‘Anything you can do, I can do better’ – Dixon

It has been a busy Summer for Blyth born and now West coast of America based Morpeth Harrier James Young.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:54 pm
James Young leads from the front in the 1500m at the England Athletics Championships.

Back in the UK from the States, where he is studying at The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Young took the opportunity to run in two high profile races.

On the evening of Tuesday, July 13, he was on the start line for the famous Emsley Carr Mile, held as part of the Muller Diamond League series at Gateshead.

A race with a famous history of winners, including in the past Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, 2021’s race was won by Elliot Giles in 3 minutes 52.50 seconds in a close finish from Jake Heyward.

Young finished in 11th place, but did have the satisfaction of clocking an impressive sub four minute mile of 3:58.7.

The following weekend he was in competitive action again at the England Athletics Championships in Bedford where this time he took on the metric mile of 1500m.

This time a strong display of front running meant Young saw off all challengers to win in a time of 3:45.83 with fellow North Eastern Cameron Allan of Houghton Harriers in second place in 3:46.02.

The third and last meeting in a truncated North Eastern Youth Development League programme for 2021 took place at the KEVI track in Morpeth on Saturday, with teams from Harrogate Harriers and AC, Darlington Harriers, North Shields Polytechnic Harriers, Gateshead Harriers, a combined Blyth/Alnwick team and host club Morpeth Harriers.

Temperatures in the high 20s meant a tough time for those officials who were out on the field for the best part of seven hours, with most competitors grateful for what shade they could find from overhanging trees.

On home turf, Morpeth had been hopeful for an improved showing on the previous two fixtures, both held at Middlesbrough, but with no less than eleven Young athletes having to drop out in the preceding four days, all having to isolate as a result from Covid alerts at school, the team was again down to the bare bones.

Those who did compete performed strongly with many taking part in a number of different events, but gaps across the programme meant the club finished in fifth place on the day, also their overall position in this year’s final standings. North Shields Polytechnic were on the day winners with Harrogate a convincing overall winner of the league.

Having won the NEYDL the last time it was held in 2019 and always challenged near the top of the first division, this year’s results have certainly been a disappointment, with the club struggling to pick up where it left off before Covid, and will hope for a better track and field season from its Young Athletes in 2022.

*The North East Counties Athletics Association Track & Field Championships will take place at Middlesbrough Sports Village on August 21 and 22 and entries are now open.

The competition is open from U13s through to seniors and entries are open to existing and non NECAA members. All competitors must be based in the North East of England.