01 June 2021
The Restart Open marked the welcome return of official competition to the Prince of Wales Stadium for the first time since 2019. After weeks of rain, the sun broke through to allow for a brilliant day of events and provide athletes with a vital chance to obtain those English Schools qualifying times/distances.
The first Harrier to take to the track was U15B Freddie Coombe in the 1500m. Coombe took the race on from the start and ran away from the field to finish in 4:56.7, 12 seconds clear of 2nd place. In the following race, fellow U15B Dominic Martin made it two wins for Cheltenham, following a similar approach to Coombes, Martin ran hard from the front finishing 20 seconds clear of 2nd place in a time of 4:55.8. The longest event of the day, the 3000m, saw U17B Isaac Henderson finish as 1st U17 and 3rd overall in 9:12.9. U17W Kiya Dee ran a season’s best of 10:10.0 to finish as 1st female. Competing in her first ever 3000m race, and first race since March 2020, U20W Georgia Palmer ran a well judged race to finish 6th in 10:37.8. In the same race, M60 athlete Nick Holliday was in top form running 10:57.2 to take 0.5 seconds off his previous 3000m best and move into 8th in the UK rankings. M65 athlete Micheal Ede also moved up the UK rankings with a time of 12:19.7 to put him 4th in the UK. Taya Dee (U17W) and Sarah Sheppard (SW) both ran well to finish in 11:23.7 and 11:56.7 respectively. The final distance event of the day was the 800m, U15G Evie Henderson was the fastest Harrier finishing with a time of 2:29.5, just 0.3 seconds slower than her PB set earlier this month. Fellow U15G Milly Foster was also just outside her PB with a time of 2:37.0. U15Gs Eleon Wightman and Isobel Burfitt, however, both ran big PBs of 2:37.6 and 2:58.5. U17W Hetty McCartney ran well to improve her season’s best to finish in 2:37.3, her 2nd quickest time ever. Mia Hopkins ran a strong performance, competing in the U20W age group for the first time, to finish in 2:30.1.
In the shortest of the sprints, SenW Sam Griffiths competed for the first time in almost two years, finishing 5th in Race 2 in 12.5 into a -1.6 headwind. Griffiths then returned to the track for the 200m, finishing 5th in Race 1 with a time of 26.0. U15G Annabelle Wigan also completed a 100/200 double, running 14.3 for the 100m into a strong -2.1 headwind and equalling her PB in the 200m with 29.3. U17W Rosie Wood and U15G Flora Hopcraft also faced headwinds in their 100m races but ran well, achieving times of 15.5 and 14.9. Our fastest 200m runner of the day was SM Harry Boswell who finished 3rd in Race 1 in a time of 24.7. U15B Fred Fowler impressed in Race 4, winning the race in 25.6 and knocking almost 2 seconds off his previous best time. U17W Lily Marchant opened her 2021 season with a strong run of 28.3.
Ruby Brook has been in impressive shape so far this season and looked confident on her way to another 300m PB of 41.9 to reaffirm her 16th place in the UK U17W rankings. In the same age group, Tamsin Hatton also ran well to finish 4th in Race 2 in 47.0. Another athlete who has come out of lockdown flying is U20M Sam Howell, taking another 0.5s off his 400m PB to finish 1st in Race 1 in 49.1, dipping under 50 seconds for the 2nd time this season and moving into the top 10 in the UK. Having moved up an age group since before lockdown, U20W Jorja Webb competed in the 400m for the first time ever and ran a brilliant race to finish in 63.8.
Over the hurdles there were two Harrier wins, with Florence Hampton taking the 75m event in 12.6 and Fred Fowler the 80m in 12.8. Alana Hazell made her debut over 75m, finishing 3rd in 14.5.
In the field, William Andrews-Flint improved his Long Jump PB by 23cm with a jump of 5.43m, coming 2nd in the U17M just ahead of teammate Sulaiman Ouiles, who equalled his PB with 5.00m. Alfie Wood has been in good form all year and did not disappoint, jumping 6.57m for 1st U20M. Rosie Wood competed in the U17W event, jumping 3.78m and Isobel Burfitt was 3rd U15G with 3.83m, both athletes jumped their 2nd best jumps ever.
Andrews-Flint made it 2 PBs in one day with a huge 11.38m in the Triple Jump to finish 2nd and improve his previous best by 40cm, moving him into the top 10 in the UK. Billy Buxton wasn’t far off his best in 3rd with 10.1m.
U15W Alana Hazell was the only Harrier to compete in the High Jump, but was rewarded with a PB of 1.3m.
Sulaiman Ouiles cleared a PB of 3.4m in the Pole Vault to finish as 1st U17M. In 2nd was Bexley Turbard equalling his PB with a jump of 3.2m.
Seven Harriers competed in the Javelin, with four achieving PBs. M45 Alex Merret improved his previous best by over 2 metres to finish 1st in his age with 27.41m. Luca Colombini was 2nd U17M with a PB of 42.06m, fellow U17M Ruben Lombard was 3rd with 41.73m. U15W Florence Hampton competed for the first time with the 500g weighting and was 1st U15G with a throw of 28.44m. Kate Mills was 3rd U15G with a PB throw of 26.06m. Mimi Davis threw 35.01m for 1st U17W proving to be very consistent with all best throws over 35m in competition so far this season.
Linsey Hutchins competed in all four throws events, finishing 1st W45 in the Javelin (19.05m), Hammer (18.43m) and Shot Put (6.75m) and 2nd in the Discus (16.95m). Having already won the 75m Hurdles and Javelin, Florence Hampton made it a hat trick of victories with a PB of 9.14m in the Shot Put, just ahead of fellow U15G Alana Hazell in 2nd with 8.52m. In the Discus, U17M Billy Buxton and U17W Maia Bliss both finished 3rd with throws of 30.81m and 19.69m.