Alnwick Junior Harriers
Seventeen Junior Harriers combined forces with Blyth Running Club on Sunday to form a team in the North East Youth Development League.
This athletics match requires each team to field competitors from every age group in a broad spectrum of both track and field events.
Teams can enter two athletes in every event to score points and contribute to an overall score. Success in the competition does not only rely on outstanding performances, but having enough versatile athletes who can compete in a range of events.
Alnwick and Blyth were both well represented and had their first opportunity in recent years to finish high in the league table.
For the U13 Girls, Catherine Barnaby threw a personal best in the shot put (3.68m) and both she and Emma Jackson competed well in the long jump.
Both girls then went on to compete in the sprints to finish a successful day.
In the boys’ category, Benji Gillingham won the high jump, Ollie Telfer won the 75m hurdles and long jump, where Max Breese also performed well, jumping a personal best of 3.48m.
At the end of the day, the boys formed a relay team and managed a second-placed finish in the 4x100m, for some valuable final points.
The U15s turned out in force, with many new faces and some of the more regular athletes trying new events to maximise the team score.
Mark Roberts jumped a high-jump best of 1.25m and then ran the 1500m alongside Harry Brown.
Harry went on to make a debut in the discus, throwing well and scoring more valuable points.
Josh and Luke McMeeking competed well against each other in both the 100m and long jump. Luke fared slightly better, possibly due to Josh’s earlier efforts in the 800m, but then went on to complete the 200m as his last event.
Owen Wilcox also competed for the first time in the 800m, high jump and long jump, performing well and setting some good targets to beat next time.
U15 Claire Robson jumped well in a hotly-contested high-jump competition, matching her pb, then earning further points in the javelin.
Ella Hemsley, U15, turned up thinking she was entering the 200m, but ‘volunteered’ to fill in some gaps in the team and ran the 1500m followed by the shot put – an excellent contribution.
Ciara Heeley ran a good personal best of 2.53.1 in the 800m, a strong 200m then the discus.
Catherine Jackson also represented the team in the javelin, then she and Sophie Enser both entered the long jump and the 100m.
The U15 girls concluded an excellent day by finishing second in the 4x100m relay.
Ben Kelly was Alnwick and Blyth’s only U17 man, but ran well in the 1500m. He set and maintained a fast, even pace and lead the race until the last lap. He lost out on this occasion to a more experienced athlete, but he achieved an excellent second place in 4.44.5.
Jessica Barnaby competed in a range of events in the women’s U17 category.
Jess started the day well, winning the 80m hurdles, followed by a solid long jump performance and finally surprising everyone with her debut victory in the shot put.
The team finished in an excellent third place behind North Shields Poly and Houghton.
Their success can be attributed to a willingness to participate and the enthusiasm to try new events.
The team worked well and supported each other admirably; hopefully, they will continue to do well and attract more athletes to the next event in May.