After winning Division 2 with four straight wins and then being victorious in the Promotion Match at Doncaster in 2013, the Club was eager to get its Division One campaign underway at Hull on Sunday May 4th. But sometimes it doesn’t go your way and with a combination of work commitments, injuries, studying for exams and the BUCS, it was a much depleted Team that ventured North. But that didn’t dampen the spirit, as one of our Senior Throwers Tony Balko said “Big well done to all the Blackburn Harriers team at the first meet in the North of England Athletics League Division 1, a scratch team, but everyone gave 100%”.

Full Results HERE

Eight PB’s were set on the day including a cracking run from Oliver Aspden who ran 56.0sec for the 400 Hurdles which is just 0.5 secs off the Club Record held by Richard Demming (55.5) set at Crystal Palace in 1972. In an interesting aside, Oliver’s Coach – Bob Groves – has a PB of 55.6, so the next training session might be interesting!

Senior Dominic Bretherton, U17 Gareth Johnson, bottom of age U20 Jake Almond and U20 Paul Coffey took on the Sprints. Dominic set a PB in the 100m with 11.6, Gareth also set a PB in the ‘B’ Race of 12.0sec. Paul  was just a tenth of a second of his PB in the 200m posting 23.7sec and Jake ran 24.2 in the ‘B’ 200m. In the non-scoring 100m, Paul set a new PB of 11.4 as did Jake with 11.5.

The ever reliable Phoebe Howe ran 30.3 in the 200 and then set a season’s best in the 800m ‘A’ Race  (2.37.8).  Sarah Henton ran 33.8 in the ‘B’ 200m to add to all the points she stacked up in the Throws events. She won the Discus (46.86m); threw 11.03m in the Shot; 29.08m in the Hammer and 32.75m in the Javelin. It is worth stating here that Sarah is a V40 and currently 1st in the National Rankings in her Age Category by eleven metres and 5th overall, which is fabulous achievement.

Some athletes were competing for the first time this year and one of them was Michael Carr, a really great Club man who took on the 400m (59.5) and the 400m Hurdles (68.3) in a double to help the Team. U17 Gareth Johnson, another who hasn’t competed this year took on four events, going out of his comfort zone by tackling the 400m (63.2), then jumped 4.68m in the Long Jump and finished off with a PB in the Triple Jump of 9.48m.

Jack Lonsdale and Joseph Howe took on the 800m/1500m double with Jack posting 2.05.6 in the 800m ‘A’ and Joseph getting a well deserved PB in the ‘B’ Race (2.06.5.) which was a huge three and half second reduction. In the 1500m Joseph went even better cutting over six seconds of his PB to set a new one of 4.23.5.  Jack ran 4.33.5 in the ‘B’ Race.

Bottom of age U17 Grace Handley got stuck in to help the team running the 1500/3000m double, where she won the ” Race in 10.49.4 and then feeling the effects of that ran in the 1500m (5.15.0). Highlight of the day could well be the 5000m. With all of our best endurance runners not able to make the fixture, Team Manager Richard Taylor (V45) (21.54.3) and John Chaplin (V55) (18.51.3) who was also officiating on the day, took on the mantle in an outstanding display of commitment to the Team’s cause.

Bottom of age U20 Ben Aspinall took on three events, setting a season’s best in the High Jump (1.65m); jumped 5.45m in the High Jump and rounded it off with a 2nd place 12.52 in the Triple Jump. Olivia Brooks and Jane Saothong also U17’s made good contributions with Olivia jumping 1.48m in the High Jump and 4.62m in the Long Jump – Jane was below her best in the Long Jump with 3.45m but made up for it with a PB in the Triple Jump of 7.84m.

There were three season’s best for Rebecca Orrell in the Shot with 7.13m; Discus 25.47 and Hammer 38.25m. Rebecca is currently in 8th place in the National Rankings using the Senior Weight (4kg) and 12th with the 3kg.

Tony Balko took on all four Throws in his first competition this year with solid performances all round. He threw 29.08m in the Hammer; 28.91m in the Discus; 9.25m in the Shot and finished off with 29.30m in the Javelin. Corrie Shorrock who has spent all year playing Rugby and hasn’t trained, also turned out for the first time this season and set a PB in the Hammer (17.61m); threw 22.24m in the Discus, 20.22m in the Javelin and 9.69m in the Shot.

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