Midland League, 9 August

Cheltenham Harriers took part in the fourth and final round of the Athletics Direct Midland League Division 1 held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. The stand-out performance of the day came from Linton Gardiner who won the long jump with a Personal Best leap of 7.04m. This was his first ever jump over seven metres, in a series with every jump exceeded his previous PB. The new mark is a club record at both under 20 and senior level, surpassing J Meech’s 6.90m from 1987. This also moves Gardiner’s under 20 long jump ranking up to tenth in the UK. Ably supporting Gardiner was Imran Qureshi who won the B string long jump with 6.24m. In the 3000m steeplechase, Andy Gore, with a time of 11:29.50, was also on the record trail, finishing fourth in the A race and breaking the club over 45 steeplechase record which had been held by Ken Buckle. There were maximum points for the Harriers in the javelin where Will Sage threw a PB of 52.23m for the A string win and Ryan Ellis’s 42.91m taking the B string victory. Likewise the Pole Vault saw the Harriers take full points as Conor Kearns won the A string with a height of 3.40m and Chris Davies won the B string with a 3.30m clearance.

Other event wins for the Cheltenham team came from Will New who won the 3000m B race in 9:14.11 and from Massimo Montecucco who won the 400m hurdles B race in a PB of 65.03 seconds. Montecucco also ran a PB of 18.67 when finishing fourth in the 110m hurdles. Other highlights were middle distannce PB’s from Mia O’Connell finishing second in the 800m with a time of 2:11.7 and Beth Hawling finishing second in the 1500m in 4:42.43. Jeremy Drackett also impressed as he placed third in the 200m with a personal best time of 22.26 seconds. Freya Lane who, having turned 15 years of age the day before the race, made her debut in the team and finished third in the 800m B race with a time of 2:28.88. whilst Ellie Hathaway and Katy Townsend took on the challenge of running the 400m hurdles for the first time to secure valuable points for the club. The club finished fifth on the day and also placed fifth overall for the season. Team managers Derrick Lord and Jane Horder were grateful for the efforts of all athletes involved throughout the season.