Brilliant sunshine greeted the athletes at the first fixture of this years Northern League Division 2WC at Witton Park.The Club went into the fixture with quite a lot of athletes missing but still managed to secure athletes to compete in every event which was a huge plus. Special mention to the ‘new and the old’ team of Tony Balko and Anthony Kent along with Anna Peers who took on all of the Senior throws and to some of the sprinters and hurdlers who were stepping up to this level of competition for the first time. Similarly in the endurance events with first appearances on the track for Ben Costello in the 5000m, Joe Gebbie in the 800m, Sam Hodkinson in the 4 x 400m. Bailey Madden, Millie Coy, Jonathan Gough, Chris Brand, Macy Howarth, Liberty Thompson and Aysha Karolia also making their debuts in the Senior League. Great also to see a return to Northern league competition for Paul Bradshaw who had made the trip from Cardiff in order to compete.
(L-R Millie Coy – Solomon Brown – Bailey Madden – Dom Bretherton – Brandon Zinyemba – Old Geezer – Ramzi Dabbar (BBH Sprint Coach) – Charlie Coy – Teigan Fawcett)
Hammer, Long Jump and Pole Vault are always the first events of the day in the Northern League which saw Macy Howarth pick up points in this event, clearing 1.80m for 2nd place in the ‘A’. Bailey Madden – 4th in the ‘A’ with 4.67m and Chloe Bleeks – 2nd in the ‘B’ with 4.57m teamed up in the Long Jump to set new PB’s. Tony Balko won the ‘A’ Hammer (7.26kg) with a new PB of 35.80m – all three events and performances helping to set the tone for the Club for the rest of the day.
The Track programme got under way with Long Hurdles which saw Millie Coy and Aysha Karolia taking on the event for the first ever time – Millie placing 3rd in the ‘A’ (68.6) and Aysha bravely 6th in the ‘B’ (76.8). The Men’s 400m Hurdles saw Solomon Brown and Nick Smith pick up maximum points by winning ‘A’ and ‘B’ races – Solomon 1st in 59.9 a new massive PB by nearly five seconds and 1st for Nick in 61.3 – his first ever attempt at the event. In the Sprint Hurdles Chloe Bleeks clocked 17.7 in the ‘A’ 100m Hurdles for 4th place – a new PB by two seconds – with Nicholas Smith (4th) in the ‘A’ 110m Hurdles in 20.1 and John iLunga 3rd in the ‘B’ Race in 20.0.
Dominic Bretherton equaled his personal best in the ‘B’ 100m in 2nd place (11.2) and set a new PB in the 200m ‘A’ race of 23.00 (4th). Brandon Zinyemba took 2nd spot in the ‘A’ 100m in 11.2 which also equaled his best time and took 2nd in the ‘B’ 200m in 22.6 – a big new PB by four tenths. Bailey Madden set two new PB’s in the Sprints with a 2nd placed 12.7 in the ‘A’ 100, repeating that in the ‘B’ (2nd) in 26.00 – a new PB by half a second. Chloe Bleeks equaled her best time in the ‘B’ 100m (3rd) clocking 13.3 as Charlie Coy knocked a tenth off her 200m time setting a new PB of 27.4 in the ‘B’ 200m (3rd). Charlie then ran 61.6 in the ‘A’ 400m for 4th spot as Hannah Cookson, showing a return to form placed 4th in the ‘B’ race with 66.2. Great to see ‘Braddy’ (Paul Bradshaw) back on the track in the 400m taking 3rd spot in the ‘A’ in 52.7 with Bradley Meikleham posting a new PB in the ‘B’ Race (57.5).
The high temperatures made it tough going in the longer races. In the 800m Tim Raynes took on the ‘A’ race and knocked two seconds of he best to set a new PB of 2.02.7 in 4th place with Joe Gebbie in his debut in the Senior League also placing 4th in the ‘B’ with 2.05.8. Tim doubled up in the 1500m and finished 3rd in the ‘A’ race with 4.08.1 as Karl Billington won the ‘B’ in 4.26.2 to gain valuable points for the team. Chris Davies (3rd in the ‘A’) and Paul Bradshaw (2nd in the ‘B’) teamed up in the 300m Steeplechase posting respective times of 10.56.6 and 11.11.3 whilst in the 5000m Ben Fish and Ben Costello took maximum points with Ben Fish winning the ‘A’ in 15.18.5 and Ben Costello on his track debut winning the ‘B’ in 16.11.0.
A number of the athletes had run London recently and were recovering from that experience in the heat – Chris Davies, Ben Fish – as was Joanne Nelson who won the ‘A’ 3000m in a time of 11.01.1 and backed up by Carmen Byrne in the ‘B’ (2nd) in 11.58.2 after setting off like a rocket to post 72 seconds for the first lap! Freya Black made her debut in the Senior League and set a new PB by four seconds as she finished 4th in the ‘A’ race in 2.27.6 with Hannah Cookson running a very solid time of 2.30.1 for 4th place. Maddie Elliott ran a very good race as she battled it out with Katie Oakley to push on in the last lap and win the ‘A’ 1500m in 4.55.1.
After winning the ‘A’ Hammer, Tony Balko went on to win the ‘B’ Discus with a throw of 30.71m as debutant Anthony Kent opened his Senior League career by winning the ‘A’ with 35.31m and a new PB by over two metres. On to the Shot Putt where Anthony Kent set another new PB of 11.51m in 2nd place with Tony Balko also taking 2nd spot in the ‘B’ with a seasons best throw of 9.67m. Tony then won the ‘B’ Javelin with a distance of 31.52m as Anthony placed 5th in the ‘A’ with 32.26m. Anna Peers kept the points tally for the team on the move as she placed 3rd in the Hammer ‘A’ (27.00m), won the ‘A’ Discus with a throw of 36.64m and then won the ‘A’ Javelin with a seasons best throw of 37.76m, finishing her day off with a 2nd in the ‘A’ Shot (10.26m). Supporting Anna in the ‘B’ Throws were Teigan Fawcett who won the ‘B’ Discus with 19.56m, Millie Coy winning the ‘B’ Javelin with 29.65m – her first time ever throw with the Senior weight and Abigail Brown – 3rd in the Shot Putt with 6.79m. A great contribution of points won by the Teams throwers which helped considerably to the eventual win on the day for the Harriers.
Yet another young athlete making their debut in the Senior League was Jonathan Gough who leapt to a new PB of 11.75m in the ‘A’ Triple Jump in 3rd place with John iLunga who had come into the competition having been ill all week, in 4th spot in the ‘B’ (10.04m). Sprinter Brandon Zinyemba took on the Long Jump for the first ever time and leapt out to 5.60m for 3rd place in the ‘A’ with Nicholas Massey in 2nd place in the ‘B’ (4.94m). The High Jump saw Nicholas Smith who hasn’t high jumped for two years, take 2nd spot in the ‘A’ with a clearance of 1.55m as John iLunga also took 2nd in the ‘B’ (1.50m). Macy Howarth took on the Triple Jump for the first time and posted a jump of 8.37m in 6th spot as Teigan Fawcett – 5th in the ‘A’ High Jump with 1.35m and Liberty Thompson – 3rd in the ‘B’ with 1.35m completed the Jumps events for the day.
Rounding off the day were the Relays an event which usually ends up with all the athletes screaming themselves hoarse as their teams battle it out with each other over the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m. Cracking perforamnces by the teams on the day tinged with some disappointment for the Harriers as they won the Men’s 4 x 100m with Dominic Bretherton, Chris Brand, Nick Massey and Brandon Zimyemba only to be disqualified for running out of the box on handover 3. In the Women’s Relays, the team – Baily Madden, Chloe Bleeks, Teigan Fawcett – Millie Coy – came 2nd in the 4 x 100m in a time of 51.6 and 2nd too in the 4 x 400m – Hannah Cookson – Maddie Elliott – Freya Black – Charlie Coy in a time of 4.16.2. The Men also took 2nd spot in the 4 x 400m Relay clocking 3.36.6.
Astley Park Trail Race – Wednesday May 2nd
First race of the Series this year saw one hundred and twenty five athletes complete the Senior Race with the Harriers taking three of the first five places and winning the Team prize on the night.
A great run from Josh Holgate saw him cross the finish line in 2nd spot with a time of 24.58 with V40 Mat Nuttall in 3nd place and 2nd V40 with 25.29 and V40 Chris Davies in 5th clocking 25.47. Next home came Paul Guinan in 11th with a time of 26.49 followed by Allan Hartley in 55th (33.32), Michael Nolan in 75th (35.14) and Lorna Sharp (96th) in a time of 38.48.
Nearly as many contested the Junior race with one hundred and eighteen youngsters turning out with seven for the Harriers among them.
Oliver Gill led the Harriers home in 21st position and 2nd in the M10 age Category with a time of 6.03 with Codie Dewhurst in 26th in a time of 6.08 and 2nd in the M11 category. What a great run too from 8yr old William Grundy who won his age category and came 41st overall in 6.24, followed by Harry Sambrook – 9th in the M11 ‘s clocking 6.37. In the F9 age category, Hannah Davies came 2nd in 6.56 and 72nd overall with Isabelle Hartley – 4th in the F11’s – 74th overall in 7.00 and Lulu Sharp – 3rd in the F8’s, 98th overall running a time of 8.03.
Gt. Hambledon Hill Race – Sunday May 6th
Two hundred and twenty eight runners on a red hot day took on this race won by Michael Malyon in a time of 40.15. Five Blackburn Harriers were out in the sun having a go at this one.
(Gt. Hambledon Photos courtesy of David Belshaw & Richard Marchant)
Great run from Thomas Marchant finishing 7th overall in a time of 44.18, taking the 1st Junior Man’s prize too. V50 Gary Pearse was next home for the Club in 46th position (50.29) with V40 Paul Whittaker in 134th spot clocking a time of 61.30 and Richard Taylor (V50) in 159th place in a time of 66.02.
The Gt. Hameldon Hill Junior Races were also run – featuring three age categories of U7/U9 – U11/U13 – U15/U17.
The Harriers athletes – Codie Dewhurst, Daniel Smith, Saul Sharp, Oliver Gill, Felix Thompson, Theo Robinson, Libby Neal and Tippi Francis all ran in the U11/U13 Race.
Codie Dewhurst is coming on leaps and bounds and showed it again today finishing 3rd overall and 2nd M13 in 11.16. Next through the line came Daniel Smith (4th in the M13’s), 6th overall and clocking 11.48. In sixth place in the M13 category and 9th overall came Saul Sharp in a time of 11.53 with Oliver Gill in 18th overall and 10th M13 (12.23).
First M11 home for the Harriers was Felix Thompson – 26th overall and 10th M11 in a time of 13.06, followed by Theo Robinson (16th M11) and 32nd overall clocking 13.18. F13 Libby Neal took 46th spot overall and 8th F13 in a time of 14.26 with F11 Tippi Francis placing in 69th position overall, 10th F11 running a time of 16.26.