With the sudden sad loss of Dave McNamee never far from the Harriers’ thoughts, the senior team performed well to secure third place in the latest Athletics Direct Midland Track & Field League Division 2 match at Tipton. All the Harriers wore a remembrance black ribbon pinned to their vests, and a minute’s silence was held at the start of the match, which was joined and respected by all the participating teams. The men’s distance athletes were the Harriers’ stars in this match as they won all four A string distance races. Richard de-Camps got the ball rolling as he won the 800m A race in 1:59.0 before Jacob Pickering lowered his PB to 2:02.2 for second in the B race. Dan Owen then dominated the 2000m steeplechase with a gun to tape victory in 6:00.4 whilst Matt Evans took third in the B event with a PB of 7:20.0. Ninety minutes later Owen kicked clear in the final straight to win the 1500m in 4:05.1 whilst de-Camps ensured maximum points for the team as he took the B string in 4:12.1 and non-scorer Luke Kearns ran well to lower his PB to 4:17.0. Oli Mott then ensured a Harriers clean sweep as he produced a 61 second last lap to win the 5000m in 15:49.0 after he’d tracked the leader for the first eleven and a half laps of the race. Roger Mullins ensured another maximum points haul by finishing as leading B runner in 16:44.8. For the women’s team Megg Brinley impressed with third in the 3000m in a PB of 10:39.4 whilst Rachel See also set a PB to finish as third B runner in 11:27.0.
A strong headwind in the finishing straight meant that the sprinters would not be looking for PB’s, but nevertheless Sam Griffiths claimed first place in both the women’s 100m and 200m A races, supported by Steph Beardsmore with second place in each of the B races at the same distances. In the 400m, Jacob Pickering ran a PB of 53.0 to claim second place in the B race, and Jamie Horder, returning to the team after an absence of 3 years, claimed a good third place in the A race. For the women, Freya Lane ran a PB of 62.2 to finish third in the 400m B race. In the field, there was a double first in the men’s pole vault, with debutant Florin Matei winning the A event with a PB height of 4.70m and Dan Carpenter winning the B event at 3.20m. They were aided by Megan Mokgweetsi who placed second in the A string women’s pole vault with a PB equalling height of 2.30m. In the women’s long jump, another debutant Maiya Todd, gained a B string second place with a jump of 4.42m, and Adam Wheeler produced a season’s best triple jump of 12.60m for second place in the A string event. In the throwing competitions, Beck Phillips had a productive afternoon with PB’s in the shot putt (7.26m), the discus (36.10m) and the hammer (23.28m). In the shot, he was supported by Will Sage who also putt a PB with a distance of 7.84m, and Sage went on to win the A string javelin with a season’s best throw of 50.56m. In the womens’ throws, the discus saw Mel Bird place second as the A string thrower with a distance of 33.34m, with Ruth Bird winning the B event with 25.76 Finally Linsey Hutchins earned a second place as the B string in the Hammer with 20.82m, and went on to win the B string javelin with 21.50m.
With one more match to complete, at home on the 6th August, the team look well placed to retain their League 2 status, but cannot afford any complacency.