Category Archives: Track & Field
What a fabulous achievement for Sophie Hitchon winning the Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Monday night, watched in the stadium by her parents Wendy & Mick as well as members of the Harriers who had travelled up to see her compete. Her parents commented later that it was an “Amazing day, very proud. Thanks Harriers for all the support.”
Watch Sophie on Video HERE
Club Chairman Tony Wood who was in the stadium and was photographed with Sophie and her medal afterwards said that it was “great night last night for Sophie,the Hitchon family and the Harriers. A full stadium in a major championship is a daunting prospect for the faint hearted but Sophie performed yet again on the big stage – her last throw her best – anything could have happened or gone wrong on the night but she made sure it didn’t. Sophie being the competitor and never completely content knows there’s more in her but she was delighted to pick up that medal. She came round to where Mick and Wendy were sitting and Matt and I met her. The photo below was a highlight! Blackburn Harriers first outdoor medal in a major senior championship!
As an aside whilst Matt and I were queuing for tea Eloise and Charlotte spotted us – what an inspiration for them both to see Sophie throw so well and then stand on the podium!”
After weeks of continuous sunshine, pouring rain greeted all the athletes at Crewe in the final fixture last Saturday – July 19th. The Harriers didn’t fare to well and finished sixth on the day finishing bottom of the League for the season. But that is not the whole story.
Full Results HERE
A number of new bottom of age U11’s had their first season which was difficult for them. At every fixture the Club had missing athletes for differing reason and wasn’t always able to complete the Squad. However, at every fixture the spirit and effort has been second to none with many of the athletes achieving personal bests along the way, some setting new Club Records – Eloise Littlefair – and others – U15 Cameron Massey in the 80m Hurdles and U15 Jacob Roberts in the Hammer – qualifying for the English Schools Championships.
Team captains Liz Ashcroft and Cameron Massey led by example right throughout the season putting in consistently good performances.
Thanks also to Team Managers Michael Angland (Boys) and John Cookson (Girls). It is never an easy job being a Team Manager so our our thanks to both of them for all their efforts during the year.
The fixture at Crewe produced really good performances by young athletes, many of whom are just starting out this year. Altogether on the day they set twenty seven new PB’s, one new Club Record, with twelve event wins, ten second and nine third places.
So congratulations to all the athletes including those who didn’t get PB’s on the day but have already set them during the League this year and to those whose names are not mentioned here but have competed at other fixtures as well as all of those who have competed for the very first time including at this last fixture – you did themselves proud and the Team over the season, never giving up trying to improve and no doubt many of you will be all the better for the experience next year
There were wins for Eloise Littlefair in the ‘A’ U13 Javelin – Cameron Massey ‘A’ U15 Boys 80mHurdles – Nicholas Massey ‘B’ U15 Boys 80mHurdles – U13 Girls 4 x 100m Relay Team of Emily Raine; Emily Warren; Charlotte Williams and Eloise Littlefair – Esme Pearse ‘A’ U15 Girls High Jump – Liz Ashcroft ‘A’ U15 Girls Shot Putt and Joint First in the ‘B’ High Jump – Charlotte Williams in the ‘B’ U13 Girls Shot Putt – Jacob Roberts U15 ‘A’ Hammer – Emily Warren U13 Girls ‘A’ 800m and Megan Clarkson in the U15 Girls ‘B’ 1500m.
On top of that the athletes set twenty seven new personal bests including Olivia Blow in the 75m with 11.7 (2nd) – Cameron Massey 100m 12.3 (3rd) – Emily Raine 150m 22.4 (3rd) – Amy Davies 150m 23.6 (4th) and 1200m in 4.14.7 (3rd) – Nicholas Massey 200m 26.0 (4th); 80mH 12.9 (1st) and Long Jump 4.72m (2nd) – Ben Cecil 200m 28.s (5th) and Long Jump 4.11m (4th) – Daniel Brown 1500m 5.50.9 (6th) – Megan Clarkson 1500m 5.18.3 (1st) – Emily Warren 70mH 13.1 (2nd) – Kimberley Keller 70mH 14.6 (3rd) – Solomon Brown 75mH 14.4 (3rd) – Seth Elliott High Jump 1.10m (6th) – Eloise Littlefair High Jump 1.30m (3rd) and Javelin 25.44 (1st) – Jimmy Walpole Long Jump 3.35m (5th) and Javelin 10.6m (5th) – Hannah Cookson Long Jump 4.20m (5th) – Jaqui Howard 100m 12.3 (3rd); 200m 31.1 (6th); Long Jump 4.20m (2nd) and Anthony Kent Shot Putt 6.96m (5th) and Discus 15.45m (5th).
And not forgetting the Club Officials who give such a lot of their free time to support the athletes – Jim Kerrigan; Jean Leigh; Terry Warren; Brian Williams; Les Littlefair Field Judging – Debbie Roberts Track Judging and John Chaplin Timekeeping.
After disappointing Results in Rounds One and Two this year, the Harriers bounced back at Derby on Sunday having more athletes involved than was possible at the first two fixtures to finish third, just nineteen points behind second placed Sale. Posting eleven wins, seven second and seven third places allied to eleven Personal Bests and and fourteen seasons bests, Team Manager commented that “It was a great team effort and finally we got the rewards for our efforts, with a very strong 3rd place.”
Full Results HERE
Starting off with the Throws Sarah Henton won the Discus ‘A’ with 48.06 and took more valuable points in the ‘B’ Hammer 5th with 30.83m. Rebecca Orrell came 4th in the ‘A’ Hammer (40.05m), took a third place in the ‘B’ Discus (21.94m) and then finished with a seasons best of 7.24m (6th) in the Shot. On the Mens side, Jack Vickery finished 4th in the ‘A’ Hammer with 38.77m and set a seasons best 23.45m in the ‘B’ Discus in 4th. Tony Balko threw 28.68m in the ‘B’ Hammer for third place points and a seasons best 9.35m in the Shot Putt for another third place. Corrie Shorrock set a seasons best 9.70m in the ‘A’ Shot Putt (6th) and took 6th spot in the ‘B’ Javelin with 19.79m. Joe Pearse came 5th in the ‘A’ Javelin with 32.47m. Christina Carr another athlete who has been out a long time with injury stepped in to support the Team with a 4th placed 16.22m Javelin in the ‘B’ and 6th in the ‘A’ Shot Putt (8.15m).
In the Jumps bottom of age U20 Ben Aspinall who has been setting PB’s all season had an inspired day setting three PB’s in the Long Jump (6.35m) for 4th place – 2.60m (5th) in the Pole Vault and 13.20m (2nd) in the Triple Jump. Another athlete setting continuous PB’s this season was Connor Makin and posted another in winning the ‘B’ Triple jump (11.60m). Polly Pearse back in regular training posted a new PB in the Triple Jump winning the ‘B’ with 9.96m and then equalled her PB in the Pole Vault (2.20m) for fifth place and later set a seasons best 22.11m in the ‘A’ Javelin (4th). Olivia Brooks set a new PB in the ‘B” Long Jump with 4.94m and gets ever closer to that 5.00m mark. Hurdler Oliver Aspden took to the High Jump and ‘shocked himself’ with a 1.80m clearance and a new PB in winning the ‘B’ event – it is the highest he has jumped since 2011. Roxanne Oliver won the ‘B’ High Jump with 1.35m which gave the Team important points. There was a welcome back too for Abby Leigh-Edmundson after a long absence, a real stalwart of the Club over the years and she showed why competing in the ‘A’ Triple Jump taking second place with 10.37m, a third placed 5.24m in the ‘A’ Long Jump, battled into a minus 4.2 wind to take second place in the ‘B’100m Hurdles (19.10) and then won the ‘B’ 400m Hurdles (78.1). Not bad for an athlete who hasn’t competed all year and come Blackpool on August 9th will obviously be much fitter. Kail Sturgess, back in training recently and taking on his first competition since 2011 pulled up with a quad problem in the Long Jump after a first effort of 4.71m which was way below what he is capable of.
On the Track conditions were not good either for the Sprinters, Hurdlers or Middle Distance and Endurance athletes with an unrelenting wind blowing down the home straight. Nevertheless, there were some good performances. Dominic Bretherton set PB’s in the ‘B’ 100m (4th in 12.1) and in the 200m (6th in 25.6). Paul Coffey took the ‘A’ 100m (4th in 11.9) and ‘A’ 200m (5th in 23.8). Olivia Brooks set a seasons best 14.2 (5th) in the ‘A’ 100m and another in the ‘A’ 200m (6th in 28.6). Phoebe Howe set another seasons best in the ‘B’ 100m (14.5) and then took 5th spot in the ‘B’ 200m in 29.4. There were seasons bests in the ‘B’ 400m’s for Phoebe with 65.1 (4th) and Roxanne Oliver (6th in 65.8). Jack Lonsdale got among the seasons bests with a 4th placed 53.6 in the ‘B’ 400m with Connor Makin finishing 6th (56.0) in the ‘A’ Race.
Zac Howe posted seasons bests in the 800m ‘B’ winning in 1.59.7 impressively after taking it on at the bell and in the 1500m for 3rd place in 4.17.8. Rob Warner ‘fresh’ from running at Trafford the previous night finished 4th in the ‘A’ 800m with 2.01.6. Ben Fish in the Harriers Endurance squad took on the ‘A’ 1500m finishing a fine second in 4.07.3 before going on to win the 5000m (15.31.8) in not very good conditions at all for endurance runners. Chris Barnes set a seasons best in the ‘B’ 5000m taking 4th spot in 17.21.8 for more good points. The women’s 800m Race proved to be pretty swift indeed (won in 2.09.0) with Liz Greenwood running a seasons best finishing 4th (2.23.9) in the ‘A’ Race and Grace Handley carrying an injury – 5th in the ‘B’ (2.34.8). Liz doubled up in the 1500m for a solid 4th place (5.04.4) and Beckie Taylor went in the ‘B’ (5th in 5.32.5) another seasons best.
Over at the Steeple Chase Joseph Howe ran in the ‘A’ Race taking a good 3rd place (10.56) and Chris Davies won the ‘B’ Race with a seasons best of 11.08.1. Maximum points were gained in the 400m Hurdles with Oliver Aspden winning the ‘A’ Race by seven seconds in a time of 57.4 and Connor Makin equally impressive in the ‘B’ winning by six seconds in 60.9. In the 110m Hurdles Oliver took 3rd in the ‘A’ (17.6) and Joe came 2nd in the ‘B’ (19.7). Roxanne Oliver finished 3rd in the 100m Hurdles (18.8) with Abby Leigh-Edmundson taking 2nd spot in the ‘B’ (19.1) to add good solid points to the team score.
Blackburn Harriers had six members of the Lancashire Counties Squad which travelled to Birmingham for this years English Schools Championships, representing themselves, their Club and the County with really good performances including Personal Bests.
Full Results HERE
Joe Pearse contested the Senior Boys High Jump; Connor Makin Senior Boys 400m Hurdles; Cameron Massey Junior Boys 80m Hurdles; Archie Braysford Inter Boys 100m and 4 x 100m Relay; Rebecca Orrell Inter Girls Hammer and Jacob Roberts Junior Boys Hammer.
Joe finished 7th in the High Jump Final with a clearance of 1.91m in a competition won with a clearance of 2.12m and where the first five all jumped 2.00m and above. Joe told us that “The English schools was such a amazing experience and something I have been striving to reach since I started athletics. Even though I had a sub par performance in the high jump I still managed to come 7th in the final, which I was very pleased with. I had such a good time cheering on all the other Lancashire athletes and made some new friends, thoroughly enjoying the time I spent with the whole team”.
Connor finished 4th in his 400mH Heat with 56.05 setting a new PB by over two tenths of a second and then took 7th spot in the Final (56.71). After the event Connor was effusive in his praise of the competition and what it means to the athletes when he told the Club “Pinnacle is the word I would use to sum up English schools for me. Thus far this season I have been struggling for a competitive race and been working towards the standard for 3 years in all from being a non hurdler to 7th at English schools in the 400m Hurdles. On and off the track the event was invigorating and inspiring. The fierce competition really brings out the best in everyone and shows their real colours; on the national stage. Even watching the other events, in awe, made me want to be better and train harder just so that I could be more like them. From what I have fathomed if it wasn’t for the English schools athletes would not get a chance to compete at such a high level and achieve the awesome achievement that is to wear their county vest – it creates so many great memories and unlocks a new pathway to success for all involved”.
Cameron went in the Junior Boys 80m Hurdles taking third place in his Heat with an impressive 11.91 which is better than ES Standard but needed a time faster than 11.56 sec to qualify for the Final. A great effort and invaluable experience but as Cameron told us “the atmosphere was nerve racking and it was relieving to see bob groves smiling just before my race started”
Archie competed in the Inter Boys 100m and with a seasons and personal best of 11.2 it was always going to be tough going. In Heat 4 of the first round Archie qualified in 4th place with 11.42 to go through to Round Two where he finished last with 11.58. Clearly enthused Archie commented that “It’s a great event to attend and experience, it makes you want to progress massively for the next season. Also a proud moment to represent the county”.
Rebecca was one of thirty seven Hammer Throwers in her Inter Girls Competition and she finished in an excellent 8th place with a PB to go with it. In the first Pool of 17 Throwers Rebecca threw a new PB of 47.92m finishing 4th and qualifying for the Final. In the final itself she finished 8th with 47.80m to make for a very consistent and pleasing performance. Speaking to the Club after the Championships Rebecca said that “to sum up English School’s I would have to say that it was an unbelievable high level of competition in every event and with the support from the Lancashire team and other spectators made the whole experience amazing and unforgettable. Everyone who competed in their events did really well and should be proud of their performances, even if they weren’t happy with how they did. We should all remember that getting selected to represent Lancashire is a huge honour and we all did team Lancashire proud!“
Jacob was in a straight Final of twelve athletes and finished 9th and with a new PB of 39.94. In his first ever English Schools Championships this was a cracking performance and he clearly enjoyed the experience when he commented after “To sum up my experience from English Schools, I was up against some of the best throwers in my age group. My practice and my competition made me try harder . Even though I only managed to get one out in competition which resulted in a new PB so I was happy with that. I never gave up even when my practice throw ended up being stuck in the net and it took ten mins to get it down. I have enjoyed my experience down at English Schools and made some new friends. Has a team we supported each other and also made some good memories”.
In May of this year Alison Leonard ran two 800m races at Watford ten days apart in which she recorded successive times of 2.02.85 and 2.02.79. She followed that up by winning the British One Mile Road Championship in London in a time of 4.33 and then on the back of that ran a 2.01.81 in Belgium at the end of May. Going into the British Championships & Trials for the Europeans Alison was clearly in very good form and proved it in a very big way. She won her heat in 2.01.94 and then finished second in the final to Lynsey Sharp in a time of 2.01.83.
On Saturday July 12th she had an opportunity to set the qualifying time of 2.00.50 for the Europeans in the Diamond League and she took the opportunity with both hands, cutting a massive 1.73 seconds off her PB to record a new best of 2.00.08 and book her place on the plane to Zurich.
Full Meeting Results HERE
Women’s 800m Results HERE
Alison was absolutely delighted, as was everyone at Blackburn Harriers who have seen her battle through injusy over the last few years but never gave in and told us “I am absolutely over the moon and can’t quite believe it! I hadn’t planned my season around going to Zurich so I’m a bit taken aback! I’m proud to have had the chance to wear my Blackburn vest in the diamond league too!”
Amongst the competitors at this years Combined Championships held in Stoke – June 28/29th – were Joe Pearse, Polly Pearse, Esme Pearse, Ben Aspinall, Roxanne Oliver, Cameron Massey and Nicholas Massey and between them they set twenty one PB’s and seven season’s bests.
Full Results HERE
(photos courtesy of Myvision4freeCityofStokeAC)
Ben Aspinall who is having a consistently good season with PB’s in Long and Triple Jump set four new personal bests in the U20 Mens competition. In his first 400m of the year he knocked four and half seconds off his previous best with 57.8. Similarly in the 1500m he cut eight seconds off his previous time set in 2013 to record a new PB of 5.37.7. In the 100m Hurdles, the first time he has gone over this distance he set a time of 17.3 and then added a twenty cm increase to his Pole Vault with 2.50m.In the Shot Putt (6kg) a weight he hasn’t thrown before he threw 7.85m and finished off with a seasons best 18.16m Discus Throw. Overall in the U20 Mens Competition Ben finished 3rd and in Bronze Medal position out of the five competitors with a points total of 4194. Ben told the Club that the “combined events was really fun and it was such a good weekend with the lancashire team. The competition was enjoyable and I managed to produce a few good performances, despite being inexperienced at a lot of the events. The weather wasn’t the best on Saturday as it was wet and windy so hopefully I can improve my overall score at the English schools at Boston in September. But still very happy to have finished 3rd.”
Joe Pearse – already qualified for English Schools at High Jump – was defending his title this year and set two new personal bests and a seasons best as he did battle with local rival Luke Farnworth for the U20 Mens title. In the 110m Hurdles he broke the sixteen second barrier with a new PB of 15.9 then added ten cm to his Pole Vault previous best for another new PB of 3.10m and set a seasons best in the1500m (5.02.0). Joe finished in Silver Medal position with a points total of 5212.
Roxanne Oliver set three personal bests in the U20 Women’s competition. She set off with a PB in the 200m (27.4) and ran 2.42.6 in her first ever 800m Race. In only her second ever outing in the 100m Hurdles she knocked three quarters of a second off her best time to record 16.6. In the high Jump which she hasn’t done competitively since 2012, she recorded another PB of 1.41m and in her first ever competitive long jump she set 4.25m as her mark. She rounded it all of with a throw of 6.98m in the Javelin, an event which she hasn’t competed in before and Shot Putt where she set a seasons best of 6.98m. Roxanne finished 4th in the field of four competitors with a points total of 3128. The current Club Record is held by Christina Carr with a total of 3582 so everything to play for.
Brothers Cameron Massey and Nicholas Massey contested the U15 Mens with Cameron finishing 5th overall out of the 15 competitors with a points total of 2295. Nicholas finished 8th in his first ever attempt at the discipline with 1883 points. Cameron set a new mark in the 800m with 2.22.7 and Nicholas in his first ever 800m Race ran 2.25.5. Cameron added another 20cm to his Shot Putt for a new PB of 10.34 and Nicholas set a new PB in the Long Jump with 4.39m.
Sisters Polly Pearse and Esme Pearse were contesting in the U17 & U15 Womens events respectively. Polly set a PB in the Shot Putt with 7.58m and had seasons best in the 200m (29.3); 800m (2.49.0); High Jump (1.56m) and Long Jump (4.62m) finishing overall in 9th position out of the field of fifteen athletes to record a solid all round performance over the weekend. Esme set PB’s in the 75m Hurdles knocking off a tenth of a second with 13.1 and in the Long Jump added 14 cm to her best todate to set a new mark of 3.78m.
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.