Sprint & Hurdles News, 8-9 February

There were a number of outstanding performances from Harriers athletes at the Midland Indoor Championships held at the National Indoor Area, Birmingham, In the U20 age-group Mollie Courtney lowered her 60m hurdles PB and Harriers record set earlier in the year to 8.70s in winning her heat. This places her 4th on the U20 rankings and 19th overall in the UK. Despite a dramatic finishing dip for the line in the final she missed out on gold by the narrowest of margins placing second with a time of 8.81s. However between hurdles heat and final she collected gold in the U20 women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.65m. In the U20 Women’s 400m Megan Bishop qualified for the final with a PB of 62.0s. In the final she was in contention for a medal for much of the race but was narrowly beaten into 4th place despite lowering her PB to 60.54s. This places her 2nd on the Welsh rankings. Bethan Skuse also ran in the heat and final finishing 6th in 64.64.

In the U17 womens age-group Sophie Yorke set a new PB and lowered her Harriers record in the 60m semi-final finishing 1st in 7.86s. This places her 13th on the U17 UK rankings. She was narrowly beaten into Silver medal position in the final recording a time of 7.87s. However she made amends in the 60m hurdles on the next day. Not previously known as a sprint hurdler she took the gold medal in a time of 9.07s having previously set a new PB in winning her heat in 9.23s. This places her 10th on the UK U17W hurdles rankings. In the 200m Stephanie Beardsmore set a new indoor PB of 27.20s in qualifying for the semi-final in 2nd position. In the semi she finished 5th in 27.65s. Freya Chapman narrowly missed out on the semi-final finishing 2nd in her heat in a time of 27.29s (indoor PB).

In the U17 mens age-group Ben Clarke ran well over the weekend making the final in the 60m and semi-final in the 200m and setting new indoor PBs in the process. In the 60m his fastest time was 7.49s set in the heat and he finished 8th in the final in 7.50s. In the 200m he won his heat (23.75s) and then finished second in his semi-final with a new PB of 23.27s but it was not enough to qualify in a fastest loser spot.

In the U15 girls Hannah Tilley recorded a performance of 8.55s in the 60m. In the 200m she smashed her previous PB twice recording 27.73s (3rd) in the heat and 27.55 (4th) in the semi-final. However with just a few minutes separating the 200m semi-final and the 60m hurdles she had to settle for 4th (10.07s). A similar clash of timings may also have denied Ellie Wanklyn a medal. She recorded a new PB in the shot with her first throw (9.54m) but then the 60m hurdles heat was delayed denying her the opportunity for any further throws; she finished in 4th. Despite the delay she recorded a new PB of 9.68s in the hurdles finishing 2nd in her heat. However she could not match that time in the final finishing 6th in 9.79s.