Ten young Bolton Harriers competed at this years Northern U13 and U15 championships. Most of them had never competed at a championship of this level before so there were lots of nerves. The first competitor of the day was Matilda Hall in the U13 girls long jump. Despite a nervy start, in the third round she leapt 4m 37 to set a new PB to reach the final 8. She couldn’t improve on this distance in her final three attempts but it was enough to win the bronze medal.
Multi talented Tilly then took on the high Jump. A relative newcomer to the event Tilly only jumps off a short run up but despite this soared over 1m 35 to equal her PB. She then attempted 1m 40 and at the second attempt sailed over to record another PB. 1m 43 proved a height too far but this should be within her reach in the summer and that would earn her a new club record. 1m 40 was enough to win her second medal of the day – one better a shiny silver medal.
In the U13 boys events newcomers Josh Grundy and Benji Davies lined up first in the 200m. The junior school boys were up against athletes a year older but despite this both came a creditable 4th position in their heats. Both felt more confident in the 60m. Josh raced first and came a fantastic third place in the semi final earning him a place in the final. Benji also ran a fantastic race but unfortunately missed out on the final by one place. In the final Josh finished 7th in a time of 8.95 seconds only 0.04 seconds outside the U13 boys club record.
U13 girls debutants Princess Iwelu and Chloe Medard doubled up in the 60m and the 200m – potentially 6 races in the afternoon if they reached their finals. Both ran fantastic 200m heats and duly qualified for the semi finals. Chloe ran hard but just ran out of steam to finish an excellent 4th in her race. In the next semi final Princess battled hard and qualified for the final as a fastest loser with a time of 28.84 seconds. In the final Princess took advantage of an inside lane and came third to claim the bronze medal.
Coach Les Hall has high hopes of his U13 girl sprinters and believes that this years crop could emulate the relay team from 2021 which finished the year ranked 7th in the UK. Allyssia May, Matilda Hall, Princess Iwelu and Chloe Medard all entered the 60m. In the heats Allyssia and Matilda easily won their heats and Princess and Chloe also progressed to the semi finals. In the first semi final Allyssia blew the rest of the field away winning easily and put a marker down to the other competitors.
In the second semi final Matilda Hall and Chloe Medard both lined up against the fastest girl in the North of England. Tilly got a blistering start and opened up a gap of 2 metres and never looked likely to be beaten. She recorded a new PB of 8.50 seconds. The semi final was Chloes 4th race of the day but she still came a fantastic 6th place. In the last semi final Princess ran a quick 8.84 seconds to finish third and qualify for her second final of the day.
Three Bolton U13 girls had made the final of the 60m – the club had never had so many competitors make a regional final.
All girls ran superb races but Allyssia wasn’t to be denied. She stormed through the line in 8.28 seconds which smashed her PB and broke her own club record. Matilda was a close second and came away with her third medal of the day. It was Princess’ 6th race of the day but she still finished an amazing 6th to cap off an incredible day.
U15 girls Cherie Ufuoma and Summer Eden were not to be outdone. Both breezed through heats and lined up against each other in the third semi final of the 60m. The girls dominated their competitors and finished first and second to book their places in the final. Both ran fantastic races and Cherie came away with the bronze medal and Summer finished 5th against girls all 12 months older than her. Next year Summer will be hoping to go even better and has a medal in her sites. Both girls smashed their PB’s with Summer running 8.16 seconds and Cherie ran 8.08 seconds which broke yet another club record.
In the U15 boys Jamie Greenhalgh and Alfie Dodds competed in the the shot putt. Both had performed really well during the 2021 season and hoped to improve further. Jamie threw a new PB of 7m 71 to finish 5th and Alfie was close to his PB with a throw of 7m 03.
It was a great day for Bolton Harriers and their young stars came away with one gold medal, two silver medals and three bronze medals. It’s great to see some of the stars if the future compete so well.