It was Sophie Hitchon against the USA in Jamaica at the weekend when she competed at one of the IAAF Challenge Meetings at the Jamaica Invitational International on May 7th with all her competitors coming from the States.
Sophie came 3rd in this, her first competition of the Olympic year with a throw of 70.65m, a throw which was a mere 40cms short of 2nd place – the winner, Gwen Berry reaching a distance of 73.82m. Commenting after the event Sophie told the Club “Training has been going well so was a little disappointed with the result but its good to get the first competition out of the way and it was better than last year. There are things that i need to work on but you learn from each one so now its just focusing on my next competition”.
Zac Howe was selected to run for his University – Cambridge – in The Varsity Match, ‘The event that CUAC has spent the year building towards, where Cambridge takes on Oxford in the men’s and women’s blues & 2nd team matches’.
Zac had a great race, knocking two and half seconds off his 800m PB to set a new mark of 1.51 when he competed for Cambridge against Oxford on Saturday May 7th and was, as you can imagine, over the moon with his performance. His comments about the race are exhilarating and have that ‘take you there’ feel to them. He told the Club “I honestly have no idea where it came from, I’d front-run an 800 a couple of weeks ago and felt like there was nothing more in the legs. The leader from Oxford went fast through 400 and opened up a small gap at which point I started to chase him down. He’d opened up a 10m gap by 500m. These tactics were unexpected, we thought that Cambridge would be controlling the pace, we’d spent so long discussing how the race might go and it all went out the window. Now it was just about running. I managed to reel him in with 120m to go and went straight past him coming onto the home straight. Then I just grit my teeth to the finish. I couldn’t quite believe it when I crossed the line first, I had wanted to win so much but didn’t think it could actually happen with the slowest PB in the field. The first thing I had to do then was to give my mum a ring, she’d been the one who had got me round. It gives me so much confidence for the rest of the season, I’m really looking forward to getting my blackburn vest on for the sheffield fixture. Sorry for the ramble, hopefully there’s something quotable there. 1st place Zac Howe (Cambridge) 1:51.1, 2nd place Louis Rawlings (Oxford) 1:52.6, 3rd place Hugo Fleming (Oxford) 1:53.1, 4th place Seb Cheli (Cambridge) 1:53.4″.
First fixture of this years Northern League at Wakefield was held in bright sunshine, a positive change from the cold and rain that has dominated the opening of this years T & F Season. Division One is a tough one with Sheffield, Wakefield, Hull, West Cheshire and Preston to compete against. The Harriers squad was severely depleted for the opening Match, but the spirit of the athletes was first class as many athletes took on events which put them outside their comfort zone.
Ross Liddle had a very good day setting a new PB when winning the 400m Hurdles by over two seconds in a time of 56.9 and then went on to the flat 400m, cutting over a second off his previous best to set a second new PB on the day with a 4th placed 53.00.Tim Raynes put in a great result in the 5000m, only the second time he has ever run the distance on the Track. Not only did he win the ‘A’ race, but his winning time of 15.42.2 was a new PB by a massive 45 seconds. Karl Billington took 2nd place in the ‘B’ in 17.32.8. Joe Monk took on the 800m and 1500m double in the absence of our specialist athletes at those distances and did himself no end of credit by setting a new PB in the 800m by over a second (2.07.6) and then ran 4.26.4 in the 1500m. Andy Buttery (V45) also ran a good race in the ‘B’ 1500 with a time of 4.34.0 a time which takes him to 10th in the National V45 rankings.
Joe Howe continued where he left off last season by comfortably winning the 3000m Steeplechase in a time 10.41.2 and adding to that, a 3rd placed 2.05.9 in the ‘B’ 800m and a 59.5 in the ‘B’ 400m. Katie Buckingham and Phoebe Howe, as always, threw themselves into a whole number of events to help the team out. Katie contested the 200m (30.9) – 400m (69.4) – 800m (2.33.9) as well as the 400m Hurdles and Discus. Phoebe ran the 200m (30.3) – 400m (69.9) – 400m Hurdles (81.4). Maddie Elliott (U17) was also helping out the Team at the last minute, filling in for athletes not available on the day; And what a day she had. There she was, on the line in the 1500m next to Helen Clitheroe, a European Champion which inspired her to a new PB by a second and a half of 4.58.5 and second place. Then she went and won the ‘B’ 800m in another good time of 2.28.7. W hat a great day for this talented young athlete.
Rachel Jones and Christina Singleton teamed up for the 3000m, won by Helen Clitheroe which produced a 2nd placed 10.48.4 for Rachel and a win in the ‘B’ for Christina in her first race for the Harriers on the Track with a time of 10.49.3. Morgan Angland and Polly Pearse were also having a good day. Morgan in only her second 100m Hurdle race cut nearly three seconds off her first attempt two weeks ago (19.2) when she placed 2nd in a new PB time of 16.4 and came off the track with a smile a mile wide!! She also ran the 100m (13.6) and cleared 4.39m in the Long Jump. Polly set a new PB in the Triple Jump with a distance of 9.90m and just missed PB’s in the 100m Hurdles where she was 2nd in 16.8 and in the Long Jump clearing 4.61m, just 4 cm shy of her previous best.
There was another great effort by Rebecca Orrell who along with Olivia Wilson carried the Throws for the Women’s Team on the day. Rebecca took on all four throws with distances of 8.52m in the Shot Putt – came 3rd in the Hammer with 44.53m, threw 24.07 in the Discus and 18.95 in the Javelin as well as doing a leg of the 4 x 100m Relay. U17 Olivia reached 19.69m with the Javelin and 5.51m in the Shot Putt and like Rebecca ran a leg of the 4 x 100m Relay. In the Men’s Throws it was Tony Balko, Simon Brown, Connor Davison and Jack Vickery who covered all the events. A return to competition saw Jack go in the Hammer ‘A’ with 39.80m backed up by Tony in the ‘B’ with 31.13m. In the Discus it was Simon placing 2nd in the ‘A’ (38.88m) and Tony with 26.47m in the ‘B’ (5th) whilst in the Javelin it was Tony in the ‘A’ (5th) with 29.90m and Connor with a 4th placed 29.41m in the ‘B’. Back to Simon in the Shot Putt – 4th in the ‘A’ with a throw of 11.15m and 4th too for Tony (9.19m). Exemplifying real team spirit, Tony then volunteered to run the ‘B’ 200m, running 30.6.
The two ‘J’s’ certainly weighed in for the team. Jamie Vickery (who came up from London to compete) ran the 100m (11.8), the 200m (23.7), 110m Hurdles (19.6) and took on the Pole Vault jumping 2.10m. John iLunga had never done the Triple Jump before but cleared 10.21m, jumped 1.55m in the High Jump and 4.68m in the Long Jump.