Midsummer Open 2 - 14/7/2021

17 July 2021

The second Midsummer Open of the year was held in beautiful sunshine making it the perfect evening to be competing at the athletics track. While the conditions may not have been perfect for the longer events our athletes still made the most of the opportunity and across all events we had 25 PBs set.

(Photo taken by Crispian Webb)
How could we start anywhere other than with Ruth Bird’s brilliant new Hammer personal best. Bird has been throwing well all year but seems to have massively progressed in the Hammer. Under the setting sun Bird launched the Hammer out to 40.04m her 1st time ever over 40 metres and bettering her previous mark of 35.79m set in 2015 by 4.25m. Linsey Hutchins also threw well with a best of 21.49.

The 1500m produced some exciting races with 13 Harriers taking part. The 1st race saw Isaac Henderson finish 6th in 4:26.4 and Dan Minors run a PB of 4:51.5 for 9th, only 1.5 seconds behind the club V50 record. Having run a PB in the 3000m at English Schools Championships the previous weekend Ciara Thornley was flying high and used that momentum to run a huge 1500m PB. Thornley took 6 seconds off her previous best, set last year, to move from 61st to 27th in the UK rankings and finish 5th in race 2 in 4:39.3. In the same race Kiya Dee was also competing fresh from English Schools. Dee ran well to finish 6th in 4:49.9. Arguably the most exciting race of the evening was race 3 where all 11 competitors finished within 7 seconds of one another with athletes adopting a tactical approach. Georgia Palmer and Ella Burfitt both impressed, staying out of trouble and running incredibly well to both achieve PBs. Palmer was 3rd in 4:49.0, 10 seconds quicker than her previous best, and Burfitt was 6th in 4:50.2, a huge 34.4 seconds quicker than her previous best. There was a race win for Sam Wilson in race 4, Wilson held off 2nd place by just 0.3seconds to finish in 4:52.4. Georgia Howell ran well to finish 10th in 5:18.3. U13 Tom Wightman was the first Harrier home in race 5 with a new PB of 5:26.9 for 4th. Wightman was followed home by Freya Howell in 5:28.4 for 5th, Eleon Wightman who ran a PB of 5:29.4 for 6th and Harriet Smith who ran a PB of 5:37.8 for 8th. Isobel Burfitt was the only Harrier in race 6, she achieved a SB of 6:18.8 for 8th. 

In the high jump, Megan Amey jumped a PB of 1.35m to finish as 1st U13 girl and James Keenan cleared 1.4 to win the U15 boys event. Keenan led a Harriers 1-2-3 with Oliver Belbeck coming 2nd with a PB of 1.35 and Benjamin Meech 3rd with a PB of 1.25. There was also two Harriers PBs in the U15 girls high jump with Esme Rolfe clearing 1.3 for 3rd and Elinor Farrier clearing 1.25 for 4th. Our highest jumping Harrier of the day was Sulaiman Ouiles. Ouiles jumped 1.65 to finish 2nd U17M and just 1cm below his PB.

Our sprinters were on fire in the 200m with Harriers winning 4 out of the 7 races. Oliver Spencer started this in race 1 where he flew away from the field to win by 1.1 seconds in a new PB of 23.7. M50 athlete, Micheal Gardiner showed he is still a force to be reckoned with with a SB of 25.4 to take 4th place. Having been in brilliant shape all season Fred Fowler showed his class with a race 2 victory in 25.1 to lower his PB by 0.5 seconds. Oliver Belbeck was also in PB form, running 26.8 for 4th. In race 3 Philip Hunt took 2nd in 26.9 and Rebecca Hoadley showed her range with a PB of 27.4 for 3rd. Lily Marchant looked in control as she took the win in race 3 with a SB of 27.7. Marchant was followed home by Elinor Farrier in 2nd with 28.0 and Esme Rolfe with a new PB of 31.3 in 6th. George Hemus made it 4 Harrier wins with a brilliant PB of 26.0 in race 5. Also competing in race 5 was Emily Spencer and Megan Amey who finished 4th in 30.0 and 5th in 30.1 respectively. In the final 200m race U13 Matthias Andrews ran a PB of 31.7 for 2nd.

Oliver Belbeck competed in 3 events over the evening and incredibly managed to produce PBs in all three. The final one we have to go through is the 600m where Belbeck was the only Harrier to compete in race 1. Up against tough oppositions Belbeck ran well to finish 5th in 1:42.7. Race 2 saw Dominic Martin come home in 1st showing strength in the later stages to run a PB of 1:39.9. In the same race there was also a PB of 1:47.9 for Leo Soakell in 4th and a SB of 1:54.8 for Hetty McCartney in 6th. Caleb Green achieved a PB in race 3 for 3rd place in 1:57.1. Race 4 saw U11 Ivy Wightman finish in 6th in 2:11.1 and Ilsa Tomkins finish just behind in 7th in 2:11.3. U11 Jessica George ran a PB in race 5 to take 2nd place in 2:15.9.