Longford Stadium at Trafford hosted the latest Grand Prix and BMC Series of races on Tuesday August 23rd which proved to be a pretty good night for Blackburn Harriers athletes – but not – such a good night for the Club photographer who managed to make a hash of the later photos as the evening got darker!

Grand Prix Results  —  BMC Results

The evening got off to a great start for first year U15 Sam Aspey in the opening Grand Prix 800m race. Going in with a best of 2.11.36 Sam set himself another new PB of 2.09.91 – an improvement of a second and a half and a full 10 seconds since the start of the season. U20 Matt Ramsden and U23 Joe Gebbie went in Race 4 featuring 8 athletes with just over three tenths separating the first five athletes. Matt set himself a new PB of 1.54.43 in finishing 2nd whilst Joe who had clocked 1.57.01 at Leeds BMC the previous Monday – (RESULTS) – came home in 6th position with a new PB of 1.55.02. Race 5 in the 800m saw U20 David Holman and U17 Dexta Thompson also setting big new personal bests – David running from the front and taking the win in a new PB time of 1.53.98, an improvement of close to four and half seconds whilst Dexta who had lined up with a best of 2.00.30 finished in 3rd spot with a new PB of 1.55.19 – over five seconds better than his previous best time. U20 Hayden Mercer had a solid run in Race 7 clocking 2.03.66 in 6th place. U17 Codie Dewhurst was next up in Race 8, having just come back off holiday and had a solid run, clocking 2.06.0 in 4th. Race 9 saw Abigail Stratton on the start line with Keira Haxton in race 10 – Abigail won her race in a new PB time of 2.12.71 as Keira took 3rd position her Race running 2.27.56.

Sam Aspey (129)

Matt Ramsden (101)

Joe Gebbie (72)

David Holman (25) – Dexta Thompson (27)

Hayden Mercer (53)

Codie Dewhurst (18)

Abigail Stratton (1)

Keira Haxton (82)

On to the 1500m races with U17’s Daniel Smith and Jack Lamb going in Race 2 – Daniel setting a new PB with a pretty fast finish down the home straight to place 3rd in 4.18.12 with Jack just a second outside his best in 5th spot clocking 4.22.73 – this being Jack’s first season on the Track. Race 3 and it was U17 Isabel Holt coming home in 4th place after a battle with Leeds Zoe Hunter clocking a new PB of 4.42.04. U17 Evie Taylor also set herself a new PB in Race 4 by well over a second, finishing in 3rd spot with a time of 5.05.18. Two Heats in the 3000m with V40 Ben Fish and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh. Ben went in Heat 1 and was up against Owen Miller who won the Paralympic Tokyo Games 1500m in 2021 (3.54.57). The race quickly turned into a battle between the two of them – Miller taking the win in 8.31.16 with Ben placing 2nd in a seasons best time of 8.34.50 taking him into 4th place in the V40 National Rankings. Ellen Sagar-Hesketh took on the 3000m in the second Heat running 11.13.50 (9th). It is worth commenting here that 21 years ago in August 2001, Ben Fish as an U20 ran a seasons best time of 8.41.54 for the 3000m at the BMC races at Trafford – and here he was again last night – running seven seconds quicker 21 years later to the month. An incredible athlete.

Jack Lamb (2nd from left and Daniel Smith 3rd from left)

Isabel Holt (2nd from left)

Ben Fish (11)

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (33)

On to the BMC races which had Daniel Bebbington over 800m with Luke Betts and Tim Raynes over 1500m. Daniel had run at Leeds BMC the previous week and clocked 1.50.75 – (RESULTS). Lining up with a best time of 1.49.99 the pace maker ran the first 200m insanely fast in 24 seconds which, however, seemed to pay off as six of the athletes all clocked new personal bests – Ethan Hussey among them in winning (1.46.61) with Daniel setting a new PB by almost a full second of 1.49.01 in 5th place with a trademark fast finish. Something similar in the 1500m B Race where the winner Raif Serif clocked a new best time of 3.50.21 with seven of the athletes setting new personal best times – Luke finishing in 7th with a seasons best of 3.55.47 and Tim in 9th knocking over a second off his previous best to set a new PB of 3.56.12.

Daniel Bebbington (centre)

Tim Raynes (472)

A number of U17 athletes from Blackburn Harriers will be competing at the National Championships this coming weekend and among them Kara Dacosta who was entered into the North West Combined Events Championships which took place at Wavertree on the weekend of August 20/21st – (RESULTS).

Competing in the U17 Women’s Heptathlon – her first time in an Heptathlon – Kara placed 7th overall with a combined points total of 3618 – Blackburn Harriers U17 Women’s Club Record being held by Olympian Holly Bradshaw who posted 3998 points 14 years ago in 2008. Contesting seven events over the two days, Kara posted a time of 26.83 (2nd) in the 200m; 13.56 (4th) in the 80m Hurdles which was her first ever attempt at the events; cleared 1.56m (3rd) in the High Jump; jumped 3.98m (11th) in the Long Jump and the first time she has done the vent since being an U13; threw 6.18m (12th) in the Shot Putt, only her second attempt at this discipline; in only her second ever competition with a Javelin threw 19.54m (10th) and finished off with a time of 2.27.58 (4th) in the 800m having last run the distance in 2020.

A week ago on Callum Davidson ran in the Asics Home Countries 5k in Cardiff on Saturday August 20th – (RESULTS) – running 14.53 in 25th place –  the race being won by Jake Smith in 14.05, Leeds athlete Richard Allen in 2nd (14.09) and US based athlete Callum Elson in 3rd (14.10).