This has been a very eventful and exciting year for Heaton in the track and field season. Firstly in the Northern League, our joint team with Tyne Bridge was demoted to division 4 last year, and it was felt that this could be an opportunity to build our own team, so we agreed to part company with Tyne Bridge, and compete in division 4E as Heaton Harriers alone.
I am so pleased it seems to have been the right decision; more people have competed this year, and some for the first time probably since school!! 2 of the juniors made their debut competing as seniors in this league and have made a fantastic contribution. Mohammad Shajari showed his talent as a sprinter in the last match with promising performances in the 100m and both relays. Holly Matheson has competed in all the matches this season and has delivered excellent performances in the high jump, 800m, 1500m and relays every time. Her tactical race to take the win in 1500m during the last match was an absolute pleasure to watch.
We had to host match 3 this year, which took place at Churchill track on 12th July. The weather was perfect, and the Heaton Army was out in force, both competing and volunteering to ensure that the day passed relatively smoothly! Cake selling raised around £300 for Hadrian special needs school.
After the last match at Hexham on the 8th of August, Heaton placed 4th, however there wasn’t much in it points wise between 4th and 2nd place. If we had put forward more officials we would have accrued the same match points as the 2nd placed team and might have been in the playoffs for promotion!!! That said, its not a disappointing result as the goal this year was to build the track and field team to create a foundation for the juniors to move into, and this we have achieved, providing that we can continue the momentum next season.
The club is a bit more established at track and field in the ‘veterans league’ (NEMAA) and Heaton women had a title to defend, and defend it they did!! Heaton men placed a respectable 4th place.
All in all a very successful season for Heaton in track and field. The goals for next season are to have just as many or more people competing and volunteering in both leagues, the men’s veterans team could do with a boost in numbers. We will aim to retain the women’s title in the veterans league and finish strongly in the Northern league. Specific training sessions will be planned to prepare for next season, with coaching in hurdles and the field events, as well as extra sessions working on speed. Above all the fantastic team spirit, commitment and support of every Heaton Harrier will make 2016 track and field season a joy to be part of.