This weekend, the North West played host to the British Track & Field Championships at Sportcity and held over three days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 24/25/26th – and most of which could also be seen on television, a bonus for those who had to attend other athletic fixtures which unfortunately clashed on the same weekend including the North West Schools Combined Events Championships and the final matches of the season in the UKYDL Upper Age group League. These clashes, of course, cause a major problem for providing Officials at all of the events and is something that those who work out the competition calendar for the year, need to think about a bit more.
Blackburn Harriers had five athletes competing over the weekend – Holly Bradshaw in the Pole Vault, Jess Judd in the 5000m, Matt Ramsden in the U20’s 3000m, Daniel Bebbington in the 1500m and Dominic Walton in the 800. On Friday evening Matt lined up in the U20 Men’s 3000m in a field of 14. he had a solid race and finished in 9th place clocking 8.26.19 – the race being won by Thomas Bridger in 8.18.10 and a new Championship Record. This was Matt’s first Championships and he shared with the Club his thoughts afterwards commenting “It was an amazing experience to be selected to run at British Champs and it was a proud moment for myself. The race wasn’t my best but hopefully there will be many more opportunities in the future.” On the same evening Daniel was drawn in a stacked Heat 1 of the 1500m which included Josh Kerr, Jake Heyward and James Young, the first three to qualify. Daniel clocked 3.45.85 to finish in 5th spot and told the Club later “I’m pleased with how I ran it. Put myself in a good position to qualify and just didn’t have the legs on the final lap. It was always going to be tough when there was 3 qualification spots and there was two 2021 Olympians in the race. A great experience and nice to share the track with such elite runners”.
Onto Saturday and Dominic went in Heat 3 of the 800m and again in a pretty stacked field which included Max Burgin and Daniel Rowden and with just two to qualify, Dominic came 5th in 1.51.72. He commented on his race afterwards telling the Club “I had a great time at the British champs despite the poor performance but there’s no shame in being beaten by some of the best runners in the world. I’m just glad I made it despite struggling with my ankle all season. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more fast races in later in the season.“
Later that evening Jess lined up in the 5000m in a field of 17. The race was run remarkably slowly in the early stages lapping in around 76 seconds and with around 600m to go Jess made a bid for the race with a long run for home, being caught on the top bend of the home straight by eventual winner Amy-Eloise Markovc (15.37.23) winning Gold with Jess in 2nd (15.38.29) taking the Silver Medal and Lothian’s Sarah Inglis in 3rd (15.39.55) with the bronze Medal.
L-R Jess Judd (Silver) – Amy-Eloise Markovc (Gold) – Sarah Inglis (Bronze)
On the final day it was Holly’s turn in the Pole Vault, contested in what can only be described as difficult windy conditions for this event. Coming in at a height of 4.30m and clearing 2nd time, Holly cleared 4.40m at the 3rd attempt and then cleared 4.50m at the first attempt to win the Championship and yet another British Title from Molly Caudery in 2nd and Jade Ive in 3rd.
Final Match of the season in the UKYDL North West Division 1 took place at Stanley Park – a day that was embraced by wind, wind and more wind which had a big impact on the events throughout the day. Going into the Match the equation for the Harriers was simple, having come 2nd to Wirral in the first two matches, a win or a 2nd place would mean the Club would win promotion to the Premier Division in 2023. With another 2nd place on the day, again to Wirral, the objective of promotion was achieved. Congratulations to Wirral on the Division win and their promotion too.Three successive 2nd place finishes in the 8 team division meant that the Club finished the season with 21 League Points Winners Wirral finishing with a maximum 24 with West Cheshire in 3rd (18), Blackpool (4th) 15, Southport (8) in 5th, Stockport 6th (8), Wigan (7th) 7 and Leigh 8th (6).
Team Manager Danny Teare was delighted with the teams performance over the season and told the club after the result that it was a “Fantastic achievement by the U17 and U20 athletes this season to achieve promotion in such a competitive 8 team league, comprising big hitters like Wirral and West Cheshire. They should all be very proud of their efforts, combining to finish second and achieve promotion (subject to final confirmation!). Many have had to balance pressures of school exams and jobs alongside the commitments to training and competing which makes their accomplishments all the more impressive. Credit also to the BBH members who have given up their time to officiate, without whom the events could not have taken place, and who also add points to our team tally. Very well done to all!!”
Not all athletes included —- Back Row – L-R – Thomas Monks – Samuel Mutombo – George Whittaker – Ben Boocock – Hayden Mercer-Daniel Smith – David Holman-Matt Ramsden – Ben Stratton – Dexta Thompson – Jack Lamb – Codie Dewhurs — Front Row – L-R – Charlotte Clapham – Isabelle Hartley – Kady Thompson – Abigail Stratton – Isabel Holt – Keira Haxton – Kiera Booth – Holly Cubbon
Thomas Monks doesn’t often run 100m but equaled his personal best with an 11.9 clocking in the U20 A100 along with team mate Stuart Yates running 12.4 in the B, also 2nd – Stuart then running the A 200m in a time of 25.5 (5th) backed up by Aidan Downes in the B placing 4th (27.1). Lucy Rishton and Isabelle Hartley paired for the U20 Women’s 100m with Lucy in 4th in the A (14.1) and Isabelle 2nd in the B (14.5). Niamh Gater joined Lucy in the 200m – 2nd spot for Niamh in the A (29.3) and Lucy 1st in the B (30.6). Charlie Unsworth clocked 11.7 in 2nd place in the U17 A 100 as Harrison Allcock placed 4th in the B (12.3) after which Charlie clocked 24.4 in 2nd in the A 200m with Thomas Monks winning the B in 24.9.
The U17 Women’s sprints saw Abbey Riley run 13.2 – 2nd in the A with Niamh Gater clocking 14.0 in the B after which Abbey ran 28.5 to win the B 200m as Kara Dacosta came 3rd in the A with 27.7. Kara then went on to win the A 300m in 42.2 along with Keira Haxton who won the B in 47.5. In the 400m races Ben Boocock ran 55.1 in 3rd in the U20 A race with team mate Hayden Mercer clocking 54.5 in 2nd in the B and in the Women’s U20 400m’s Hollie Cubbon ran 69.1 in 4th spot which was a new PB by nearly 3 seconds. Thomas Monks won the U17 400 A race in 54.9 and making it a double win for maximum points was Codie Dewhurst taking the B race in 56.8. Earlier in the day Ben Boocock took a good 2nd in the U20 men’s 400m Hurdles in 64.1.
In the Relays the Harriers placed 2nd – (Claudio Enofomi/Ben Boocock/Stuart Yates/Samuel Mutombo) in the U20 4 x 100m (47.1) and 3rd in the 4 x 400m (3.50.6) – (Hayden Mercer/Matt Ramsden/David Holman/Jack Lamb), whilst the U20 Women won their 4 x 400m relay in 4.27.3 – (Abagail Stratton/Isabel Holt/Kiera Booth/Keira Haxton). Our U17 Men placed 3rd in the 4 x 100m (48.2) – (Harrison Allcock/James Tierney/Aidan Dones/Charlie Unsworth) – and won the 4 x 400m with a time of 3.44.5 – (Thomas Monks/Daniel Smith/Ben Stratton/Codie Dewhurst). In the U17 Women’s 4 x 100m relay, the team came 2nd in 52.3 – (Lucy Rishton/Abbey Riley/Niamh Gayer/Kara Dacosta).
Matt Ramsden had only done one 800m race this year and set himself a new PB despite the wind in winning the U20 800 in a time 1.57.4 and in the U20 3000m David Holman took 2nd spot in 8.58.2 for a big new PB by 48 seconds. Hollie Cubbon took on the U20 800m after running the 400m and came 2nd with a solid run in the wind of 2.41.6 and in the 1500m Eleesha Charnley ran 5.00.5 in 2nd spot – just half a second outside her best. Evie Wright won the U17 1500m A race clocking 5.12.1 – her first time running the distance on the track. The 3000m pairing of Abigail Stratton and Eleesha Charnley gave the team a double win – Abigail running a new PB buy some 12 seconds in only her second ever 3000m race of 10.17.6 with Eleesha winning the B in 11.24.2. Codie Dewhurst came 2nd in the U17 men’s 800m (2.07.0) after a good tussle with Leigh’s Campbell Readet-Williams coming off the final bend after which Ben Stratton and Daniel Smith combined to make it another win double with maximum points in the U17 1500m race with times of 4.23.7 and 4.26.6 respectively – a new PB for Ben by 18 seconds. Jack Lamb is in his first track season and did well again in the U17 3000m race finishing 3rd in 10.08.8 on a day which simply was not made for endurance running. The U17 Women’s 800m had Keira Haxton finishing in 3rd position with a time of 2.37.7 as Isabel Holt was a very comfortable winner of the U17 3000m race clocking 10.17.6. Finally Daniel Smith went in the U17’s 1500m Steeplechase, taking the win in 5.10.7.
The Harriers Throws squad was in good form again with a number of wins and good haul of points for the team. Matthew Heywood continued his good form as he approaches English Schools throwing 58.6m as the the U20 Women’s Hammer had Emma Harrison – also at English Schools – winning the A with a throw of 41.49m and Grace Bontoft winning the B with 37.67m and team mate Charlotte Clapham taking 3rd place in the U17 Women’s Hammer with a distance of 33.24m for a new PB by over 5 metres. Similar results in the Discus with George Whittaker taking 2nd in the A (32.06m) and Matthew Heywood winning the B with a throw of 25.25m. Emma Harrison and Grace Bontoft teamed up again in the Discus for another double win for maximum points – Emma winning the A (17.12m) and Grace the B (15.43m).
Charlotte Clapham and Kady Thompson contested the U17 Women’s Shot Putt with Charlotte placing 6th (7.12m) and Kady 3rd in the B (6.83m) – and – the same pairing took on the Discus – Kady coming 4th in the A (16.96m) and Charlotte winning the B with a distance of 16.70m. Omar Juma had a good day in the Throws coming 2nd in the U17 Men’s Shot Putt with 8.42m – a new PB by over half a metre and 1st in the B Discus with 14.73m – also a new PB by a metre and a half alongside team mate James Tierney in 3rd position in the A (17.96m) and the first time he has done the event. New member Oliver Palk was throwing in his first competition for the Club and threw a new PB of 38.50 to place 3rd in the U17 Men’s Javelin A with Dexta Thompson winning the B (27.14m) and also a new PB. David Holman stepped into the U20 men’s Javelin event to help the team and came 5th with 17.49m as Kady Thompson 2nd in the A and Hollie Cubbon winner of the B U20 Women’s Javelin added more points to the team total with throws of 23.20m and 10.06m respectively. Isabelle Hartley won the A U17 Javelin with her throw of 19.88m.
On arrival at the start of the Match you would have been forgiven for thinking that the Pole Vault would go ahead, so bad was the wind, but go ahead it did which turned out be pretty good for U20’s George Whittaker and Hayden Mercer who competed with the U17 Men as they were the only two in it. George had a very good day setting a new PB by 10cms to clear 3.60m and Hayden equaled his personal best with a height of 3.20m – pretty amazing given the conditions. Samuel Mutombo won the U20 Men’s Long Jump with 5.17m and then took 2nd in the U20 men’s Triple Jump with 11.92m along with Harrison Allcock in his first ever attempt at the event winning the B U17 Triple Jump with a leap of 10.84m and this after jumping 5.14 in the U17 Long Jump in 5th place. Abbey Riley took another win in the U20 Long Jump with a distance of 4.25m. Codie Dewhurst set himself a new PB in the U17 High Jump by 5 cms with a clearance of 1.50m (6th) with Daniel Smith winning the B (1.50m). Lucy Rishton and Niamh Gater went in the U17 Women’s Long Jump placing 3rd (4.09m) and 3rd again (4.03m) respectively. Kara Dacosta continued her winning ways with a win in the U17 High Jump (1.50m) – as with the track events, the wind didn’t do jumpers on the day any favours.
U15 Matthew Smith was representing Lancashire Schools at the North West Schools Combined Events, held at Witton Park over the weekend of June 25/26th Representing and competed really well to finish 3rd in this competition with a combined total of 2139 points. As a result of the performance he has gained selection for the English Schools Combined Events Championships to be held in Bedford in September, where he will again compete for the Lancs schools team.
Although there weren’t any new personal bests he nevertheless posted solid performances in all of his events with the exception of the High Jump which took place in the middle of a thunderstorm!but his HJ, where he jumped a disappointing 1.53m during a thunderstorm. Matthew clocked 13.8 in his hurdles race, threw 8.35m in shot, jumped 4.94m in LJ and ran a time of 2:20.4 in 800m at 5:30pm, almost 7 hours after the hurdles.
Not exactly fell Running, rather a mixture of a number of surfaces guaranteed to make you remember the event. What is the Seven Hills of Edinburgh? 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. It attracts runners of all ages and all abilities — from the leading distance-runners who get round in 100 minutes, to the more modest performers who may take up to 4 hours. But they all enjoy the satisfaction of completing one of the most scenic and challenging of sporting courses.[Course Information]. An event of great character, and with a tremendous friendly atmosphere on the day, it’s THE event that everyone — Edinburgh-based or otherwise — should do at least once!
Gary Pearse with daughter Polly was up in Scotland and decided to take this on and commented that “here’s something a bit different a 15mile ish depending on route choice 7 Edinburgh hills race including Arthur’s Seat. A mix of urban orienteering, traffic/pedestrian dodging, off road and plenty of climb. Just about survived the route finding and hills with little training or local knowledge. Great day out in Edinburgh and weekend with Polly.”