Double gold for Jess and Ed at NE Championships
After a year lost to Covid, the North East Counties Athletics Association Championships for 2021 took place at Middlesbrough Sports Village at the weekend, with athletes from all over the region defying some challenging weather, notably on the Saturday, to take part in a complete range of Senior and Junior events.
In all some 24 Morpeth Harriers took part, with the club’s haul for the weekend a pleasing total of some ten gold medals, one silver and five bronze, with especially notable performances from double gold medallists sprinter Jess Young-Rogers and thrower Ed Gardiner.
Young-Rogers won both the 100m (12.49 seconds) and the 200m (25.42s) while Under 17 Ed Gardiner took the Discus with a best throw of 32.30 metres and also the Hammer (31.57m).
Older sister Jessica, after a troubling few months away with injury, returned to competitive action with a best of 36.55m to take the U/20 Hammer and it is good to see fellow field eventer Bobbie Griffiths, now studying in Leeds, also made a successful return to take the Senior Javelin with a best of 36.08m.
The other gold medal in the Field came from U/20 Triple Jumper Charlotte Earl, who recorded 10.71m.
On the track, Alistair Douglas was a winner in the Senior 800m in 1 minute 57:17 seconds. Vicki Hodgson took a very competitive 300 metres in 44. 53s, winning by just 0.7th of a second and U/15 Joe Close a similarly close 800m in 2:11.84.
The club’s only silver medal came courtesy of Joe Dixon in the U/17 3000m (9: 23.28) who narrowly lost out to Ethan Bond of Gosforth Harriers by some 0.69th of a second.
There were bronzes awarded to U/17 Mia Belton in the 300m, Tayla Murdy in the Senior Women’s 400m, Rachelle Falloon in the Senior Women’s 1500m and Max Marr in the U/20 Long Jump.
Spare a thought also for one of the club’s hardest working athletes of the weekend, U/17 Evan Logan, who made finals in the 100m, 200m and 400m but narrowly missed out on medals in all three events, with a fourth and two fifth places.
Another Morpeth Harrier in the medals elsewhere at the weekend was Over 65 Dave Nicholson, who ran in the Lytchett 10 mile road race just outside Poole in Dorset on Sunday.
With the hilly course incorporating the British Masters Championships for 2021, Nicholson recorded a time of 1 hour 9 minutes and 51 seconds, finishing a creditable 38th overall and second Over 65 finisher.
The second running of the Morpeth parkrun at nine o’clock on Saturday morning proved nearly as popular as last week’s inaugural event, with some 170 finishers in all this time.
First finisher in this week’s run was the club’s own John Butters in a time of 17m 55s, a full minute ahead of his nearest challenger and only 4 seconds behind the time set by club colleague Richard Johnson the previous week.
This time round there were some 17 finishers from the club, proving that despite the early start and a tough, three-lap hilly course round Carlisle Park, enthusiasm for the event remains strong in the town.