Outstanding results from County Track and Field Championships.
Day One of the County Champs (Saturday 12 May) lived up to its usual reputation of providing crazy weather conditions; bright, sunny and warm, swiftly turning chilly, breezy and wet. Another trend has seen a steady decline in the number of competitors with many races now being run as a straight final. How brilliant, it was then to see so many green vests competing – the commentator even announced that it looked like there was a take-over bid by the Harriers!
Olivia Simon kicked the day off with another example of her burgeoning talent by becoming Essex Champion in the U15 girls Hammer with a winning throw of 31.88m -despite being disappointed with the distance she was delighted to bring home her first Championship medal in this event. Making the journey from Nottingham University, Philippa Davenall followed close behind in the senior ladies by becoming the second Harrier Champ of the meet with a throw of 55.24m her second podium placing in the space of a week having taken bronze in the prestigious BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) at Bedford on Saturday 5 May.
First year U17 Isabella Minder competed in the Long Jump and achieved close to her PB with a leap of 3.70m. Jess Scotchmer missed out on her U13 girl’s final by an agonising few centimetres but did claim a new PB with 3.72m
Despite the conditions it turned out to be a great day for Harriers sprinters too with the day ending with two county champions, one silver, and three bronze medalists. In U13 Girls, three girls lined up for their heats; Hollie Martyn-Whymark, Jessica Scotchmer, and Olivia Gillon.
The U17 Girls saw Ella Gray, Daniella O’ Leary and Maya Rattray all go head to head in the second heat; having just competed in the U17 Long Jump Rattray did very well to place second, gaining an automatic place in the final in a time of 13.4s, Gray and O’Leary also qualified as fastest losers in times of 13.73s and 14.00 respectively into a strong -3.7 wind. In a tough final which saw the girls drawn against the reigning English Champion – they each ran well, with Rattray’s consistent improvement of form this season she bagged herself a well-deserved bronze. Gray took 6th place.
Henry Lawes and Joe Clarke – in his first ever championship – were both drawn in the first heat of the U17 men’s 100, with Lawes coming through in fourth position, whilst in heat two Jimi Sijuwola held on well to take second. Both Lawes and Sijuwola recording 12.01s and progressed to their final just an hour later. After a false start which saw an athlete disqualified, both athletes settled well, Lawes in lane 7 had a flying start to gain the advantage and despite Sijuwola gaining up ground from the inside lane, Lawes snatched a pleasing bronze place in 11.57s.
Not to be outdone, the U20 women also fielded three athletes: first up was Joy Ogunleye, last year’s U17 Champion over the same distance – a very comfy win in her heat took her straight through. Next in the blocks were Rebecca Jeggo and Caitlin O’Reilly – both comfortably got the job done and all three went through to an exciting final which saw Jeggo and Ogunleye neck and neck for most of the race… and a finish that kept the photo finish judges busy for a while too long for everyone’s nerves – Jeggo eventually was given first in 12.16s and Ogunleye second in 12.17s, with O’Reilly claiming a good bronze in 12.6s. Joe Wilkin, competing in a strong Senior Men’s race managed fifth place in a time of 12.64s.
Oscar Dawson’s U20’s heat of 800m looked confident and held a good line behind the lead until the last 200m, but managed to hang on for third place in a time of 2.01, he placed 5th in the final in the same time. Rob Smith in his first 800m since 2015 was pleased with his finish and time of 2.02.10 in the senior men’s race.
Millie Presland qualified through to her U15 Girls 1500m in second position 4.59, in a loaded final Milly found the pace a little too hot finishing 6th in 4.56 – a time which would have won gold last year! Seventeen year old Ermeas Afewerki came 4th in the U20 men’s 1500m in 4:17s.
U15 Madeleine Claydon had a very busy day running 14.41 PB in the hurdles, this was followed by another PB in the 300m placing 4th in the final with 45.48. Her High Jump was maybe one event too many at this Champs, with a clearance of 1.30m. However, all good experience for this budding multi eventer.
Savanna Harrison just missed out the medals in the U17W triple jump achieving just under her seasons best of 9.56m.
Helen Bloomfield showing no sign of her age powered her way to Gold in the Vets 300m in 46,3s – she still holds the CBP time from three years ago.
Stacey Ayers continued to show good early season form coming a creditable 4th in 2.20. in the Senior women’s 800m
Jake Young ended the day with a magnificent gold in the straight final of the U20 men’s 400m… in a time of 50.6s, a comfy win that will surely do much for this young man’s confidence so early in the season.
Following a night of heavy rain, Day Two dawned brighter with the promise of another successful day for the green vests. Daisy Hilson had an early start in order to compete in the U17 women’s High Jump, as the very first competition of the day, she achieved fourth place in her first ever Championships with a clearance of 1.40m.
Milly Presland – looked fresh despite her two races the day before and not only bagged the first podium placing of the day by claiming silver, she also potentially gained herself a top ten national ranking by finishing second in the U15 girls 3000m in a new Harriers record of 10.55.98s.
Helen Bloomfield was “chuffed” to earn herself a second gong of the weekend, this time a silver in the Vets 1500m in a time of 5.22.
In the field events Olivia Simon brought home a silver medal in the U15 girls Pole Vault. Senior man Paul Cooper earned himself a bronze in the Javelin with a best throw of 52.37m; whilst in the U15 boy’s category Charlie Palmer ended his day with a PB throw of 21.64m to finish 6th overall.
The King brothers both took to the track in the arduous 3k walk, with Dominic retaining the title in 12:40.00, sadly Daniel was disqualified.
Thomas Palmer showed guts and maturity in his U17 men’s 800m; having qualified in second place in his heat, he then ran a brave final where he stuck with the leader for most of the race before his legs gave way, having to make do with fifth place in a time of 2.01.55.
First year U15 Emily Henderson managed to claim 5th in her 800m in a new PB of 2:48.40, whilst U13 Alice Begg ran fantastically to gain a big seven second PB to finish in 2:52.31,
The 200m sprints dominated the track most of the day with many races having heats to finals: U13 sprinter Olivia Gillon did herself proud by gaining a place in yet another of the Championships finals, finishing in 8th in a time of 30.64s.
Ella Gray, Isabella Looker and Jennifer Palmer all competed in U17 women’s with just Gray progressing through to the final having qualified as a fastest loser in 28.16s. In a very fast final she ran blind from the outside lane to finish in 6th in a time of 27.72s
In the men’s equivalent Henry Lawes and Joseph Clarke both took on the longer sprint after their outing the day before. Both athletes gained PB’s in their heat, but 25.11s was not enough for Clarke to take a slot in the final. Lawes, who ran from the inside lane in his heat to finish in 23.73s was placed as fourth fastest going into the final and after a lightening start ran well to gain his second PB of the day finishing a very good fourth in a time of 23.48s – knocking a total of half a second off his previous time. A great early season performance.
Having received a phone call from the GB selection team just three hours before his race to assess his availability for the forthcoming Loughborough International and World Juniors, U20 Charlie Dobson knew he had to go all out in his race let alone win. With four no shows, his heat turned into a straight final and after an agonisingly long wait at the blocks first for the electric clock to work, then the wind gauge and then the gun, he ran his heart out, obliterating the field from the first few metres to take the win two seconds ahead of second place, in a new track and Championship Best Performance time (which had stood since 1990) of 20.73s. And that all important legal wind of +0.5 meant he had achieved the world junior qualifying time for those selectors.
Rebecca Jeggo – the only Harrier to contest the U20 women’s 200m – made qualifying look ridiculously easy, after a strong first 100m, she started easing down with 80m to go to qualify well ahead of the field. Her final was more of a time trial, without anyone to challenge her, she cruised past the finish in 24.73s to take a new PB and breaking her own Club Record and her second County Champion title of the weekend.
Ramadan Osman executed a perfect senior men’s 5k. Having sat comfortably for most of the race, with two laps to go he pushed on and opened up. His last lap being run comfortably in 66s to finish with a new PB of 15.29s, taking almost two seconds off his previous best.
Other County championships competed this weekend and featuring Harriers members included Michael Major becoming Kent senior 800m champion in a time of 1.58. Eliza Betts finally got the better of the tape measure by jumping to Suffolk County Champion in the U17 Long Jump with a PB of 5.01m. Paul Clifford won gold at the Greater Manchester Championships in the Senior men’s 800m in a time of 1.57.2.
All results to be ratified and recorded through Power of Ten.