Well, we thought it would never happen, but thankfully, we eventually got some sort of track and field season for 2020. It might not have been what we’re used to, but under the current climate, athletes throughout the region have enjoyed some tremendous competitive athletics, so for that at least we must be grateful.
Much like DHAC’s ‘Back to Track’ series of events, NECAA have followed suit with an equally successful series of open events, all under the watchful eye of England Athletics and their Covid-19 guidance. Last Sunday was the fourth and final meeting, held at Morpeth, which also marked the end of the track and field season for the region; and the last chance for some of our junior athletes to do their stuff! Here’s how things went…..
Over 80 athletes of all ages had entered the 800m, and as is the way at the moment, the event was split into 16 heats of mixed gender and age. Under 17 Harrier, Olivia Douglas-Reeves was the only entry from DHAC, and today she was working on her pacing; listening to her coach and not going off too fast. She ran very well but was a little slower than she’d hoped, just outside her PB, finishing 6th with a time of 2:58.12. A great effort nonetheless; keep up the good work, Olivia, and you’ll be smashing that PB before you know it!
Next up, the 200m, and we had just the one interest here too; Under 13, Lottie Graves. Although it’s been a relatively short T&F season by comparison, it’s been a great experience for Lottie and one she’s definitely made the most of. She rounded things off on the track by beating three U15 athletes with a new PB of 29.63s! She took 2nd place in her heat and 1st place overall for the U13 girls. Outstanding performance, Lottie, well done!
A popular event recently, and one in which several of our Junior athletes have enjoyed competing. We had four of them in action here, from three different age groups. First up in Heat 4 were top U17’s, Marissa Boon and Macy Kelly; two young ladies who’ve relished the competition over the last few weeks and produced some tremendous performances. They continued in that same vein today with Marissa finishing 3rd in the Heat (2nd overall) with an excellent time of 5:37.51. Macy was less than a second behind in 5th place (4th overall) with a new PB of 5:38.36, improving on her previous best by an impressive 4 seconds! Top running girls, well done!
Heat 5 was a real mixed bag of age groups, ranging from Over 65 down to Under 13, one of which was our own Hugo Douglas-Reeves. This was Hugo’s first attempt at the mile; not an easy thing to do when you have a niggling heel injury. But he dug deep and produced an excellent performance, crossing the line in 5:41.37 to take 1st place overall for the U13 boys! It turns out he was imagining a big burger at the finish line which helped him get round! I like your style, Hugo, well done!
Our final Miler tonight, and someone with a little more experience, was U20 Harrier, Adam Russell. He’s one of our top middle distance runners with an excellent track record, and still shows huge potential for even more success. Now in his first year at U20 he was up against a mix of Senior, U20 and U17 athletes today. As usual he worked hard and produced another impressive performance, finishing 3rd in the Heat (2nd overall) with a new PB of 4:22.94, beating his previous best by by over 6 seconds! Great stuff, Adam, well done!
U13 Long Jump
At the final ‘Back to Track’ event the week before, Lottie Graves jumped a new best of 3.98m, so she was back again here to see if she could crack that 4.0m mark. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be this time with a best of 3.80m; still a great effort though and enough to take 2nd place today. Well done Lottie, and don’t worry, that 4m jump isn’t far away!
U13 Shot Put
Another great performance from Hugo Douglas-Reeves, this time in the shot. He was in a pool of Senior shot putters which was a bit daunting, but they really encouraged Hugo so it was a great experience for him. All their support seemed to work as he he threw a new PB of 6.60m and sneaked into the GB U13 rankings! Great work, Hugo, well done.
Overall another fantastic day, with some top performances from our Junior Harriers. Well done to everyone who took part. So what next……indoor athletics? Doubtful. Some form of cross country? Maybe. It’ll be interesting to see what’s round the corner for our Junior athletes. But whatever form their athletics takes, we’ll be there to keep you updated. #UTH!
Postscript…..just when you think it’s all over!
Well, we all thought that was it for the track and field season, but NECAA have just released details of a 5th Covid Open Meeting, back at Morpeth again! Due to take place on Sunday 15th November, events will be the 800m, 3000m (no U13’s for this one), shot putt, javelin and discus. So get your entries in, and your hat and gloves at the ready!