Encouraging start for Junior Track and Field

Harriers Juniors opened their track and field season with a trip to Watford on Sunday 15 April -and couldn’t have chosen a tougher draw than facing a large, strong home team as well as the might of Dacorum and Tring and if that wasn’t enough, Shaftesbury Barnett Harriers, one of the top ranked UK clubs.

Undaunted and showing true resilience, the young green vests displayed grit and determination in a day of mixed weather to come home with a good fourth place finish, earning a provisional 427 points, despite fielding just eleven boys across the three age groups.  More importantly the meet saw some very good early season performances.

It was great to see some of youngest athletes compete in the sprint hurdles, an event the club has worked hard to develop over the past 18 months, however the long cold winter and a busy track have made training for this technical event tricky.  Stand out performances came from U13 Chloe Prosser making her debut, not just in the event but for the club, coming home second in a respectable time of 14.5s despite clattering the third hurdle. U15 debutant Lilly Sillett showed lots of potential and will be one to watch as the season progresses.  Zion Ateba again showed her flair for the event after a smooth run as a first year U15 to finish a strong third in 13.2s.

Following a successful winter season in Cross Country, Milly Presland lead the field in the girls U15 800m and gained a comfortable win in a time of 2:27.5; team mate and non-scorer Grace Rothwell gained herself a PB and almost certainly a position as a scorer at the next meet in a time of 2:42.4.  In the U13 girls Daisy Rickwood ran a very strong race to take second place after an exciting exchange of places over the last 300m which saw her take the lead, only to be pipped in the closing stages. U13 Charlie Parmenter managed to knock two seconds off his 800m PB to claim 3rd place in the A string race whilst newcomer Harrison Leek earned valuable points coming in second place in the B string in a time of 2:45.3.  In the U17 men’s event Thomas Palmer and Chris Smith both finished second in their races.

Olivia Simon claimed her second Club Record in as many weeks despite an intense hour that saw her three best events be timetabled together, leaving her rushing from one end of the field to the other.  Although she felt she had not done herself justice she went on to win the U15 Hammer and Pole Vault – CR of 2.40m and then took third place in the Shot, earning much needed points for the team and ended the day as top team scorer.

After a half hour delay in the U17 Women’s High Jump, Daisy Hilson used her height and spring to the maximum by finishing an encouraging second place with a clearance of 1.50m. For the U15’s Ateba also claimed second and jumped well to clear 1.45m – both girls should easily improve given some consistent warm weather in which to train.

All credit must go to Charlie Palmer the only male U15 Green vest to make an appearance for the team: taking second in the Shot, third in Discus and fourth in Javelin.  Let’s hope he is not so lonely at the next meet!

Over in the Long jump pit U15 girl Georgina Smith showed a return to form following a winter blighted by injury to take first place with a best jump of 4.36m whilst B string team mate Madeleine Claydon also earned full points with 3.89m.  Eliza Betts added 13cm to her previous best to take second place with 4.87m.  Not to be out done Henry Lawes, first year U17, added a healthy 25cm to his PB to take second place with 5.79m.

In the individual sprints, Harriers U17 men showed there is real potential for a strong relay team this year with Lawes, Daniel Jones and Jimi Sijuwola all clocking the exact same time of 11.6s in their respective 100m; Lawes ran confidently to finish 4th in a very fast race that was won in under 11s, whilst Jones took a decent second and a PB, a much needed boost after an injury ridden 2017.  Yet to receive his official transfer Sijuwola ran in a strong non-scoring heat to claim first place and equalling his PB.

For U17 women Megan Stevens clung on in a head to head battle in the 100m to be given the same time but pipped into third place in a time of 13.4s, non-scoring new Harrier Maya Rattray put in a good performance to finish just outside her PB in 13.5s with Ella Gray a solid 4th as B string in a time of 13.8s.

Young Tom Ashley snuck in two PB’s over 100m and 200m showing a lovely relaxed technique for an U13 whilst in the same age category the girls demonstrated that with time they will also have a strong sprint squad with non-scoring Hollie Martin Whymark giving a solid performance to take the second quickest time in 14.6s, unfortunately though a nasty trip on the line in bid to gain herself a massive PB then put an end to her competition day. U15 sprinter Georgina Smith provided excitement in both her races; driving hard to miss out on second place in the 100m by the smallest of margins and equalling her PB of 13.9s, in the 200m she calmly made her way through the field and gained enough ground to be placed a well deserved second on an equal time with the girl in third and with it a PB of 29.2s.

In the 1500m U13 B string runner Emily Mcgill came in ahead of team mate Alice Begg to claim a PB of 6:19.2, with Begg just six seconds behind. For the boys William Long put in a great performance in his first ever meet to take second place and a satisfying time of 5:248 to get him a ranking on Power of Ten. U15 girls saw both Emily Henderson and Missy Buxton claim PB’s in 6:06.5 and 6:33.4 respectively.

As always, the day ended with relays – and with the Essex relay champs coming up, this will be a championship the club will want to enter as many teams as possible.  U13 girls came 4th in 61.4s, U13 boys 3rd in 61.6s, U15 girls 3rd in 55.9s, U17 women 2nd in 53.6s and U17 men 3rd in 49.5s.

With a much larger membership and many making their debuts for the club, earning a place in the girls’ teams will now be harder than ever before – but should, given time allow the club to challenge at a higher level.

The team was completed by:  U13 Girls: Olivia Gillon (100m B string 14.8s , 200m B string 31.0s, relay), Chloe Goddard (800m 3:27.9 pb, Shot B string, 4.31m pb) , Rachel Sale ( 800m B string 2:50.2, shot B string  5.01m, 200m 33.1s, relay), Alice Begg (High Jump 1m pb), Hollie Martin Whymark (70m Hurdles 15.00 pb), Jessica Scotchmer (Long Jump 3.56m pb, 100m 15.4s pb, 200m, 35.8s pb),  Chloe Prosser (Javelin 9.26m) U13 Boys: Noah Papley (100m 15.6s, Long Jump 3.93m, 200m 39.8s pb), Charlie Parmenter (200m 31.5s, 800m 2:41.4 pb, Long Jump 3.20m pb), Harrison Leek 800m 2:45.3, Shot 4.86m pb, Javelin 11.86m), William Long (shot 3.39m pb). U15 Girls: Kayleigh Hale (100m 14.7s, Javelin 19.96m), Madeleine Claydon (75m Hurdles 14.6 pb, 300m 46.9s, Long Jump 3.89m), Missy Buxton (300m 52.00 pb), Rebecca Collins (800m 3.12s, Javelin 7.00m, Shot 3.89m), Emily Henderson (Shot 5.88m pb), Milly Presland (High Jump 1.30m), Mia Farrell (100m 15.00s, shot 6.91m), Lilly Upton (100m 15.3s, 32.8s, Discus 8.95m pb), Maisie Waterson (discus 8.52m, 800m 3:01.0, Javelin 8.75m).Emily Swann (800m 3:07s pb), Anna Ritchie (Discus 10.97m, 200m 30.8s, High Jump 1.15m), Jennifer woods (200m 36.5s), Lilly Sillett (100m 14.1s pb, 75m Hurdles 14.00 pb, Long Jump 3.78m ).  U17 women:  Megan Stevens (200m 28.3s, shot 7.0sm pb, relay), Ella Gray (100m 13.8s, 200m 28.3s, relay), Ebba Patterson (300m 48.4s, 800m 2:50.4), Isabella Minder (300m 51.4s , Long Jump 3.93m), Eliza Betts ( High Jump 1.40m, 100m 14.2s, relay), Daisy Hilson (300m 49.05s pb), Savannah Harrison (long Jump 4.14m, Triple Jump 8.93m, High Jump 1.15m), Hollie Spellar (Shot 5.95m, Discus 10.86m, 200m ?), Jennifer Palmer (300m 47.2s), Maya Rattray (100m 13.5s, 200m 28.1s pb, relay), Mary Olayiwola (300m 47.2s). U17 Men: Henry Lawes (200m 24.3s pb), Henry Lawes (200m 23.4s, Long Jump 4.35m), Thomas Palmer (400m 55.00s, Triple Jump 9.39m) Luke Smith (shot 8.60m pb, Javelin 32.43m pb) Chris Smith (shot 6.50m).

The Next EYAL is Sunday 6th May at St Albans. Transport is available.

The above is based on provisional results. For full details see Power of Ten.