Going into the Final Match is this years UKYDL (Lower Age Group) North West Division 1, Blackburn Harriers were lying in 2nd position overall behind Liverpool Harriers after a successful season in which the Club finished in 2nd place in all three previous fixtures behind the winners Liverppol. It was important to finish the season with a similar performance and not only did they do that, they won the Match on the day in front of Liverpool Harriers by a mere 22 points – Blackburn (541 points), Liverpool 519), Southport (464), Blackpool (422.5), Crewe (279), Stockport (174), Macclesfield (85.5). The consistency of performance throughout the season was matched again on the final day as they posted 27 wins and 23 2nd places – all of which meant that the team had won promotion to the Premier Division in 2023, matching the achievement of the Harriers Upper Age Group Team who were similarly promoted to the Premier Division.
Tribute also to Team managers Chris Thompson (Boys) and Nicola Thompson (Girls) who have successfuly guided the athletes throughout the season, making sure that they always put out the strongest possible team but at the same time endeavouring to include all of our young athletes as they make their journey through the age groups. Both of them were delighted with the team and their achievments, telling the Club after the result had been announced that “Each year we have the struggle of introducing new athletes into ydl, most new athletes aren’t either aware or think they don’t meet the standards which is always a task for us. Once we get them there and get them involved they then become valuable points for the team and for us team managers that’s what it’s all about. Getting them involved is the important bit and watching them progress is even better. Well done to all athletes whether you competed once or at all four fixtures and also thanks to the parents who became official’s as they were also important for points and not everyone realises this.” A big thank you also to our Offcials and to those members of the Club who have stepped forward this year to try and increase and improve the Harriers Offcials resource which is desperately needed right across all the disciplines and it has to be said, across the whole of athletics.
Kate Taylor – Linzi Lancashire – Helen Dawson-Smith – Paul Smith – Vicky McKinlay – Krista Camara – Lindsay Davies – Joanne Nelson
SPRINTS & HURDLES
U15 Daniel Nuttall has had a very good season and was on form again on the day with a double win in the 100m (11.5) and 200m (23.6) after real battles with Blackpool’s Oliver Nunn – in the 200m the thickness of a vest separating them as they crossed the line in the same time. Henry Harwood is in his first competitive season with the Club and what a start he has made placing 2nd in the B 100m equaling his personal best of 12.6 and then setting a new PB in the B 200m winning with a time of 25.9, an improvement by two tenths. Bottom of age Luke Watson showed the depth that is developing in the Sprint Squad as he clocked a new PB off 12.4 in the non-scoring 100m. Daniel Bretherton ran only his second A 300m (4th) in a time of 44.5 whilst team mate Alex Rothwell was making his competitive track debut in the B race clocking 46.6 (5th). Daniel Bretherton, Daniel Nuttall, Luke Watson and Henry Harwood then combined to win the 4 x 100m Relay in a time of 49.2 from Blackpool in 2nd (50.8).
In the U15 Girls and it was Millee Schofield in a real tussle with Blackpool’s Sinaed O’Neill, both clocking 13.0 as the win was given to Millee, backing that up with a win in the 200m (26.5) alongside team mate Imogen Crooks in her first season for the Club clocking a new PB of 28.2 as she won the B 200m, an improvement of 2 tenths. Alisha Lehner took 2nd spot in the B 100 (14.2). Isabella Pacelli and Leah Smith paired up for the U15 ‘s 300m with Isabella just one tenth outside her personal best with 48.9 (5th) in the A race and Leah clocking 53.0 in the B race – her first ever time over the distance. Millee Schofield, Alisha Lehner, Imogen Crooks and Emma Gitau came 2nd in the 4 x 100m Relay (56.0) with Crewe in 1st (55.8). Imogen Crooks set a big new PB in the 100m non-scoring running 13.7.
Moving to the U13’s Sprints and in the 75m it was Jayden Dacosta and Abdolih Shrihia – Jayden clocking 11.2 in 2nd spot in the A whilst Abdollh ran 11.0 in the B race for 2nd place also. Jack Baranowski clocked 11.1 in the non-scoring 75m race, his first time over the distance. The same pairing of Jayden and Abdollh ran the 150m – Jayden placing 3rd in the A (21.7) and Abdollh 2nd in the B (21.8). Jack Baranowski, Jayden Dacostsa, Abdollh Shrihia and Theo Robinson combined to place 2nd in the 4 x 100m Relay (57.1).
Leila Pilkington and Caris Peter-Thomas didn’t hang about in the U13 Girls 75m – Leila winning the A with a time of 11.0 and Caris clocking 10.5 to win the B race, her first time over the distance. Caris was then joined by Agatha Taylor in the 150m, Agatha placing 2nd in the A with 22.0 and Caris winning the B in a time of 20.6. Holly Moore and Ellie Charnock ran the 75m non-scoring – Holly running 11.8 and Ellie 12.2. The 4 x 100m Relay team saw Leila Pilkington, Caris Peter-Thomas, Agatha Taylor and Charlotte Smith clock 58.8 in 2nd place behind Liverpool who ran a tenth quicker (58.7).
Harvey Holden was making his first appearance for the Club this year and did really well clocking 12.4 to win the A U15 Boys 80m Hurdles alongside George Camara who won the B race with a time of 14.3. Alisha Lehner had a nother good race as she won the A 75m Hurdles in a time of 12.6. Jayden Dacosta set himself a new PB of 16.5 in the U13 Boys 75m Hurdles – an improvement by seven tenths whilst in the U13 Girls 70m Hurdles Ellie Charnock came 2nd in the A with 12.3 which was a huge new PB by 8 tenths and Holly Moore 3rd in the B clocking 15.2.
In the U15 Boys Jumps the lads produced three wins and and 2nd place for a big contribution to the teams points total – Daniel Nuttall winning the A long Jump (5.54m), Luke Watson winning the B Long Jump (4.53m) and a big new PB by over half a metre, Matthew Smith won the A High Jump (1.50m) and George Camara took 2nd spot in the B High Jump (1.30m). The U15 Girls produced a 7th place finish for Leah Smith in the U15 Girls Long Jump and a new PB of (3.72m), 5th spot for Imogen Robinson in the B (2.89m) plus 6th place for Imogen in the A High Jump (1.30m).
Abdollh Shrihia and Theo Robinson picked up more points in the U13 Boys Long Jump – Abdollh jumping out to 4.28m in 2nd spot in the A with Theo winning the B (3.82m) – just 6 cms shy of his best. Theo then went on to win the High Jump with a 1.25m clearance as team mate Alex McKinlay cleared 1.10m in the B and took maximum points. In the U13 Girls Long Jump Leila Pilkington leapt out to 4.01m in the A for 2nd spot whilst Charlotte Smith won the B with a distance of 3.50m and in the High Jump, Agatha Taylor came 4th with 1.20m height clearance.
Matthew Smith and Harry Pilkington went in the U15 Boys Shot Putt, Matthew throwing 7.94m in the A (4th) as Harry won the B with 7.00m. On to the Discus and it was more points for the team as Harry came 2nd in the A with a distance of 19.48m with Loucas Lancashire stepping in at last minute to win the B with 12.23m and his first time ever in the event. On to the Hammer and there was a 3rd place for Harry Pilkington with a throw of 17.13m, just cms shy of his best whilst in the Javelin Loucas Lancashire placed 5th in the A (20.75m) alongside team mate Felix Thompson who won the B with 19.49m. In the U15 Girls Throws Hannah Davies came 5th in the A Shot Putt (5.90m) with Imogen Crooks taking 3rd place in the B with 5.76m and the first time she has done the event. Alisha Lehner was just below her best as she came 4th in the A Discus (14.47m) and in the Javelin it was 5th spot for Hannah Davies in the A (17.95m) with Freya Neild helping the team out in the B placing 5th in the B – highlighting how the athletes have that intention to help the team by taking on extra events or doing something for the first time. This could be seen in the U13 boys Throws as Alex McKinlay came 4th in the A Shot Putt (5.91m) and then took on the Javelin which he had never done previously, throwing 11.39m in 4th spot in the A. Liam Bennison finished 2nd in the B Shot Putt with 4.59m and George Holman also placed 2n in the B Javelin with 10.50m. Leila Pilkington added to her own and the teams points total throwing 7.06m for 2nd spot in the U13 Girls A Shot Putt alongside team mate Emma Robertshaw who came 5th in the A Javelin with 7.15m and again, an event she hadn’t done previously and simply having a go to help the team.
What better way to kick off than with a new personal best which is exactly what Sam Aspey did in the U15 Boys 800m clocking 2.14.6 in 2nd place for a new PB by 4 tenths whilst team mate Kieran Hamilton was less than a second outside his best as he took 2nd spot in the B with 2.19.3. Alex Rothwell was trying to lay down a marker for where he is in his first track race and clocked 2.30.4 in the non-scoring 800m. Next up for personal bests was Oliver Gill in the U15 Boys 1500m going to the front straight away and running the whole race on his own to clock a new PB by over a second of 4.23.3 as did Matthew Smith in the B race, winning the B with a new PB by close to five seconds running 4.36.1. Isabella Pacelli ran 2.43.5 for 5th spot in the A U15 Girls 800m alongside Hannah Davies who won the B with a time of 2.50.3. Charlotte Robertshaw and Freya Neild took on the 1500m for the U15 Girls – Charlotte running 5.31.7 in 3rd spot in the A and Freya actually taking maximum points in the B as she was the only B athlete.
Theo Robinson and George Holman were the pairing in the U13 Boys 800m – Theo running 2.31.1 in 2nd spot in the A and George also 2nd in the B with 2.42.5, whilst in the 1200m race Jack Baranowski ran a new PB by close to 8 seconds of 3.31.7 to win the A with Liam Bennison taking 2nd place in the B (4.18.9). Charlotte Smith ran 2.54.1 in the A U13 Girls 800m (4th) which was a new PB by over a second alongside team mate Evie Fort who was running in only her second ever competition and her first ever over this distance, placing 4th in 2.57.4. In the U13 Girls 1200m Agatha Taylor ran 4.08.1 in 3rd spot in the A.
For something completely different we trun now to the indefatigble and inspirational Blackburn Harriers Helen Leigh was racing again on the Fells, after having spent the previous two weeks walking and climbing in the Alps, which in terms of preparation is literally amazing and there seems to be no limits to how far she can push herself. Her latest race saw her tackle the Fells at the Belt Up Blencathra – the third race in this years Kong Series with this one being run over a distance of 5 miles and 2500ft of ascent. Robert Jebb won the race in 52.27 with Helen coming home in 14th place overall in a time of 67.48 which gave her the win in the Women’s race. Afterwards, Helen spoke to the Harriers commenting that she “had a little blast up Blencathra last night, legs been feeling pretty flat after smashing them round the alps for 2 weeks so I thought this would be a good way to wake them up again! Tough little race with a quad wrecking descent off Blease. Not a very busy race but first woman and 14th overall ” 24 hours later Helen was recceing Borrowdale for her forthcoming race there!!
Helen Leigh (201)
Back on the Track at Trafford for the latest Grand Prix, Daniel Bebbington dropped down in distance and ran his first 800m race of the year on Tuesday night July 26th – taking the win in Heat 4 clocking 1.58.76. Also running an 800m race was U17 Codie Dewhurst who came 3rd in Heat 8 with a time of 2.04.09. U17 Dexta Thompson ran his first ever 3000m race on the Track, making a good debut over the distance with a clocking of 9.08.34 in 11th spot.