England U20 Champs, Midland Senior League and Midweek Opens

21 June 2021

Sheppard Storms to First England Gold!

Kaitlyn Sheppard has gone from strength to strength this season and headed into the England U20 Championships in Bedford ranked 2nd in the 3000m field. Holding back in the early stages Sheppard followed a breakaway attempt by Fleur Todd-Warmoth (Blackheath & Bromley) with around four laps to go. The pair battled hard and with 30m to go it looked like Sheppard would have to settle for silver, but the Harrier dug deep finding one last spurt to beat her rival by 0.28seconds. Sheppards finishing time of 9:42.45 lowered her own club record by 8 seconds. A brilliant performance that turned into one of the most exciting races of the whole championships, we are sure Sheppards first England gold won’t be her last!

(Photo: Kaitlyn Sheppard powering to gold)

Sam Howell competed in the U20 men’s 400m, Howell ran a strong race and was rewarded with his first sub 49 clocking finishing 48.97. The Harrier is now within 1 second of the club record set back in 1991.

14 athletes took part in the Gloucester Open, making the most of the competition opportunity with a lot of PBs. 

In the 100 and 200 it was 7 PBs out of 7 runs for U13 girls Charlotte Smith (100 14.3, 200 29.9), Izzy Cook (100 14.0), Megan Amey (100 14.0, 200 29.5) and Kitty Buckland (100 14.5, 200 31.6). Amey completed a busy evening with a 3.73 jump in the long jump. A 75m event allowed U11 athletes Lottie Cook and Jack Williamson a chance to compete running 11.2 (PB) and 12.5 respectively. 

Our athletes were flying in the 1500m with all 5 setting PBs. U15 Sam Wilson led the Harriers home, smashing the 5minute barrier for the first time finishing in 4:50.7. Next in was U20 Guy James Green making his debut with 4:57.7. U15 Georgia Howell bettered her previous PB set earlier this year by 2seconds with 5:05.9. U13s Patrick Paul and Oliva Avery completed the PB full house with times of 5:08.3 and 5:39.3 respectively. 

In the 800m U13 Evie Avery bettered her PB running well to finish in 2:56.7. There were also strong runs from our 2 U15 girls, Abigail Thornley and Milly Foster who finished in 2:24.7 and 2:40.8.

Over in Nuneaton Jamie Harper took part in the Night of 800ms running in the 27th heat Harper finished in a PB of 1:55.24. On the same evening George Watson also competed over 800m at the Lee Valley BMC, going out hard on the first lap Watson held on to finish 0.05 outside his PB in 1:57.95.

The first Senior League of the season took place in Yate and despite a team blighted by withdrawals, due to having to self-isolate, there were still some brilliant performances. 

Our throwers came out in force filling the A and B slot in the shot, discus and javelin and with extra athletes making the trip to compete as guests.

In the Shot put there was a win for Melissa Bird with a throw of 11.08. Throwing the exact same distance Annabel Maloney won the B string and finished 2nd overall. This was Maloneys first competition in 8 years and it was brilliant to see the former English Schools Champion return.. In the men’s event Ben Wade threw 9.13 and Alex Merret 6.34. All four athletes also competed in the discus where Melissa Bird finished 2nd with a throw of 36.76 and Annabel Moloney threw 22.81. Ben Wade took the win in the men’s competition with a big PB throw of 40.11, over 40m for the first time. Alex Merret threw well, achieving 14.57. In the Javelin Chris Picken was in amazing form winning the event with a huge PB of 42.28, almost 3metres further than his previous best. Close to his best Alex Merret threw 26.28. Cicely Moore and Linsey Hutchins were inseparable, both throwing 20.66m.

Making the most of the chance to compete Ruth Bird competed in the Shot Put, Discus and Javelin as a guest throwing 9.08, 21.17 and 21.52 respectively. Linsey Hutchins also competed in the Discus as a guest throwing 15.51.

In the jumps siblings Rosie and Alfie Wood both took on the Long Jump, with Alfie Wood winning the men’s competition in 6.61 and U17 Rosie Wood jumped brilliantly against senior competitions with a best of 3.56. 5 harriers took part in the high jump led by Luke Burden, competing for the first time since early 2020, Burden cleared 1.75. Sulaiman Ouiles jumped well to clear 1.6m. Piper Holmes, Celia Darwent and Cicely Moore cleared 1.45, 1.4 and 1.3 respectively. Ouiles returned in the Pole vault where he took the win with a jump of 3.4m, Bexley Turbard cleared 2.90m. Both athletes continue to build up valuable experience in a tough technical event that will bode them well as they progress.

Over on the track the sprinters shone with 9 Harriers competing in the 100m. Sam Griffiths took a brilliant 1st place with a time of 12.4 and in the B race Grace Pitman took 2nd in 12.99. Tom Pritchard was 3rd in the men’s A race in 11.7 and Ollie Spencer 100m took 3rd in the B string, going under 12 seconds for the first time with a PB of 11.85. Competing as guests Cicely Moore was just 0.01 outside her PB in 15.11, Harry Boswell ran 12.21, Max Lancett 12.76 and Matt Cox 13.30. The 200m saw a second win for Sam Griffiths with a time of 25.60 with Felicity Townsend finishing 3rd in the B race with 28.50. It was 2nd place in the A and B race in the men’s 200m with Tom Pritchard running 23.62 and Harry Boswell 24.86. Max Lancett also ran as a guest in the 200m, running well to finish in 26.12.

The 400m saw Rebecca Hoadley run a strong race from start to finish, dipping under 60seconds with a time of 59.20 for 2nd in the A race. Jorja Webb took over 2 seconds off her previous PB running a brilliant race to finish in 61.69 and take 2nd in the B race. Elliot Prince and Matt Evans took part in the mens 400 running 64.53 and 75.81. In her first 400m hurdles race since 2017 Abi Williams was 1st in the A race running a big PB of 75.12. Bathsheba Kayley made her 400m hurdles debut and showed real talent for the discipline, winning the B race in 75.12. Competing in 5 events across the day Matt Evans finished 4th in the men’s 400m hurdles in 90.58, before going on to finish 4th in the 800m A race in 2:45.43, 6th in the 1500m B in 5:02.92 and 6th in the 3000m B in 11:20.29. An incredible effort and show of team spirit! Also competing in the 1500m Elliot Prince finished 5th in the A string in 4:48.60. The women’s 3000m saw a return to racing for Ella Burfitt, after an up and down few months training the Harrier showed what she’s capable of taking over a minute off her previous PB to finish 2nd in 10:14.51. Chris Wagstaff made his senior league debut in the 3000m finishing in 9:29.96 for 3rd. 

The Harriers managed to field all four relay teams with the women’s 4x 400m team producing the most impressive performance. The team finished 1st, over 30m clear of their nearest rival, in 4:24.7. The men’s team was 4th in 4:23.1. Both the men’s and women’s 4x 100m teams both finished 3rd in 46.87 and 51.25.