Sensational Second place for Harriers

The final EYAL match of the year took place at the plush Allianz Park, Hendon on Sunday 11 August 2019. Harriers went onto the meet placed ninth in the League and needed to finish the day in fifth or above to confirm their place in the plate final.  However, with athletes dropping like flies, the situation was looking precarious.

Despite fielding less than forty athletes in total, most took on three scoring events in order to add to the team tally and averaged an amazing 12.9 points each.  Without the B scorers –often covering events they have very little experience of – the team may not have finished in the fabulous second that they did, with a provisional score of 544 points. League results now show the team in tenth position – guaranteeing them a place in the plate final on 15 September in Bedford. The highest placing yet for this young team.

Making a great debut for the club was U15 sprinter Jack Stinton.  Having only competed school events and with just a few weeks training under his belt, he was understandably nervous and despite a shaky Long Jump competition he burst onto the track in the 100m as the green vest B string; having executed a flying start he was able to hold onto a good lead, taking the scalp of Shaftesbury Barnet top thirty UK ranked athlete, and recorded an impressive 12.30s into a strong head wind (-4.5).  With renewed confidence he went into the 200m, where he faced the winner of the A string 100m. A hesitant start left him with some work on his hands, but he soon found his stride and gained up ground on the bend, on the home straight, and again into a strong head wind, he did well to open up for an excellent second place with plenty of air between him and third.  His time of 24.91 (-3.6) is a great start to what looks like a promising Harriers career.

Squally winds played havoc throughout the day and whilst there were very few track Pb’s the conditions did seem to favour some of the throws and jumps.  Brothers Arnold and Sean Emeka- Ugwuadu, Zion Ateba, Maya Rattray, Archie Smith and Amelie Taylor all gained new best performances in the Long Jump.  Sean was in great consistent form and looked strong as he broke his own PB twice within his competition to get a final new best distance of 5.85m with maximum points for the win, this also gets him a top 25 UK ranking! U13 Arnold added an impressive 40cm to increase his distance to 4.78m. Smith was delighted when he learnt the wind was legal for his best performance of 4.81m which also transports him up the UK rankings to within the top 40 with Arnold just hovering behind him. Both boys took second place points as A and B string and then went on to both place fourth in the U13 boys 100m.  Young Amelie Taylor stepped up to B string at short notice and earned five valuable points with her leap of 3.35m for a Pb adding to her two other third place finishes in the 100m – her first of the year and High Jump. U15 Ateba who had taken a good second place in her earlier high Jump event, was thrilled to match her placing in the Long Jump with a best of 4.81m. Rattray has shown patience with her Long Jump preparation and was rewarded with a PB to record 4.80m. Joseph Clarke enjoyed two new jump PB’s the first coming in Long Jump where he achieved a best of 5.51m, he then closed his day with a stylish Triple Jump PB hitting 12m dead for a fantastic win.

One of the Harriers top scorers, U15 Jakub Walecki, once again enjoyed a thrilling meet where he bagged himself two decent new best performances The first came in the Javelin where he added over two metres to his best to take third place with a throw of 37.24m. Later an exciting High Jump competition held spectators’ attention. Teammate Emika-Ugwuadu bowed out after managing to equal his Pb of 1.60m leaving Walecki as one of two men still competing as the bar was raised to 1.65m.  Facing stiff opposition from Shaftesbury Barnet athlete who had placed fourth at the English Schools Championships back in July, Walecki looked relaxed and was clearly enjoying the challenge and although knocking the bar twice at 1.74m he was able to re-settle himself and used his time well to re-focus for the clearance.  His best clearance of 1.77m added 6cm to his PB and propelled him up the UK rankings to 12th place and earned him excellent second place points. 

With all throwing events bar the discus taking place outside the main stadium, it was great to see a strong contingent of supporters cheering the athletes along.  U13 Emily Longstaff achieved a Pb and third place finish in the Discus with a best of 11.00m and added over two metres to her Javelin for a best of 11.55m for fourth place points.  Olivia Simon once again dominated the U15 girls Hammer finishing a good ten metres clear of the field, she then went on to add to her points tally with a great second place in the Discus (18.40m) and fourth in the Javelin just shy of her pb with a best of 18.49m.   Katherine Harvey earned maximum points as B string Javelin with 15.01m – proving that trying something out can really benefit the team and special thanks go to Tilly Motts for standing in at late notice in the Discus to take third place with a PB throw of 12.73m.

U17 Josephine Larkin looked confident as she opened up her Hammer competition, fresh from a win and a new PB earlier in the week at a home development meeting (49.13m), although throwing just shy of it at Allianz, she recorded a best of 48.77 which was still way ahead of second place.  She then took third in Discus and even stepped up to earn much needed points in the Long Jump where she came third in the B string.  Aliyah Soames took a hat trick of third placings in the Discus (13.62m), Shot (8.14m) and Javelin (30.33m).

Suffering with earache, George Lavender valiantly drove the distance to ensure he got some points in for the club and came away with a new PB in Shot Put (10.91m) and third place points, he then went one better in Javelin to finish second, but somewhat down on his best with 35.87m. U13 duo Alfie Harris and Wyatt Larkins have definitely carved out a niche for themselves and are much valued members of the team.  Harris produced a PB in the Javelin with a best of 22.06m for fifth place, then took two second place positions in the Shot (7.59m) and B string Discus (15.97m).  Larkins should be pleased with his outing after gathering two new PBs with a fabulous win in the Javelin, notching up centimetres to his best to finish on 19.44m, his second came in the Shot (8.37m) for third place. He also took a well deserved second place in Discus with 15.97m.

The Langford brothers Noah and Lucas both worked hard for their points, creating PB’s in the Discus with 8.37m and 7.36 respectively Lucas also took on 300m and showed real grit to finish well behind the field but collected those valuable team points.  Theo Gardiner came away with a new Javelin Pb of 17.45m and like others stepped in to fill empty slots on the day – taking fifth place points in the 200m and a last-minute leg in the relay.

Finley Greenleaf and Nnaeto Eminike-Obi took on the challenge of sprint hurdles for the first time and both came away with PB’s. Nnaeto clocking 15.41s for a brilliant B string first place as his long legs just popped over the barriers.  Greenleaf was rewarded for his tenacity at training and showed good developing technique for this plucky youngster to cross in 16.06s.  Hollie Martin-Whymark showed consistency in her race to cross in second place in 13.21s into a -2.1 wind.  Zion Ateba was just pipped into fourth in her U15 80m Hurdles in 112.79s (-1.7s), with Megan Taylor shaving off those all-important tenths of seconds to grab a new PB of 14.28 for B string third place.

In the flat sprints U17 Maya Rattray ran well for third place in her A string 100m (13.13s) and looked good in spite of battling a strong head wind in her 200m to take second place in 27.68s (-4.4). Libby Sutton stepped in at the last minute to cover an athletes’ absence in B string and despite being one of the quickest out she was unable to hold on and had to settle for third. In her 200m she earned great second place points.  U15 Tilly Motts almost hit the decks at the start of her 100m race after regaining control she was sadly not able to make up lost ground and had to settle for fifth in 14.33 (-4.3). Raine Tyler took 5th as B string 100m.  In the 200m the wind decided to turn itself around for Alexandra Bell -Cobbold’s B string race where she was placed 4th in 29.76s.(1.2).  U17 Jimi Sijuwola looked great coming out of his blocks but could not match the acceleration and long legs of his opponents as he was overtaken in the last twenty metres to cross in third in 11.44s (-3.5), Joseph Clarke also took third for B string fresh from success in his Long Jump Competition. In the 200m Samuel Shippey took A string fourth in a hotly contested race which saw him clock 23.77 (-4.2), whilst Sijuwola held on well for second.  U13’s Archie Smith and Nnaeto Eminike-Obi both committed to their 200m races and ran consistent to their current form to take fourth and second respectively.  U13 Rachel Sale enjoyed a rare 200m outing and conducted herself well to finish well in third place as B string to Hollie Martin Whymark’s fourth place A string having worked hard all the way to the line.

In the longer Sprints U17 Jennifer Palmer left nothing in reserve only to be denied a second-place finish in the last metres of her 300m race. Whilst little Raine Tyler made her 300m debut and still came off the track smiling. Feeling under the weather Noah Papley gave it his all for a good fourth place finish in the U15 boys 300m.  Samuel Shippey was less than happy with his 400m appearance after a break in training for a family holiday. Maximising points Tanaka Maara showed that by stepping out of his comfort zone he could earn six more points by running as B string in the same race. 

Middle Distance was a game of slipstreaming and conserving as much energy as possible in the swirling conditions; desperately short of athletes, Milly Presland doubled up in the 800 and 1500m, taking a good third in the former.  However, she was not happy with the pace being set in her 1500 and decided to up the game, taking the lead and doing all the hard work from the front until the last lap where she was overtaken but held onto a great second place.  She rounded off her day with a PB in the Triple Jump 8.57m and ran a leg of the relay to help the team to second place.

U15 Alexandra Bell-Cobbold showed a return to form in her 1500m and certainly looks most at home over the longer distances, clocking a great Pb after leading the pack and again doing all the hard work from the front until the latter stages.  Her second place was recorded as 5:19.86

U13 Rachel Sale ran a hard race to finish just outside her season’s best in the 800m to clock 2:50.75.  In the 1500 Emily Longstaff came home in third place in 6:16.04.

Tommy Colsell has proved a great team member this season; doubling over the 800 and 1500 at all the meets – earning a steady flow of points for the team.  His hard work rewarded him a deserved pb in the 1500m 4.47.53 and third place points.  U15 Noah Langford gave it his all for fifth place in 3:15.78 in the 800m, whilst Theo Gardiner scored fourth place points in the 1500m. In the U13’s Harrison Leek finished third in the A string (2:37.79) and Finley Greenleaf fourth as B string (2:50.56). William Long crossed the line in a brilliant second in the 1500m (5:13.40) with Jacob Castle winning the B string in 5:46.82 and bringing home maximum points.

Relays: U17 women 2nd 53.99s; U15 Girls 5th 58.50s; U13 Girls 62.70s; U17 Men 2nd 47.68s; U15 Boys 2nd 52.14s and U13 Boys 3rd 58.24s