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Comments Off on BLACKBURN HARRIERS Northern League Division One 2019 CHAMPIONS – Rob 2nd in BMC 1500m – Jess & Sophie at European Team Championships – Ben & Victoria Win Burnley & Pendle Grand Prix Series – Preston 5 with Rachael – Harriers on Tour with Andrew & Eva

BLACKBURN HARRIERS Northern League Division One 2019 CHAMPIONS – Rob 2nd in BMC 1500m – Jess & Sophie at European Team Championships – Ben & Victoria Win Burnley & Pendle Grand Prix Series – Preston 5 with Rachael – Harriers on Tour with Andrew & Eva

Northern League Division One Final Match – Saturday August 9th

Blackburn Harriers Senior Team had set out two years ago to try and win Division 2 of the Northern League, qualify for the Promotion Match and ultimately gain promotion to Division 1. In Division 1 the team felt like it had a chance to be competitive to the point where it may challenge for the title. The first part of the ambition was achieved as we won Division 2 in 2018 and finished second in the Promotion Match to Team I.O.M – 8 points separating us – the two teams bothing going into Division 1 for the 2019 season.

The Harriers opened the season with back to back wins in fixtures one (Witton Park) and two (Wigan) before finishing 2nd to West Cheshire in Ellesmere Port. The final fixture took place at Wakefield on Saturday August 10th which saw the Harriers in a closed fought battle throughout the day with the lead changing hands on a number of occassions. When the dust settled, the Harriers had achieved the second part of the ambition set two years ago, being crowned Division 1 Champions as we finished 2nd on the day just three points behind winners Wakefield and making it two Match wins and two 2nd places in the four Match season.

Women’s Team Captain – Anna Peers – told us The whole team have worked so hard this season, many younger athletes have come and stepped up to compete on our behalf in events that don’t suit their abilities. It’s been great to see the team spirit which I hope will continue into next season”.

The Men’s Team Captain – Ben Fish – who was in the squad the last time the Harriers won Division One told the Club after the Match that Fantastic to be back up there winning Division 1 again. It’s been a good few years since we were at that level, amazing performances across the board from everyone. To win two out of the four matches and place 2nd in the other two also shows the consistency and commitment we’ve shown this season“.

Tony Wood – President of Blackburn Harriers and Chairman of Northern Athletics – who had been timekeeping for the Club at the Match came over and made the presentation of the trophy to the Men’s and Women’s Team Captains – Ben Fish and Anna Peers and told the Club after that “Winning the Division 1 title and becoming the North’s top track and field club within the Northern League for only the 4th time in the league’s 49 year history is a huge achievement for our club. All our club contributed both on the track and the field together with our hard working officials and our club committee and particularly George Davies  and Jan Buckingham as the team managers. Saturday the 10th August 2019 is another day that will go down in our history books and we should all be proud of our club, its strengths, its qualities and its passion for our sport. Long may we shine! “

The weather on the day was a mixture, with sunshine, the odd shower and strong winds which meant that not many new personal bests were about to be set, although as we know, League competition is all about building points throughout the day.

The Club’s Throwers carried on as they have done all season, setting the tone for the day with a double win – U20 Sam Gaskell in his first appearance for the Club’s Senior Men’s team went and set a new PB with the 7.26kg weight to win the ‘A’ Hammer with 58.67m adding over 5 metres to the distance set in his only other competition with the senior weight. Anthony Kent replicated the win in the ‘B’ with a throw of 44.18m to help the team take maximum points in the first event of the day. Anthony then teamed up with Tony Balko in the Discus and Shot where Anthony placed 2nd in the ‘A’ Shot Putt with 11.63m and Tony won the ‘B’  with 9.82m and in the Discus Tony took 3rd spot in the ‘A’ with a throw of 35.02m as Anthony won the ‘B’ with 30.92m. On to the Javelin and Anthony was joined by Joe Pearse which saw Joe place 4th in the ‘A’ (33.97m) and Anthony also 4th in the ‘B’ with 29.49m.

Sam Gaskell (Hammer) Anthony Kent (Hammer)Anthony Kent (Shot Putt)Tony Balko (Shot Putt)Tony Balko (Discus)Anthony Kent (Discus)Joe Pearse (Javelin) Anthony Kent (Javelin)

There was a new pairing in the Men’s 100m/200m double which saw Brandon Zinyemba and Kyle Mashiter double up – Brandon clocking 11.18 in the ‘A’ 100m (2nd) and 23.38 in the 200m ‘A’ in 6th. U17 Kyle is improving all the time and ran 11.62 for 2nd in the ‘B’ 100m and then set a new PB by two tenths in the ‘B’ 200m with his 23.24 clocking to take the win.

Brandon Zinyemba (1) 100mKyle Mashiter (11) 100mBrandon Zinyemba (1) 200m Kyle Mashiter (11) 200m

Dominic Walton ran a seasons best time of 51.23 in the ‘A’ 400m whilst Paul Bradshaw – in the middle of the Pole Vault which had to be taken indoors because of the wind – came out, did a few strides and clocked 54.63 in the ‘B’ for 2nd place. The wind made all of the one lap and above distance a battle for survival at times and Zac Howe and Joe Gebbie combined really well to both place 2nd in the 800m – Zac running 2.01.88 in the ‘A’ and Joe 2.03.69 in the ‘B’.

Dominic Walton 400mPaul Bradshaw 400mZac Howe 800m Joe Gebbie 800m

Same again in the 1500m as Tim Raynes and Matt Ramsden both secured 2nd places. Tim made a very strong attempt to take the race to the field in the ‘A’ only to be overtaken in the last 25 metres by the fast finishing Daniel Franks of Wakefield (4.17.46) with Tim clocking 4.18.74 and in the ‘B’ Matt ran strongly to come in 2nd with 4.21.74. In the 3000m steeplechase Marc Hartley set off leading the field into the wind which is never easy and ran 10.38.27 in the ‘A’ race for 3rd spot as Joe Howe clocked a seasons best, even in that wind of 10.58.24 to win the ‘B’. Ben Fish made it three wins out of three in the ‘A’ 5000m winning in June at Wigan with 15.18.0, again at Ellesmere Port in July (15.15.5) and again yesterday at Wakefield with 15.12.36 which was a very good time indeed, given the conditions. Calum Holmes stepped in at the last minute to cover the ‘B’ race and placed 2nd in a time of 17.37.11.

Tim Raynes (1) 1500mMatt Ramsden (11) 1500mMarc Hartley Joe Howe

Our main 110m Hurdlers were missing so Joe Howe and John iLunga stepped in to help the team as John finished 3rd in the ‘A’ (21.45) and Joe 4th in the ‘B’ (27.92m). In the 400m – Long Hurdlers Solomon Brown and Nick Smith delivered yet again as Solomon won the ‘A’ in 59.00 and Nick the ‘B’ in 63.00, the two of them being very consistent throughout the season and scoring a lot of points for the team.

John iLunga 110m Hurdles Joe Howe 110m HurdlesSolomon Brown (1) 400m Hurdles Nick Smith (11) 400m Hurdles

Joe Pearse maintained his 100% winning record in the High Jump which like the Pole Vault was held indoors after being abandoned outside because of the wind. Joe won the ‘A’ with 1.85m whilst Nick won the ‘B’ with 1.65m – another pairing who have been very successful. Jonathan Gough was carrying a hamstring niggle which impacted his jumping as he placed 6th in the Long Jump ‘A’ (5.61m) and 2nd in the ‘B’ Triple Jump with 11.68m only being able to do one jump. U17 Ben Branton jumped well to secure 2nd spot in the ‘B’ Long Jump (5.53m) and Fawwaz Mustapha was just cms outside his best in the ‘A’ Triple Jump (4th) with 11.84m. Paul Bradshaw picked up more valuable points in the ‘A’ Pole Vault clearing 2.40m (4th).

Nick SmithJonathan Gough Long JumpBen Branton Long Jump

The Relays went really well for the Club – winning both the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m. In the 4 x 100m Fawwaz Mustapha was drafted in at the last minute to cover for an injury as he, Kyle Mashiter, Ethan Downes and Brandon Zinyemba brought the baton home in 1st place in a combined time of 46.24 which gave the team three wins out of four throughtout the season.

L-R Ethan Dones – Kyel Mashiter – Coach Ramzi – Fawwaz Mustapha – Brandon Zinyemba

Fawwaz Mustapha to Kyle Mashiter

The 4 x 400m Relay team of Dominic Walton on Leg 1, Zac Howe on 2, Joe Gebbie on 3 and Paul Bradshaw on the final leg won in a time of 3.34.66, some 4 seconds clear of West Cheshire in 2nd.


L-R Paul Bradshaw – Dominic Walton – Joe Gebbie – Zac Howe

Charlotte Williams who has had a fabulous season got the Women’s team off to a great start in the Hammer winning the ‘A’ with a distance of 57.51m with Abigail Brown taking 3rd spot in the ‘B’ (28.57m) which was just shy of her seasons best. The competition suffered from difficulties with the cage which wasn’t helped by the weather. Anna Peers and Emily Taberner took on the Shot Putt with Anna throwing 10.50m in 4th spot in the ‘A’ and Emily 8.98m for 3rd in the ‘B’ which was just 3cms outtside her personal best. Charlotte Williams HammerAbigail Brown Hammer

On to the Discus which provided a great sight for the Harriers with Anna Peers winning the ‘A’ in a new PB distance of 40.33m – the screams could be heard back in Blackburn – as she added over two and half metres to her previous best and that alongside the return of Sarah Henton to competition – her first since September 2014 – winning the ‘B’ with 34.86m, made for a great event. To round the Women’s Throws off for the day – Anna Peers and Millie Coy who have won big points for the Club throughout the season in the Javelin, both placed 2nd with Anna throwing 36.73m in the ‘A’ and Millie – a seasons best distance 32.84m in the ‘B’.

Anna Peers DiscusSarah henton DiscusAnna Peers Javelin Millie Coy Javelin

U17 Bailey Madden was just four hundreths outside her personal best in the 100m clocking 12.64 (6th) with Amy Wiggans placing 4th in the ‘B’ (13.33). Amy then ran the ‘A’ 200m clocking 27.46 in 5th with Millie Coy running 27.33 in 4th spot in the ‘B’.

Amy Wiggans (11) 100m

Millie Coy (11) 200m

Charlie Coy and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh were the pairing in the 400m with Charlie running 64.00 in the ‘A’ (5th) and Ellen 64.64 (3rd) in the ‘B’ race. The Women’s middle distance team had been weakened as a result of holidays and injuries as Ellen who has had a very good season so far in the League, clocked 2.30.57 for 5th in the 800m ‘A’ race as bottom of age U17 Rebecca Ramsden also battled the wind to take 5th place in the ‘B’ (2.53.23) and the first time she has ever run in a senior women’s race. Well done to her. Rachel Wood traveled up from London to double up in the 3000m and 1500m after the team lost a number of its athletes at this distance. She ran well for her first time on the track since July 2016 – clocking 5.15.81 for 3rd spot in the 150m ‘A’ race and 11.02.91 for 2nd in the 3000m.

Charlie Coy 400m Ellen Sagar-Hesketh 400mEllen Sagar-Hesketh 800m Rebecca Ramsden 800mRachel Wood 1500mRachel Wood 3000m

Team spirit was never more evident than in the Women’s 400m Hurdles where Charlie Coy got round to earn some points (6th) in 88.0. Millie Coy just got caught in the last ten metres of the 100m Hurdles, running 17.04 in 3rd in the ‘A’ as Chloe Bleeks took 2nd spot in the ‘B’ race with 20.21.

Pole Vaulters – Katie Mitchell and Poppy Mae-Preece – with some tips given by the husband of a very famous pole vaulter!! – had a very good day setting new PBs for themselves as Katie came 2nd in the ‘A’ with 2.30m and Poppy also 2nd in the ‘B’ with 2.10. Things didn’t go as well in the Long Jump where Chloe Bleeks placed 6th in the ‘A’ (4.07m) and Bailey Madden 4th in the ‘B’ (3.83m). Poppy took on the ‘A’ High Jump to clear 1.30m in 5th and in the Triple Jump Ellen Sagar-Hesketh jumping after doing the 800m and 400m, leapt to 9.27m in the ‘A’ (4th) with Chloe Bleeks 3rd in the ‘B’ (8.73m).

Chloe Bleeks Long Jump Bailey Madden Long Jump

The Women’s 4 x 100m Relay team of Millie Coy, Amy Wiggans, Chloe Bleeks, Bailey Madden ran a seasons best time of 52.59 in 4th whilst the 4 x 400m Relay team of Charlie Coy, Rebecca Ramsden, Ellen Sagar-Hesketh, Rachel Wood ran 4.38.13 in 6th.

Millie Coy – Amy WiggansCharlie Coy Leg 1 400m

L-R Kyle Mashiter – Fawwaz Mustapha – Chloe Bleeks – Ethan Downes – Bailey Madden – John iLunga – Coach Ramzi – Brandon Zinyemba – Millie Coy – Amy Wiggans – Charlie Coy

BMC Trafford – Saturday August 10th

With many athletes looking forward to running some fast times at this latest BMC, it was disappointing to see the weather turn against many of them, the evening dominated as it was, with strong and personal best destructive winds!!


Rob Warner has been in very good form and was hoping to use that form to run a personal best and get a British Championship qualifying time, having been just a second outside it in his last run. In the event, Rob finished 2nd in his 1500m race with a time of 3.52.09 – just under a second behind the winner Bolton’s Jonthan Kay who clocked 3.51.20.

After the Race, Rob spoke to the Club about his evening commenting that he was quite happy with it! Was tough conditions so the race turned into bit of a tactical race as we didn’t go with the pace, I took it on with about 450m to go and managed to come away with 2nd with a 58/59 last lap so I’m happy with how I raced it. Bit of a shame the conditions weren’t nicer as I think I’m in shape to run a PB, just havent been in a race to do it!

Rob Warner 4th from the left of photo

European Athletics Team Championships

Jess Judd and Sophie Hitchon were in action for GB after being slected to contest the 1500m and Hammer respectively. The European Team Championships are ron a League system with points awarded according to the position that an athlete finishes in their event. With 12 nations participating it means that athletes can win a maximum of 12 points for a win dow to  1 point for finishing in 12th place.

1500m Results

Hammer Results

Jess came home in 6th place after going after the race win from a long way out in the 1500m, clocking 4.09.89 – a second outside her seasons best which earned six points for the team – the winner – Sofia Ennaoui – clocking 4.08.37.

Sophie was throwing in only her third competition of the year so far and finished 10th with a throw of 63.23m – the competition being won by French thrower Alexandra Tavernier with 72.81m.

Boulsworth Fell Race – Sunday August 11th

It was a very good finale to this years Burnley & Pendle Grand Prix Series at Boulsworth on Sunday featuring well over two hundred runners in the race with all of the relevant winners in the different categories being confirmed. No confirmation needed about the individual winners with Ben Fish taking the Men’s Title and Victoria Mousley taking the Women’s. Great achievement by the two Blackburn Harriers.

Senior Race Results

Ben Fish won the 5000m for the Harriers on Saturday at Wakefield as part of the Harriers team who won the Division One title. On Sunday, he found himself on the Fells in the final race of this years Grand Prix, leading the whole series as he toed the line at the start. Another fine run by Ben saw him take his ninth consecutive race win on road, trail and fell to take the 2019 title at the Boulsworth race with a winning time of 43.33, some forty five seconds in front of 2nd place athlete – David Mirfield (44.18).With the Race and Series won, Ben told the Harriers that he was Very happy to win the series. After a dodgy start at Hameldon Hill, it was great to score 9 wins afterwards though technically I consider the Barrowford 5k as fifth. Well done to Victoria winning the womens, Chris Davies, John Horrocks, Calum Holmes and Lindsay Davies on their placings too”.

Having another very good run in 3rd spot was the Harriers John Horrocks (44.59) who has been so consistently good on the fells this year with numerous top 5 and 10 finishes. After the Race John spoke to the Harriers about the day commenting that it had been Grim conditions for boulsworth today, forgotten about though once we’d starting racing. Enjoyed the route after we’d come off the farmers track with a descent you could have a proper go at. Happy with 3rd place. Well done to Ben on the win and also the series win. Also well done to all the other Harriers in the Grand Prix, it’s been a good one for the club!

Ben FishJohn Horrocks

Victoria Mousley didn’t run this race as she was doing a country long bike ride for a very good cause. She had however, already cemented the Women’s Title with four race wins, four 2nd and 1 3rd place in the nine counting races. She spoke to the Harriers after the last Race reflecting on the Series and her achievment in winning saying I hadn’t intended on doing the Grand Prix this year but i did Hambledon then realised I could fit just 9 races in. I knew I would have to do well in all of them to stand a chance of winning. Each race was great fun with different challenges and it is a brilliant series for meeting new people, making new friends and supporting club mates. We had a great turn out at lots of events dominating most of the races. I was delighted to win wrapping up the series before the last races and was really pleased for Ben winning the mens too. Also well done to all the category winners too. Great team effort from all of the Harriers who took part in the races”.

Victoria Mousley Grand Prix Archive photo

Next across the line came Calum Holmes in 29th place with a time of 49.47, followed home by Matthew Poole in 34th (50.45) and having a very good first competitive season for the Harriers and Gary Pearse in 50th running a time of 53.37.

Calum Holmes (254)Matthew Poole (296)Gary Pearse (250)

On top of Ben and Victoria winning both Individual series Titles – Chris Davies and John Horrocks finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the overall Series to make it 3 Blackburn Harriers in the top 5 with Chris taking the MV40 1st place. In the Women’s final standings Lindsay Davies made it two in the first five as she placed 5th overall and 1st FV45.

Fifty two youngsters contested the U11/U13 mixed race which ended with a great battle between Trawden’s U13 William McCash and the Harriers U13 Sam Aspey – William edging it by just one second (7.11) to Sam’s 7.12 in 2nd spot. Another cracking run too from U11 Theo Robinson coming home in 5th overall and 1st U11 Boy in a time of 7.26 and followed by U13 Oliver Gill in 8th spot clocking 7.32 and 3rd U13 Girl Imogen Robinson crossing the finish line in 15th overall in a time of 7.56. A smaller field in the U15/U17 Race won by William Walker in 18.42 with the Harriers U15 Codie Dewhurst placing 9th in a time of 23.44.

Junior Race Results

Photos Courtesey of David’s Running Photos (David Belshaw)

Sam Aspey (31)

Theo Robinson (64)Oliver Gill (25)Imogen Robinson (65)

Codie Dewhurst (109)

Preston 5 Mile – Sunday August 11th

One hundred and twenty six runners in this race in Rachael Gavin’s fifth race only since March 2018 after recovering from a long injury. The race was won in a fast time by Aldershot’s Joshua Gray in 23.43 – just three seconds in front of 2nd placed athlete Cambrdige’s Jack Gray (23.46). Rachael clocked 34.52 in 42nd place overall.


Harriers on Tour

Andrew and daughter Eva Knowles didn’t miss the opportunity to fly the Blue & White in Majorca on their holiday recently – running a 7.4k race. They raced on the last night of their holidays in the historic old town of Alcúdia, Majorca in 28 degrees. Eva ran 38.37 for 2nd placed junior and Andrew 32.50 for 75th overal, 5 laps of the old town 7.4k. Eva commented afterwards that “It’s the furthest I have ever raced and it was so hot. It was tough but well worth it in the end”