2016 European Championships
British Champion and Record Holder – Sophie Hitchon – was mixing it with some of the best Hammer Throwers in the world at the European Championships in Amsterdam. Showing great consistency in her Throws, Sophie posted consecutive distances of 70.91m – 71.74m – 71.33m – 70.03m – 71.59m – 71.41m. Coming away from the Championships in 4th place, Sophie spoke to the Club telling us she was “Pleased with my performance and had a good series. Its a good building block for Rio”
After finishing 3rd in the British Championships at Birmingham recently, Alison Leonard was selected to run for GB at the European Championships in the 800m. In her Heat, Alison qualified in a time of 2.03.64 and moved through to the Semi-Final where she improved her time running 2.02.31 in 3rd place, just a tenth of a second off qualifying for the Final. Alison told the Club after the Semi’s “I’m disappointed with the result of my semi final and not getting to race again tonight but I put myself in the right places and fought to the line, so I’m not disappointed in myself”.
2016 English Schools Championships at Gateshead
Blackburn Harriers had six athletes qualifying for the English Schools Championships at Gateshead – Jacob Roberts (Hammer) – Charlotte Williams (Hammer) – Alex Bernstein (Hammer) – Rebecca Orrell (Hammer) – Ross Liddle (400m Hurdles) – Eloise Liitlefair (Shot Putt) all of whom, worked hard to get their selection and just as hard at the Championships themselves. It should also be noted the contribution of the Throws Coaches in getting these young athletes to the level they are at – Mick Hitchon and Jim Kerrigan both of whom have invested a huge amount of time with their athletes.
Second in the National Rankings, Jacob Roberts competed in the Intermediate Boys Hammer along with thirteen other Throwers and finished in Silver Medal position with a throw of 65.34m – RESULTS – which was a National Standard qualifying distance. Great season for Jacob so far with more to come and commented that he had a “Brilliant time in Gateshead at English Schools representing Lancashire in the intermediate boys hammer comp. Good comp came 2nd place silver medal and secured my place on England team for comp next week at Kent. Thanks for all who supported me most appreciated”.
Alex Berstein who has been raising his distances throughout the season competed in the 15 strong Junior Boys Hammer Final and threw a new PB by over two metres – RESULTS – finishing 11th with an English Schools standard of 42.69m. Setting a new personal best in a Final is always something to be treasured. Alex told the Club “I was really pleased to get to the English Schools final representing Lancashire, as it was my first year in the u15 Hammer. On the day I was well supported by members of the Lancashire team, but in particular my Blackburn Team mates: Jacob, Becky and Charlotte. A special thanks to Mick Hitchon and Neal Roberts who have helped my development this year”. When the competition started I enjoyed the atmosphere and felt confident. I managed to throw a PB of 42.69m which has taken me to 14 in the rankings. I would encourage all junior athletes at our club to try their very best and aim high.”
Charlotte Williams competed in the Junior Girls Hammer where there were 14 other competitors involved in a straight Final. Charlotte took the second Silver Medal for Blackburn Harriers on the day with a throw of 51.97m – RESULTS – and attained like Jacob, a National Standard qualifying distance. She is also currently 2nd in the National Rankings and another athlete who has reaped the results of very hard work.
In the Senior Girls Hammer, Rebecca Orrell was competing at her last English Schools, having made the Final again with a throw of 43.09 – RESULTS – In the Final, featuring 12 athletes, Rebecca came in 10th with an increased throw of 43.95m. Rebecca reflected on her English Schools experiences over the last four years saying “At my final year of going to English Schools I qualified for the final and threw 43.95 and came 10th in England. I have really enjoyed the four years experience and looking forward to bigger and better things”
Ross Liddle was having his first experience of competing at the Championships and ran in the 400m Hurdles of which there were two Heats of five athletes in each. Ross ran in Heat (1) finishing 5th in 57.77 – RESULTS – He didn’t make the Final and commented to the Club that “It wasn’t a great race for me but I loved the experience and the opportunity! It was good to race against the top guys in the country (1 and 2 in my heat) and it gave me a bit of a shock!”
Eloise Littlefair was selected for the Junior Girls Shot Putt and is in pretty good form having broken her own Club record already this year and securing 4 wins and 2 second places out of the 6 Shot Putt competitions she has entered prior to English Schools.She is also at number 10 in the National Rankings. In the Final she threw a distance of 11.06m – RESULTS – for a very solid 8th place overall.
(A blast from the past when the English Schools was held at Witton Park)