Monthly Archives: December 2016
Great day at the Ribble Valley 10k & Northern 10k Championships — Medals & 17 new PB’s for the Harriers
The weather was virtually perfect for this years Race with the temperature around seven degrees and hardly any wind at all – the winning time of 29.33 by Marc Scott, followed in by two other athletes behind him also inside 30 minutes and the first ten athletes all inside 31 minutes was a testimony to the athletes themselves and the conditions. Emily Japp from Blackpool was a popular winner of the Women’s Race in a time of 34.35.
Thanks go to our Race Sponsors – Forbes Solicitors and Fogartys Insurance Services as well as Ken Smith & Northern Athletics for choosing to use the RV10k to incorporate the Northern Championships, to Race Referee John Temperton and Race Adjuciator Brian Porter.
Both photo’s of Marc Scott & Emily Japp – Courtesy of Runningpix
(Sponsors Forbes & Fogartys with Olympic Silver Medalist Samantha Murray)
Watch the Start of the Race ⇒ HERE
Watch the Finish of the Race ⇒ HERE
Full Results ⇒ HERE
All Category Winners ⇒ HERE
Winner Marc Scott being interviewed by Matt Wood ⇒ HERE
The Race also incorporated the Northern 10k Road Racing Championships which saw Marc Scott win the Men’s and Emily Japp win the Women’s. Richmond & Zetland won the Men’s Team Gold and Blackburn Harriers (Alison Leonard, Liz Greenwood and Rachel Wood) won the Women’s Team Gold. The Harriers also picked up Medals with the Senior Men (Ben Fish, Tim Raynes, Chris Arthur) picking up Silver in the Team Race and a Bronze Medal for Alison Leonard in the Women’s Individual Race.
A great performance by the Harriers, not only organising and staging the Race which requires over fifty Marshals, Officials and Helpers, but also for having forty runners out in the actual Race who produced 17 new personal bests and two seasons best on the day.
Ben Fish (6th overall) and Alison Leonard (5th in the Women’s Race) made the top ten whilst Alison Leonard, Liz Greenwood and Rachel Wood made it a double for themselves adding the Women’s Team Title to their Northern Title. The Men’s Team of Ben Fish, Tim Raynes and Chris Arthur added the runner up Team place in the open Race to their Silver Medal in the Northern Championships. Liz Greenwood was the 1st Junior Female with Maddie Elliott 3rd in the same category and in the Junior Men’s Jack Hindle took 2nd place, whilst Chris Davies took 3rd place in the V40’s and combined with Paul Guinan and Shaun Livesey to win the Vets Team Race on the day.
Leading the Harriers home was Ben Fish placing 6th overall in a seasons best time of 30.18, followed in by Tim Raynes in 14th (31.18) who knocked out another new PB by 13 seconds and has had an excellent year.
The next athlete home for the Harriers was Chris Arthur who knocked off over three quarters of a minute from his previous best to finish with a new PB of 31.48 in 19th place – then came another massive new PB for Jack Hindle who cut a minute and twenty seconds off his previous best setting a new time of 32.30 in 36th spot. Chris Matthews, who hadn’t run a 10k since 2011 and had only run once previously on the road in the last two years knocked well over a minute off his previous best to post a new PB of 33.16 (51st) whilst another Chris – Chris Davies – was the next athlete to chop off a minute and twenty seconds for a new PB of 33.32 in 55th position.
Shaun Livesey set a seasons best in 72nd spot, posting a time of 34.10 followed by Paul Guinan in 35.30 (104th), U17 Harvey Griffin in his first ever 10k race coming home in a very good time of 35.58 (109th) and chasing him was International 800m athlete Alison Leonard in 110th with a new PB time of 36.08….it was 2009 when Alison last did a 10k and she beat that time by over two minutes!
More PB’s were being set when Derek Reilly went through the finishing line in 36.15 (113th) just over half a minute quicker than his previous best time and Liz Greenwood in 141st with a time of 37.10 which was nearly three quarters of a minute faster than her previous best time, also set on the RV10k Course. These were followed by Richard Stones in a time of 37.12, Karl Billington in 37.18, the same time as Richard Fogarty who ran 37.18.
Brothers – Leo and Joe Gebbie – were battling for bragging rights with Leo taking the honours in 164th spot (37.34) and U17 Joe in 174th place (38.04), both solid runs. In between the brothers came Rachel Wood in a time of 37.35 and Sean Proctor, with yet another new PB of 37.41 (169th). Mark Bleasdale (190th) just missed out on a new PB by seconds posting 38.27 followed by Beckie Taylor (40.28) in 245th and Craig Greenough 251st with a new PB time of 40.31 nearly three minutes faster than his previous best.
U17 Maddie Elliott is having a great year and her latest Race was no exception, knocking a massive two minutes off her 10k time to record a new PB of 40.41 (256th) and congratulations also to U20 Katie Buckingham who chopped off nearly two minutes on her time to set a new PB of 40.39 and John Cookson who also posted a new PB time of 40.41. Paul Slone set the 14th new PB of the day for the Harriers with his time of 42.13 (306th) and he was followed home in quick succession by Marco Maggio (322nd) in 42.36 and Bryan Searby (324th) in 42.44.
U17 Hannah Cookson made it a good day for the Cookson family setting a new PB for herself placing 336th in a new PB time of 43.02 which was over a minute and half quicker than she has ever run before. Reece Phillips made it new PB number 16 for the day in 384th place in 44.27 with Andrew Knowles just two places further back (44.41) in 386th. The biggest new PB of the day and number 17 in total for the Harriers came from Danny Teare in 424th place, cutting over five minutes off his previous best for a new time of 45.06. Next home came Carol Reilly (443rd) in 45.31, Freya Black in her first trip over the distance with a time of 47.12 (500th), Mick Nolan (519th) in 45.52, a seasons best, Anna Leigh in 578th (48.26), Jan Buckingham 635th in 50.25, Claire Bridge with a time of 55.14 in 795th spot, Sarah Toms (871st) in 57.15 and David Morris (977th) with 61.11.
In his debut Race for the Harriers Chris Arthur won the Red Rose Cross Country League fixture at Witton Park comfortably and then followed that up with a Bronze Medal at the Northern 10mile Road Championships at Stockport. His latest outing for the Blue & White came at the Longridge 7 – three hundred and thirty one finishers – which he won in a time of 37.57 some two minutes clear of Rob Affleck in 2nd place.
Chris commented to the Club afterwards “I was looking forward to this being one of the hilliest road races I’ve seen and it didn’t disappoint. I thought under 39 would be a good target so very pleased to get another minute off that. Need to compile a list of other hilly races”.
Next in was V40 Shaun Livesey who had a very good run to come home in 4th spot and 2nd V40 in a good time of 41.36 and he told the Club that “With the Ribble Valley 10km only a few weeks off I decided to give my legs one last race before then. The last time I ran this race was a good few years ago and I can remember posting a time of 42mins flat. Even though I’m getting older I still felt that I could break 42mins. Conditions felt good in Longridge and I set off well within myself, within half a mile myself and a red rose runner soon established our positions. As I turned to go up Jeffrey Hill the wind suddenly became another obstacle to contend with. The final 2 mile were great all downhill and I managed to put a bit off daylight between me and 5th place running a 5:12 last mile and finishing in a time of 41:38. All in all quite pleased with my effort”.
(Nice Prize for Shaun)
One thousand three hundred and seventy finishers at the Telford 10k, a race with a reputation for fast times which was proven once again when it was won by Joshua Grace in a time of 29.21 from Tom Lancashire who ran 29.22. Jake Shelley came home in 3rd (29.23) and there were 27 runners home in 30.30 or better which demonstrated the quality of the Race which can be seen in the Front end of the Race VIDEO
The Harriers had two great performances from Rob Warner and Joe Monk, with new PB’s for both athletes and there is no doubt that the two of them are in good shape.
Rob Warner hadn’t run a 10k on the Roads since 2012 when he set his then PB of 33.52 at the Ribble Valley 10k. At Telford he literally smashed that to pieces coming home in 39th, nearly three minutes better than his previous best and a new PB of 31.00. A delighted Rob spoke to the Club after the Race and said he “was really happy with how it went, I don’t often do 10ks on the road so wasn’t really sure what to expect. I hadn’t really targeted the race but after how well Liverpool went I thought I might as well give it a go! The first mile was always going to be quick but I found it difficult to overtake on the narrow path at the start which was a bit frustrating! Managed to move through nicely and only really started to tire in the last couple of K. Overall really happy though, even if it would have been nice to dip under 31! I’m still praying that the chip timings are gonna come through and I’ve managed to sneak under! Great event though and happy with how the winters gone so far!”
The second PB of the day went to Joe Monk who has been prolific this year in setting new PB’s at 3000m, 5k, 5miles, 10k and 10 miles. At Telford Joe placed 75th in 32.11 nearly half a minute quicker than his previous best. When asked what he thought about his run, Joe told the Club that he was “over the moon with today, knew I was in PB shape and wanted to get a quick one in before the end of the season. Went through 5k in 15:41 (unofficial PB), really hope to break 32 at Trafford, looking like we have a strong team for Lancs Champs”.
Track & Field
Joe Pearse has kicked off his Indoor Season in great fashion clearing a new PB height in the High Jump of 2.05m, winning the competition in Cardiff last weekend. A very happy Joe remarked to the Club when the competition was over that he “Absolutely loved the Cardiff Met Christmas Classic competition, which was a really good standard with a brilliant atmosphere. For me to jump so high in such a hard block of training and so early on is very exciting. Hopefully this is a performance I can build on”.
On November 27th, some of the Junior Harriers athletes started their Indoor season at the Sale Indoor Winter Series held at Sportscity. U17 Luke Kenyon jumped 5.47m, just two centimetres off his PB to finish 4th in a competition of 17 athletes and then set a new PB in the High Jump (6th) clearing 1.75m, a 25cm improvement. Bottom of age U17 Nick Massey was off to a good start too, winning the 60m Hurdles in 8.89sec and finishing 5th in the 60m flat with a time of 7.96sec. Another bottom of age U17 Chloe Bleeks and competing Indoors for the first time, took on the 300m placing 2nd in 47.57sec and the 60m coming home 6th in a time of 8.86sec.
Great weekend of success for the Harriers – Red Rose Senior Men Title – Northern Bronze Medals for Chris and Rachel – Liz goes to top of National Rankings – New PB’s at Guy’s 10 & Wilmslow 10k
The final fixture of this years Red Rose Cross Country League took place at the usual venue – Marl Pits – unusually firm in places around the course with weather conditions almost perfect; And, there was a lot at stake as the Men’s Senior Team looked to win the League going into the fixture with a points lead and knowing that Todmorden and Rossendale on their home patch would be looking to overturn that outcome. A good performance was needed if the wins at Leigh and Blackburn weren’t going to suffer. In the end, Bolton came with a very strong team and won the Team on the day with the Harriers in 3rd spot and good enough to win the Title.
Red Rose Series RESULTS
Great to see Chris Mattthews back on cross country (8th) with a time of 30.15 in his first race in four years on that terrain and he performed brilliantly to lead the Team home in 3rd place on the day behind Rossendale and the winners Bolton. It was enough to win the League for the Club. Tom Blaney had a great run backing up Chris when he finished just one place behind in 9th (30.36) with Chris Davies 14th in 31.10 and commented after the Race “Marl Pitts isn’t my favourite XC and with running the Guys 10 on the Sunday I wasn’t going to run this one. I decided to do it in the end though and run one for the team. The Senior team were on the verge of winning the Senior team prize and just needed one more strong team out to do it. We managed to do it and I was glad to have a small hand in that. It was also good to finish the series off properly as well and to be fair it’s probably the best condition I have seen Marl Pitts in. The running was tough in certain areas especially at the top of the hill which is always notoriously boggy but all in all it wasn’t to bad and I had a decent run. It was great to finish of the series as 1st Vet 40 overall but most importantly well done to the Senior guys throughout the series and achieving 1st place in the Senior team. Well done to Tim Raynes for finishing 3rd overall in the series and Andy Buttery in the V45 category as well also finishing 3rd. Also a great effort from all the other athletes in the club for their participation throughout the series as well. Everyone should be proud. Well done”.
Richard Stones in only his third cross country race in five years came home in 22nd (32.18) and followed by Shaun Livesey (24th) in 32.25) and Mat Nuttall (44th) in a time of 34.33 being the six counters on the day. It was a really good team effort with Chris Balderson taking 48th place (34.52), Aqua Damour in his first competitive season (68th) in 36.28, Mark Almond 80th (37.08), Craig Greenough 105th (38.52), Warren Smith 117th (39.32), Allan Hartley 160th (44.20) and Richard Taylor 172nd (46.27). The Senior Men were also among the Medals in the Vets taking 2nd place in the Team, with Chris Davies winning the V40’s and Andy Buttery 3rd in the V45’s.
Just short of a hundred runners in the Senior Women’s Race won by Leigh Harrier’s Laura Riches with three Senior Women contesting for the Club – which saw Grace Handley getting stronger by the week after such a long time out and having raced only four times since January, finishing 5th in a time of 21.18. Becky Taylor was next home in13th place (22.28) and she is also getting fitter after having only raced seven times in the whole of 2016. V50 Jackie Taylor with only four races in 2014, two in 2015 and three in 2016 had a solid run to take her highest position in the Series in 53rd (26.50).
The U11 Boys Race saw Saul Sharp again come home as first Harrier in 20th (7.19) and 25th out of sixty nine in the whole Series with Oliver Gill in 31st (7.37).
The U11 Girls Team finished in 5th place on the day and 2nd for the Series which was great result for them. This is the first season of competition for these young girls and they have run very well. On the day Caroline Woodworth placed (6th) in a time of 7.29, Keira Haxton (20th) in a time of 7.59, Isabelle Hartley (36th) in 8.24 and Hannah Davies 38th in 8.25.
Ethan Barbarewicz was first home for the Club in the U13 Boys (14th) in 9.55, backed up by George Whittaker in 16th (9.58), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (20th) in 10.01 and Jasper Smith (25th) in a time of 10.10, all of which gave them the 3rd Team position on the day and 3rd in the Series overall, so well done to the lads. Eleesha Charnley had another good run in the U13 Girls to take 5th spot in 10.04 and just missed out on the Medals for the Series finishing the League final standings in 4th place. Lucy Brady finished 43rd on the day and came 39th overall in the Series in her first year with the Club.
With some of the Blackburn Harriers competing in Town Schools cross country Championships in the morning, the numbers were down a bit at Marl Pits. In the U15 Boys, Sam Hodkinson, another young athlete in his first season ran really well for 9th place (15.20) a result that gave him 12th place overall in the Series. Matt Ramsden who didn’t run because of the Schools Race finished in 2nd place in the Series, a great result as he is bottom of age. Amy Davies ran a very astute Race – Keely Hodgkinson had the race won early on so Amy tucked in with Briony Holt and Charlotte Edwards – in the U15 Girls to finish 3rd on the day (16.13) the same time as given to the second placed runner and 3rd for the Series overall.
The Stockport 10 with nine hundred and fifty eight finishers, hosted this years Northern 10 Mile Road Championships won by Patrick Martin (50.04) and for the Women Sophie Cowper (60.14). Chris Arthur, making his debut on the Road for the Harriers after winning the Red Rose Cross Country at Witton Park, did really well to post a time of 52.58 and win the Bronze Medal and told the Club “It came as a very pleasant surprise to finish 3rd as I thought there were more people ahead. I wanted to run Stockport as it normally attracts a strong field so from the off I ran at my own pace and didn’t get drawn into overcooking the start, although the first 10k was only 20 sec off my PB which was a bit worrying. It seemed to work anyway as I steadily picked up places, mostly on the hills unsurprisingly”.
Rachel Wood who had picked up the Road Running Award for Women from the Club at the Presentation Evening on Friday night also had a very good run to take 44th place overall and 3rd Woman to take the second Bronze Medal of the day for the Harriers. Afterwards Rachel reflected on her Race with the Club saying “It was my third time racing the Stockport 10 event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Weather conditions were good and I got into a decent rhythm early on. I kept my race position from start to finish and felt comfortable throughout. Training has been going well but I didn’t expect to get a bronze medal on the day so I am really pleased”.
Three hundred and thirty two finishers in this popular local 10 Mile Road Race with five Blackburn Harriers competing.
Joe Monk continued his very good season and form to finish runner up in a time of 54.22, just four seconds off his personal best. Joe told the Club he was “really pleased. Great weekend for the club with excellent results, great race, shared the pace with the mighty Rob Affleck, just missed out on a PB by 4 seconds, but still happy with another strong run”.
Great run from Chris Davies too and what a weekend for him having helped the Senior Men’s Team win the Red Rose League the day before at Rossendale, he turned out at this Race, finishing in 3rd spot with a time of 56.06, a new PB by nearly a minute and half. Chris reflected on his weekend telling us “You never know what to expect when you have raced the day before and you just hope you have enough left in tank for one more race the day after. Today was the Guys 10 and after a good warm up I felt good and up for it. The start was a quick one but I decided to stick to the game plan and start a little bit more conservatively and go for a bigger finish at the end. That said my pace was pretty consistent throughout. My mile pace was always in the 5:30’s mark which was pleasing and I did manage to keep that throughout and managed a good sprint finish at the end to get 3rd place. The most pleasing is the big PB that I gained from today. From 57:30 I managed to get down to 56:06. Really happy with my running in general at the moment and I hope I can get the last PB that I want at the end of the year at the Ribble Valley 10K. Fingers crossed. Well done to Joe Monk who achieved 2nd place today, Neil Tattersall who had a great run to finish in 6th place and Liz Greenwood who achieved 1st female back as well. Well done David Morris as well who always gives it his all in every race he does as well”.
What a fantastic run from U20 Liz Greenwood who is still 17yrs old. Liz finished 25th overall, was 1st Woman in a time of 62.36 and went straight to the top of the National Rankings for 10 miles in her Age Group – and this was also a massive new PB cutting over three minutes off her her previous best and this in only her second attempt at the distance.! What a performance and with her customary modesty, Liz spoke to the Club and said “I really enjoyed my first 10 mile race on a fast flat course. It was tough towards the end but I was really pleased with my time and to come home as First Lady”. Carol Reilly has battled back after a long lay off and finished in 114th position with a time of 75.40 and commented “Did Guys 10. To either kill or cure me!! Thankfully I am pleased to report it may have done the latter. Not an amazing time,. Only managed 1 hour 15 but it’s something to start to build on. Hopefully I’ll be back at the track soon”. V50 David Morris also had a crack at the distance coming home 291st in 1hr 42.27.
There have been some great runs by the Harriers over the weekend and none more so than Tim Raynes run at the Wilmslow 10k where he finished 8th in a new PB of 31.31, three quarters of a minute faster than his previous best. What a great season he is having and when speaking to the Club he said that “Having not run on the road much lately, I wanted to run a 10k as an indicator of form ahead of Ribble Valley. I heard about this new race and thought it would be a good opportunity for a decent run out. As the gun went off, a sizeable leading group formed at a pretty decent pace. Knowing this would probably come back to bite me, I tried to hold off and run my own race. This left me fairly isolated, and I was left to gradually move up the field as people dropped off the early pace. Went through 5k in 15:31 and hoped to maintain a similar kind of pace. The second half of the race, however, proved to be a little tougher. Can’t complain with a big PB though, and will hopefully look to shave off a little more time in a few weeks. Well done to Lindsay and Bryan for new PBs and to Ben for another solid run. Really enjoyed the race, would recommend it for next year.”
(Top 10 in the Wilmslow 10k)
Ben Costello was running his second ever 10k Race and finished 52nd in 36.55 – four seconds faster than his previous outing – and there is no doubt that this young lad is going to go on and knock chunks off this time.
Another great run for Bryan Searby placing 146th in a time of 41.47 well over a minute faster than his previous best and fifteen minutes faster than his first attempt at the distance just two years ago. All that hard work is now paying off for Bryan and he told the Club that it was “A perfect race on a perfect day. Couldn’t have asked for better conditions. A strong field at the front. Not really a flat course a few ups and downs. Mile 5 was a slow drag. Pleased with my time even getting my 5k time under 20mins and final time was 41:47 another PB. Great running from everyone else from the club who each gained new PB’s. A race I would recommend”.
Lindsay Davies made it a hat trick of new PB’s in the Race for the Harriers finishing in 752nd out of a field of 1239 finishers for a new PB and told the Club that she “Very pleased with my 10k at Wilmslow, smashed my PB by 2 minutes 21 seconds from 57.29 to 55.48. The weather was beautiful for running, a bit chilly but the sun came out and it certainly shined on me. I got into a really nice steady rhythm and seemed to keep at the same pace. The course was fantastic fast and flat with a couple of cheeky hills near the end, recommend it to anybody. Very professionally organised with a lovely medal at the end. I am definitely going the right way with my running, I feel a lot stronger, need to up my mileage and probably knock a few more minutes off. Thanks to all the coaches at Harriers”.
One of the highlights of the year for Blackburn Harriers is the Annual Presentation of Awards evening when all the members of the Club and not just the Award Winners, come together to celebrate the successes of the athletes during the previous twelve months. This year was special for the Harriers with three of our members selected to compete for Britain in the Rio Olympics – Sophie Hitchon, Holly Bradshaw and Samantha Murray, the highlight being Sophie Hitchon breaking her own British Record to win an Olympic Bronze Medal in the Hammer, the first ever by a British Woman and the first Hammer Olympic Medal for a British athlete in ninety years.
Alison Leonard was the Guest Presenter of Awards on the night and she was introduced to the audience by Tony Wood, the Club Chairman. Before the Awards were handed out, Tony spoke to Alison about her season which had seen her selected to run for Britain in the European Championships (Amsterdam), and also competed in the Diamond League (Olympic Park), International Grand Prix (Ireland), FBK Games (Hengelo), the IFAM Outdoor 800m (1st) in Belgium, The New York Mile, the Great North City Games and for the Club in the Northern League and along the way set new personal bests in the 1500m (4.08.96) and the Mile (4.26.3).
The night however, starts with the youngsters who make up the Harriers Sportshall Squad and hopefully the future athletic stars of the Club. The Junior Squad Trophy is awarded to those athletes who were nominated by the coaches of the Sportshall Group for their performances throughout the year, which resulted in Isaac Butler, Codie Dewhurst and Alexander Gallatsatos being put forward for the Boys and Kate Cookson, Caroline Woodworth and Holly Bell for the Girls; The Winners were Isaac Butler and Kate Cookson.
(The Boys ‘admiring’ themselves as they pick up their Awards)
The U11 Endurance Squad Award recognises the efforts of the junior endurance athletes particularly during the 2015-16 Cross Country season with the winners Kyle Taylor-Pomfret for the boys and Isabelle Hartley for the girls having contested all Red Rose and Mid Lancs League fixtures.
Junior Contribution to Track & Field Award goes to the junior athlete that has competed in most Club fixtures through the 2016 T & F season with a combination of UKYDL, Mid Lancs and Lancashire Champs used to decide the winners. Kyle Taylor-Pomfret had 10 appearances in YDL and Mid Lancs League plus County Championships and Ben Whittaker had 9 in the YDL and Mid Lancs League. Myah Booth and Leah Hoole were the winners for the Girls in the U13/U15 Age Groups both having competed nine times in the YDL, Mid Lancs League and County Championships.
In the U17/U20 Age Groups, Connor Davison and Jacob Roberts took the Award – Connor was ever present in the YDL and Mid Lancs League plus County Championships, and competed three times in the Northern League whilst Jacob turned out 9 times for the club including the Northern League, YDL and only missed one Mid Lancs League. In the Women’s U17/U20 Chloe Bleeks and Rebecca Orrell were the winners with both of them competing nine times in the YDL, Northern League, Mid Lancs League and County Championships.
The Junior Merit Award is presented to athletes new to the UKYDL who have impressed their respective team managers and coaches throughout the season in the U13, U15 and U17 Age Group Categories. George Whittaker, Eleesha Charnley, Izzy Thompson and Nikki Saunders won the U13 Awards, with Eloise Littlefair, Ethan Joyce and Cameron Harris taking the Awards in the U15’s and Lucas Davies, Tom Doherty and Sam Pearson-Moore in the U17’s.
Senior Team Contribution to Track & Field goes to the athlete that has competed in most Club fixtures through the 2016 Track and Field season with a combination of Northern Senior League, Mid Lancs and Lancs Champs used to decide. The Men’s Winner was Tony Balko and the Women’s Rebecca Orrell.
The Junior Contribution to Cross Country Award went to the Junior athlete that has competed in most club XC fixtures through the season. Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues, Lancs, Northern and National Champs are used to calculate and Championships to decide in the event of a tie. The three winners were Matt Ramsden, Jamie Teare and Daniel Brown who all completed a total of 8 Mid Lancs League XC and Red Rose XC as well as the Northern Championships. The Girls winner was Chloe Bleeks who completed five Mid Lancs League XC and three Red Rose XC plus the Lancs XC and Northern Championships.
The same criteria exists for the Senior Contribution to Cross Country where Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues, Lancs, Northern and National Champs are used to calculate and Championships to decide in the event of a tie.This was a family affair with Chris Davies competing in five Mid Lancs League XC and three Red Rose XC plus Lancs XC and Northern appearances winning the Men’s and Lindsay Davies the Women’s completing five Mid Lancs League XC and three Red Rose XC plus Lancs XC, Northern and National.
The Award for the Most Improved Athlete of the Year went to Matt Ramsden (U13/U15 Boys) – Christie Sturgess (U13/U15 Girls) – Joe Monk (U17/U20 Men) – Maddie Elliott (U17/U20 Women) all of whom have made significant progress and improvement throughout the year setting new personal bests in their events.
The Award for Outstanding Junior Commitment is given to athletes that have shown commitment and application beyond what would normally be expected in order to improve themselves or support their team mates and the winners were Jamie Teare in the U13/U15 Boys, Emily Warren in the U13/U15 Girls, John iLunga for the U17/U20 Men and Hannah Cookson in the U17/U20 Women.
The Club Cross Country Running Award was won by Amy Davies with an impressive season long performance winning the the Individual Titles in the Mid Lancs League, Red Rose League and Lancshire XC Championships as well as being runner up in the Lancs Schools XC Championships.
The Club Road Running Award is made to an athlete who has represented the club with great credit on the roads and conducts themselves in a manner that is a great example to the other members around them and the men’s winner was Ben Fish who won among other races, the Milton Keynes and Chester Marathons in 2016 as well as the Accrington 10k and Darwen Half-Marathon. Rachel Wood won the women’s award for her victory in the Knighton 20, 2nd place in the Four Villages Half-Marathon and for her London Marathon effort of 2hrs 59.15 only the second woman ever for the Harriers to go under three hours.
In the Fell Section, The Club Fell Running Award went to Jack Hindle for the Men and Helen Leigh for the Women. Jack qualified to run for England in the British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships finishing 5th whilst Helen competed in the European Police Championships.
(A proud Mum – Irene – picking up Jack’s Award)
The Best Veteran Athletes Award went to Andy Buttery for his 9.32.51 in the 3000m and to Rachel Jones for her wins in the 3000m and performances at 800m and 1500m for the Team in the Northern League. There were also Veteran Road Running Merit Awards for Men and Women which went to Matt Nuttall, Chris Davies and Conrad McKee whilst for the Women they went to Claire Bridge.
Once again the Triathlete of the Year was won by Brian Fogarty for his 7th place overall in the British Ironman Championships where he was only bettered by professional athletes. He also qualified for the World Championships in Hawaii for the fourth year in a row which is a very impressive performance.
The Best Junior All Round Track & Field Performance for the Boys went to Cameron Massey having competed in 100m, 200m, 400m, 100H, 400H, LJ, SP, DT, JT plus high jump and 1500m. He turned out three times in the YDL as well as the county championships and in the Combined Events Octathlon where he scored 3228 points. For the Girls it was a case of two Winners – Myah Booth who competed at SP, 70H, 100m, JT, and 200m which included 2 grade 1’s for the shot with 9.27m and 11.8 sec 70m hurdles. She also competed at HJ, LJ and 800m in the County Combined events Pentathlon with 1671 points. Myah has been ever present at the YDL, Mid Lancs League and County Champs; And Polly Pearse who turned out in three YDL fixtures, twice in the Northern League as well as the County Champs. Events covered were TJ, HJ, 200m, 100H, LJ, 800m, SP and JT and in the County Combined Events Heptathlon she scored 3322 points.
(Proud Dad Gary picking up Joe’s Award)
The Best Junior Field Performance was split into Age Groups – U13/15 – U17/20 with Rory Teare winning the Boys Award for U13/15; Charlotte Williams the Girls and in the U17/20 category it was Rebecca Orrell for the Women and Jacob Roberts for the Men.
In the Senior Best Field Performance category, Sophie Hitchon won the Women’s Award with her magnificent British Record throw of 74.54m to win an Olympic Bronze Medal with Joe Pearse being the Men’s winner with a Grade 1 High Jump clearance of 2.02m which won him the Welsh Championships and had five Jumps of 2.0m and over during the season.
Four age group categories were involved with the Award for the Best Junior Track Performance which saw Leon Thomas win the U13/U15 Award for his 2.19.4 800m in the Mid Lancs League. Myah Booth won the Girls Award for her Grade 1 70m Hurdles time of 11.8sec in the YDL League. In the U17/U20 Category Nick Massey won the Boys for his 14.4sec 100m Hurdles in the YDL and Maddie Elliott won the Girls for her 10.31.4 time in the 3000m at the Lancashire Schools Championships.
Two very good Grade 1 performances By Zac Howe and Alison Leonard saw them take the Award for the Best Senior Track Performance with Zac running 1.51.07 for the 800m and Alison also in the 800m with a time of 2.00.52 in the Olympic Stadium. Alison went on to win the Arthur Almond Memorial Trophy which is given to the best Track performance of the year for her performance in the Olympic Stadium in July.
Hammer Throwers – Jacob Roberts and Charlotte Williams – won the Award for the Best Schools Championship Performances of the year, with Jacob throwing 65.34m and Charlotte 51.97m in the Final of the English Schools Championships held at Gateshead. Both these young athletes finished the season in second place in the National Rankings and in a year where they each took Silver Medals at English Schools and Gold Medals at the Northern Championships.
Liz Greenwood won a Bronze Medal in the Northern Cross Country Championships with a great run and backed that up by winning the Mid Lancs League, Lancashire Schools Championships and Lancashire County Championships, all of which, earned her the Award for Excellence in Cross Country. The Excellence in Track & Field Award went to Zac Howe for his Grade 1 time of 1.51.07 at Oxford and his 1.52.47 at the British Championships.
For Outstanding Achievement in Track & Field the Award went to Sophie Hitchon for her Olympic Bronze Medal, her British Record and her 4th place in the European Championships. In winning the Olympic Bronze, Sophie became the first ever British Woman to win an Olympic Medal in the Hammer. There were a number of outstanding achievements during the course of the year and non more so that in the Pole Vault and Modern Pentathlon. Holly Bradshaw won the British Championships and the Diamond League in Zurich and topped it off with qualifying for the Olympic Final in Rio, clearing 4.70m to finish 5th. Samantha Murray was also competing in her second Olympics having won the Silver Medal in 2012 and the World Championships in 2014 and finished 9th in the Rio Olympic Final after having been in 30th spot at one stage, showcasing her utter determination to succeed.
This Years Club Championships for the Men was won by Chris Davies with John Cookson winning the Men’s Handicap. In the Women’s Club Championships Carly Edwards in her first season with the Club came out on top in the Club Championship with Lindsay Davies taking the Women’s Handicap.
This years Members Award, which is presented by the Club Committee, goes deservedly to Lee Thompson. Lee has been an integral part of the Ribble Valley 10k for years now, a leading official in T & F and now in Endurance, an area which he is now going onto to higher level competition and responsibility, reflected recently in his appointment to Assistant Referee at the English Cross Country Championships in Mansfield. He has always supported and worked very hard on all of the Clubs events including Championship Events held at Witton Park, Annual Awards, Centenary Dinner etc. His children are no longer involved in the Club, but that hasn’t made any difference to his commitment for the Harriers and he takes great pride in what the Harriers have achieved and its reputation. A very worthy winner.
Ross Liddle was the winner of the Bob Groves Trophy which is presented each year by Bob Groves to one of the Club’s Hurdlers.
International Awards presented to Alison Leonard, Sophie Hitchon and Holly Bradshaw.
The Young Male Athlete of the Year Award deservedly went to Jacob Roberts who won twenty out of his twenty five competitions and for the Women by Charlotte Williams for winning fifteen out of 20 competitions, with four 2nd places and a third.
The Male Athlete of the Year was won by Zac Howe and for the Women it was Sophie Hitchon. This Award is give to the athlete who has competed to the highest standards throughout the year.
Sophie Hitchon won four Awards – the Female Athlete of the Year; the International Award; Outstanding Achievement in Track & Field and Best Senior Field Performance. Unfortunately, Sophie wasn’t able to be with us for the Presentation as she was away training in America, but she did take time to send the Club a videoed message, thanking the Club for the Awards, the support she has been given and wished everyone at the Club all success. Sophie’s parents – Mick and Wendy – came up to receive her Awards from Alison Leonard, receiving a great reception from everyone.
With performances including seven Grade 1 best performances from Sophie Hitchon (Hammer SW), Charlotte Williams (Hammer U15G), Jacob Roberts (Hammer U17M), Eloise Littlefair (Shot U15G), Myah Booth (Shot U13G), Izzy Thompson (Discus U13G), and Anthony Kent (Discus U17M) the Throws Squad with their Coaches – Mick Hitchon, Jim Kerrigan and Neil Roberts were deserving Winners of the Round Chase Trophy.
For Athletics News from around the UK, race videos & interviews and discussion on the sport check out eightlane.org
Click here to have a look at eightlane.org.