HONOURS GO TO HARROGATE IN OPENING NEYDL FIXTURE
THE belated start to the NEYDL season didn’t deter Harrogate Harriers coming out on top in the Division One contest at Middlesbrough Sports Village.
The Yorkshire outfit brought an extremely-strong squad to Teesside and it was no surprise at the end of the day they were victorious after totalling 805.5 points, over 100 points clear of second-placed North Shields Poly with the combined Darlington/Alerton team holding off Gateshead by two points for third place.
Despite lack of competition for all of the athletes due to Covid it came as a huge surprise the standard of competition from the six-teams taking part with many competitors setting new life-time bests in their events.
One of the eye-catching athletes on show was Harrogate’s William Reid who earned maximum points in the 100 metres hurdles, long jump and triple jump, setting new pbs in all three. He won the hurdles in 14.4secs, the long jump with 6:25 metres and triple jump with 12:31m, the two vertical jumps slotting him into fifth place in the Po10 rankings.
Another Harrogate athlete at the top of her game was Eleanor Colburn who won both the under-17 300m and 800m in new league record times of 40.2s and 2:07.6 respectively, times which sees her lead the way in the country this year.
Other notable under-17 performances included Gateshead’s Grace McDonald who won the hammer competition with a pb throw of 45:32m which sees her ranked sixth in Po10 and she also claimed victory with a throw of 28:05m in the discus.
The under-17 women’s 300m hurdles was won by Harrogate’s Therese Tolan in 48.8s with team-mate Minnie Axon winning the B-string contest in 49.4s. An exciting under-17 men’s 200m resulted in a win for Harrogate’s Jacob Hockin in 23.5s with Liam Townson (Gateshead) finishing runner-up in 23.9s and Morpeth’s Evan Logan finishing in third place in 24.0s. The B race went to Gateshead’s Joshua Hickson in 24.0s, all four athletes setting new pbs.
The outstanding performance among the under-15 competition came in the boys hammer event where Gateshead’s Joseph Perkins, in his first outing of the season, produced a throw of 42:62m, a distance which places him second in the Po10 rankings, Joseph also claimed victory in the shot with a put of 10:04m. In the girls hammer contest North Shields Poly’s Kaitlyn Waddell posted a good pb with a winning throw of 37:87m, a distance which moves her into sixth place in the rankings.
Another field event performance of note came in the javelin with Gateshead’s Phoebe Hall producing a throw of 31:24m.
On the track there were good successes for Harry Lyons (Darl/Aller) who won the 1,500m in 4:31.2; Sadie Parker (Blyth/Alnwick) who triumphed in the 300m in 44.1s; Zara Jones (Darl/Aller) recorded 2:26.5 to win the 800m – Lauren Creaby (Blyth/Alnwick) was second in 2:27.4 – and Hannah Lott (North Shields Poly) who won the 75m hurdles in 12.2s.
Amongst the under-13 competitions, Morpeth’s Daniel Scott won the 1,500m in his first venture over the distance and posted a superb 4:45.0 which sees him in fourth place in the current rankings. North Shields Poly’s Martha French won the 200m in 29.3s while Gateshead’s Skye Marshall produced a discus/javelin winning double with throws of 16:59m and 23:35m respectively.
MATCH RESULT: 1 Harrogate 805.5pts; 2 North Shields Poly 693; 3 Darlington/Allerton 532; 4 Gateshead 530; 5 Morpeth 522; 6 Blyth/Alnwick 318.5.
PERKINS SHOWS HE IS NO SLOUCH
ENGLISH National Cross-Country bronze medallist Chris Perkins stepped down in distance to help his team to victory in the NEYDL Division Two North fixture at the recently revamped Churchill Playing Fields.
Competing for the combined Birtley/Tyne Bridge squad Perkins, after taking maximum points in the 800m where he posted another sub 2 performance, he lined up in the 400m later in the day where, in his first-ever outing over the distance, he stopped the clock at an impressive 52.9secs, a time which places him in the top 20 rankings.
Perkins’ wasn’t the only under-17 to claim a pb with team-mate Rowan Mason winning the long jump with 5:55m while Tynedale’s Billy Murphy winged the javelin out to 39:15m. There was a sprint double for Murphy’s club-mate Ben Brunton who won the 100m and 200m in 12.5s and 24.8s respectively. Amongst the under-17 women there were impressive performances from the Jarrow/Phoenix duo Lexi Brown and Niamh Kemp Lexi winning the long jump (4:63m) and the high jump (1:49m) while Niamh came out on top in the javelin (24:57m).
In the under-15 section Tynedale’s Will Ainsley was impressive in winning the 80m hurdles (13.6s) while there was a double success for Luke Foster (Jarrow/Phoenix), winning the 300m in 43.3s and the long jump with a leap of 4:23m.
Amongst the girls Gosforth’s Hannah Wightman won both the 200m (29.1s) and the 800m (2:23.0). There was also a double for Grace Arthur (Jarrow/Phoenix) in winning the long jump (4:27m) and high jump (1:46m). Another athlete winning two events was Blaydon’s Sky Lewis who won the
hammer (19:47m) and discus (21:44m), her discus result moving her into the Po10 top 20.
In the under-13 age group sprint honours were shared with Blaydon’s Ellie Morley (14.4s) relegating Jarrow/Phoenix’s April McAuley-Zechner (14.9s) into second place. However, the placings were reversed in the 200m with April winning (30.2s) and Ellie finishing runner-up in 30.6s.
Amongst the field events there was a double for Phoebe Kirtley (South Shields/Elswick), Phoebe winning the javelin (16:33m) and the discus (10:54m).
MATCH RESULT: 1 Birtley/Tyne Bridge 557pts; 2 Blaydon 517; 3 Jarrow/Phoenix 481; 4 South Shields/Elswick 456; 5 Gosforth 258; 6 Tynedale 180.
OFOR IMPRESSES WITH LEADING PERFORMANCE
MIDDLESBROUGH AC Mandale’s Whitney Ofor turned in an impressive 100 metres to help her club take the honours in the NEYDL Division Two South fixture at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium.
The Teessider, with only one 100m outing to her name, a wind-assisted 13.85s at Darlington last month, beat off the opposition in fine style to record a sensational 13.2s to set Middlesbrough on the road to victory.
In the same age group, Taylor Jet-Miller (Chester-le-St/Durham) produced a huge pb of 21:35m to win the javelin while team-mate William Jardine continued his good run of form to win the 800m in 2:24.9.
In the under-15 section there was a sprint double for Middlesbrough’s Finlay Maynard, Finlay winning the short sprint in 12.4s and the 200m in 25.7s while team-mate Christy O’Hare triumphed in the 800m, his 2:10.9 placing him inside the top 20 in the current rankings.
Amongst the girls New Marske’s Georgia Richmond had a busy afternoon but all worthwhile as she scored maximum points in the 200m (27.8s), 75m hurdles (12.0s) and the long jump which she won with a leap of 4:76m. The 1,500m was won by Charlotte Dillon (Chester-le-St/Durham) in 4:47.8.
Middlesbrough’s Tom Maynard was also a treble winner, Tom scoring maximum points in the 100m (11.8s), 200m (24.2s) and 400m (57.3s). Amongst the women there was a double success for Molly Thrower who won the 100m (13.1s) and the high jump (1:49m).
MATCH RESULT: 1 Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) 459pts; 2 New Marske 421; 3 Chester-le-Street/Durham City 387; 4 Houghton 298; 5= Derwentside/Crook and Richmond and Zetland 249.
Div 2 South match photos courtesey of Mike Nixon
*THANKS to all the officials and volunteers for making the three fixtures a huge success
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.