The second North East Youth Development League athletics match took place at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay on Sunday 21st May. The 20 Junior Alnwick athletes formed an excellent team once again with their counterparts from Blyth Running Club.
The team finished third of six clubs at the last meeting and hoped to close the gap on Gateshead Harriers and North Shields Poly on this outing.
Once again throwing produced the team’s best individual results. In the Javelin there were victories for Gregor BATLEY (U13) and Antje HALL (U15). Both athletes managed personal best throws with Gregor extending his own club record to 25.24m and Antje’s setting a new record of 20.90m. There were also other good Javelin throws by Max BREESE (U15) and Ailsa BATLEY who managed second in her category. In the shot put Thomas DAVISON made his debut for the club at U15 and in the same category Ollie TELFER ( U15) managed a personal best throw of 7.86m to finish fourth. Talia THOMPSON won the under 13 girls competition with an excellent personal best of 6.48m which currently ranks her 7th in the North East of England.
On the track there were good performances from James GILHOLME, Joseph GODDEN and Sam THRELFALL in the 1500m. In the 800m Alex THRELFALL, Max BREESE and Ryan HARRISON FRATER all competed at U15 with Alex first home for the team in 2min31s. In the girls middle distance races Millie BREESE and Lauren BROWN represented the team well. Lauren had a cautious first lap but produced an excellent final 200m to finish the race in second place with a new club record of 2 minutes 37.
The sprinters also had some excellent results. Billy CLAYTON (U13) in his first competition managed second in the 100m and third in the 200m. In the 75m hurdles Billy again finished in 2nd place with team mate Euan FRIEND just behind him in third place. In U15 boys 200m Thomas DAVISON was first home for Alnwick with Ryan HARRISON-FRATER not far behind.
The girls did equally well in their sprint races. Hannah JOHNSTON in her first competition managed an excellent first place in the 100m with Talia THOMPSON and Katie Lou FRIEND also running well. Hannah had another good race in the 200m where she came third with a good first race time of 31.9s.
In the long jump Euan FRIEND again took first place in the U13 boy category with a good jump of 3.69m. The U15 boys did well with Alex THRELFALL jumping 4.15m and Joseph GODDEN 4.03m
Hannah JOHNSTON (U13) secured a second place in the long jump with a big leap that ended in a head first dive into the sand pit! Fortunately she was ok to continue but couldn’t quite beat the excellent 3.56m she set in the first round. In the same category but being a year younger Katie Lou FRIEND did well to jump a personal best of 3.0m. Antje HALL came close to her personal best in her competition jumping 3.95m.
Earlier in the day the U15 boys had competed well in the high jump with Ollie TELFER, Alex TRELFALL and Max BREESE finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. Ollie managed a jump of 1.40m to finish as runner up to Blyth team mate Jamie KYLE who jumped an excellent 1.50m
Throughout the mornings competition the Alnwick/Blyth team scored well but could only manage to maintain third place behind Gateshead Harriers and North Shields Poly. Going into the final events of the day North Shields had a commanding 150 points lead but Gateshead were only 24 points ahead.
The Under 13 girl’s high jump was the last event of the day but unfortunately ran at the same time as the 4x100m relay. Unable to compete in both events the girls couldn’t supply enough runners for the relay and had to sacrifice the valuable points at such a crucial time. The Under 13 boys however, did win their race following excellent legs by Billy CLAYTON and Euan FRIEND. There were also good performances by the U15’s but the team was unable to field enough athletes for the U17 races.
It looked unlikely that the team would manage to close the margin that Gateshead had opened on them but an excellent performance by the under 13 girls in the high jump saved the day. Lauren BROWN, Amelia FAIRHURST (Blyth) and Millie BREESE managed to take the top three places with Lauren winning with a personal best jump of 1m 26cm.
The success of the team on the day was undoubtedly attributable to a willingness by all the athletes to participate in events that weren’t necessarily familiar to them in order to maximise the points the team could score. Their attitude and sportsmanship was commendable!
The final score on the day was:
North Shields 720
Jarrow & Hebburn 234
South Shields 130