Monthly Archives: July 2016
The rain held off and the athletes had pretty good conditions for the final fixture in this years YDL Lower Age Group at Stockport. For a number of the athletes involved, this year has been their first year in competition and whilst hard at times for those who are also bottom of age, the experience they have had will hold them in good stead. Fixture after fixture, these youngsters really get stuck in and once again they collected 16 new personal bests and a new Club Record on the day.
Another win double for U15 Alex Bernstein kicked off the meeting winning the Hammer ‘A’ with a throw of 35.76m and the Discus ‘A’ with 30.09m. Myah Booth won the ‘A’ U13’s Shot Putt with a Throw of 9.27m which was a new PB and a new Club Record by one centimetre whilst Nicky Saunders came 3rd in the ‘B’ also with a new PB of 6.32m, an improvement by over half a metre. Nicky then went and won the ‘B’ Javelin with a throw of 13.68m whilst Myah came 4th in the ‘A’ (15.79m). In the U13 70m Hurdles Myah Booth set another new PB and another Club record when she finished 2nd in 11.8 – the same time as given to the winner and she was backed up by another new member in her first season and only her second Hurdles Race – Emma Love – in the ‘B’ coming home in 5th spot in a time of 13.7.
Special mention and a well done to Emily Raine who was very nervous beforehand, cleared 1.70m in the U15 Pole Vault at her first ever competitive attempt in the event. U15 Emily Warren answered the Team Manager’s call to fill in on the Shot and surprised herself with a 4th placed distance of 7.98m, a new PB by a metre and half and she was backed up with a 2nd in the ‘B’ by Charlotte Richardson (7.80m) and a new PB for her by well over half a metre. In the U15 Hammer Charlotte Williams – English Schools Silver Medalist – was out on her own winning with a throw of 52.88m and then took a 3rd placed 20.66m in the Discus.
U13 Kieran Carroll came 3rd in the ‘A’ Javelin (17.98m) and 6th in the Shot Putt with 6.24m, just one cm short of his PB. George Whittaker won the ‘B’ Javelin with a throw of 16.13m whilst Ethan Barbarewicz had a go at the Shot Putt ‘B’ for the first time ever and placed 5th (4.64m). Cameron Harris (U15) doubled up in the Javelin (5th) with 23.59m and 6th in the Shot Putt with 7.73m whilst Joseph Greenough in his first competition for the Club threw 15.65 in the ‘B’ Javelin (5th) and Bradley Meikleham threw 6.78m in the Shot Putt (4th).
Ben Whittaker set a new PB in the U15 100m, bringing his time down from 13.00 to 12.8 (4th) with Harry Jackson 6th in the ‘B’ (16.3). In the 200m ‘B’ Ben placed 5th with 26.6 whilst 800m runner Leon Thomas helped the club out running the ‘A’ 200m (7th) in 29.9. Leon then teamed up with 1500m runner Matt Ramsden in unfamiliar territory when they filled in for the 300m, Matt running 47.7 in the ‘A’ (7th) and Leon 48.7 in the ‘B’ also 7th. The U15 Boys 800m was a very good race with Leon Thomas running just half a second slower than his PB and still finishing 7th in 2.21.0. The winner ran 2.10.1 with the next three all recording times of 2.13.2, 2.13.5 and 2.13.9. Matt had never run an 800m Race before and came 4th in the ‘B’ with 2.21.7. A great effort by both lads in good quality races. In the 1500m ‘A’ Race U15 Jamie Teare set the latest of a series of new PB’s he has set this season posting a time of 4.42.9 (6th), reducing his previous best by four seconds with Bradley Meikleham supporting in the ‘B’ in a time of 5.09.9 (5th). Liberty Thompson ran 2.45.3 in the U15 800m whilst Amy Davies clocked 5.10.7 in the 1500m whilst in the U13 Middle Distance races Charlotte Corrigan came home 3rd in the 1200m ‘A’ in 4.19.9 after setting off a touch fast and Ella Hardman posted a time of 4.44.7 (5th) in the ‘B’.
For Eleesha Charnley and Leah Hoole it was a double celebration in the U13 800m race. Eleesha came 3rd in a new PB time of 2.32.8 whilst Leah also came 3rd in the ‘B’ setting herself a new PB of 2.41.0. In the U13 Boys Ethan Barbarewicz set a time of 5.22.3 in his first ever trip over 1500m and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret running in the ‘B’ came in 3rd (5.24.0).
In the 80m U15 Hurdles, Solomon Brown was having a great race until he stumbled at the last hurdle to finish 7th in 19.0 whilst Harry Jackson set a new PB by four tenths in the ‘B’ running 16.8 in 3rd spot. Solomon then Long Jumped 4.19m in the ‘A’ with Joseph Greenough in his first ever attempt at Long Jump reaching 3.18m in the ‘B’. Jayden Brammer added 30cms to his Long Jump to set a new PB of 4.13m (3rd) with George Whittaker reaching a distance of 3.12m for 6th place.
In the U13’s 75m Hurdles Rory Teare ran 15.1 in the ‘A’ for 4th spot whilst Jayden Brammer came home in 2nd place in the ‘B’ with a new PB time of 14.9 which chopped a huge 1.6 seconds off his previous best. It was a cracking Race in the U15 Girls 75m Hurdles ‘A’ with Emily Warren placing 2nd in 12.1 and Liberty Thompson 5th in the ‘B’ with a time of 14.7 just a tenth outside her PB. In the High Jump Jamie Teare cleared 1.35m (6th) in the ‘A’ where the first two cleared 1.70 and 1.75m! Brother Rory Teare cleared 1.20m (6th) in the U13 High Jump whilst Nicky Saunders finished in 7th place in the U13 High Jump (1.05m).
In the Sprints Ethan Barbarewicz ran the U13 ‘A’ 100m in a new PB time of 15.2 whilst George Whittaker ran 30.9 in the ‘A’ 200m and Rory Teare 32.0 in the ‘B’. Over in the Girls U13 Sprints, first season debutants Caiden Hesketh ran 11.4 in the ‘A’ 75m and Abigail Armas posted a time of 11.3 in the ‘B’ which was a new PB for her. The same two girls lined up in the 150m which saw Caiden set another new PB in the ‘A’ with a time of 21.6 (4th), half a second faster and Abigail running the distance for the first time running well for 4th spot in 22.2.
Emily Raine equaled her season’s best in the ‘A’ U15 100m (13.8) in 5th whilst Charlotte Richardson in her first outing this season over the distance ran a solid ‘B’ 13.5 in 2nd place. In the U15 200m Emily Warren took 3rd spot in 28.0 and it was a welcome return to competition for Olivia Blow who has had been injured for quite a while in the ‘B’ 200 running 30.3 in 5th place. This was a new PB for Olivia by one tenth and considering she hasn’t competed since September 2015, that was a great comeback for her. Olivia then ran the 300m ‘A’ in a time of 49.5 (7th) and her first time ever over that distance. She then went and set a new PB in the Long Jump clearing a distance of 3.89m bettering her previous best by 17cms. Bailey Madden who told the Team Manager she couldn’t run the distance had a great run in the 300 ‘B’ race finishing 2nd with a time of 46.4.
New generation of Blackburn Harriers starting out – Burnley Open Meeting – Town Schools Championships produce 7 new Schools Records and 26 Wins for Harriers youngsters
It is said that nothing stands still which is as true about athletics as it is of any other factor of life. Without enthusiastic youngsters being encouraged and supported to have a go, by schools, parents, coaches and team managers – and – looking to develop through the age groups up to Senior level, the future of the sport cannot be guaranteed.
At the Burnley Open Meeting last week we saw some of that enthusiasm on display by youngsters, just having a go. Thirty one youngsters in total competed on the day from Blackburn Harriers in Throws, Jumps and Track. In one event alone – U11 Girls Long Jump – there were nine Blackburn Harriers competing in a field of nineteen and five Blackburn Harriers in the U11 Boys Long Jump featuring eighteen youngsters.
In the U8 Age Group Category we had William Bontoft and Hannah Davies – in the U9’s Matthew Smith, Isaac Hilton, Jack Probert, Jacob Peel, Stanley Ashcroft, Imogen Robinson, James Targett, – – – in the U10’s Madison Bontoft, Sacha Brown, Demi Thompson, Harrison Allcock, Harry Anderton, – – – in the U11’s Caroline Woodworth, Jadyn Armstrong, Grace Hilton, Dexta Thompson, Isacc Butler, Codie Dewhurst, Max Peel, Holly Turner, Natasha Hill, Charlotte Clapham, Libby Neal, Oliver Proctor, Samuel King, Holly Bell, Grace Targett, Saul Sharp and Alexander Galiatsatos.
Performance of the day belonged to 7yr old Hannah Davies (8yrs old in September) who won the 150m in a time of 27.3 also winning the Long Jump with a distance of 2.49m and the 50m Final in 9.0sec. Joining the winners list on the day were U9 Matthew Smith in the Long Jump with 3.11m, U10 Sacha Brown in the 600m with a time of 2.06.3 and U10 Harrison Allcock in the Long Jump with a winning distance of 3.56m.
Taking second places on the day with good performances were Matthew Smith in the U9 150m with 25.9; Madison Bontoft in the U10 Shot Putt with a distance of 3.46m, Harrison Allcock in the U10 75m (11.7sec), U11 Caroline Woodworth in the Shot Putt (4.25m) and a time of 2.02.4 in the 600m, Dexta Thompson in the U11 600m with an impressive time of 1.52.4.
In third places came U9 Stanley Ashcroft (Cricket Ball Throw of 9.75m), U10 Sacha Brown with a jump of 3.10m in the Long Jump and a time of 11.9 in the 75m, Jaydn Armstrong in the Shot Putt (4.10m), Isaac Butler in the U11 600m (2.00.3) and Holly Bell with a throw of 15.85m in the U11 Cricket Ball Throw. Saul Sharp tackled the 75m and 600m for the first time posting times of 12.5 for the 75m and 2.09.01 for the 600m and then backed that up with a 4th place in the Shot Putt throwing 4.47m.
Town Schools Championships at Witton Park
Not a bad day at all for Blackburn Harriers athletes competing for their respective schools in the Town Champion ships. Altogether the Harriers set seven new Town Schools Records and recorded twenty six wins.
Blackburn Harriers were to the fore on the day in the Y7 age group with Mya Booth setting a new Town Schools record in the 70m Hurdles winning in a time of 11.63 with Christie Sturgess in 2nd (12.78) and Taquana Aldridge in 4th (14.52). Charlotte Corrigan was the next winner in the 1500m (5.32.6) and amazingly Caiden Hesketh who is a sprinter won the 800m in 2.51.0. Abigail Armas placed 4th in the 100m with a time of 14.94. Back to her preferred discipline Caiden Hesketh won the 200m with a time of 29.72 with Charlotte Corrigan in 2nd place (30.46) and Emma Catterall 3rd (31.73). Myah Booth took her second win of the day in the Long Jump (3.82m) with Caiden Hesketh in 2nd (3.59m). Myah Booth then took her third win of the day and set another new Town Schools Record in the Shot Putt with a throw of 8.70m
The Yr 8 age group saw Phoebe Baxter win the 100m in a time of 13.38, followed by a win for Amy Davies in the 1500m (5.19.77) and a double win for Bailey Madden, first in the 100m (13.38) and then the 200m (28.79). Phoebe Baxtor cleared 3.55m for 3rd place in the Long Jump and Bailey Madden came 3rd in the Shot Putt (6.30m).
Yr 9 Girls saw Bethany Brannigan run 14.83 for 2nd place in the 75m Hurdles and then take 2nd in the 100m (13.82). Eloise Littlefair won the 100m in 13.72 and then set new Town Schools records by winning the Shot Putt with 10.45m and the Javelin with a throw of 27.10. Abigail Brown came 2nd in the Javelin with 16.40m.
In the Y11 Girls Maddie Elliott set another Town Schools Record in the 1500m (4.53.9) and came 2nd in the 80m Hurdles (13.97). Chloe Bleeks came 2nd in the 100m (13.73) with Jaqui Howard in 3rd (13.80) who then went on to win the Long Jump (4.50m). Teigan Fawcett added to the wins for Blackburn Harriers athletes in the Javelin (23.40m) with Jessica Kit in 4th (16.98m) – and – same again in the Discus with a win for Teigan (20.03m) and 4th for Jessica (17.29m). Yet another Town Schools Record was set when Libby Angland won the Triple Jump clearing 9.85m.
Matt Ramsden set the tone in the Yr 8 Boys winning the 1500m winning in 4.47 whilst Leon Thomas won the 800m in 2.24.0 with Jimmy Walpole 3rd.
In Yr 9 there was a one-two in the 80m Hurdles with Sol Brown winning in 13.59 and Billy Walpole coming 2nd in 14.37. Sol went onto clear 9.35m in the Triple Jump (5th). In the 1500m there was a win for Bradley Meiklehan (5.08) with Charlie Obank in 2nd (5.16) and Billy Walpole 5th in 5.30.0. Ben Whittaker placed 4th in the 200m with a time of 26.84 and took 3rd spot in the Long Jump clearing 4.40m with Billy Walpole in 5th (4.38m).
Nicholas Smith came 2nd in the Yr 10/11 Boys 100m Hurdles (17.02) whilst Jacob Roberts won the 100m in 11.90 then took 2nd in the Discus (31.05m) and 2nd in the Javelin (34.27m). Sammy Kearns placed 3rd in Javelin with 30.51m. It was Anthony Kent who won the Discus with 36.62m which was another Town Schools Record and then made it a double win in the Shot Putt (10.90m). Zak Hargreaves took the win in the Triple Jump with a leap of 11.42m.
Alison Leonard is a Blackburn Harrier who has reached a point in her athletic career where she is in a position to challenge for a place at the Olympics. She already has an impressive list of achievements. Alison had been working towards qualification for Rio and it didn’t work out for her, and by the slimmest of margins. You could imagine that she would be down in the dumps a little after coming so close. As she speaks to us all, her words need to resonate with every member of Blackburn Harriers and beyond. The piece she has written, expressing her feelings, dealing with the ethos of the sport, encouraging all those involved who are striving to be successful, showing how to deal with the ups and downs of life in the sport, whilst at the same time still having goals to work towards is magnificent and inspirational.
Alison in her own words……………..
“So I’m not going to the Olympics and I’ve got all the feelings about it, so I’m sharing them with you to get them out of my system, so I can get back to worrying about the really important things in life, like Brexit, and climate change, and my long suffering friends and family. Forgive me being a drama llama – it’s just that I really, really did want to go to Rio….
It’s the hope that gets you. Whether it’s my personality or just an innate human trait, I will hope and hope until the very end. Against my own will, against logic and good judgement, my heart will keep a flame of optimism burning until the last minute.
I did it last year. I waited 24 hours for my phone to ring, not able to steel myself for the inevitable blow; no world champs for me. This year after finishing outside the top two at the Olympic Trials, I knew my chances of getting on the plane were slim, but there was always that third slot… After missing out on a place in the European 800m final by 0.1 seconds last Thursday, I asked UKA to give it to me straight; I didn’t want to hope anymore.
The answer was a kind but firm “not a snowball’s chance in hell” (my words). We talked through the selection criteria, and the reasons below were explained to me to show why I wouldn’t be selected.
- I hadn’t come in the top two at the trials – I was third, 0.3 seconds behind 2nd. The women who were 1st and 2nd are truly exceptional athletes, ranked 9th and 3rd on the British all time list and likely finalists in Rio, and I was pleased to run them so close, if disappointed not be beat at least one of them.
- I wasn’t ranked in the top 50% of the IAAF invite list, which is made up of the top 45 eligible athletes in the qualifying period, May 2015-July 2016 – to make the cut I would have to have run sub-1:59:1, which only 12 British women have done – ever.
- I wasn’t a medal contender in Rio.
(Alison in International Competition)
Those are the facts, explained to me politely and courteously. I don’t in any way dispute that guidelines are being followed quite correctly. I just think the framework and the ethos behind it is wrong; GB should be filling all available spots. I accept I will never win an Olympic medal. I just don’t think that a global medal is the only goal worth pursuing. Since when has being an Olympian not been an inspiring and lofty enough ambition? The ‘culture of success’ which I believe UKA are building their policies on is valid in many way but it discourages taking large teams; management don’t want to be responsible for athletes ‘failing’ and exiting the competition in the qualifying rounds.
Read that sentence again. Making the start line in the most prestigious elite sporting competition in the world can still be considered a failure in this philosophy – such a failure it’s not going to be allowed if there’s a chance you won’t get through the heat. Ask most people, athlete or not, and I don’t think they’d agree.
To leave a space empty on an Olympic team when several athletes have the qualifying standard (the standard set by IAAF and UKA) is an insult to the effort that athletes put in to the sport. It tells us that the early mornings, icy runs, hill reps, missed parties and every other damn thing we do, are not worth anything if you’re not going to make the Olympic final. For me to be told that the space will be left empty despite being 3rd in the trial – well clear of 4th place, despite have 6 QTs in the qualifying period, despite having made significant steps forward in sports psych in the past two years, makes me feel I am mediocre. I am an also-ran. I am an extra on the stage of athletics and no one cares that I practised my lines over and over – I am not needed and my part has been cut.
(With Club mates)
This is tremendously discouraging, not just to myself but to my fellow British athletes, and aspiring youngsters. Simple arithmetic tells us that to be an Olympic medallist in any single event, you have to be one of three in 3.5 billion women on this planet. Let’s call it 1 billion women of the right sort of age. Chances are its not going to be you. If you can show talent and commitment to be a junior GB international you are still more likely to get injured and have to leave the sport than you are to get a senior vest. Your chances of making a living from your sport are extremely low (and let’s face it if you’re not a full time athlete you’re almost certainly not getting one of those GB places) so you had better have outside support unless you are in the handful of superstars. So if you somehow manage to fund your daily life and training for years, keep healthy, push your body to its limits, get the Olympic qualifying time (repeatedly) and show yourself the third best in your event two year running you need to acknowledge to yourself that unless GB athletics thinks it can get three people in to the Olympic final in your event you are going to be left at home.
(Alison supporting another young Blackburn Harrier)
I appealed the decision not to select me for the World Championships last year and got to read the notes from the selection meeting. At least one selector had decided I would never succeed at top international level. I was upset, and angry, but I took a break, got back up and tried again. I’m not sure I can do that again. There are still things I want to achieve, and still so many things I love about athletics that will keep me racing this summer, and training over the winter, but I’m struggling to look at London 2017 as a realistic goal when it’s been made clear to me that giving me opportunities to achieve more is of no interest to the people who make decisions in athletics. The team for the Commonwealths at the Gold Coast will be selected on performances in 2017, which is a goal I can get on board with.
I wanted to be an Olympian. I wanted to represent my country (not British Athletics, no matter what is printed on the GB kit), at the best sporting event in the world. I wanted to stand on the line in that stadium, full of nerves, but elated by the atmosphere, knowing that this was it, this was the pinnacle of my sport. I wanted to try and run the race of my life and get through to the next round, I wanted my parents and boyfriend to be in the crowd, and that to be some repayment for all the money, all the time and all the love they have put in. I wanted them to be proud of me.
(Competing for the Harriers in the Northern League 2015)
I wanted all of that, but I also wanted to matter. I wanted all of my work, and all the work of my coach and everyone who has supported me, to matter. I wanted it for me, but also to inspire others to take up and keep going in athletics. As an athlete not only are your odds of becoming an Olympian low, our governing body has policies to deliberately make them lower.
I don’t matter by this measure, and the efforts of my supporters go unrewarded too. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.
So that’s my moaning done. The more time passes, the easier it gets, as is usually the way with these things. There’s still more training and races this season, there’s still real life to contend with, there are good times to come and bumps to deal with on the way, and one day all this will seem insignificant. I’m hoping I’m still going to enjoy watching Rio, because the Olympics are one of my favourite things, and it seems stupid to not enjoy them. I hope everyone who has been selected has a fantastic time and achieves their goals. Every one of you deserves your place; you’re all heroes to me”.
Top 5 positions for Shaun and Chris at Hendon Brook – Victoria 2nd at Borrowdale 21k Trail Race – Park Run Wins for Tim and Joe
Hendon Brook – July 10th
The Hendon Brook Race is a very well established Race and is always a part of the Annual Pendle & Burnley Grand Prix Series. The Race is reputed to be one of the toughest Half-Marathons in the country, and the distance actually longer than the standard 13.1 miles of Half-Marathon. This years Race was won by the in form David Rigby in a time of 78.18.
Shaun Livesey was the first of the four Blackburn Harriers home in 4th place and 1st V40 in a time of 85.20 and said after the Race that he “Ran well today feeling good towards the end but didn’t have a climb at the end to get back to Julian hood who pipped me to 3rd by 11 secs. Some fantastic support around the course, great race. Ran around a minute and a half faster than 5 years ago, so quite happy”.
Just 19 seconds behind Shaun came Chris Davies running the Race for the first time in 5th place and 2nd V40 with a time of 85.39 and he commented to the Club that he was “Really pleased with my run today. All the training seems to be paying off at the moment. If I keep working hard I feel after that I can go to the Great North Run in September and look to get a new PB. Well done to everyone else from the Harriers, it was a great effort from all”.
Carly Edwards had a great run. She was going into this ‘beast’ of a race with a personal best of 1.40.42 over the distance and came home in 70th position with a time of 1hr 55.30 which was excellent given the number of pretty big hills she had to negotiate. One spectatator said about one hill ‘i have never seen a hill like that before in a Race’. Carly was pleased with her day and told the Club “I felt really strong on today’s race. I paced it well and finished strong. It was by far the hardest road race I have ever done. Well done to everyone who took part”.
Bryan Searby was just behind Carly and he too had a really good run posting a time of 1hr 57.48 in 76th place and knocking chunks off the time he did last year. Bryan commented that “Hendon was my very first half last year. Really pleased with knocking almost 17 mins off my time.Hard work pays off. So much support from everyone. Proud to be a Harrier”.
Congratulations to Joanne Nelson who loves nothing better than taking on the longer races and ones with Hills seems to suit here fine. Joanne who competes for the Harriers on the Track repeated her win of 2015 by taking 1st place in the Women’s Race again with a time of 1.38.22 for 27th place overall.
Borrowdale Trail Run
Victoria Mousley had a great race at the Borrowdale 21k Trail Race held on Saturday July 9th an event described on the Race Website as
‘From the marina the first section follows the woodland trails alongside Lingholm to Hawse End Bay on the shores of Derwentwater. The route then joins the scenic lakeshore trail through mixed woodland to the picturesque village of Grange, before winding its way past Castle Crag and on to the typical stone built Lakeland village of Rosthwaite. A steady climb out of Rosthwaite leads to a welcome descent into the hamlet of Watendlath. A spectacular trail follows the beautiful Watendlath valley before descending to Ashness Bridge via a short road section. Here the panorama opens out with views down to the lake and fells beyond. A singletrack traverse passes the aptly named Falcon Crags which loom up on your right, followed by a gradual descent into Great Wood. Cross the Borrowdale road back to the lakeshore past Friars Crag, a rocky promontory, and follow the path skirting the shore of the bay back into the finish at Crow Park, Keswick’
Victoria finished 5th overall and 2nd Woman (1hr.49.28) on the day behind Anna Lupton (1hr.44.18) and speaking to the Club after the event said that it was a “Very tough and technical trail race today…as all of High Terrain Events are! Long steep climbs…very slippy and tricky descents… A course with everything. Great to be getting back to slighter longer distances still a way to go but happy with second place given the field today.”
Tim Raynes who is in very good form and setting new PB’s on the Track and Road was out at the Burnley Park Run on Saturday – RESULTS – which featured 319 runners. Tim won the Race in a new PB time of 15.55 on that Course.
There was another win for the Harriers at Cuerden Valley – RESULTS – which saw Joe Monk coming home in 1st place with a new PB on that Course of 17.52. In the same Race Ethan Barbarewicz finished in 12th place with a new PB of 21.13 and was the 1st in the J11 – 14 Age Category.
Over at the Preston Park Run – RESULTS – featuring 280 runners, V40 John Cookson ran a time of 20.48 finishing 18th overall on the day. Daughter Hannah Cookson ran a time of 22.33 (32nd) and was 1st JW15-17. In running a time of 27.38 Emily Snape (JW11-14) set a new PB of 27.50 and finished in 137th spot.
Hallam Park Run in Sheffield was the preferred choice of the Teare family at the weekend with mum (Michelle), dad (Danny) and the two boys (Jamie & Rory) all having a run – RESULTS
All four members of the family ran PB’s on that Course which had an unbelievably large field of 586 runners. Jamie was the first boy home in the J11 -14 Age Group Category with a time of 18.00 and a very impressive finishing position of 12th overall. Younger brother Rory came home in 79th place with a time of 21.45 with V40 Danny in 157th (24.17) and V40 Michelle (249th) in a time of 26.32.
At the Witton Park Run this week there was another amazing effort by 8yr old Oliver Gill. Just sixty two runners on the day with Oliver finishing 9th in a new PB time of 23.30 – WITTON RESULTS – V50 Jan Buckingham was the second Harrier out on the day coming home in 29th spot (27.48).
Sophie & Alison compete for GB in the European Championships – Jacob & Charlie Win Silver Medals at the English Schools Championships
2016 European Championships
British Champion and Record Holder – Sophie Hitchon – was mixing it with some of the best Hammer Throwers in the world at the European Championships in Amsterdam. Showing great consistency in her Throws, Sophie posted consecutive distances of 70.91m – 71.74m – 71.33m – 70.03m – 71.59m – 71.41m. Coming away from the Championships in 4th place, Sophie spoke to the Club telling us she was “Pleased with my performance and had a good series. Its a good building block for Rio”
After finishing 3rd in the British Championships at Birmingham recently, Alison Leonard was selected to run for GB at the European Championships in the 800m. In her Heat, Alison qualified in a time of 2.03.64 and moved through to the Semi-Final where she improved her time running 2.02.31 in 3rd place, just a tenth of a second off qualifying for the Final. Alison told the Club after the Semi’s “I’m disappointed with the result of my semi final and not getting to race again tonight but I put myself in the right places and fought to the line, so I’m not disappointed in myself”.
2016 English Schools Championships at Gateshead
Blackburn Harriers had six athletes qualifying for the English Schools Championships at Gateshead – Jacob Roberts (Hammer) – Charlotte Williams (Hammer) – Alex Bernstein (Hammer) – Rebecca Orrell (Hammer) – Ross Liddle (400m Hurdles) – Eloise Liitlefair (Shot Putt) all of whom, worked hard to get their selection and just as hard at the Championships themselves. It should also be noted the contribution of the Throws Coaches in getting these young athletes to the level they are at – Mick Hitchon and Jim Kerrigan both of whom have invested a huge amount of time with their athletes.
Second in the National Rankings, Jacob Roberts competed in the Intermediate Boys Hammer along with thirteen other Throwers and finished in Silver Medal position with a throw of 65.34m – RESULTS – which was a National Standard qualifying distance. Great season for Jacob so far with more to come and commented that he had a “Brilliant time in Gateshead at English Schools representing Lancashire in the intermediate boys hammer comp. Good comp came 2nd place silver medal and secured my place on England team for comp next week at Kent. Thanks for all who supported me most appreciated”.
Alex Berstein who has been raising his distances throughout the season competed in the 15 strong Junior Boys Hammer Final and threw a new PB by over two metres – RESULTS – finishing 11th with an English Schools standard of 42.69m. Setting a new personal best in a Final is always something to be treasured. Alex told the Club “I was really pleased to get to the English Schools final representing Lancashire, as it was my first year in the u15 Hammer. On the day I was well supported by members of the Lancashire team, but in particular my Blackburn Team mates: Jacob, Becky and Charlotte. A special thanks to Mick Hitchon and Neal Roberts who have helped my development this year”. When the competition started I enjoyed the atmosphere and felt confident. I managed to throw a PB of 42.69m which has taken me to 14 in the rankings. I would encourage all junior athletes at our club to try their very best and aim high.”
Charlotte Williams competed in the Junior Girls Hammer where there were 14 other competitors involved in a straight Final. Charlotte took the second Silver Medal for Blackburn Harriers on the day with a throw of 51.97m – RESULTS – and attained like Jacob, a National Standard qualifying distance. She is also currently 2nd in the National Rankings and another athlete who has reaped the results of very hard work.
In the Senior Girls Hammer, Rebecca Orrell was competing at her last English Schools, having made the Final again with a throw of 43.09 – RESULTS – In the Final, featuring 12 athletes, Rebecca came in 10th with an increased throw of 43.95m. Rebecca reflected on her English Schools experiences over the last four years saying “At my final year of going to English Schools I qualified for the final and threw 43.95 and came 10th in England. I have really enjoyed the four years experience and looking forward to bigger and better things”
Ross Liddle was having his first experience of competing at the Championships and ran in the 400m Hurdles of which there were two Heats of five athletes in each. Ross ran in Heat (1) finishing 5th in 57.77 – RESULTS – He didn’t make the Final and commented to the Club that “It wasn’t a great race for me but I loved the experience and the opportunity! It was good to race against the top guys in the country (1 and 2 in my heat) and it gave me a bit of a shock!”
Eloise Littlefair was selected for the Junior Girls Shot Putt and is in pretty good form having broken her own Club record already this year and securing 4 wins and 2 second places out of the 6 Shot Putt competitions she has entered prior to English Schools.She is also at number 10 in the National Rankings. In the Final she threw a distance of 11.06m – RESULTS – for a very solid 8th place overall.
(A blast from the past when the English Schools was held at Witton Park)
In the Mountains of Switzerland with Bob & Tony – Trail – Road – Hills – Park Races with the Harriers
Members of Blackburn Harriers living overseas – V55’s Bob Shorrock and Tony Greenwood – have recently been competing in Europe. Bob Shorrock who won all three of the V55 Age Category King of the Hills Series of Races in Hong Kong this year, recently prepared to race the Marathon du Mont Blanc held on June 28th. His preparation had gone really well, covering 800 miles of training in the 10 weeks leading up to the Race. Bob came home 3rd in his age group (126th overall), his race undermined at the last moment by injury.
Speaking to the Club afterwards Bob said “I am actually really pleased with the result because I only made the decision to run on the morning of the race, training had gone great but I picked up an achilles injury in the last 3 weeks which resulted in me not running properly for 10 days ahead of the race.
VIDEO of Race Route
Anyway it felt a little better so thought I would give it a go. The course is relatively flat for the first 10 miles, after that it is mainly 3 monster climbs and 2 descents. I knew I would be Ok going up the hills but was worried about the first 10 miles – it went OK until about 9 miles when my right hamstring started pulling – so I had slow down and waddle into the aid station – where I got a massage and stretched it for about 10 minutes – I lost about 100 places in this time. The doctor asked me not to run but said I could walk so I set off uphill and gradually it eased up and I started passing people – and managed to hold it together to the finish by which time I had made up quite a lot of ground – I was still really surprised when I heard I was 3rd in my age. Time to rest up now, then have a good winter and have another go next year”.
(Spectacular views running the Marathon du Mont Blanc)
Tony Greenwood told the Harriers that it was his final year of the M55 category before he reaches the dreaded M60 and decided to have one last crack at the Jura Top Tour Series.Well with three Races to go, Tony has not only ‘had a go at it’ he is actually leading the whole Series with 5358 points.
Tony spoke to the Club about the Series to-date saying that it started in April and went through to September comprising a Mountain Races Series at nine Towns in Switzerland that all sit at the foot of the Jura range. He went on to say that when you “Come the end of the series each competitors 5 best results are added together to give a final points total. I’ve competed in five of the six so far and after two victories and three second places I’m now top of the rankings with three of the toughest races remaining. Bit of a summer break with the next race not till August and far from over with three first places up for grabs”. Athletes such as Bob and Tony – lifelong members of the Harriers and still competing at such a very good level – are an inspiration to us all.
(Picture from the 3rd Race up to Gempen, Switzerland)
Trawden 7 Trail Race
Two hundred and fifty eight runners turned out for this very well organised race last Sunday – July 3rd – won by Tom Corrigan in a time of 41.04.
Trawden 7 RESULTS
V40 Shaun Livesey wasn’t far off, coming home in 5th spot with a time of 43.49 and 2nd V40 on the day. Carly Edwards had a pretty solid run in 104th place in a time of 55.46 with V40 Bryan Searby not far behind in 108th position (56.09).
Tom Blaney wasn’t far off his personal best when he finished 2nd at the Catforth 5k on July 2nd in a time of 17.13 – the race being won by Jason Parker in 16.25. RESULTS
Out on the Hills meanwhile, Jack Hindle, with a wired up jaw after a bad Bike accident in a Race recently, came 2nd (36.55) to Nick Leigh in the Tockholes Race held on 7th July. V40 Tom Cubbon was also competing here coming home in 15th place (43.48) – RESULTS
The Astley Park Trail Series – July 6th
Senior Race RESULTS
Eighty two runners out in the Senior Race (3) of the Astley Park Series which had four Harriers competing and in the Junior Race (3) there were seven of the Harriers youngsters competing in the one hundred and eleven strong field. Chris Davies (V40) was first Harrier home in 6th place with a time of 25.03 which was a new PB for him on that Course. Next home came V45 Michael Sharp in 45th spot (33.02), in 57th place V55 Michael Nolan in a time of 35.31 and V40 Lindsay Davies (78th) in 42.22.
Junior Race RESULTS
In the Junior Race Matt Ramsden came 5th out of the 111 strong field in a time of 5.09 and was 2nd U13 on the night. Matt was followed in by Leon Thomas who suffered a kick in the melee at the start in 9th spot with his time of 5.21. Amy Davies was the next Harrier home in 17th place overall and 2nd L13 on the night with a time of 5.36 with Hollie Cubbon the 3rd L13 in 22nd place overall with a time of 5.52.
The winner of U9 on the night was Oliver Girl who seems to get stronger by the week, having already negotiated over 50 Park Runs with his dad Keith. At this race he came home in 41st with a great time for an 8yr old of 6.14. Live wire L9 – Hannah Davies – finished 73rd in 6.57 and was 3rd L9 on the night with just 5 seconds separating the three of them. Next youngster in was another U9 – George Ramsden (brother of Matt) in 84th (7.11).
Park Run Results
Ethan Barbarewicz is enjoying the Park runs and in the latest one held at Cuerden Valley – RESULTS – he came home an impressive 16th in a time of 22.18 out of a field of 148 runners. Daniel Brown wasn’t far behind either in the same J11 – 14 Age Group as Ethan, finishing 26th in 23.27.
Two hundred and forty three runners at the Preston Park run – RESULTS – and among them the Harriers own Oliver Gill – 8yr old – finishing 39th in a new PB time of 22.51. Senior Christina Carr who is getting over the impact of years of injuries was also out at Preston and she too set a new PB time of 26.32, placing 99th overall.
The Witton Park Run – RESULTS – on June 25th saw Chris Davies win the Race of 68 runners in a time of 18.38 followed by Joe Gebbie in 6th (22.03), Leo Gebbie (7th) in 22.06, the amazing youngster 8yr old Oliver Gill in 11th (24.16), with another 8yr old Hannah Davies showing what she is made of in 25th place (26.50), V60 George Woodburn in 33rd spot (27.24) and Lindsay Davies coming home in 42nd place with a time of 29.15. The numbers were down on the following week with just 55 runners out on the day – RESULTS – which saw a one / two for the Harriers with older brother Leo Gebbie turning the tables on Joe winning in a new PB time of 19.43 from Joe Gebbie in 2nd place in 19.47, just two seconds away from his PB.
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