’s race for the second year running.

Three places and 21 seconds behind Emma was her Morpeth Harriers’ club colleague Sarah Wilkinson, who was the second Woman home.

Morpeth Harriers’ other finisher on the night was Over 60 Veteran Man David Nicholson, who finished 37th overall in a time of 21m11s, and was second home in his age group.

• Seven Morpeth Harriers headed out into historic Northumberland on the evening of Wednesday, June 1, to take part in the Run Nation Vindolanda 10k.

First of them home in the total field of 169 finishers was in-form Mark Snowball, who finished third overall in a time of 37m33s, which proved to be 82 seconds adrift of event winner Paul Rogan, of Scottish club Forres AC.

Next home for Morpeth was Paul Banks, who finished tenth in 41m06s, and was third Over 45 Veteran Man.

Mike Steven, finishing in 33rd place, was third home for Morpeth, posting a finishing time of 46m57s, and he was second Over 55 Veteran Man.

Other Morpeth Harriers’ finishers were as follows:—

Damian Foster (41st) (5th O/45 Man) 48m08s, Paul Willis (48th) 49m10s, Carol Parry (71st) (4th O/45 Woman) 55m27s, and Jane Kirby (72nd) (3rd O/40 Woman) 55m27s.

• Morpeth are pleased to announce that their recipient of the Linden Homes Athlete of the Month for April is Under 13 Girl Rhiannon Hedley.

Hedley, who was also a prominent force in the club’s Road and Cross Country squad, began her 2016 track campaign well by winning the 1500m at the opening meeting of the North Eastern Grand Prix series in a time of 5m10.6s, which was agonisingly just four seconds adrift of her lifetime best.

This, nevertheless, took her to the top of the regional rankings, and saw her in 13th place nationally.

It also saw her achieve an award as Female Athlete of the Meeting for her efforts.