The England U20 Track & Field Championships was held over the weekend of June 17th & 18th at Chelmsford with a couple of Blackburn Harriers involved – U20 Abigail Stratton in the 1500m and U20 Kara Dacosta in the 400m. (RESULTS). Abigail qualifed for the Final from her Heat 2 in 4th place with a time of 4.27.80 going on to the Final where she placed 5th in a time of 4.22.29. After the Final, Abigail spoke to the Harriers about her Championships saying that “Not the result I wanted from nationals this year! Knowing where my fitness is at, but will use this race as a learning experience for future races.” Kara ran a new PB time of 56.26 in 3rd place in Heat 2 before going on to record a second new PB in the Final of 56.02 in 6th place which means that Kara is ranked No 1 in the National Rankings for U17 Women in the 400m. Kara’s Race Video
Kara also broke the Club Record held by Judith Croasdale which was set in August 1979 when she ran 56.6 – a record that has stood for 44 years.
Saturday June 17th was Podium day at Barrowford hosting a whole number of races for U9 youngsters right through to seniors & innternational standard athletes. (RESULTS). A number of Blackburn Harriers – 16 in total – featured in the different races starting off with the U11/13 race with 53 runners – boys & girls – taking part. U11 Theo Addy finished in 8th place overall and 4th U11 with a time of 8.03. U13 Amelia Pacelli was next home as 6th U13 Girl in a time of 8.37 with team mate Charlotte Rothwell 14th U13 in a time 10.05. Four more Harriers in the U15/U17 race featuring 31 male & female runners. U15 Jack Wood took the honours here, winning the race in a time of 10.44 with U15 Alex Rothwell in 3rd place overall running 11.04. U15 Liam Bennison came home in 16th spot overall and 9th U15 Boy in 12.20 as U17 Isabella Pacelli placed 4th in the race running 13.26. In the D Race over 5k V45 Steve Turner had a good race to place in the top ten (10th) with a time of 19. 26. The C Race saw V45 Stephen Hall take 3rd place overall and 1st vet with a time of 16.59 alongside V50 Matt Nuttall in 25th place (17.48) and 1st V50 with U17 Logan McCredie the 2nd Junior in the race, running 17.49 in 26th. Danny Maynard was also back out racing after quite a while and placed 45th overall (18.44). Three Blackburn Harriers in the B Race with Marc Hartley running 16.28 in 48th overall, Stephen Walter in 57th overall with a time of 16.44 and V50 Nick Gaskell placing 65th in 17.06 and 2nd V50. The A 5k Race featured thirty nine athletes and some stellar british names in terms of road racing. Marc Scott took the win (13.47) with Omar Ahmen in 2nd (13.57) and Linton Taylor in 3rd (14.05). Great to see Nick McCormick back racing in his first since April 2022 as he finished in 32nd with a time of 15.18.
Danny Maynard (202)
Sunday June 18th saw the annual running of one of the longest running half-marathon races – The Freckleton Half-Marathon – run in the usual warm conditions with over 300 finishers – the race being won by Hallamshire’s Andrew Heyes in a very good time of 67.17. (RESULTS). Jonny Murphy ran himself a new PB as he finished in the top 5 (5th) with a time of 80.33. Emily Jemutai Cheruiyot had a very good race too, coming home as 2nd in the Women’s Race with a time of 85.34. Steve Turner after running the Podium 5k on Saturday night rocked up for this half-marathon the day after placing 45th overall in 1hr.34.40 alongside Matthew Maynard who came home in 65th (1hr 39.13).
The weekend continued with the 3rd fixture of the Mid Lancs Track & Field League being hosted by Southport & Waterloo at their home track in Litherland. (RESULTS). Thanks to those Officials who helped run the fixture on the day.
Dominic Bretherton ran his first ever 800m race and ran it very consistently to come home in 5th place with a time of 2.26.9 – inside his targeted time of 2.30. Anthony Kent won the Men’s Senior Hammer with 49.01m before going on to make it a win double in the Discus with a distance of 37.40m. U17 Daniel Nuttall also took a win double taking the 100m in 11.5 and the 200m in 23.8. U17 Oliver Palk had a fine run as he set a new PB in the 400m of 52.3 and then went on to win the Javelin with a new PB throw of 44.27m.
U15 Daniel Bretherton clocked 13.1 in the 100m (5th) for a new PB by 8 tenths then chopped nearly three seconds off his personal best in the 400m clocking a new PB of 57.8 in 3rd spot. U15 Alex Rothwell set himself a new PB in winning the 800m clocking 2.19.0 as he led from the front, finishing in a real battle with Preston’s Lucas Parkin and then went on to clock 28.2 in his first ever 200m race. Theo Robinson also ran the 800m finishing in 4th position (2.27.6). U15 Seth Turner had another good High Jump competition as he set a new PB in winning with 1.68m with team mate Theo Robinson in 3rd clearing 1.30m. U13 Alex McKinlay placed 9th in the 100m (15.7) before winning the Javelin with a new PB throw of 19.95m – an improvement by over two and a half metres – and followed that by an equal personal best in the High Jump of 1.20m (2nd).
Zoe Green and Isabelle Hartley were in the U17’s 100m clocking times of 15.0 (4th) and 15.1 (5th) respectively which was a new PB for Zoe. Isabelle then placed 7th in the 200m (31.1) with Zoe in 9th (31.2) and Imogen Robinson 12th with 32.4. Zoe wasn’t finished and went in the 300m clocking 49.6 in 4th spot and neither was Isabelle as she placed 3rd in the Javelin with 17.63m. On to the longer distance where 1st year U17 Freya Neild placed 6th in the 800m (2.53.4). Another 1st year U17 – Imogen Robinson – was just short of her personal best as she cleared 1.50m in taking the win.
U15’s Emily Dai and Mia Joyce finished 9th and 10th with respective times of 14.8 and 15.7 in the 100m – Emily then going on to place 8th in the Long Jump (3.65m). Bottom of age U15 Evie Fort set hereself a new PB by three seconds in the 800m (9th) in 2.43.8 and followed up with 31.0 (6th) in the 200m. Not the conditions for the longer races, it being very warm, Lyra Krige ran 5.45.4 (3rd) in the 1500m. U15 Olivia Thomasson won once again in the Javelin with a throw of 29.44m – her fourth win out of five competitions so far this season.
Thirty nine U13 Girls lined up for the 100m resulting in 6 heats ending with Imogen Boardman placing 10th (14.7), Isabelle Pawson in 12th with a new PB of 15.0 and Charlotte Rothwell in 31st running 16.2 in her first races ever on the track. 40 U13 Girls in the 200m featuring seven Heats – Imogen Boardman placing in the top ten with a new PB time of 30.9 (8th), Isabelle Pawson (19th) also with a new PB time of 32.4 and Charlotte Rothwell in 35th (35.7). Charlotte Lily Smith clocked 2.35.0 in 4th place in the U13 Girls 800m and afterwards cleared 1.10m in the High Jump (5th) and placed 9th in the Javelin (9.65m). Imogen Boardman and Isabelle Pawson were in a 21 strong U13 Girls field in the Long Jump – posting jumps of 3.73m (6th) and 3.39m (10th).
The weekend continued, this time with the Premier West Division of the Northern League hosted by Wirral AC at the Oval in Bebington – the day starting off warm and humid and finishing up wet and humid. After finishing 4th in the first Match at Ellesmere Port, the team was again severely depleted but still, were able to finish in 4th place as a result of some good performances producing thirteen wins. Thanks to our Officials Alison Hulme, Lindsay Davies, Jolene Bontoft, Steve Brindle, John Chaplin, Alison Heywood and Sabrina Dewhurst.
The Throws Squad got the team off to a very good start with maximum points and wins in the Men’s Hammer A&B; Women Hammer A&B, Women’s Discus A. Just 2cm separated Anthony Kent who won the A Hammer (48.13m) and Matthew Heywood who won the B with a seasons best throw of 48.11m. On to the Women’s Hammer which saw Emma Harrison throw a seasons best distance of 46.05m in winning the A whilst Grace Bontoft also threw a seasons best in winning the B with 39.36m. Sarah Henton who had travelled from Doncaster to compete won the Women’s A discus with a last round throw of 36.65m and the end of week which saw her win the Discus at Trafford – June 13th – with 37.10m. Grace Bontoft came 5th in the B (17.04m). Anthony then set himself a new PB in winning the A Shot Putt with a distance of 12.57m in recording our 6th win in the throws as Matthew Heywood placed 3rd in the B Shot Putt (8.09m). Anthony made it the 7th win of the day in the A Discus (39.60) with team mate Matthew in 3rd in the B throwing 23.56m. Finally in the Javelin, Anthony placed 4th in the A (35.08m) with Matthew 6th in the B (21.89m). Emma and Grace teamed up for the Shot Putt which was held as the Hammer was still ongoing which meant a hell of a rush for those who were doing both – Grace placed 6th in the A (8.37m) and Emma 4th in the B (7.39m). In really bad conditons at the end of the day, pouring rain and thunder all around, Kady Thompson and Isabelle Hartley completed the Throws events with 5th (20.78m) and 3rd (17.49m) respectively.
In the sprints it was a warm welcome back into competition for Brandon Zinyemba who has suffered a number of injuries and who had only been able to run two indoor races since 2021. Teaming up with Charlie Unsworth – Brandon clocked 11.6 (3rd) in the A with Charlie winning the B in 11.2. The same pairing reversed in the 200m which saw Charlie win the A (22.7) and Brandon place 3rd in the B (24.10) – the headwind in the homestraight was there throughout the day. The Women’s 100 and 200m saw Amy Wiggans and Lucy Turner running only their second races of the season – Amy clocking 13.8 (5th) in the A 100m and Lucy 4th in the B (14.0). In the 200m Amy placed 5th (28.3) and Lucy 2nd in the B with 28.4 which was a new PB. Maddie Elliott ran the 400m (66.5) in 5th place before going on to take 3rd in the 1500m with a time of 4.49.2 – her first outdoor 1500m race since 2021. Amy Wiggans and Isabelle Hartley paired up for the Long Jump – Amy coming 4th in the A (4.36m) and Isabelle 3rd in the B (3.44m), Isabelle then going on to clear 1.25m in the High Jump (4th).
Thomas Monks and Hayden Mercer teamed up in the 400m – Thomas placing 4th in the A (53.1) and Hayden 4th in the B (56.4). Dominic Walton is another athlete having had to struggle with injuries but in this match he covered the run of the athletes, striking with a 100m to go for the win in a time of 1.53.2 with team mate Codie Dewhurst running well in the B to take 3rd place (2.03. 9). Dexta Thompson set the context for the 1500m as he and team mate Ben Makin took on the 12 strong field. Dexta drove into the wind on every lap which helped split up the field and allowed him and Ben to make the break with a 100m to go, taking maximum points as Ben won the A (4.01.7) and Dexta the B (4.03. 4). Similarly in the 5000m, Matt Ramsden who has been out some time with an injury not incurred by athletics, came back to run a perfectly judged race as himself, Sale’s Philip Robertson and West Cheshire’s Jamie Richardson contested the race at the front. With 90m to go Matt stepped out and came home to win by well over 2 seconds in 15.28.6 with team mate Sam Hodkinson who had taken the day off from work to to be able to run for the team placing 3rd in the B with 16.49.7. John Ilunga ran a seasons best time of 66.6 in 2nd place in the 400m Hurdles and then took on the 110m Hurdles 4th (23.4). John and Codie teamed up to secure points in the High Jump placing 5th (1.50m) and 4th (1.40m) respectively. Long Jump and Triple Jump had Samuel Mutombo take 3rd in the LJ with 5.24m and 2nd in the TJ with a leap of 11.71m. Hayden Mercer having to use an unfamiliar pole still managed to clear 2.80m for 3rd in the Pole Vault. The Relays resulted in a 4th place for the Men’s 4 x 100m in 47.2 whilst in the Men’s 4 x 400m the team took 2nd place in 3.31.3; And in the Women’s 4 x 100m the team came 5th (55.8).
On June 18th the Seven Hills of Edinburgh Race was held for the 43rd consecutive year – a race described by the organisers as “Every year since 1980, on a Sunday in June, a few hundred hardy individuals take part in one of the most unusual running events in the country, The Seven Hills of Edinburgh— a combination of road-running, cross-country, hill-running, and urban orienteering… 14.3 miles in length and with 2200 feet of ascent/descent. (RESULTS). Blackburn Harriers Gary Pearse (V50) was doing this after running the race in 2022 and was one of over 200 runners to finish the event. Gary finished in 132nd place with a time of 2hr 32.49 and told the Club afterwards that he “Attempted this race again yesterday 15m 2500ft of climb both depending on good route choice or lack of, of urban route finding and off road climbing, with a testing last climb up Arthur’s Seat. Knocked almost 10 minutes off last year’s time with 2 hrs 32 and threw in a swim sea later as a recommended recovery technique, alternatively some more training beforehand would have helped and cooler on the day!”