The sun definitely shone on Stanley Park on Saturday May 14th as the 2022 Lancashire County T&F Championships got under way. Once again, we cannot pay enough of a tribute to the Officials, those who gave up their time to deal with all of the entries, doing the seeding for all of the events and actually running the two day championship with no other reward than giving back to the sport, allowing hundreds of athletes to compete in their chosen events against their peers. These are just a few of those who gave up their time.
Whilst the number of entries were undoubtedly down the performances of Blackburn Harriers athletes were a delight to see, producing as they did 25 Lancashire County Titles and 46 new personal bests. In addition there were some new Club Records established in the U15 Girls 100m and U15 Boys Long Jump – Millee Schofield with one of the runs of the day, breaking the U15 Girls 100m record set back in 1978 whilst Daniel Nuttall broke the record for the U15 Boys Long Jump set back in 2000 and Leila Pilkington breaking her own Club Record in the U13 Girls Long Jump. In addition, Matt Ramsden broke the Lancashire Championship Best performance for a Junior man in the 1500m by a huge six seconds which was so impressive and one of the best performances of the whole weekend.
Leila Pilkington and Charlotte Smith ran the U13 Girls 100m which saw Leila place 2nd in her Heat with a new PB of 13.8 to qualify for the Final whilst Charlotte also ran a new PB of 15.00 in 5th in the 2nd Heat. In the Final Leila won the Bronze with a determined run, clocking 14.00 – the same time as the 4th placed athlete from Manx Harriers. Agatha Taylor and Emma Roberstshaw ran the U13 Girls 1500m, their first time over the distance which was run as a straight Final, resulting in a win for Agatha and the County title in 5.04.30 and 4th spot for Emma in 5.40.8. Sixteen U13 Girls took part in the Long Jump which saw another Lancashire title going to the Harriers as Leila Pilkington set a new PB and a Blackburn Harriers Club Record of 4.37m with Charlotte Smith jumping out to 3.48m in 9th spot.
The third Lancashire Title of the day for the Club came in the U15 Boys 100m. Daniel Nuttall won his Heat in 11.50 with George Camara clocking 14.20 in Heat 2. Daniel went on to win the Final in a new PB time of 11.30 moving him to 3rd in the National Rankings. U15 Matthew Smith had a pretty good day – winning two Lancashire titles – as he cleared a seasons best of 1.68m in the High Jump to take the win and then went straight onto the 300m which he also won in 44.00. In the U17 Men’s High Jump, Daniel Smith won with an equal personal best of 1.70m. Matthew and George Camara won medals in the U15 Boys 80m Hurdles – George winning Silver with a new PB of 13.40 and Matthew Bronze in 13.90. Three Blackburn Harriers in the U15 Boys straight 1500m Final – Oliver Gill, Sam Aspey and George Ramsden. Oliver took the Bronze Medal with 4.27.10 with team mates Sam in 4th running a new PB of 4.33.50 and George in 7th (5.08.6) also a new PB. One of the highlights of the day was the win in the U17 Women’s High Jump which saw Kara Dacosta clear a new PB height of 1.64m and then go on to attempt the Championship record of 167m – setting the bar at 1.68m she just missed clearing it, but as bottom of age, she will be back next year.
Bottom of age Harry Pilkington won a Silver in the Discus with a new PB throw of 22.99m and in the U15 Boys Javelin Loucas Lancashire finished in 4th position with 22.37m and Felix Thompson – also bottom of age – (5th) with 19.28m. Botton of age U17 Kady Thompson won a Bronze in the Javelin with a new PB of 27.18m. In the U15 Girls 100m Millee Schofield produced great runs – winning her Heat in a new PB of 12.80 to qualify for the Final, alongside team mate Alisha Lehner who qualifed from Heat 2 also in a new PB time of 13.80. Hannah Davies ran a new PB of 14.20 in Heat 3 (6th) and later threw a new PB in the Javelin with 19.11m in 5th spot. On to the Final and both Millee and Alisha set further new PB’s as Millee won the title with 12.60 – an English Schools qualifying time – and Alisha setting a new PB also of 13.50 in 7th. In winning the County Championships, Millee also broke a Club record that has lasted since 1978. Harrison Allock was in a straight Final for the U17 Men’s 100m running a big new PB time of 11.80 in 6th place.
Thomas Monks set out determined to win the U17 Men’s 400m which he did clocking 53.80 to take the Lancashire title. Dexta Thompson and Daniel Smith were among eleven athletes in a straight 1500m Final. Dexta took the race out fast for the first 200m and the pace then settled down until the final 250m when the Wigan athlete – Joseph Gara – sprinted flat out from behind Dexta who threw everything at the race to try and cover, but lost out by a second in the end taking the Silver Medal in a new PB time by a massive ten seconds of 4.08.80. Daniel also chopped a whopping ten seconds off his previous best to set a new PB time of 4.23.50 in 10th place. Niamh Gater and Lucy Rishton both qualified for the Final of the U17 Women’s 100m with 13.90 and 13.60 and a new PB for Lucy respectively. Into the Final where Niamh equaled her previous best with 13.70 in 5th with Lucy taking 6th in the same time (13.70). The U17 Women’s 300m was a straight final with Kara Dacosta and Lucy Rishton on the starting line. It was another Lancashire title for Kara as she ran a new PB time 41.20 with Lucy running 50.00 in 7th.
The Junior Men’s 1500m was combined with the Senior Men which gave Matt Ramsden and David Holman an opportunity to race against Seniors Luke Minns and Chris Livesey, an enticing prospect. Luke took the race out with Chris tucked in behind, Matt and David holding off. Coming into the last lap, there was a leading group of three and with 250m to go it looked as though Luke Minns was making his bid for the title as he opened up a gap. Matt covered the move by closing the gap of around 25 metres to put himself in a good position to take it on from the top bend, which he did impressively, running a new PB by 8 seconds to clock 3.51.70 which was a new Championship Best Performance beating the record held by Patrick Dever. David ran a great race too, also setting a new PB by three seconds to take the U20 Silver Medal in 4.01.20. Abigail Stratton won the Lancashire Junior Women’s title with a very mature run, just staying with the pack for three laps and then unleashing a winning run some 150m from home to take the win in 4.54.90. The Junior Men’s Triple Jump saw Samuel Mutombo win a Silver Medal with a distance of 11.80m whilst John iLunga took on the Senior Men’s 400m, running a new PB of 58.70 (5th) in his Heat alongside team mate Beatrice Toman winning the Senior Women’s 400m with a time of 61.20.
Sunday opened with the sun rather than the forecasted gloomy weather and stayed that way until the end. Kail Sturgess won the Senior Men’s Long Jump with a seasons best of 6.18m alongside Samuel Mutombo who set himself a new PB by one cm (5.63m) in 4th spot in the Junior Men’s, with U17 Harrison Allcock setting a big new PB by over half a metre with a leap of 5.50m in 5th. Daniel Nuttall in the U15’s won the title with a leap of 5.99m a distance which was a new PB, broke the 22 yr old Club Record set by Andrew Lake and took him to joint 1st place in the National Rankings. U15 Tamzin Osborne in her first year in this age group, cleared 1.20m in the High Jump placing 6th.
Emma Harrison was making her debut for Blackburn Harriers and what a debut – setting a new PB of 46.93m to win the title with team mate Grace Bontoft winning the Silver with a distance of 38.37m. The titles and medals kept coming, this time with Matthew Heywood who won the Junior Men’s Hammer with a new PB of 57.76m and Isabelle Hartley taking Bronze in the U17 Women’s Shot Putt with a new PB of 8.13m for the bottom of age athlete. U17 George Williams has recently taken up the Hammer and what a start he has made. After winning his first event throwing 28.26m he added a further seven metres to that, setting a new PB of 35.34m to win the Silver Medal. U15 Harry Pilkington added to the tally of wins and personal bests when he won the Hammer with a distance of 16.53 for a new PB before going on to set another new PB in the Shot Putt, winning the Bronze with 7.43m. Sister Leila Pilkington was also in the Medals and new best column as she won Bronze in the U13 Shot Putt with a new PB of 7.41m and so to with U13 Alex McKinlay who won Silver in the Shot Putt with a throw of 6.12m – Alex had also run in the 200m which was a straight final, running 35.50 in 7th.
George Holman set himself a new PB in the U13 Boys 800m with his time of 2.43.20 in 3rd spot in his Heat and 5th overall as the two Heats were run as time trials. In the U13 Girls 800m Heats these were run as two time trials with the three fastest times getting the medals. Agatha Taylor won Heat 1 in 2.27.60 with Emma Robertshaw running 2.47.70 in the same Heat which was a new PB by nearly 8 seconds. This meant that Agatha won the County Championship with Emma in 5th place overall. Daniel Nuttall made it three wins and three Lancashire County titles when he won the U15 Boys 200m in a time of 23.60 with Matthew Haxton in 4th spot clocking 29.30.
Two Heats for the U15 Girls 200m which saw Millee Schofield win her Heat comfortably in 26.90 and then went on to win the Final in 26.70 to make it a sprint 100/200m double for her at the weekend. Harrison Allcock grabbed himself another new PB in the U17 Men’s 200m Final, placing 4th with 24.70 an improvement of over half a second. Kara Dacosta qualified from her Heat 2 of the U17 Women’s 200m in 2nd spot (26.50) as Isabelle Hartley ran a new PB time of 30.30 in 5th spot in Heat 1. In the Final Kara took 3rd with 26.40 to win the Bronze. Poppy Preece was the sole entry into the Junior Women’s 400m Hurdles which was amalgamated with another race as she ran 74.00 to take the title.
Oliver Gill and George Ramsden won Silver and Bronze in the U15 Boys 3000m – Oliver running a huge new PB by some 25 seconds of 9.47.10 with George doing the event for the very first time coming home in 12.02.20. The U15 Girls 800m had two Heats – Heat 1 being won by Charlotte Robertshaw in 2.42.20 with Tamzin Osborne running 3.00.70 in 6th in the same Heat. In the Final Charlotte ran a new PB by over two seconds of 2.35.70 to place 4th. Sam Aspey and Matthew Haxton finished 3rd and 5th in the U15 Boys 800m resulting in Sam winning Bronze, cutting five seconds off his best to set a new PB of 2.15
Ben Stratton and Codie Dewhurst ran the straight final in the U17 Men’s 800m. Both ran new PB’s in the Final which Ben won by just three tenths in a time of 2.02.40, five seconds faster than he has run previously whilst Codie ran his third consecutive new PB since late April, clocking 2.03.70 (4th). The Junior Men’s 800m Final unbelievably had only two entrants – both of them Blackburn Harriers – David Holman and Hayden Mercer – so it was Gold for David with 1.58.90 and Silver for Hayden with 2.04.70. Matt Ramsden made it a Lancashire County Title double after winning the 1500m he won the 3000m in 8.42.00. Gold and Bronze for the Harriers in the Junior Women’s 800m as Abigail Stratton made herself a double 800 & 1500m Lancashire Champion winning with a time of 2.14.70, a new PB by nearly two seconds whilst Eleesha Charnley also set a new PB, also by nearly two seconds of 2.19.00 with Keira Haxton making it three new PB’s as she ran 2.25.00 – an improvement of over three seconds. Ben Makin won the Senior Men’s 800m title with a kick in the home straight to finish with 2.00.4.
And for a complete change of scenery and terrain, some of our athletes were out on the Fells at the weekend – Jack Lamb, Isabel Holt and Evie Taylor taking on the Great Whernside Spring Edition Race at the weekend on May 15th. (RESULTS)
In the U17 combined race of U17 Men and Women, Jack finished in 11th position overall with his time of 22.23 followed by Isabel in 18th place and 4th U17 Woman in a time of 22.52 and Evie in 38th overall and 10th U17 Woman running 26.23. Isabel was 1st counter for Lancashire and Evie 10th in the Junior Inter County Fell Championships.