The weekend of July 16th and 17th saw Bedord host the England Athletics U20 & U23 Championships incorporating World Junior Trials with four Blackburn Harriers involved – Matt Ramsden in the U20 3000m, Abigail Stratton in the U20 1500m, Matthew Heywood in the U20 Hammer and Ava Leigh also in the U20 Women’s Hammer. Abigail qualified for the Finals after securing her place with a good run of 4.31.88 in her Heat placing 2nd behind Leven Valley’s Jess Bailey (4.31.1).In the Final she ran really well again to take 4th spot in a time of 4.32.87 and after the Final Abby told us about her Championships and the Final saying that she “Felt strong in the heat made sure I was in a good position and not boxed in. Then into the final feeling confident, struggled to find position in 1st two laps but as I saw the front few pull away I made sure I went with them and really happy to finish 4th in my 1st year”.
Matt was in a straight Final in the U20 Men’s 3000m and finished in 9th spot out of a field of 19 with a time of 8.27.97 after being among the first three for most of the race until around 500m to go. Afterwards Matt spoke to the Harriers about his Final telling us that “It was a great experience to run at the nationals with hopefully many more to come. The race was good and I held on to the front group for as long as I could but I just didn’t have the legs in the end. I gave it my all so I have no complaints.”
Matthew finished in 5th position in the Hammer throwing solidly with a best of 57.01m and commented to the Club after it was all over “Not my best performance of the year but 57m is still a good distance. I was hoping for a medal but I would have needed to get a personal best and in the heat that was difficult, hopefully next year I can come out and do better“. Ava threw 43.61m in 7th spot in her Final and told the Harriers “I’m very disappointed with my result but I can’t be upset with the great season I have had. To improve 7m in one season is something I am very proud of. Looking forward, I need to improve on coping with competition stress to make sure I can achieve my potential in events like this in the future.”
Isabel Holt was competing at the Lily Tarn JHI Selection Race on Sunday July 17th – a selection race for the Junior Home International being held at (Ambleside, Cumbria) on September 3rd later this year. The selection race was run over 5.7k with 296m climb which saw Isabel finish 2nd F U17 in a time of 26.14 behind Leven Valley’s Georgia Bell (25.01). Speaking to Isabel after her race she told the Club that it was “a tough, hot race but I am happy with my race and the result and having the opportunity to take place in the Junior international fell race”.
The warm weather attracted a lot of athletes to the Witton Park Arena – home of Blackburn Harriers – yesterday (July 16th) for the fourth fixture in the 2022 Mid Lancs Series of Track & Field competition. Multiple Heats were needed for the number of athletes who turned up and on some occassions too many to comply with the rules of the League which hasn’t happened this year so far as we know. This meant of course extra work for the Officials and once again exposed the dearth of numbers in this area of our sport.
Blackburn Harriers had an excellent day fielding well over 70 athletes in all age groups, recording 31 Wins & 23 2nd places as well as recording 30 new personal bests and two new Club Records – being set in the U13 Boys 1500m which has lasted since 1980 and in the U13 Girls 200m which has lasted since 2014.
Three Heats of the 100m for these girls resulting in a win for Caris Peter-Thomas in her first race for the Club, clocking 13.8 in Heat 1 with her team mates Leila Pilkington in 4th (14.8) and Imogen Boardman in 5th (14.9) and a new PB by half a second. Heat 2 had Emily Dai in 3rd place (15.2) and Holly Moore in 4th (15.4) – a new PB by two tenths followed by another win in Heat 3 – this time by Dana Juma in 14.8 which was a massive new PB by 1.7 seconds, 2nd place for Evie Fort in her first race for the Club (15.6), Isabelle Pawson in 5th spot (16.1) – another new PB by 7 tenths and Eleanor Woodford in 7th (19.9). Caris made it a double when she won Heat 1 of the 200m in a time of 28.1 with Agatha Taylor also winning the 200m in Heat 2 clocking 29.5 in her first outing over the distance and team mate Dana Juma placing 4th (32.3).The 28.1 that Caris ran broke the existing Club Record for the U13 Girls 200m which was set by Emily Warren in 2014 at 28.4.
Holly Moore and Evie Fort took on the 200m in Heat 3 posting times of 31.6 in 2nd and 32.2 in 3rd places respectively. Eleanor Woodford also ran the 800m and clocked 2.49.9 in her first outing (8th) whilst Agatha Taylor knocked a huge four seconds off her best to set a new PB of 5.00.4 in 2nd place in her 1500m race. Emma Robertshaw ran in the same race and came home in 6th place in a time of 5.36.7 for a new PB by a second and a half. A big new PB for Ellie Charnock as she ran 13.1 in 2nd place in her Heat of the 70m Hurdles as Holly Moore clocked 16.0 in Heat 2 (3rd). In the Long Jump involving 16 athletes, five of them were from the Harriers resulting in Imogen Boardman placing 5th (3.48m), Emily Dai 6th (3.47m), Caris Peter-Thomas 8th (3.39m), Evie Fort in 10th (3.12m) and Charlotte Smith in 16th (2.02m). Leila Pilkington and Dan Juma finished in 4th and 7th places respectively in the High Jump with clearances of 1.20m and 1.10m.
Two Heats in the 100m featuring four Blackburn Harriers — George Fenton winning Heat 1 in 13.4 whilst team mates Jack Duxbury won Heat 2 in his debut over the distance (13.8) with Jayden Dacosta in 2nd (13.9) also making his debut in 100m and Abdollh Shrihia in 3rd (14.3). Similar results in the 200m where there was 2 Heats – Heat 1 being won by Jack Duxbury (29.3) and again his first time over the distance alongside Jayden Dacosta winning Heat 2 in 28.8 also his first time at 200m and Abdollh Shrihia in 2nd (29.6). Theo Robinson and George Holman paired up in the 800m among the 11 athletes on the start line, Theo coming home in 3rd place (2.28.1) and George Holman setting a new PB by 5 seconds as he came in 5th in a time of 2.38.0. Like the U13 Girls, the Harriers had plenty entred in the field of 16 Long Jumpers, four in total, and they set the standard with Abdollh Shrihia winning the event with a leap of 4.54m taking him to number 4 in the North West Rankings with Jack Duxbury taking 2nd spot (4.35m) and 9th in the NW Rankings, Theo Robinson (6th) with a jump of 3.88m and George Holman coming 12th (3.63m). Theo then cleared 1.25m in the High Jump (3rd) as Liam Bennison finished 7th in the Shot Putt (4.26m) and 4th in the Discus (12.18m) and a new PB by over 2m. Jack Baranowski broke the Club Record for the U13 Boys 1500m as he clocked 4.28.3 which broke the existing Club Record of 4.39.2 set by Michael Isherwood 32 years ago in 1980 and also takes him into 4th place in the National Rankings – this was his first ever attempt at the distance as was team mate Liam Bennison who ran in the same race posting a time of 5.21.1 in 6th.
English Schools Finalist Millee Schofield had a comfortable win in the 100m Heat 1 with a time of 12.7 with Alisha Lehner coming 5th clocking 13.7. Imogen Crooks made it two wins for the U15 Girls as she took Heat 2 in 13.8 with new member Beatrice Collinson in 6th (16.6). Heat 3 saw Leah Smith run 15.4 in 5th spot and Emma Gitau 6th (16.2) – a new PB by two tenths. Millee made it a win double for herself clocking 26.1 to win Heat 1 of the 200m which was a big new PB by 4 tenths and Imogen Crooks made it a double double as she won Heat 2 in 28.4 alongside team mate Zoe Green clocking 30.7 in 3rd in the same Heat. In the 300m Heat 1 Imogen Robinson was just tenths outside her best as she ran 48.9 in 5th with Beatrice Collinson running 54.0 in Heat 2. Four Blackburn Harriers in the 800m race with 12 runners – Charlotte Robertshaw taking the win and leading the Harriers home with a time of 2.32.8 which equaled her personal best, Isabella Pacelli coming 7th in 2.42.1, Ellie Wilding in 10th (2.47.5) and Zoe Green in 11th (2.47.5). There was another new PB for Alisha Lehner in the 75m Hurdles 2nd (12.4) after a good battle with Leigh’s Aimee Glen who won (12.3). Three Harriers in the Long Jump with Leah Smith coming 10th (3.66m), Imogen Crooks 11th (3.49m) and Emma Gitau 12 th (2.76m) as Imogen Robinson had a very good High Jump competition winning witjh a clearance of 1.49m.
Daniel Nuttall – Bronze Medalist in the English Schools Championships – took the 100m and 200m double – winning the 100m in 11.5 and the 200m in 23.7 alongside his team mate Felix Thompson running 14.6 in Heat 1 of the 100m (7th). Daniel Bretherton took on the 400m for the very first time, clocking 64.3 in 5th spot. George Ramsden added to the tally of new personal bests on the day clocking 2.16.2 in 5th spot in the 800m for a new PB by over two and half seconds. On to the 1500m where Oliver Gill took the win and set a new PB by 2 seconds with his time of 4.24.5 alongside team mates Sam Aspey in 2nd (4.38.8). Loucas Lancashire and Felix Thompson threw a new PB of 24.21m (3rd) and 20.60m (5th) respectively in the Javelin.
Lucy Rishton ran 13.9 in 4th in Heat 1 of the 100m whilst Niamh Gater also clocked 13.9 in 2nd spot in Heat 2 with Isabelle Hartley coming 5th in 14.6. Same three girls took on the 200m resulting in 3rd spot for Niamh with a big new PB by close to a second of 27.7, 4th for Lucy (28.7) and a new PB for Isabelle in 5th place (30.0) and in Heat 2 Kara Dacosta placed 2nd in 26.7. Following her 200m Kara won the 300m race in 41.6. Kady Thompson and Isabelle Hartley competed in the Javelin with Kady throwing 22.77m in 3rd and Isabelle 18.09m (5th). Keira Haxton ran a new PB by over 4 seconds in the U17 Women’s 1500m clocking 5.08.3.
Thomas Monks doesn’t run too many 100m races but decided to and clocked 12.2 in 2nd place in Heat 1 – Heat 2 having only four athletes, all from Blackburn Harriers – Harrison Allcock 1st in 12.1, Daniel Smith in 2nd (12.8) last running a 100m in 2018 (16.5) so a massive uprating of his personal best, Omar Juma in 3rd (12.9) and a new PB by half a second which is big with James Tierney in his first season with the club coming in 4th (13.0) which equaled his seasons and personal best. The 200m had two Heats involving six Blackburn Harriers among the nine competitors. Charlie Unsworth wasn’t hanging around as he won his Heat 1 in 23.0 for a new PB by four tenths with team mates Harrison Allcock in 2nd (24.1) also a new PB by three tenths and Omar Juma in 4th (25.5) and a massive new PB by 1.3 seconds. In Heat 2 it was a 1-2-3 for the Harriers – Ben Livesey winning the Heat in a new PB of 25.2 knocking 1.2 seconds off his previous best, James Tierney in 2nd (26.0) and another new PB by half a second with Codie Dewhurst in 3rd running 26.1 which equaled his personal best. Ben then added to his good performances on the day as he set a new PB by 2 seconds in the 400m clocking 55.6 in 3rd spot. It was another 1-2-3 in the 800m with Codie Dewhurst winning in 2.06.7, followed by Daniel Smith running a new PB by close to two seconds of 2.07.8 in 2nd place and Thomas Monks trying out the 800m – never having run one before – hanging back off the pace and then using his 400m speed to come with a huge finish to clock 2.08.1 in 3rd place. New member Jed Davies is making an immediate impression and at his first ever competition for the Club, having just joined, he won the Discus with a throw of 30.21m having never done the event previously, after which he went on to the Javelin, throwing 24.89m in 2nd and again an event he hasn’t done before. Jed had also been placed with the Seniors and U20’s in the Long Jump and leapt out to 5.12m in 4th place overall and first of the U17’s which included Blackburn Harriers Jack Paget-Fowler in 7th and 2nd U17 (4.67m) which was a new PB by 12cms. Earlier in the High Jump Daniel Smith cleared 1.55m in 5th place.
Codie Dewhurst (18) – Daniel Smith (61) – Thomas Monks (45)
Lewis Slack opened up in the 100m with a 2nd spot, running 11.6 in Heat 1 as Samuael Mutombo (U2) also came 2nd in Heat 2 with 12.1 which equaled his personal best as Dominic Bretherton won Heat 3 in 12.6. Lewis then took on the 200m Heat 1 of three and placed 2nd again as he lost a shoe close to the finish in running 23.4. Amy Wiggans (U20) clocked 27.3 in 200 Heat 1 coming home in 2nd place and a time which equaled her previous personal best after also coming 2nd in the 100m first Heat with 13.5. Unusually for the Mid Lancs there two Heats for the 800m – 7 athletes in Heat 1 and 10 in Heat 2. Jacob Cann made his winning time of 1.52.5 look easy as Luke Betts placed 3rd in 1.58.1 and Tim Raynes 5th in 2.01.0. Heat 2 had V45 Chris Davies coming home in 3rd spot with a time of 2.14.8 last having run an 800m in 2016. U17’s and U20’s were mixed with Senior Men in the 1500m – four Harriers competing in the eleven strong field. Ben Stratton was first home in 3rd place overall and 1st U17 clocking 4.17.1 – a whopping new PB by some six seconds. Then came Jack Lamb in 4th overall and 2nd U17 with his time of 4.22.4, followed by Chris Davies (V45) in 6th with 4.37.7 and Jack Paget-Fowler in 8th overall and 3rd U17 with 4.44.2. 1st and 2nd for the Harriers in the Long Jump as Kail Sturgess took the win with a leap of 5.70m followed by Samuel Mutombo with 5.62m in 2nd place – just one cm short of his best. In the Throws, Anthony Kent was in a close contest in the Shot Putt finishing in 3rd with 11.77m and won the Discus with a throw of 38.24m and also won the Hammer with 45.33m. Joanne Nelson (V50) is so consistent in the 3000m and it is no wonder that she is Number 3 in the National Rankings for the distance with 11.01.1, running in the Heat yesterday Joanne clocked 11.06.4 to win the Senior Women’s race. The Senior Women’s Jumps had U17 Lucy Rishton competing with them and finished 2nd overall and first U17 with a jump of 4.60m equaling her personal best whilst U20 Poppy Preece who is recovering from injury took 3rd spot in High Jump – again a mixture of U17, U20 and seniors – clearing 1.45m and she followed that with throwing 19.58m in the Senior Women’s Javelin for 3rd spot. U20 Amy Davies ran with U17 and senior women in the 800m clocking 2.28.7 in 5th spot overall and 2nd U20.