Sportcity was bathed in sunshine for this years Northern Senior & U20 Track & Field Championships held over the weekend of June 3rd & 4th. Blackburn Harriers had athletes in events on both days and what a good way to start as Matthew Heywood took the first of the Club Northern Medals with a Bronze in the Senior Men’s Hammer throwing a distance of 45.82 behind silver medalist Daniel Nixon (50.66m) and the wimnner Shaun Kerry (55.61m).
Bottom of age Dexta Thompson was the next Blackburn Harrier to medal – this time in the U20 Men’s 1500m which was eventiually run as a straight Final with 15 athletes lining up at the start. Dexta came with a great finish to pull through to 3rd place and the Bronze Medal in a new PB time of 3.56.45 which was a 2 second improvement on his previous best set at the Lancashire County Championships this year. Callum Davidson made it three bronze Medals on the day taking 3rd spot in the Senior Men’s 1500m Final with a seasons best time of 3.54.88. The fourth Medal of the day was Gold – Ben Makin won the 3000m Steeplechase clocking 9.55.20 in taking the win from Liverpool’s Ethan Dunn (9.59.71). After the two of them had been locked together for a big part of the race Ben pulled away to take the win. The Senior Men’s 5000m Final with 18 athletes saw Josh Birmingham clock 15.11.64 in 5th place, his first race over the distance since August 2022 – the race being won by Morpeth’s Philip Winkler (15.02.95). Isabel Holt who has lost a lot of time out through injury is just on her way back and ran 5.11.96 in the Final of the U20 W 1500m Final.
Day 2 started off in the same way as Day 1 with a medal in the Hammer for the Harriers, this time in the U20 Men’s where George Williams took the Silver Medal throwing 36.62m which was a new PB by over 2 metres. Emma Harrison was entered into the U20 W Hammer resulting in Emma adding another medal to the Club’s total as she took the Silver with a throw of 41.88m.
Back on the Track and it was the Heats of the U20 Women’s 800m with Abigail Stratton going in Heat 1 and Keira Haxton in Heat 2. Abigail qualified for the Final in a time of 2.13.29 from Heat 1 whilst Keira chopped over three seconds off her previous best to set a new PB of 2.20. 36. The U20 Men’s 800m Heats had David Holman in Heat 1 which he won in a time of 1.56.80 and Hayden Mercer in Heat 2 who ran a seasons best time of 2.02.72 – David qualifying for the Final.
There was another Gold Medal for the Harriers – this time won by Abigail Stratton in the U20 Women’s Final as she clocked 2.09.27 to take the title from Zoe Hunter in 2nd place (2.10.33) and Lucy Armitage in 3rd (2.10.98). Another Medal then came for David Holman in the Final of the U20 Men’s 800m as he took the Bronze with a time of 1.54.79 behind Luke Parker in 2nd (1.53.61) and the winner Harry Ross-Hughes (1.53.15).
On the same weekend it was Match number 2 in the UKYDL (LAG) Premier Division at Trafford with gloriously warm weather all day long. Blackburn Harriers were fielding some new athletes, some who were competing for the very first time and every one of them did themselves proud – posting 21 new personal bests on the day. Girls Team Manager Kate Taylor summed up the spirit of the day in the Harriers camp when she commented “I just wanted to say a massive well done to all those who competed at Trafford in the blistering sun! We had a number of people competing for the first time and in events that they haven’t trained for. The premier league is tough competition but no one gave up and I had people asking if they could do more!” Many thanks once again to our Officials John Chaplin – Lindsay Davies – Helen Dawson-Smith – Grace Bontoft – Krista Camara – Claudine Smith – Linzi Lancashire.
Luke Wtason set himself a new PB in 100m (3rd) in 11.84 with team mate Jack Duxbury clocking 12.94 (4th) in the B race. Daniel Bretherton also set a new PB in the A 200m with 26.38 (5th) alongside Matt Haxton (5th) in the B with a time of 26.59 – a new PB by close to 2 seconds. Yet another new PB – this time in the 300m A race which saw Charlie Clanford clock 38.33 in winning the race from Evan Grime in 2nd and takes him into the top 15 in the National Rankings. Daniel Bretherton made it a double win in the 300m B race with a new PB too of 41.18. George Holman and Loucas Lancashire took on the 800m with George clocking a new PB of 2.32.96 (6th) and Loucas 2.56.25 also 6th in the B race. Sam Aspey finished in 3rd in the 1500m running 4.25.61 which was a new PB by just three tenths. George Camara placed 4th in the 80m Hurdles (13.14) before going on to clear 1.45m in the B High Jump (3rd). Seth Turner, in only his second fixture ever in Track & Field cleared a big height – 1.67m – in the High Jump to take 2nd place in the A. Abdollh Shriha finished 5th in the Long Jump with 4.25m. The Shot Putt had Harry Pilkington again winning good points for the team as he came 2nd with 8.94m with team mate George Holman willingly stepping in for the B with a 3rd placed throw of 5.30m. Harry then came 3rd in the A Discus (26.67m) with Loucas Lancashire also 3rd in the B (16.26m) which was a new PB by close to a metre. The Hammer had Harry placing 3rd with a throw of 21.81m before Loucas Lancashire – 3rd with a throw of 26.87m in the A Javelin and George Holman – 4th in the B with 19.70m finished off the Throws events for the U15 Boys.In the Relays the 4 x 100m team of George Camara, Jack Duxbury, Abdollh Shriha and Luke Watson came 3rd in a time of 49.83, whilst in the 4 x 300m the team of Sam Aspey, Matt Haxton, Daniel Bretherton and Charlie Clanford finished 2nd in 2.45..88.
On the Track in the 100m Leila Pilkington (6th) in 14.15 and Emma Gitau (6th) in the B race with 15.60 went in the first of the sprint races alongside Bella Rose McCredie (29.57) 6th in the A 200m and Mia Joyce 6th in the B with a time of 33.57. Both these young atheltes are in their first season of T&F and in Mia’s case her first ever fixture. Agatha Taylor ran her first ever 300m race clocking 43.66 in 4th spot with team mate Lottie Smith in 6th in the B (47.76) and her first time ever over the distance. Agatha and Lottie then came together to run the 800m with Agatha clocking 2.21.84 (3rd) and Lottie 2.41.97 (6th) respectively. Emma Robertshaw (5th) in a new PB time of 5.25.33 and Lyra Krige (4th) also with a new PB time of 5.35.12 in the B were the Harriers duo in the 1500m. In the Jumps Leila Pilkington and Bella Rose McCredie teamed up in the Long Jump with 4.18m (5th) and 3.52m (6th) respectively – whilst in the High Jump – Tamzin Osborne cleared 1.40m which equaled her personal best and Lottie Smith cleared 1.25m (5th) in her first ever attempt at the event. Tamzin topped off a very good day for herself when she cleared a new PB height of 2.50m to win the Pole Vault. The Throws events saw Leila Pilkington place 4th in the A Shot Putt with a new PB distance of 8.50m alongside Emma Gitau in her first ever attempt in the event – 6th in the B (4.57m). Olivia Thomasson rounded off the field events with a win in the Javelin throwing 29.22m. In the Relays our 4 x 100m team of Emma Gitau, Beatrice Collinson, Mia Joyce and Leila Pilkington came 5th (58.90) whilst the 4 x 300m team of Bella Rose McCredie, Lyra Krige, Emma Robertshaw and Agatha Taylor came 5th in 3.17.04.
The Team was depleted in terms of U13 athletes. Anay Nama ran his first ever 75m race in 12.65 (6th) whilst in the 150m sprint, brother Ansh placed 6th in a new PB time of 24.03. Jack Baranowski currently top of the 800m National Rankings clocked a new PB of 3.23.63 in winning the 1200m which consolidates his place at No 1 on the National Rankings for that distance too as well as breaking his own Club Record. Jack now stands at Number 1 for 800m, 1200m and 1500m.
Ansh and Anay Nama teamed up in the Long Jump with jumps of 2.84m and 2.77m respectively and both in 6th place. Zak Haq and Anay then teamed up in the Shot Putt for respective throws of 4.63m (4th) and 4.34m (3rd). The same pairing took on Javelin – Ansh throwing 18.78m in 3rd – his first ever attempt at Javelin – and Zak in 2nd in the B with a new PB by over three metres of 15.32m. The 4 x 100m Relay team clocked 64.35 in 6th spot.
Two young girls who run with smiles on their faces – Isabelle Pawson and Anvitha Reddy ran times of 11.44 (6th) – a new PB Anvitha also running a new PB of 12.11 (5th) in the 75m after which Isabelle teamed up with Dana Juma in the 150m – Dana coming 4th in the A with a new PB time of 21.17 and Isabelle 5th in the B (22.71) – another new PB. A great delight of the day was to see Charlotte Smith win the girls 800m with a massive new PB of 2.28.52 which knocked off over six seconds from her previous best. After leading from the front for 650m, she lost the lead coming off the bend but rallied and took back the lead half way down the home straight. Emily Short ran really well for a new PB in the 70mHurdles clocking 14.19 in 6th. In the Long Jump Charlotte Smith and Isabelle Pawson teamed up – Charlotte placing 6th with a jump of 3.49m and Isabelle 5th with 3.47m – and – in the High Jump, Charlotte added 20cm to her High Jump for a new PB of 1.35m. In the Throws Dana Juma continued her good form with a distance of 7.30m (3rd) in the Shot Putt before going into the Javelin – placing 4th in the A (13.18m) with Anvitha Reddy throwing 8.05m in 3rd in the B. The 4 x 100m Relay Team of Charlotte Smith, Anvitha Reddy, Isabelle Pawson, Dana Juma came 6th in a time of 60.05.
The latest race in this years Pendle & Burnley Grand Prix Series saw Louisa Powell-Smith take 2nd spot in the Women’s race running a time of 26.37 and first V45 behind Wharfedale’s Emma Hopkinson who won the race in 25.41. Louisa’s daughter – U17 Sianna Smith – made it a good day for the family as she took the first U18 prize with a time of 31.44 – the race featuring 158 runners and won by Salford’s Tom Cornthwaite (21.24). (RESULTS)
And on the Road at the Power of 5K Series run on Friday evening June 2nd – Matt Nuttall with team mates Dominic and James Bretherton took advantage of a warm evening. Results still to be announced. The race was won in a pretty quick time of 15.04by Luca Messenger-Jones with Aaron Doyle in 2nd (15.13) and Peter Merritt in 3rd (15.27). James was the first Harrier across the line in 17.09 followed by Matt running 17.47 and Dominic who ran a time of 19.58.