NEYDL Division 1 (Shildon – 21st April 2024)

The opening meet of the 2024 North East Youth Development League (Division 1) took place at Shildon last weekend. After finishing second to Harrogate in last year’s competition, everyone was looking forward to a good start to the season.

As usual, we form a composite team with our friends at Allerton Juniors and as well as current champions Harrogate, we’d be up against strong competition from North Shields Poly, Gateshead and 2 other composite teams, South Shields/Elswick and Birtley/Jarrow/Phoenix Flyers.


A maximum of 2 athletes from each team can score points in an event, no matter how many athletes you have in the event. Athletes are allocated as ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘Non scoring’ on team declaration forms (in case heat allocations are required), but if any allocated ‘Non Scoring’ or ‘B’ athlete records the best performance for the team on the day, they will be awarded points for the team as the ‘A’ athlete, and next best is the ‘B’ athlete.

Our best performer in an event will be awarded ‘A’ points after being compared to the other best performances from athletes in each of the other teams. If you have other athletes taking part, the next best performance will be compared against any other ‘B’ performances from other teams, before being awarded the relevant ‘B’ points, as in the table above. Any further athletes performances will not earn points for the team and will appear on the results sheet as ‘Other Performances’.

Although we took a strong team to Shildon, we were also missing some of our usual points scoring middle distance athletes in Ollie Curran, Dan Callaghan, Charlotte Owens, Rowan Steel, Daniel I’Anson, Freddie Hall, Freya Talman and Zara Jones, to name but a few.

New Joint Team Manager Simon Clay was making his debut alongside Glen Hilton from Allerton and he was in fine form with his clipboard in the early stages! There was a great team atmosphere from the off with everyone eagerly anticipating the action getting underway.


With Ollie Curran and Dan Callaghan missing this meet, we only had 2 Darlington boys in this age group with Allerton making up the majority of our competitors.

Jacob Addison racked up 20pts all by himself in the field, finishing 2nd in Javelin (19.36m), 2nd in Shot (6.99m) and 3rd in Discus (14.35m). George Togher grabbed 4pts in the Javelin and 5pts in the 100m, both as a ‘B’ string, which just shows the importance of having 2 athletes in each event. George PB’d in all of his events too, including Long Jump!

We had Ella Harcourt, Beth Graham, Sasha Patterson, Lucie Hammond and Jessie Horton-Thomas competing for the girls.

Sasha came 2nd in the 800m (2:32.56) for 7pts, Lucie was 3rd in the Shot (5.37m) for 6pts and Beth was 5th in the Javelin (6.65m) for 2pts. With Ella (800m, 3:11.08) and Jessie (1500m, 6:02.48) in their first year of NEYDL, it’ll be great experience for them and it’s great to have some more promising middle distance runners at this age group. We hope they enjoyed competing!


Darlington provided the majority of the middle distance athletes in this category with Allerton covering most of the sprints and jumps. We had Matthew Foster, Luke Gardner, Donovan Tarn, Kyle Sridhar, Tomas Hoole, Finn Pentland-Rice and Tomos Cowell.

Matthew dropped down to the 200m (27.14) and picked up 6pts for 3rd place. This was after victory in the 800m (2:14.90) for 9pts. Luke was making his NEYDL debut and scored 6pts for 3rd in the 300m (44.07) and 7pts for a ‘B’ string 1st in the 800m (2:20.87).

In the 1500m, Kyle, also making his competition debut, finished a narrow 2nd (4:41.81) to score 7pts while Finn also scored 7pts as he was the best ‘B’ string performer (4:47.56). Finn also gave High Jump a go and cleared an excellent 1.45m for 4th place.

Donovan Tarn filled in as a late replacement in the 80m Hurdles and collected 5pts for his 4th place finish (17.50) and he also ran in the 800m (2:49.26)

Tomos Cowell was our other field eventer, specialising in the throws. He took a maximum 27pts for his 3 victories in Discus (28.56m), Hammer (26.59m) and Shot (10.51m) – Excellent work and important points for the team!

Beth Johnson, Chloe Graham, Isla Massingham, Isabelle Holdcroft and Matilda Owens were representing the girls.

Isabelle clocked up some good points with 5th in the 100m (14.66, 4pts) and 3rd in 200m (30.78, 6pts) with Isla also earning some important ‘B’ string points with 3pts in the 100m (15.20), 2pts in the 300m (52.88) and 3pts in Long Jump (3.25m).

Beth was not to be outdone, collecting 7pts in the Shot (6.77m), 5pts in the 75m Hurdles (14.20) and another 5pts in the Long Jump (3.64m). Chloe also took some ‘B’ points in both the 800m (2:52.92, 3pts) and the 75m Hurdles (15.61, 3pts).

Matilda was dominant in the 1500m (4:55.24), winning by over 14 seconds as she dipped under the 5 minute mark, securing 9 more points in the process.


Hugo Douglas-Reeves, Owen Ovens, Jack Wood and Thomas Hill made up the U17 boys quartet.

Hugo continued his good indoor form with 3rd in the 200m (23.50) and a win on his first attempt at 400m Hurdles (58.36) to collect 15pts. This was also an English Schools qualifying time, amazing work!

Owen always seemed to be getting ready to compete and he took a 14 point haul from his 3 events, 200m (26.27), 800m (2:15.84) and Shot (6.97m), as well as competing in the 4x100m relay. A long day for Owen, but a great contribution!

Jack Wood handled the majority of the throws, collecting an excellent 23 points with a Discus win (19.84m) and two 2nds in Shot (8.22m) and Hammer (11.71m). Thomas Hill equalled his outdoor best of 3.80m in the Pole Vault and took 9 points without opposition, despite a lengthy delay when he landed on, and snapped the bar! This also looks to have been a meet record, as was Hugo’s 400m Hurdles performance. Great work lads!

Ours girls in this age bracket made up the majority of team competitors, with no fewer than 7 taking part

Jess Sweet (13.04) and Elizabeth Clay (13.49) took maximum A and B points in the 100m and Jess also took 7pts in the 200m (26.75) with Lottie Graves (29.23) winning 4pts as a B string athlete. It was more points in the 300m with Izzy Edinboro’s 2nd (43.06) gaining the team another 7pts.

Savannah Tarn was the only athlete in the 800m and she put in a good run for 3rd (2:36.89) and 6pts. Caitlin Lloyd ran 5:27.43 for 4th in the 1500m and another 5pts.

Sprint Hurdles were a great source of points as Lottie’s 2nd (15.59) in the 80m Hurdles and Izzy’s win (48.53) in the 300m Hurdles gained 16 more points towards the team total. In the Jumps, we once again dominated the scoring with Jess (10.22m) winning overall and Elizabeth (8.70m) leading the B string in the Triple Jump for maximum points. Izzy was victorious in Long Jump (4.63m) backed up again by Elizabeth winning 5 B string points (4.02m)

The girls had accumulated a stack of points already but they weren’t finished yet. Madison Miller was 2nd in Discus (18.25m) and 1st B string in Shot (8.51m) for a total of 14pts and Lottie rounded it off with 7pts for 2nd place in the Shot (10.15m)

It was a terrific day with plenty of great PB’s, debut performances and best of all, teamwork, support and pride, fighting for every available point.

Darlington and Allerton were consistently leading the standings throughout the day but it got a bit tighter as the relays concluded. In the end, a superb win by 28 points for Darlington/Allerton with just 4 points separating 2nd and 4th! Fantastic start to the season from all athletes and thanks to all volunteers, without whom these events would not take place. We hope everyone had a great day!

Final Match PointsPoints
North Shields Poly628
Birtley/Jarrow/Phoenix Flyers499
South Shields/Elswick373

Harrogate had the most overall performances on the day with 126 results from all events, followed by ourselves with 121 and North Shields Poly with 119. Gateshead had 102, Birtley/Jarrow/Phoenix Flyers had 93 and South Shields/Elswick 69.

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