Successful night for Morpeth Harriers at NE awards

It was a busy night for Morpeth Harries at the annual North East Harrier League presentation night on Thursday, with the club picking up no less than five of the nine team trophies available, along with some four individual golds, one silver and one bronze medal in the various age group categories.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:13 am
Morpeth winners at the annual Start Fitness Harrier League presentation.

Presented by NECAA chairman Bill McGuirk, the awards ceremony was again held at the home of the league sponsors, Start Fitness on Market Street in Newcastle, who continue to support the grass roots of the sport generously.

Team trophies were won by the club’s U13 girls, U15 and U17 boys and the Senior Men’s squads, with the club also collecting the Sherman Cup, awarded at South Shields in February for the club with the strongest boys and men’s performances combined.

There was also a second place for Morpeth’s Senior Women’s squad and a third for the U17/20 Women.

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Individual medals also went to the first three in each of the age categories, with some six Morpeth winners here.

There were golds for Oli Calvert (U15 boys), Millie Breese (U17 and 20 women), Cat Macdonald (Senior Women) and Jane Hodgson (Veteran Women), with a silver for U17 Bertie Marr and a bronze for U15 Joe Close.

A number of Morpeth Harriers were in action in 5km races at the weekend.

Friday night saw Finn Brodie 5th overall in the Mid Cheshire 5k. In a closely contested race finally won by Liverpudlian David Rennie in 14:19, Brodie recorded a personal best of 14:23.

Not far behind, Sam Hancox clocked 14:43 in 14th and Phil Winkler dipped under the 15 minute barrier for the first time with 14:56 in 23rd. (Remarkably, evergreen Olympian and one time Morpeth Harrier Nick McCormick, now with Blackburn Harriers, also ran 14:26 in the same race.)

Sam’s Dad Rob also had a good run to come home in 18:25 in the later mass start, and was 6th Over 55.

On Sunday Alex Brown represented the North of England at the Cardiff 5k. Brown was only beaten by local lad Jake Smith of Cardiff Athletics (13:59), recording 14:17 in a fine 2nd place.

Across the water meanwhile, University of Tulsa student Scott Beattie had another outstanding performance, competing in the Payton Jordan Invitational 5000m at Stanford, California, where he clocked a new pb of 13:31:34 when finishing in 10th place.

Away from the action, there was, however, some very sad news for the club last week with the death of long time club stalwart Peter Carmichael at the age of 89, following a long period of illness.

A tough competitor who was also a real gentleman, Linton based farmer Carmichael was always keen to compete for the club, whether it be in his beloved northern fells, on the roads or over the cross country for the club.

A close training companion and friend of Jim Alder, MBE, he had a personal best of 2:29 for the marathon, ran numerous Morpeth to Newcastle road races and was also part of the Morpeth squad that won the NE Counties Senior Men’s title for the first time, when he was 6th overall.