Bright sunshine greeted the seven Teams competing in this years Division 1 West fixture at Witton Park, a day which also saw the naming of The George Kirby Stand in recognition of the contribution made to athletics, both locally and nationally by Blackburn Harriers Club President – Mr George Kirby.
Full Results HERE
The Harriers finished 2nd overall in the Match behind Liverpool with a very tight contest between the other five Clubs and no doubt means that the other three fixtures will be very closely contested. Harriers athletes set fourteen new PB’s at this first fixture which points to a good season ahead.
1 Liverpool Harriers & AC 598 (Match Points ) 7 (League Points)
2 Blackburn Harriers 551 6
3 East Cheshire & Tame. AC 483 5
4 Wirral AC 470 4
5 Wigan & D. Harriers AC 464 3
6 Team Forth Valley 456 2
7 North Wales 428 1
Even though the Club were missing a few athletes, coming 2nd to Liverpool was a very good performance and hopefully sets the scene for a good season. At this first League fixture there were a number of new PB’s set which again augers well for the future.
U20 Morgan Philips set a new PB of 52.7 in the ‘A’ 400m (2nd) as did U20 Joe Howe in the ‘B’ Race with 56.7 for his new personal best. Morgan then made it a double PB with a new one in the ‘B’ 800m (2.03.0) to cut nearly half a second off his 2014 time. Bottom of age Joe Monk weighed in with a 3rd place in the U20 Mens 800m in a time of 2.13.3 – 2 seconds faster than his previous best. Joe Campbell was less than a second outside his 1500 PB finishing 5th in 4.44.1 and went on to win the ‘B’ 3000m in 10.12.5. Joe Monk won the U20 ‘A’ 3000m in a good time of 9.28.3 which was an 11 second new PB whilst Tom Mckee came 2nd in the U17 3000m “A’ with a solid time of 10.15.7. Huzaifa Hanif went in the ‘A’ U17 200m clocking 24.8 (7th) and then set a new PB in the 400m when he finished 2nd in 53.6, nearly a second off his previous best time. Ashley Smith ran in the ‘B’ 400m and came 6th (60.7) and placed 6th in the High Jump with 1.50m.
In the U20 Women’s 400 and 800m Races, Phoebe Howe took 5th in the ‘A’ 400m (66.5) and won the ‘B’ 800m in 2.37.4 to take maximum points along with Katie Buckingham who won the ‘A’ 800m in a time of 2.27.6. Kelsey Rutherford in her first ever 300m posted a 49.5 clocking (6th) and then took 3rd spot in the 800m running a time of 2.54.7. A great Race in the U17 Womens 1500m saw Grace Handley hold off Bethan Strange from Liverpool Harriers by 0.5 of a second winning in 4.55.2. She then doubled up in the 3000m and took maximum points again for the Team winning very comfortably in 10.55.5. After playing a football match in the morning, U17 Olivia Wilson set a new PB in the 800m running 2.38.5 as well as competing in the Javelin finishing 6th with a throw of 19.20m.
Jamie Bamber set a new PB in the U20 400m Hurdles with 67.5, whilst U17 Ross Liddle in his first outing over 100m Hurdles won the ‘A’ Race in 14.8 and then made it a double win with victory in the 400m Hurdles and a new PB of 59.8. Cameron Massey added more win points to the Clubs total setting a new PB in winning the ‘B’ Race in 63.7 and went on to take 6th place in the Shot Putt with 7.78m and added a win in the U20 Discus with a throw of 26.63m.
Morgan Angland landed an impressive Hurdles double, winning the 80mH in 12.6 and then the 300mH in 47.1 in her first ever outing over the distance. She added more points to the Club total after taking 3rd in the ‘A’ Long Jump with 4.95m. Esme Pearse made it a double/double in the Hurdles winning the ‘B’ 80H (15.1) and ‘B’ 300mH (56.4) as well as taking 2nd spot in the High Jump with a jump of 1.40m. Polly Pearse finished 3rd in the U20 100m Hurdles (18.3) and Katie Buckingham 2nd in the 400m Hurdles (69.4) to add good points to the Team total. Joe Pearse comfortably took the U20 ‘A’ High Jump with a winning leap of 2.00m and made it a winning double by taking the ‘A’ Long Jump (6.24m) added a 6th placed throw of 34.83m in the ‘A’ U20 Discus.
U17 Jacob Roberts won the Hammer with another new PB of 51.13m and attained the qualifying standard for English Schools. The Throw also puts Jacob in 12th place in the National Rankings. Connor Davison took good points with 4th in the Discus (26.24m), 7th in the Javelin (28.54m) and 2nd in the Shot Putt (11.10m) and a new PB. Rebecca Orrell won the U20 Womens Hammer ‘A’ with 40.04m and now stands in 10th place in the National Rankings. She then took a 4th place in the ‘A’ Javelin with 20.40m whilst Jane Saothong won the ‘B’ with a throw of 17.65m. The two of them added points for the Team in the Shot putt with Rebecca in 4th (8.34m) and Jane 4th in the ‘B’ (5.34m). Esme Pearse made it a double/double winning the ‘B’ Race in the 80m (15.1) and 300m Hurdles (56.4). Brothers – Sam and Oliver Pearson-Moore competed in the U20 Javelin with Sam finishing 4th in the ‘A” (33.78m and Oliver also 4th in the ‘B’ 28.70m.
In the Sprints – Libby Bonis – competing for Blackburn as a 2nd Claim athlete took a very good 2nd place in 13.1sec in the ‘A’ U17 Womens Race and backed that up with a 4th spot in the 200m (27.6). Amber Swinnerton took 6th spot in the U20 Womens 100m (14.2) and Phoebe Howe came 2nd in the ‘B’ Race (14.4). Archie Braysford took 2nd place in the U17 ‘A’ 100m in 11.6 with Hanzala Hanif running 12.9 (6th) in the ‘B’. Hanzala also picked up points in the Long Jump 6th with a jump of 4.94m and a new PB.
Triple Jumper Ben Aspinall had a cracking day setting a new PB of 14.03m which is a fantastic performance and takes him to 11th in the National Rankings. Both Ben and Jacob helped the Team out by taking on the 100m with Ben placing 5th in 12.0sec and Jacob in the ‘B’ Race 4th in 12.5sec – who said Throwers can’t move quick!! Two other athletes weighed in to help the Team in the absence of other sprinters. Joe Howe ran 26.2 in the U20 200m ‘A’ and Marco Maggio 26.6 in the ‘B’ Race. Joe completed a tough day by winning the 2000m Steeplchase in 6.56.1 and running a Leg of the 4 x 400m Relay Team which was a whisker away from winning. Marco tackled his first ever competitive 1500m Race and took 2nd place in 4.50.1.
The day ended with another cracking performance by the Womens U20 4 x 400m Relay Team winning from North Wales in 4.21.9. Katie Buckingham got off to a flier with Polly Pearse and Phoebe Howe running really good legs, but as they came to the last leg Grace Handley took off in 2nd place but worked really hard to claw the North Wales athlete back and win the Race. In the Mens U20 4 x 400m Relay, the Harriers were pipped on the line by Liverpool who took the Race by four tenths of a second after an heroic run by Joe Pearse on the last leg.