Northern Athletics Senior & U20 Track & Field Championships – 12/13th June 2021

With the 2020 Championships cancelled due to Covid, it was great to see them back on at the weekend and a special thanks to all of the Officials and administration at Northern Athletics for their efforts in making sure that they went ahead this year.

Day 1 & 2 Results

Callum Davidson made it a special day for himself and for Blackburn Harriers as he became the 1500m Senior Men’s Champion after winning his race in a time of 3.55.11 with Blackpool’s Luke Minns in 2nd (3.56.66) and Wakefield’s Mark Bostock in 3rd (3.57.74). Once the race was over and he had stepped up to take his winners medal, Callum spoke to the Harriers about his day saying that he was “Incredibly pleased with my performance against some fast lads, the field didn’t quite have the depth to make it a true reflection of the North of England championships but you can only beat the people who turn up. I took it out hard with 3 laps to go splitting a 59 in an attempt to run the kick out of them and it clearly worked as with 3 of us in contention with 200 to go I thankfully kicked away to take the win. It’s always an honour to do the Blackburn vest proud and great to see a strong contingent from Blackburn with good performances from: Tim, Mark, Marc and Ben.”

(3rd) Mark Bostock ( Wakefield) – 1st Callum Davidson (Blackburn Harriers)  – 2nd Luke Minns (Blackpool)
Callum Davidson leading the race
The Medals for the Harriers didn’t stop there. Following Callum’s win in the 1500m, Silver Medals followed for U20 Ben Makin and Senior Marc Hartley. Thirteen athletes lined up in the U20 Men’s 1500m Final with the Harriers Ben Makin among them. The 1500m was the first of a double as he had entered the 800m on day 2 as well, in this, his first ever Northern Championships; And what a great start, winning a Silver Medal as he clocked 4.01.96 in 2nd place – the winner, Bingley’s Alexander Thompson running 4.00.88 – and after Ben told us it “was good to compete at my first Northern Championships, happy with the placement that I got after being boxed in leaving me a lot to do in the last 400, hopefully I will be able to follow it up in the 800 on day 2“.
Ben Makin (1500m)

Marc, like a lot of athletes, has not had an opportunity to compete in their track discipline and the last time he ran a steeplechase was back in July 2019. On the day, with just four athletes in the race, Marc came in 2nd for the Silver Medal in a time of 10.37.38 commenting after the race that It was a well organised COVID safe NOEAA Champs this year at Leigh. Despite the blustery conditions there was some great racing, particularly from Callum Davidson & Ben Makin in the Senior & U20 1500m. I ventured out over the barriers in the 3k Steeple Chase, and was exceptionally rusty over the water jump! The first 2k was pleasant and I was still in the race, but the last kilometre was gruesome. However due to the weak field I was able to hold on to 2nd. It was nice to get my hands on a Northerns medal despite the time not being blockbuster, but you can only beat who’s there”.

(3rd) Benjamin Read (Preston) – 1st George Lewis (East Cheshire) – 2nd Marc Hartley (Blackburn Harriers)

Earlier in the day, U20 Eleesha Charnley ran in Heat 1 of the 400m placing 5th in 61.80, just three tenths outside her personal best. U20 Fawwaz Mustapha went in Heat 1 of the U20 Men’s 100m, securing a place in the Final with a 4th placed clocking off 11.40. In the Final he ran 11.63 to place 6th.

The 5000m Race combined Seniors and U20’s with twenty one athletes in total. Two Blackburn Harriers in this one – Tim Raynes and Mark Magee. Tim finished 5th overall in a time of 14.55.88 – the race being won by David Devine (14.44.29). At the end of the first day, Tim spoke to the Harriers about his race “Training has been going well … really appreciative to Nick for all the time and effort he has been putting in to improving the whole group and me personally. I went into the race feeling quite confident that I could run well. Conditions were quite windy, which meant it ended up being quite a slow race. I was feeling good and went to the front on a couple of occasions but was reluctant to push on too much into the wind. We hit 4K in around 12:06 I think, at which point David Devine put a big surge in. I felt like I finished reasonably strongly but, overall, didn’t quite get it quite right tactically. I was slightly disappointed not to finish amongst the medals, but then again it was pleasing to beat some good runners. Well done to Mark, who ran a good race to get a track PB and back up his road times, and also to Callum and Marc for their gold and silver medals respectively.”

Mark  who hadn’t run a track 5000m since 2019 but had set a road 5k time of 15.10 this year, went into the race in good form. On the day he smashed his previous track 5000m personal best, setting himself a new PB by over 50 seconds clocking 15.22.09 in 12th spot, and afterwards told us When I turned up at Leigh and felt the wind I thought the race could benefit me with no one wanting to take it on, making it a slower start and keeping the race compact. The race started as I expected and at the 3k mark it was relatively close but as the top end of the field picked it up I started to get isolated. I just tried to stay focused and pick off one runner at a time. I managed to catch a few and finished in a solid 15.22. Huge congratulations to Cal to winning his 1500m race and becoming the Northern Champ! Quality run and podium finish for Marc and as always a great run by Tim. Solid day for Blackburn Harriers!

MarK Magee in 7th & Tim Raynes in 6th during the Race

What a cracking start to Day 2 for the Harriers. Ava Leigh won the U20 Women’s Hammer with a throw of 41.69 with Hull’s Eden Lockett in 2nd with the same distance and Lincoln’s Amy Buntin in 3rd (40.73m). Reflecting on her perforamnces Ava told us “I was a bit disappointed with my performance but glad to win. I am hoping to throw much better in the future events.”
That was followed by a Silver Medal for Matthew Heywood – who had set a new PB at Sheffield during the week – set another new PB in the U20 Men’s Hammer as he threw 51.04 in 2nd place to Preston’s Alex Bernstein (63.82m). Speaking to the Harriers having been presented with his Silver Medal, Matthew commented that he was “pleased to get a pb 51.04m & 2nd place and i am looking forward to doing better.”

(3rd) Antony Mould (Hull) – 1st Alex Bernstein (Preston) – 2nd Matthew Heywood (Blackburn Harriers)

U20 Ben Makin was in action again on Day 2, after winning Silver on the first day in the 1500m, this time in the 800m. Ben won his Heat in 2.00.05, qualifying for the Final where he came home in 4th place with a time of 1.58.65, the race being won by Trafford’s Jonny Stock in 1.57.26.

Two Blackburn Harriers competed in the U20 200m, firstly Fawwaz Mustapha who placed 5th in Heat 1, posting a time of 23.48, a tenth outside of his personal best whilst Eleesha Charnley who had contested the 400m on Day 1, also finished 5th in Heat 2 of the Women’s 200m clocking 27.64, two tenths outside her personal best.

Lancashire Schools Championships – Saturday June 12th 2021


A very good day for athletes at Blackburn Harriers on the day at this years Championships, which, like the Northern Championships, hadn’t been held in 2020. Many of these young athletes have missed out on a whole year of training but for those who stuck with it, the rewards can still be won.

A great start for U15 Daniel Nuttall in the 100m in which he won his Heat in 12.6, one of two heats in total. In the Final Daniel took the win and the Lancashire title in a very close race where first, second and third were all given the same time of 12.3. In the U17 Women’s 100m, again featuring two Heats, Abbey Riley won her Heat in a new PB by two tenths (12.8) to go through to the Final. Abbey then equaled that PB in the Final as she ran out the winner comfortably in 12.8 to become the Harriers second Lancashire Champion on the day.

Daniel Nuttall

In the Men’s 200m three U17’s and three U15’s ran in the Final with Blackburn Harriers Jayden Riley (U17), Harrison James (U15) and U15 Jacob Fisher all racing. Jayden won the Race in a seasons best 22.8 whilst Harrison posted a new PB of 25.7 in 5th place overall and 2nd U15 with Jacob in his first ever outing for the Harriers clocked a time of 26.2.  With the results then separated between U17 and U15’s Harrison came 2nd and Jacob 3rd in the U15’s. In the U15 Girls 200m, Milllie Schofield who has recently joined the Harriers left her previous best of 30.2 in tatters as she came home in 2nd spot with a new PB time of 27.6.

Onto the middle distance events and U17 Hayden Mercer won the 800m after a tight battle with Preston’s Thomas Chadwick, Hayden taking the win in 2.08.0 – Thomas Chadwick (2.08.9). In the U17 Women’s 800m the Harriers had five athletes competing in a straight Final. Leah Hoole came 5th with a time of 2.32.7 followed by Kate Cookson in 6th with a time of 2.34.5, Molly Nicolls in 7th clocking a new PB time of 2.39.0 – an improvement of some four seconds – Kiera Booth in 8th running 2.41.4 and Hollie Cubbon in 9th spot with 2.42.0. A straight Final also in the U15 Girls 800m where Faith Gillibrand finished in 5th position running 2.49.5.

Hayden Mercer

L-R Molly Nicholls – Kate Cookson – Liera Booth – Leah Hoole – Hollie Cubbon – Faith Gillibrand

In the U17 Men’s 1500m seven athletes lined up in a straight Final and among them David Homan and Codie Dewhurst from the Harriers. David set out to win the race and that is exactly what he did, clocking 4.18.0 to take the win from Lancaster’s Tobias Swarbrick (4.19.2) and afterwards told the Club Today I ran the race with one goal in mind, to win it. The race was about tactics today which was to stay behind the front 2 all the way round and kick with 200m to go. My tactics worked which was great and I was happy to come away with the win as well with also a respectable time.” Codie  who has recently set 800m and 1500m personal bests placed 7th in the race clocking 4.34.5 and just outside his personal best.

Three Blackburn Harriers toed the starting line for the U15 Boys 1500m Final won by Blackpool’s Matthew Holton in 4.43.4. Ben Stratton took 3rd spot in 4.46.4, followed by Oliver Gill in a new PB time of 4.51.6, improving by two seconds and Daniel Smith in 5th clocking 4.57.6. Abigail Stratton made it five wins on the day for the Harriers as she won the U17 Women’s 1500m in a time of 4.42.6 from Lancaster’s Elizabeth Wareing in 2nd (4.43.0) as Harrier Isabel Holt ran a time of 5.03.1 in 4th place.

Ben Stratton

Abigail Stratton

In the Throws Events Sebastian Burton threw 22.55m in the U17 Men’s Hammer (5kg), which gave him first place whilst Grace Bontoft came in second in the U17 Women’s Hammer with a distance of 37.41m.

Sebastian Burton

Niamh Gater set herself a new PB in the U15 Girls 75m Hurdles of 13.0 as she took 2nd spot behind Preston’s Evie Jayne Kett(12.2). Isabelle Hartley was running the 75mH for the first time, moving up form 70mH and clocked 14.5 in 4th place. Still on Hurdles, U17 Ben Boocock was a tenth outside his best as he took 2nd spot in the 100m Hurdles with a time of 14.8. U15 Matthew Smith also placed 2nd in the High Jump with his clearance of 1.66m and Eva Knowles replicated that with a 2nd place in the U17 Girls High Jump clearing 1.35m.

Eva Knowles High Jump Video

Niamh Gater

Matthew Smith

Diamond League Florence

Holly Bradshaw was in action again – after breaking her own outdoor British Record, clearing 4.82m recently – in the latest round of the Diamond League, this time in Florence on Thursday June 10th as part of her build up to the Olympics. Top Pole Vaulters made up the field again alongside Holly with Siorova, Zhuk, Stefanidi, included in the field. Sidorova showed she will be a force to be reckoned with as she won the competition with a clearance of 4.91 with Zhuk in 2nd (4.71m), Stefanidi in 3rd (4.66m) and Holly in 4th spot with the same height clearance of 4.66m.


Watford BMC Meeting – Saturday June 12th 2021

Jess Judd has had an unbelieveable month in which she has acheived the Olympic qualifying times for the 10000m and 5000m as well as missing the 10000m time in another race by less than a second. Added to that she won the Sportcity BMC 1500m in 4.07.92 the week before she ran the 10000m in 31.20.96 at the British Athletics 10000m Championships. Six days later she was back out at Watford in the 1500m where she placed 3rd in 4.12.29 – in eight days she had raced over 10000m, then 1500m and in between, got through a couple of track sessions and some pacing duties. Such commitment by Jess.


Ennerdale Horseshoe – Saturday June 12th 2021

Three hundred and three runners completed this race, the winner – Matlock’s Billy Cartwright clocking 3hr 32.16, followed by another Matlock runner, Daniel Haworth in 2nd (3hr 34.10) and Keswick’s Brennan Townshend in 3rd spot (3hr 37.58). Blackburn Harrier Jonny Murphy came home in 84th position with a time of 4hr 39.01 in the race which covers 37k/23 miles and 2290m/7500ft of ascent – all of which represents a pretty tough day.

Jonny is taking on the Bob Graham Round on June 26th and is raising money for Cancer Research, so if anyone wishes to donate, please log in at:

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Once the Race was over, Jonny took the time to speak to the Harriers about the race and his day telling us that It was good to get that pre race nerves feeling back after so long. The race started with a nice flat section for a couple of miles skirting around Ennerdale Water, before long we were into the first climb up Great Bourne, I felt strong on the first climb and moved up numerous places, once on the tops the running opened up for some time picking off summits of Highstyle and High Crag, and then, approaching the descent to Haystacks, I took a nasty fall down some scree that knocked my stride for sometime. I managed to pick my self up and continue however. The running from here now to Haycock was pretty technical and concentration had to be on point to tip toe over rocky sections. After Haycock the running started to become a nice grassy track very runnable and this suited me as I began to claw back some places and got into a nice rythm to finish strong, and passing several runners on the flat section back to the finish line. A great day out in the fells and a respectable 84th position with a time of 4 hours and 39 minutes.”

John iLunga is like many athletes, trying to get back to competitive fitness as Track & Field starts to re-open. Having had just three races since June 2019, John entered the Run, Jump Throw Meeting in Sheffield last week, taking on the 300m.Going into the race he had a personal best of 41.75 so his clocking of 42.90 on the night was a pretty solid run from him and told us afterwards that “it wasn’t tthe best time I would like but considering the lack of training I had over lockdown I will take it and keep working on getting my fitness back. And it was nice to be in same race with Lee Thompson’s team GB athlete over 400m.”

John iLunga (269) & Lee Thompson