2021 Gloucestershire County Championships - Day 1

17 May 2021

Day 1 of the Gloucestershire County Championships has seen an incredible 21 Harriers crowned as County Champions across 31 different events.

A fabulous total of 46 podium finishes were attained and 34 PBs were set, clearly rewarding the athletes’ extraordinary hard work throughout the lockdowns.

Beginning in the field, Linsey Hutchins was crowned triple County Champion, winning the W45 Hammer, Shot and Long Jump in 20.62m, 6.73m and 1.90m respectively. Similarly, Ruth Bird won gold in both the W55 Hammer and Shot, with throws of 38.18m and 9.95m.

Continuing with the Shot, more golds came from Lily Carpenter in the U20 event (9.84m), Jessica Duncton in the U17 (10.31m), Florence Hampton in the U15 (8.31m) and Robin Nishimura  in the U13 boys (5.39m) all with PB throws. Alice English threw a PB of 8.06m to finish 4th U17, and Cicely Courtney-Moore made the podium with a 3rd place throw of 6.61m in the Senior Women event.

The Javelin saw all six Harriers finish on the podium with three 1st places achieved, with PB throws from Sam Northen (47.55m), Luca Colombini (41.6m) and Robin Nishimura (13.40m) in the Senior Men, U17 and U13 events. Reuben Lombard and Sulaiman Ouiles made it a Harriers 1-2-3 in the U17 with PB throws of 41.92m and 36,32, respectively. Ryan Ellis made it two Harriers on the Senior Men’s podium, finishing 2nd with a SB of 40.96m.

In the jumps, Alfie Wood continued his impressive form with a big PB of 6.75 to win the U20 Long Jump and move into the top 10 in the UK rankings. The U17 event saw William Andrews-Flint compete for the first time since 2019 and take the win with a PB jump of 5.20m. In the Women’s equivalent, Rosie Wood claimed silver with a PB of 4.20m.

(Photo: Alfie and Rosie Wood competing in the long jump)

Andrews-Flint also competed in the U17 Triple Jump, heading up a Harriers 1-2 with a jump of 10.79m, while Billy Buxton achieved a PB of 10.50m for 2nd place. Oliver Belbeck won the U15 Triple Jump with a PB of 9.45m.

Moving to the track, Oliver Belbeck made it double success and double PBs, winning the U15 300m in 43.9. The track programme was opened by Sam Howell in the U20 Men’s 400m, winning with a PB of 49.6, 2 seconds quicker than his previous best set in 2019. Having set a big PB already this season, Ruby Brook continued her impressive form, winning the U17 300m with her second quickest time ever, 42.2. Fellow U17, Lulu Skurek ran a superb PB of 45.3 for 2nd place. 

(Photo: Lulu Skurek and Ruby Brooks after there 1-2 in the 300m)

The predicted wind and rain thankfully held off, allowing an opportunity for some quick hurdles times.  Taking full advantage of this, U17 Jessica Duncton stormed to an impressive debut 80m Hurdles, setting a PB of 11.5, to place her 2nd in the UK rankings, bring home County gold and equal the Club record set by GB international Sophie Yorke. In the U15 75m Hurdles, Florence Hampton also took home gold with an impressive run of 12.6 in her debut over this distance. Making it a hat trick of Harrier titles, Megan Amey won the U13 70m Hurdles with a time of 13.5 and in the same race Zara Collins ran 18.3. In the U17 Men’s 100m Hurdles, Sulaiman Ouiles took home his second 3rd place of the day with a run of 16.4.

(Photo: Florence Hampton and Jessica Duncton with there county golds)

The 3000m was one of the mostly hotly anticipated events of the day, with many athletes already having set impressive PBs this year. Despite being only an U17, Isaac Henderson led the race home with his 2nd quickest time ever, 9:21.1. Fresh from her 1500m PB earlier this week, Kaitlyn Sheppard was a sure favourite in the U20 Women’s event, Sheppard ran well to finish 1st female overall in 9:56.7, which was also her second quickest time. Improving with each race this season, Kiya Dee finished as 1st U17 woman in 10:10.3. Ciara Thornley, finished as 2nd  U17 in 10:20.7, just 0.59 outside her PB. Completing the U17 podium was Chloe Sheppard, dipping under 11 minutes for the first time with 10:57.6. Fellow U17s Taya Dee (11:13.4) and Molly Dibden (11:49.8 PB) finished in 4th and 5th. Harriet Smith made her 3000m debut running a strong 12:07.3 for 1st U15, demonstrating the depth in junior middle distance runners at the club.

The longest event of the day, the 5000m, saw all our Harriers bring home a medal. Chris Wagstaff led the Harriers home with a personal best of 16:10.1 for 3rd place. Andy Gore took home the M50 crown with an impressive time of 17:38.4, front running his way to a win in the B race. Dan Minors was 2nd M50 with 17:58.4k and in the M60 category, Nick Holliday led home another Harriers 1-2 finishing in 19:06.4 with Michael Ede completing the 12.5 laps in 21:16.0. Stephen Bradley dipped under 20 minutes with a strong run of 19:57.3 for 2nd.

Having already set PBs and won a pair of golds in Hurdles and Shot Put, Jessica Duncton returned to the track to take on the U17 800m. Running well after a long day to finish in 7th just 2 seconds shy of her best in 2:32.9, she just edged out fellow Harrier Freya Howell, who ran a PB of 2:33.2 for 8th. Hetty McCartney was just outside her PB with 2:40.2 for 9th. In the U15 800m Georgia Howell led the Harriers contingent home, finishing 3rd in a PB of 2:27.4, narrowly ahead of Evie Henderson in 4th with a PB run of 2:29.2. Having run 2:36 six times, Ellis Woolley finally broke through the barrier, running a brilliant PB of 2:35.4 for 7th. Isobel Watt made her track debut with a solid run for 9th place in 2:40.2. Similarly to Jess Duncton, Florence Hampton also topped her Hurdles and Shot Put golds with a strong run in the 800m of 2:49.1, finishing 11th in the U15 event. Finally, in the U13 800m, Maddie Thomson took home gold with an impressive 2:32.5. Olivia Avery (4th), Megan Amey (6th) and Evie Avery (8th) finished in 2:37.1, 2:50.9 and 2:57.5 respectively.

In the men’s 800m it was PBs all round. Freddie Coombes was the quickest of the Harriers, finishing 2nd in the U15 event in 2:18.9. He was followed home by fellow Harrier Dominic Martin in 2:22.7 and, in the same race, Sam Wilson ran well for 5th in 2:27.1. U13 boy, Leo Soakell, finished as a close runner-up with a brilliant time of 2:34.2, 12 seconds quicker than his previous PB.

There were so many incredible performances across all events, well done to all who took part. Hopefully day 2 next week will bring just as much success.’