and second Woman in 89m45s, seven seconds and one place behind Vegan Runner Jo Armitage.
In total contrast to the heatwave in London for the London Marathon, Morpeth Harrier Helen King faced rain and somewhat freezing conditions in the Blackpool Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd April, where she placed 39th,
and second Woman in 89m45s, seven seconds and one place behind Vegan Runner Jo Armitage.
The first meeting in the series of Start Fitness North Eastern Grand Prix events took place
at Monkton Stadium on Wednesday 18th April 2018, and twenty-two athletes
from Morpeth Harriers were in competitive Track and Field action.
Six Morpeth athletes competed in the graded 150m events.
Sean O’Hara was the fastest, finishing fourth in the first heat,
where he posted a time of 17.31s, being the first Under 20 on track.
Kenny Harrison produced a new personal best performance of 17.77s,
when finishing seventh in the same heat as O’Hara, and was sixth Senior Man.
Finishing just a hairsbreadth behind him was club colleague David Storey, who was timed at 17.78s.
Heat three, saw Morpeth Harrier Lauren Smith tackle the distance for the first time.
Finishing seventh in her heat in 20.52s, she was the second fastest Senior Woman.
Third fastest Senior Woman was club colleague Lynsey Cunningham, who was
second in Heat Four, posting a time of 20.84s, which was a new personal best.
Newcomer Kayleigh Wenn, finished sixth in the fifth heat in 24.31s, making her tenth fastest Under 17 Girl.
One of the clubs’ best performers on the night was Under 20 Man Matthew Waterfield,
who finished fifth in the first heat of the graded 300m, posting an excellent new
personal best of 36.99s, which made him second in his age group.
In his first ever 1500m, Waterfield’s younger brother Ben was also oneof the clubs’ top performers on the night.
He finished third in the Under 15 Boys event in 4m44.72s.
Other Morpeth Harriers in action in the same event were Dylan Gooding and Dylan Davies,
who finished seventh and eighth, both posting respective personal best times of 4m51.10s and 4m52.36s.
Davies’s younger brother Ryan also performed well, finishing third in the
Under 13 Boys 1500m, also producing new figures of 5m09.66s.
In the Under 15 Girls 1500m, Rhiannon Hedley, who this year took a break from
winter cross country activity, did very well to finish second in 4m58.18s.
Carl Avery, Morpeth Harriers fastest long stage performer in the previous Saturday’s English National 12 Stage Road Relays, and the Northern Senior Men’s Cross-Country Championships, paced himself well in the graded 1500m Heat 1, where he finished eighth, as fourth fastest Senior Man, with his time of 4m05.32s.
In Heat 2, Morpeth had two competitors in the 14-strong line-up.
Alistair Douglass finished in fifth place, and he was tenth fastest Senior Man,
posting a time of 4m09.77, agonisingly just a mere fraction adrift of his lifetime best.
One who did record a new personal best however was Under 17 Man Ross Charlton,
who posted a time of 4m17.14s, when finishing eleventh, as seventh fastest in his age group.
Stepping up to new age groups, Tom Balsdon and Holly Peck certainly impressed in the third heat.
In his very first track 1500m, Tom posted 4m34.38s, when finishing seventh,
and was twelfth fastest in his age group.
Holly finished eleventh, and was second fastest in her age group, posting a time of 4m58.72s.
Another Morpeth Under 17 Woman tasting life in her new age group was Lily Heaton,
who in Heat 5 finished fifth, and as fifth fastest in her age group with 5m20.2s.
On to the Field Events, where Morpeth Harriers had no less than three event winners.
Established throws specialists Andrew Knight and Bobbie Griffiths as expected
took the respective honours in the Under 17 Men’s Shot, and Under 20 Women’s Javelin,
with their best on the night efforts of 16.28m and 38.70m.
Morpeth’s Koffi Avornyo proved too good for his rivals in the Under
15 Boys graded High Jump, with his best clearance of 1.50m.
Olivia Gent was slightly adrift of her personal best, when finishing
fourth in the Under 13 Girls Long Jump with 3.56m.
Newcomer Kayleigh Wenn performed well in the Under 17 Women’s
Long Jump, finishing fourth with a best effort of 3.83m.
In his very first outing in a Morpeth Harriers vest, and his very first track 10,000metre race, new club acquisition Mark Long certainly made himself known, not only to his new club colleagues, but also the North East athletics fraternity, as he carved out a superb win over 25 laps at Monkton Stadium on Wednesday 18th April 2018,
to clinch the area championship.
Long ran a very close race alongside 2017 Champion Greg Jayasuriya of Middlesbrough & Cleveland in pursuit of a glorious Gold medal, before heading off on his own with around seven laps remaining, to eventually cross the finish line, posting a time of 32m11.22s, winning by a margin of just over thirty three seconds over Jayasuriya,
who in turn took the Silver medal, ahead of Durham City’s Robin Linten, who was a further 25 seconds adrift.
Fourth place, and just three seconds adrift of a Bronze medal was Morpeth Veteran John Butters (33m13.17s),
who just managed to hold off Michael Joyeux of Quakers in a close finish.
Long, who belongs Northern Ireland, and also runs for City of Derry, was very delighted with his performance, he had hoped for a slightly quicker time, however is hoping to make it a North Eastern Counties track double by lining up in the 5000metres at the forthcoming championships, scheduled to be held at Middlesbrough in Mid-May.
He is also hoping to be able to link up with his new Morpeth Harriers club-mates at forthcoming championships such as the Autumn relays, and showing form as present, he will no doubt prove to be a valuable asset indeed.
Three of Morpeth Harriers Throws specialists were in winning action at the Gateshead Harriers Open Medal Meeting, held at Gateshead Stadium on Sunday 15th April 2018.
Andrew Knight certainly maintained his excellent early season form in the Under 17 Men’s Shot Putt, by considerably improving on his lifetime personal best achieved in the previous weeks Kieran Maxwell Memorial Meeting at Darlington.
Not once, not twice, but in three of his six allotted Putts, he managed 16.59m, 16.75m,
and a superb 16.96m, which will sit as his new best, all that remains to be seen is, can he further improve.
If the athlete and his coach Paul Reed have anything to do with it, he will,
which will certainly make him uncatchable in his age group for the season.
Closest to him in Sunday’s competition was North Shields Poly’s
James Wordsworth, who on the day produced 13.79m.
Knight will also face Wordsworth in the forthcoming NEYDL Division 1 campaign this season.
Closest to Knight UK wise currently is Stratford’s Lewis Byng, who has a best of 15.79m,
so the Morpeth strongman is certainly in impressive form to say the least.
Although a little bit adrift of his best, Knight’s Morpeth club colleague Ruaridh Lang,
also coached by Reed made a steady start, by hurling a best of 40.78m in the Under 20 Men’s Discus.
Lang’s season will certainly improve as he seeks higher competition opportunities,
in addition to any Morpeth commitments.
In her first outing of the season, Bobbie Griffiths of Morpeth Harriers was a
clear winner of the Women’s Javelin competition, with her best throw of 39.95m.
Morpeth had only one-track athlete in action, with Olivia Gent clocking 14.90s in the Under 13 Girls 70m Hurdles, which saw her finish fourth, and 32.42s in the 200m, where she was ninth fastest.
The curtain finally came down on the Start Fitness North East Harrier League season, with the holding of the annual presentation of awards at the sponsors premises on Grainger Street in Newcastle,
on the evening of Thursday 12th April 2018.
North Eastern Counties Athletics Association Chairman Bill McGuirk formally welcomed all those present and announced that he was very pleased that many were attending, as he congratulated officers of the league for their splendid efforts throughout the long season, where many challenges had again been faced with much determination, including very testing weather conditions, however all fixtures had been completed successfully.
He also announced that the current sponsors Start Fitness would continue to support the League during the forthcoming 2018/19 season.
On to the Presentation itself, conducted by Men’s Secretary John Stephens,
which began with the individual awards.
Amongst these awards were Morpeth Harriers, Holly Peck, who was second in the Under 15 Girls Grand Prix, Taylor Glover and Daniel Melling who were first and second in the Under 17 Men’s Grand Prix, and Emma Holt and Jane Hodgson, who were respective winners of the Senior and Veteran Women’s sections.
Morpeth Harriers were also honoured by their Senior Men taking the Division 1 title, and Tom Inness and Richard Castledine were on hand to receive the winner’s trophy on behalf of the club.
Jane Hodgson accepted the Women’s Division 1 trophy on behalf of the club,
and Taylor Glover and Daniel Melling accepted the Under 17 Men’s winner’s trophy.
Tom Balsdon and Dylan Davies went forward to receive the Under 15 Boys
winner’s trophy, making it a splendid night for the club.
In addition family members Rowan, Robyn and Lee Bennett all won awards being third Under 15 Boy,
first Under17/20 Woman, and first Veteran Man as Elswick Harriers, however along with mother Jill,
Morpeth Harriers are very pleased to welcome them to the club as a new competing force,
and look forward to working with them to achieve further success throughout 2018 and beyond.