Young athletes reach new heights at north east championships

Ellie Morris, centre, after winning gold in the NECAA Indoor Track & Field Championships U15 girls' high jump competition.
Ellie Morris, centre, after winning gold in the NECAA Indoor Track & Field Championships U15 girls' high jump competition.

Two young high jumpers from Blyth soared to glory at the NECAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Gateshead Stadium recently.

Ellie Morris, of Blyth Running Club, and Ethan Stephenson, of Morpeth Harriers, both train for their favoured event, the high jump, at Bede Academy in Blyth every Thursday night.

Ethan Stephenson, centre, after winning gold in the NECAA Indoor Track & Field Championships U15 boys' high jump competition.

Ethan Stephenson, centre, after winning gold in the NECAA Indoor Track & Field Championships U15 boys' high jump competition.

Morris went into the competition as defending champion in the U15 girls’ age group, however, this was her first competition since returning from a six-month injury lay-off with a broken foot, so her aim was to simply regain competition sharpness.

But she showed her class by clearing 1.53m to comfortably win gold and complete a sensational comeback from injury.

Stephenson was competing in his first NECAA Championship event in the U15 boys’ competition, and was clear favourite for gold following his recent second place at the Northern Championships.

He won the competition with his first jump of 1.50m, and then progressed all the way through to 1.70m without fault.

Stephenson chose 1.72m as his next height, which he cleared first time to break the 22-year-old championship record, and moved to third in the UK rankings.

Another product of the Thursday night high jump training group is last year’s U13 champion Evie Perrett of North Shields Poly, who marked her first championships as an U15 by finishing fifth with 1.35m.

The Thursday night Blyth high jump sessions are currently at capacity, and there is a small waiting list.

Young athletes from all clubs are welcome, regardless of experience, although they must be in school Year 6 or above.

There is a coach/athlete ratio of one to six or less, and all coaches are fully qualified and CRB checked.

For more details of how to get involved, call Daniel on 07725 634387.