The last fixture of this years Northern League was held on home territory at Witton Park. It was a particularly significant fixture for the Harriers as there was a distinct possibility of relegation awaiting us if we didn’t perform after a season where the Team suffered from being unable to put out full squads because of injuries, holidays, exams and other competitions. The outcome was a good one for the Club as they took 2nd place on the day just thirteen points behind winners Leigh who also took the League title and were worthy winners.
Thanks to all the athletes who stepped out of their comfort zone to take on added events to secure points for the Team. Thanks also to Women’s Team Manager Jan Buckingham and to George Woodburn for stepping into the Men’s Team management at the last minute, to Janet for providing all of the Officials lunches throughout the season and last but by no means least, to the Cookson’s – John and Carol – who are now on a retainer for the Club in the use of the microphone and results display!!
(L-R ‘Director of Operations (Anne Davies) – ‘doing as i am told‘ (George Davies) – Guest of Honor with Distinction (George Kirby – Blackburn Harriers Club President)
Great start for the Harriers came with U20 Jacob Roberts winning the Hammer with a throw of 54.31m who was heading up a Men’s Throws Team on the day short of some of our usual specialist throwers. Paul Wilkinson came in at the last minute to throw ‘A’ Discus 21.02m (6th) and ‘A’ Javelin 30.26m (6th) with Joe Howe, as ever, taking on as many events as he could for the Team throwing 12.06 in the ‘B’ Discus (5th). Sprinters Brandon Zinyemba and Dominic Bretherton volunteered for the Shot Putt and did really well with Brandon taking 5th in the ‘A’ (8.84m) and Dominic taking 2nd in the ‘B’ (8.59m) for invaluable points in a discipline they haven’t done before. Brandon took the ‘bragging rights’ but can’t be sure that that is the end of this story!!
In the Women’s Throws Anna Peers stepped into the Hammer ‘A’ placing 4th with a throw of 27.07m with U17 Abigail Brown finishing 2nd in the ‘B’ 21.94m. Anna then went on to to finish 2nd in the ‘A’ Discus (33.67m) – 1st in the ‘A’ Javelin (37.67m) and 2nd in the ‘A’ Shot Putt with 10.27m – and there was great back up in the ‘B’ by U17’s Emily Taberner taking 2nd in the Discus (20.33m) & 1st in the Javelin with 30.52m with Hannah Proctor also taking 2nd in the Shot Putt with a throw of 8.43m all of which represented a great points total for the Team.
The Men’s Endurance Team produced some great results, despite the windy conditions, with a double win in the 5000m featuring Ben Fish winning the ‘A’ in 14.47.7 and Chris Arthur making his Track debut for the Harriers winning the ‘B’ in 15.32.1. It was another double in the 3000m Steeplechase which saw Joe Howe set a new PB by just two tenths when he won the ‘A’ in 10.07.6 supported by Chris Davies who won the ‘B’ in 10.32.7, just two seconds outside his personal best.
The 1500m produced some pretty good racing with the slowest time 4.39.2. Tim Raynes ran a new PB by a tenth to finish 3rd in the ‘A’ in a time of 4.06.2 and in the ‘B’ it was another debutant for the Club – Steven Snape – who ran 4.12.4 to earn a 2nd place in the ‘B’ Race. In the 800m Joe Monk ran 2.06.5 in the ‘A’ Race for 5th with Zac Howe winning the ‘B’ in 2.02.6, his first Track race following a long period of injury since July 2016. Zac and Joe doubled up again in the 400m with Zac clocking 53.6 in the ‘A’ (3rd) and Joe also taking 3rd in the ‘B’ with a time of 58.8.
The Women’s Endurance athletes saw Liz Greenwood win the ‘A’ 3000m in 10.40.4 and it was a welcome return for Grace Handley who ran 11.23.7 in the ‘B’ Race for 2nd spot. Liz went on to run 5.00 for 4th place in the 1500m with Maddie Elliott wining the ‘B’ in 5.00.5. Maddie then ran the ‘A’ 800m in 2.22.3 for 4th place with Hannah Cookson taking a good 2nd spot in the ‘B’ race with a time of 2.35.6. Hannah Cookson and Phoebe Howe went in the 400m with Hannah clocking 66.3 (6th) in the ‘A’ and Phoebe placing 5th in the ‘B’ in a time of 74.9.
U17 Bradley Meikleham produced a big new PB in the Men’s ‘A’ Long Jump taking 4th place with a leap of 5.43m – over half a metre further than his previous best. U17 Luke Kenyon placed 3rd in the ‘B’ with 4.96m. U17 Solomon Brown also set a new PB in the ‘A’ Triple Jump with a leap of 11.08m in 5th place, an improvement by 35cms. Luke was just outside his PB in the High Jump ‘A’ clearing 1.70m in 3rd and backed up by Joe Howe in the ‘B’ who cleared 1.40m for 3rd spot in the ‘B’ before having to dash off to the Steeplechase. Morgan Angland and Chloe Bleeks won good points in the Women’s Long Jump which saw Morgan place 4th in the ‘A’ (4.84m) and Chloe 2nd in the ‘B’ with 4.53m, a new PB by 10cms. Thrower Anna Peers showed the spirit of the Team in stepping up for the High Jump for the points, clearing 1.15m in the ‘A’ as did Olivia Wilson who had a go at the Triple Jump finishing 6th with 8.05m.
U17’s Solomon Brown and Nick Massey did the Team proud in the 400m Hurdles with Sol taking 2nd in the ‘A’ (66.1) and Nick who is a sprint hurdler also taking 2nd in the ‘B’ in 69.1 – in the absence of our sprint hurdlers Joe Howe took on the 110m Hurdles to come home in 3rd spot (22.1). Great result in the Women’s 100m Hurdles which saw Morgan Angland win the ‘A’ in 15.5 and Chloe Bleeks winning the ‘B’ in 19.7.
In the Sprints Morgan Angland equaled her 100m PB (12.8) in the ‘A’ Race for 4th place with Emily Warren matching that time in the ‘B’ race for 2nd place which was a new PB by a tenth. In the 200m Emily ran 27.2 for 5th in the ‘A’ race with Chloe Bleeks running 28.3 in the ‘B’ in 4th spot. In the Men’s sprints the ‘A’ 100m race was won in a new League Record of 10.5 with the ‘B’ being won in 10.9 and 2nd place in the ‘A’ was 10.6, so a tough but exciting race to be involved in. Brandon Zinyemba ran the ‘A’ in 11.2 (4th) which was a new PB by a tenth and Dominic Bretherton placed 3rd in the ‘B’ with 11.3. Same again in the 200m with Brandon in the ‘A’ finishing 3rd in a time of 23.5 and Dominic 2nd in the ‘B’ also with a time of 23.5. The 4 x 100m Relays didn’t go well with the Men’s Team dropping the baton whilst the 4 x 400m relays saw the team finish 4th in 3.44.5. In the Women’s Relays the Harriers finished 4th in the 4 x 100m in 53.4 and 5th in the 4 x 400m in a time of 4.36.5.