THE Shields Poly’s James Wordsworth took full advantage of the rearranged throws competition at Gateshead’s throws field by producing a superb new pb in the discus.
Nineteen competitors of all ages lined up but it was the Neil Ellerby-coached Wordsworth who had the final say as, after 45:46m and 45:67m in the early rounds, winged the discus out to 48:13m, a distance which sees him consolidate fifth place in the Po10 rankings as he chases the European Junior Championship qualifying distance of 57:00m.
Another under-20 athlete setting a new life-time best was Border raider Harry Miles whose best throw was 41:36m.
Other notable performers in the discus contest included Gateshead’s Grace McDonald who threw a season’s best of 32:17m in the under-17 age group while there were new pbs for under-15 North Shields Poly girls Georgia Turner and Hannah Lott with distances of 23:32m and 12:77m respectively. Jarrow and Hebburn’s Poppy Docherty competing in the under-20 section, also produced a new pb of 20:57m.
There was a quick turnaround by the officials to get the hammer competition underway where, once again 19 competitors took to the circle and it was another Cumbria athlete who led the way. After opening his campaign with a victory (47:42m) in Kilmarnock earlier in the month under-20 athlete Danny Gracie, coached by experienced John Little at the Carlisle-based club, was in determined mood to improve on that performance and that he certainly did. After disappointing throws of 34:43m, 37:64m and a foul in the early rounds, Gracie pulled out a huge 54:34m in the fourth round to add well over a metre to his life-time best set over a year previously.
Gracie wasn’t the only hammer thrower to go home with new figures to their name. Competing in the under-15 age group North Shields Poly’s Kaitlyn Waddell threw 38:48m while at under-17 level there were new pbs for Gateshead’s Talia Thompson (33:74m) and Morpeth’s Edward Gardiner (29:94m).
Thanks go to the NEGP committee for quickly arranging the throws event after they were cancelled the week earlier and to the officials who took to their posts at very short notice.
Bill McGuirk is the North East's top athletics correspondent. NECAA Chairman and official, Bill can be found at all local athletics events supporting the sport he loves.