Weekend, 17-18th June 2017
The sun was shining brightly in Bedford for the England Athletics’ U20 and U23 national championships, as four Bolton United Harriers pulled on the blue vest to pit themselves against the elite of British Athletics.
Jonny Kay, competing in his first national track championships, raced in the U23 800m. It was a slow and tactical race and Jonny found himself towards the back of the field with 200m to go. Despite a fantastic sprint finish, Jonny came an agonising third in the heat and failed to qualify for the final by just one place.
Chris Mann competed in the High Jump and recorded a season’s best in the U23 men’s high jump, with 2.05m to finish sixth.
Georgia Lever entered the U20 Long Jump knowing that she would need to leap a massive PB to challenge for a medal. In the second round, she recorded her best jump of 5.39m, which yielded tenth position.
U17 sprinter, Hannah Kelly, moved up an age group to compete against the best U20 female sprinters in the country at the 200m. Hannah, still only 16, was desperately trying to run a fast time to try to gain international selection. Hannah, and coach Les Hall, had carefully planned her race strategy and had decided rather than manage the rounds, to use the heat as a time trial. As ever, Hannah’s competitive edge came to the forefront. With the UK number 1 athlete on her inside lane she was really up against it, but a superb bend saw her enter the home straight in a strong second. Hannah powered through to the finish line and clocked an amazing 24.25 seconds, which was 0.25 seconds inside her PB!
In the semi-final, once again Hannah lined up in the same race as the UK number 1, Maya Bruney. She followed her amazing run in the heat to finish second again and qualify for the final in another exceptional time of 24.46s. All had high hopes for the final; Hannah got a fantastic start and came off the bend in third place. However, her previous two races and the heat took their toll – she tired in the last 60m to finish seventh in a time of 24.71s – fantastic given the step up in age category.
Wednesday, 14th June 2017
Daryl Bentley’s 44:48 saw him home in 36th place of the 108 field from Holcombe’s Hare & Hounds.
Weekend, 10-11th June 2017
Blue Vests were in action at the Northern Athletics (NoEAA) outdoor T&F championships at Manchester’s Sportcity this weekend.
Having represented Greater Manchester Schools for the last three years, Georgia Lever took the next step up as an U20 athlete with one eye on qualifying for the Senior English Schools’ competitors. Her favoured event – the long Jump, was on Saturday. Hopes were high of gaining a new PB and a medal. However, things don’t always run to plan and the blustery conditions played havoc with her run up; entering the final jump of the competition she had no Mark, only five no jumps. With the pressure on and Georgia trying to work out how best to get a legal jump, she ended up running through the jump. Though bitterly disappointed, her jumps had been exceptional and she knows that next week will present another opportunity to show that she is capable of getting close to the 6.00m mark at the England Athletics’ U20 competition at Bedford. Hopefully her season best and PB this year of 5.51m will stand her in good stead for selection for the English Schools’ Finals, though this year it would be in the Red Vest of Lancashire due to her college location.
At the beginning of the season Georgia also decided to try out the Triple Jump and, as expected, found it to her liking and capability! With this in mind, she managed to gain a late entry into the U20’s event today. It was timely to revive her spirits after yesterday’s disappointment and she duly set off on her first jump, which yielded… a no jump! Luckily, the Officials deemed that the EDM had not been calibrated correctly and so the first three jumpers, including Georgia, were allowed to re-take their jumps. Georgia was spurred on and duly dispatched a jump of 11.18m, only 3cm behind her previous PB. As her confidence grew, she then registered a new lifetime best of 11.33m, even though her take off was several centimetres behind the board. It was always going to be a big ask to win a Gold medal as she was up against the second best Triple Jumper in the country, Naomi Ogbeta from Trafford, who duly went on to win the competition with a new Championship Best performance of 12.94m. Georgia’s performance earned her a well-deserved Silver Medal and ranked her at nineteenth in the country – some going in an event she has only just started!
Other good performances in all three competition categories were had by Chris Mann, Rebecca Kay, Mercedes Mercer, Katie Oakley Jonny Kay and Karl Darcy, Frazer Jardine and Declan Toomey.
Thursday, 8th June 2017
Five Blue Vests competed at the popular fell race from Horwich, with some good age-group category finishes:
24 Scott Crompton 39:33
27 Paul Mills 39:54
44 Daryl Bentley 41:31
46 James Rideout41:41
85 Gary Jones 46:36
Elsewhere, in the second Astley Park trail race, Anthony Valentine was second in 24:00, whilst Liz Proctor won the women’s race in 29:14. Toby Coop clocked 5:58 in the juniors’ race.
Sunday, 4th June 2017
The Senior Track & Field team were in action today in the second fixture of the Northern 2WC Division at Bury.
Awaiting results and report.