An overcast day greeted the Harriers at Leigh for the first fixture in this years Division 2 League featuring – Blackburn Harriers – Isle of Man – Leigh – Liverpool – Sale & Wirral. The Harriers finished in 4th place on the day with just two points separating them from 3rd place and a mere 24 points from 2nd place.
The Team were missing a number of athletes through work, injuries and ill-health but the athletes that competed got stuck in and tried to make up the gaps and there were some real highlights at the fixture – not least of which was the setting of five new Club Records and thirteen new personal bests. Leading the way with the performance of the day was U20 Ross Liddle who had a hat-trick of ‘A’ wins running the English Schools qualifying time for the 400m Hurdles when he won his Race in 55.4 – a new PB & new U20 Men’s Club Record. He followed that up by winning the ‘A’ 400m in 51.0 – another new PB and the ‘A’ 110m Hurdles in 15.4 – an U20 Club Record at the Senior Height and his first ever attempt at the distance and height. Next up breaking Club Records came Charlotte Williams in the Women’s Hammer throwing the 4kg for the first time in competition and winning the ‘A’ Hammer with a throw of 48.66m – a new U17 Club Record. Jacob Roberts followed suit in the Men’s Hammer placing 2nd with a throw of 55.35m to set a new U20 Club Record as well as breaking the Men’s Senior Hammer Record too. Anna Peers rounded off the day by breaking her own Senior Women’s Javelin Club Record by throwing 39.50m to win the Women’s ‘A’ Javelin. In the other Throws events Anna Peers got a good 2nd place in the ‘A’ Discus (2nd) with 32.45m with Charlie Coy ‘enjoying’ the ‘B’ Discus placing 3rd with 17.79m. Teigan Fawcett came 4th in the ‘B’ Javelin with a distance of 21.04m. Another example of an athlete doing everything they could for the Team came from Joe Howe who ran the ‘B’ 400m then ran down the track to get a Throw in for the ‘B’ Shot Putt on the final round to gain an extra couple of points. Great to see.
Another highlight of the day came from John ilunga. John got to the fixture by train and didn’t even ask anyone for a lift. He contested the ‘B’ 400m Hurdles (2nd) 73.8, ‘A’ Shot Putt (6th) with 7.67m, the ‘B’ Triple Jump (3rd) 9.69m, the ‘B’ High Jump (2nd) 1.55m, ran a Leg of the 4 x 100m Relay and earlier on, asked the Team Manager if he could run the 110m Hurdles, finishing 2nd in the ‘B’ with 21.7 and he missed another event, the Javelin because he was competing in the Triple Jump at the same time. What a performance and what commitment for the Team.
Echoing this were Hammer Throwers Jacob Roberts who stepped in for the ‘A’ Long Jump (5th) 5.12m, Nathan Billington who took on the Discus 2nd ‘B’ 19.93m and Charlotte Williams who contested the ‘A’ Shot Putt (5th) 8.22m. Jacob commented after the fixture had ended “Competed at senior weight today 7.26 kg Hammer at Leigh for the Northern league. Very happy with my result and breaking the club record once again at a different weight. Well done to all Blackburn Harriers and especially my Hammer team mates Nathan and Charlie”.
In the Sprints it was Dominic Bretherton and Paul Coffey for the Men and U17’s Emily Warren (first season in the Senior League) and Chloe Bleeks for the Women who contested the 100 and 200m doubles. Dominic ran a new PB of 11.3 in the ‘A’ 100m (3rd) whilst Paul took 4th in the ‘B’ with a time of 11.7. In the 200m ‘A’ Race Dominic placed 4th with another new PB of 23.2 with Paul placing 4th in the ‘B’ (24.00). Emily ran the ‘A’ 100m in 4th place equaling her PB of 13.2 and came 6th in the 200m in 27.6. Chloe knocked two tenths off her previous best to set a new PB of 13.4 in the ‘B’ 100m and knocked a full second off her best in the 200m for a new PB of 27.5 (4th).
Charlie Coy was in her first Senior League Competition and took on the ‘A’ 400m and having a good first time ever run over the distance with 3rd in 63.8, saying “she wanted to do more of those”. The she doubled up in the 800m with Maddie Elliott finishing in 3rd in the ‘B’ with 2.32.3 whilst Maddie came 4th in the ‘A’ with a time of 2.24.6. Maddie then doubled up herself in the 1500m placing 3rd in the ‘A’ (4.59.0) with Katie Buckingham 3rd in the ‘B’ (5.13.5) which was just one second away from setting a new personal best. In the 3000m it was a first time ever competition for Victoria Mousley who finished 5th as the ‘A’ runner in 10.53.9 as Liz Greenwood who was looking really good in the Race had to drop out with a calf pull. A very good debut run for Victoria.
Ross Liddle won the ‘A’ 400m in 51.0 with Joe Howe stepping into the ‘B’ Race, just holding off the Sale athlete, finishing 3rd in 58.1. Rob Warner ran the ‘A’ 800m (3rd) 2.01.7 as part of his day which included the 5000m where he finished 2nd in the ‘A’ with 15.01 which was a very good effort and sets himself up nicely for the Highgate 10000m. Tim Raynes also doubled up for the Team running the ‘B’ 800m (5th) in 2.06.0 and then ran the ‘A’ 1500m in 3rd spot (4.08.7) just a second away from a new personal best. Jack Hindle hadn’t run a 1500m since 2014 but answered the call for the Team and set a new PB time of 4.20.9 to take valuable points in finishing 2nd in the ‘B’. Joe Monk came to the fixture determined to get a new 5000m PB and did just that, setting off with real intent to win the ‘B’ in 15.24.8 – a new PB by a massive by 35 seconds. Joe Howe ran the ‘A’ 3000m Steeplechase and was up against an athlete – Allan Corlett – who had run 9.20 at his best. Joe was coming into the fixture with a PB set at Bucs and set another new PB on the day, coming home in 2nd place in 10.07.8, chopping a another ten seconds off his previous best time.
In the Hurdles side of the programme we have highlighted quality performances by Ross Liddle in the 400m and 110m Hurdles. There was also another very good performance by Morgan Angland who was contesting her first ever 100m Hurdles in the Senior Women and had a great debut winning the ‘A’ in 15.8, and a new PB and she was backed up by Katie Buckingham in the ‘B’ taking good points in 2nd spot (18.02). Sprinters Morgan Angland and Chloe Bleeks shared Long Jump duties with Morgan clearing 4.64m (4th) in the ‘A’ and Chloe 4.18m (3rd) in the ‘B’. Teigan Fawcett set a new PB in the High Jump ‘A’ (4th) clearing 1.35m. In the Men’s Triple Jump Tom Doherty got his season off to a good start with 2nd in the ‘A’ (12.04m) and then placed 3rd in the ‘A’ High Jump clearing 1.65m before running both Relays in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m. Another great effort by this young athlete.
(Morgan (1) – Katie (11)