in recruiting willing athletes to take part.
At the end of the day, the 39 athletes, 25 Girls and 14 Boys, who did take part at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday 28th April 2019, clearly gave their all in achieving a good opening result, by finishing 135½ points adrift of runaway winners Harrogate Harriers, who on strength alone, clearly look set to retain their Division 1 title that they successfully won for the first time in 2018.
Whilst still not giving up on the chase however, Morpeth Harriers still need to build on their first match result where they scored 654 league points, to maintain their divisional status over third, fourth, and fifth placed rivals Gateshead Harriers, North Shields Poly, and New Marske, who have 622, 612, and 466.5 points respectively, with newly promoted Durham City in rock bottom spot with 372 points.
With three matches remaining at Hexham, another one at Middlesbrough, plus a final one at Morpeth (Home), the squad needs more response from its younger members if they are to succeed, especially in the sprints and jumps and throws area, where there are valuable points to be gained, if the club can not cover such events in depth, they will lose out long term, so the two team managers will be asking parents to release their offspring for those remaining matches if they can.
and seven from their Under 17’s.
The weakened Boys team, who were missing some Under 15’s because of other activities,
managed a total of ten event victories on the day.
Running a 300m Hurdles for the first time, Under 17 athlete Amy Lott performed superbly to take an excellent victory in 49.18s and was one of a total of ten Morpeth athletes who turned out in the age group.
Lott also earlier finished a close second to Gateshead’s Philippa Ellis in her more specialist event, the 80m Hurdles, posting a time of 12.14s, which currently sees her ranked 20th in the UK, and second in the region.
She also turned her hand to helping her Morpeth Field colleagues, by winning the B String Hammer (28.71m), as excellent support to A String winner Jessica Gardiner, who produced a best throw of 37.70m,
and also went on to win the A String Discus, hurling a best of 30.80m.
Morpeth’s Ailidh Dick, produced an on the day best performance of 14.00m, to finish third in the B String Discus.
Dick also won the B String Javelin (21.47m), backing up Rosie Winter’s second in the A String with 21.66m.
In the Under 17 Women’s 800m, Rhiannon Hedley finished second in the A String, posting a time of 2m27.35s,
with a hardworking Lily Heaton winning the B race in 2m37.46s.
Heaton also backed up Amy Lott in her debut 300m Hurdles by finishing second in the B String in 54.54s.
On her league debut, Morpeth’s Sophie Coaker performed well,
by finishing second in the A String 1500m in 5m41.30s.
Another debutant Kate Gaffing won the B race, posting a time of 5m46.70s.
In the 100m A String event, Witt finished fifth (13.20s), and Winter placed third in the B String (13.46s).
Stepping up to 200m, Witt was fourth in the A String (27.63s), and Winter was second in the B String (28.02s).
Making her Morpeth debut, Abbie Ross finished fourth in the A String Long Jump (4.44m),
and third in the A String Triple Jump (9.32m).
Ross was also an additional Morpeth performer in this age group, clocking a time of 14.42s in the 100m.
Morpeth’s next best performers were their youngest, their Under 13 Girls,
who had a total of eight athletes in action on the day.
On the track, Freya Caygill, although not an event winner, was one of the hardest working, finishing third in the 100m (14.34s), fourth in the 200m (30.18s), with her best performance being second in the 800m in 2m41.05s.
Backing Freya up well for Morpeth in these events in the B Strings were Kaitlyn Waddell (3rd) in the 100m (15.10s), Hannah Lott (1st) in the 200m (30.46s), and Keira Peck (2nd) in the 800m (2m50.97s).
Molly Baker finished second in the 1500m in 6m14.44s.
A mis-timed start robbed Hannah Lott of a possible victory in the 70m Hurdles A race,
where she finished fourth in 12.46s.
Kaitlyn Waddell slightly made up for this disappointment by comfortably taking the B race in 12.83s,
which for her, was a well earned brand new personal best.
Waddell was also part of an excellent 4 x 100m Relay victory in 57.50s, along with Hannah Lott, Freya Caygill,
and Keira Peck, Morpeth’s only Relay victory of the day.
pulling out four victories in all, two A String, plus two B String.
Keira Peck won the A String Javelin, by throwing 12.46m.
Morpeth gained a double victory in the Shot Putt, with newcomer Georgia Turner taking the A String
with a best of 6.25m, and Hannah Lott winning the B String by producing a new personal best of 6.19m.
For the first time, Discus was being competed for in the Under 13 Girls events, and Keira Peck,
also competing in her first NEYDL match, did well, when finishing second in the A String,
with a best throw of 15.40m.
Debutant Georgia Turner won the B String, by hurling a best of 15.03m.
An excellent High Jump result saw the hard-working Kaitlyn Waddell clear 1.31m, a new personal best by 6cm,
to finish as second A String, and first timer Ella Tilmouth cleared an excellent 1.20m, to finish as second B String.
Another Morpeth debutant Ava Grace Woodman finished fourth
in the A String Long Jump, with a best effort of 2.97m.
Tilmouth and Woodman were extra performers in the Under 13 Girls 100m and 200m events,
clocking (15.55s, 16.36s), and (34.43s, 35.35s) respectively.
Morpeth’s other additional performer in the Under 13 Girls events, was Molly Baker,
who cleared 1.10m in the High Jump.
These eight athletes, certainly all did themselves and their club proud on the day,
with their sterling efforts, some for the very first time.
Completing the Girls competition were the seven who turned out in the Under 15 age group,
where a total of five wins were achieved, three A String, and two B String,
with two coming from the track, and three from the field.
The track wins spurred a double victory, both A and B Strings of the 300m,
courtesy of Mia Belton (43.99s), and Abi Leiper (46.48s).
In Belton’s case, she was just a mere fraction adrift of her lifetime best,
in the case of Leiper, it represented a new lifetime best.
Leiper put in some exceptional work in addition to this, by finishing second in the 1500m (5m11.44s),
another personal best, and finishing third in the Long Jump, with a best effort of 4.26m,
which was around 40cm adrift of her lifetime best.
Supporting Leiper well for Morpeth in the B String Long Jump was Olivia Gent,
who finished second with a best effort of 4.08m, which gave her new lifetime personal best figures.
There were excellent results from the 100m and 200m for Morpeth.
In the 100m, Melody Brooks finished second in the A String, posting a new personal best time of 13.39s,
and Mia Belton finished second in the B Race in 13.53s, again agonisingly just missing out on
a new personal best by a mere fraction.
Belton also did her bit for the Under 15 Girl Field event efforts, by finishing second
in the Hammer with a best effort 19.20m.
Melody Brooks, however, came up trumps in the Discus, which she won
with a best throw of 17.19m, a brand-new personal best by 20cm.
This also saw an excellent double victory for Morpeth, with fellow sprinter Alice Geoghegan, who unfortunately was forced to sit out her usual Hurdles engagement, due to a leg injury, winning the Discus B String, managing a throw of 16.44m, which was her first ever scoring effort in the discipline.
Geoghegan also won the A String Javelin by throwing a best of 27.59m, and despite her leg injury, managed to finish a close second in the A String 200m in 27.98s, which was just a fraction adrift of her lifetime best.
Morpeth’s Emelia Grundy, having her first meeting in a Blue and White vest, f
inished an excellent second in the 200m B race in 30.12s.
Melody Brooks finished third in the Shot Putt, with a best effort of 7.09m,
which was her first ever attempt at the event.
Additional performances in the Under 15 Girls events came from Emelia Grundy (14.52s), Ellie Wickens (14.83s), and Olivia Gent (14.87s) in the 100m, Ellie Wickens (30.78s) in the 200m, Olivia Gent (48.93s) in the 300m,
and Emelia Grundy (3.72m) in the Long Jump.
The Under 15 Girls 4 x 100m squad finished a very close second, posting a finishing time of 53.69s, courtesy of Melody Brooks, Alice Geoghegan, Mia Belton, and Abi Leiper.
Morpeth Harriers Team Manager Mark Brown, unfortunately felt a little let down by his response from the Boys section prior to the meeting, only having fourteen in all to call upon, a factor which will seriously need to be addressed before the next meeting later this month at Hexham, if some success is to be achieved.
Nevertheless, those who did take part showed their best they could muster, managing ten event wins, six A String, and four B String, seven coming from the track, and three coming from the field, plus a second place in the Under 17 Men’s 4 x 100m Relay.
Omoigui also competed in the High Jump, finishing fourth with his clearance of 1.15m,
which was his first attempt at the event.
Backing up Owen in the B String 100m was Elliot Mavir, who finished fifth in 15.15s,
which was a new personal best.
In the 200m A Race, Mavir finished fourth in 31.44s, which saw him take a whole second off his previous figures.
Mavir achieved his hat-trick of personal best performances, when finished fourth in the Long Jump,
producing new figures of 3.76m.
Morpeth’s third Under 13 Boy in action was newcomer Conner Phillips, who did well to finish second in the B String 200m in 32.35s, and fifth in the B String Long Jump, with a best effort of 2.56m.
Lack of further athletes in the Under 13 Boys age group, unfortunately meant that Morpeth Harriers could not mount any valuable points challenges in the three throws events, a vital miss indeed.
Morpeth’s two competing Under 15 Boys did produce some good results but lacked support to their sterling efforts.
Unfortunately, some were missing because of other athletic and academic commitments.
Unfortunately, some were missing because of other athletic and academic commitments.
Edward Gardiner produced a fine win in the Javelin, throwing a best effort of 25.46m,
his first in stepping up to his new age group.
He also finished second in the Discus, throwing a best of 21.45m.
Morpeth’s other Under 15 Boy was Bertie Marr, who finished second in the 1500m,
posting a new personal best time of 4m45.11s, a new personal best performance by nine seconds.
A total of nine athletes represented Morpeth Harriers in the Under 17 Men’s events,
managing seven event victories, three A String, and four B String, with five coming from
the track, and two coming from the field.
Team Manager Brown was also pleased to see some of his established track distance specialists attempting some of the field events, which in turn brought some very valuable points to the club.
In that, the distance specialists did do their job in their own events,
by achieving two double wins in the 800m and 1500m.
Ben Waterfield in his first 800m as an Under 17 Man, won the A Race, posting a time of 2m02.11s,
taking almost four seconds off his previous figures.
In the B Race, Tom Balsdon won in 2m05.51s, his first attempt at the two-lap event.
Balsdon was clearly unaffected by his efforts in the 800m, as he later won the 1500m,
posting a time of 4m24.65s.
Morpeth achieved their double victory here, when Dylan Gooding superbly won the B race in 4m27.53s,
which was just a second adrift of his lifetime best.
In his first ever 400m, having moved into the Under 17 Men’s age group, Ben Waterfield finished a close second in the A race, posting a time of 54.58s, placing him at number six in the regional rankings,
and just inside the top 100 in the UK.
Another athlete moving into the Under 17 Men’s age group, Charlie Lane won the B race in 57.90s.
Team Manager Mark Brown was particularly pleased to see one of his
personally coached athletes Dominic Marshall in action for the first time.
He finished third in the 400m Hurdles, posting a time of 72.51s.
Max Marr, older brother of Bertie, finished fifth in the 100m A race in 12.51s,
which was just outside his personal best.
Josh Adams of Morpeth was fourth in the B Race in 12.79s, which was a new personal best.
In the 200m, Charlie Lane finished fifth in the A race, posting a time of 25.80s,
which was fractionally just adrift of a personal best.
Josh Adams finished third in the 200m B Race, posting a finishing time of 26.39s.
Max Marr produced an excellent win in the Long Jump, with a best effort of 5.71m,
which was only 6cm adrift of his lifetime best performance.
Throws specialist David Sanderson finished second in the Hammer (22.11m),
second in the Discus (30.41m), and fourth in the Shot Putt (9.21m).
His Shot Putt, being a new personal best by 60cm.
Middle Distance runner Tom Balsdon threw a useful Javelin, achieving 19.91m,
which was his first ever attempt at the event.
Dylan Gooding finished second in the A String Triple Jump,
producing a best effort of 9.18m, and club colleague Dylan Davies
won the B String with 8.30m.
Both were first time efforts.
Ben Waterfield cleared 1.50m to finish second in the High Jump.
Other performances in the Under 17 Men’s events for Morpeth came from Dominic Marshall,
who clocked 27.28s in the 200m, and 62.65s in the 400m, and Dylan Davies,
who was just a fraction adrift of his lifetime best in the 1500m, with his clocking of 4m39.36s.
In conclusion, a splendid effort was made by all who competed for Morpeth Harriers on the day, however,
Team Managers Mark Brown and Dave Thomas will certainly be looking for more athletes to turn out in the three remaining fixtures for a respectable result to be achieved long term.
1st Harrogate 789.5pts,
2nd Morpeth Harriers 654pts,
3rd Gateshead Harriers 622pts,
4th North Shields Poly 612,
5th New Marske 466.5pts,
6th Durham City 372pts.