The Kids Are Alright!
Nuneaton's Pingles Stadium was the setting for the first of this year's Senior Track & Field League matches this past weekend, and saw a number of Harborough AC's younger stagers opening their senior profiles with strong performances.
The trio of Callum Burston, Martha Clapp, and Bethany Ellis are more usually-versed in junior competitions, but encouraging displays – along with fabulously positive attitudes – have seen them swiftly elevated to the senior ranks. Having turned out in the same settings last term, Ellis' slightly higher level of experience was evidently to the fore, as she registered two individual wins (in the A-string 800m and long jump), while also running legs in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays – both of which engendered third-place finishes. Clapp, meanwhile, marked her team debut with a new Personal Best and Under 17/ Under 20 Club Record run in the 3000m (B-string, 11:40.8); also featuring in the relays. For his part, Burston chose to dive right in at the deep end, racing no fewer than four times – in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m – garnering a good haul of points for the team. Another debutant on the day was Jacquie Hanmer. More accustomed to road running feats, Hanmer has shown a wonderful trajectory of performance across all distances so far in 2013, and the 1500m looks set to become yet another statistic for her, as she etched her moniker with victory in the B-string race. Other notable showings on the day came from Karen Brooks in the 800m (with another new Club Record) and Marise Taylor in the 400m hurdles (also rewriting the Club's all-time marks); while respective Captains – Andy Robinson and Lianne Brooks – showed their charges how to do it, with the former winning the 3000m in a fascinating last-lap sprint, and the latter taking victories in the B-string 100m hurdles, and A-string Pole Vault.
At the County Quadkids event, a full baker's dozen of Harborough juniors competed at the latest event. With fierce competition in evidence across the board, there were especially noteworthy displays from Ethan Shoering – who took the top berth in the year ¾ howler throw, and from Hannah Smith – who placed second in the 50m, and third in the 400m.
Midweek had the second event in the East Midlands Grand Prix Series, in the guise of the Rugby six. Held over an undulating course which finishes across a sports field, the race is often proves a tough one to judge in terms of both pace and effort. However, HAC's six-strong squad proved adequately aware within the 300-plus entry, all cracking the 50-minute barrier. Ady King topped the return, with 21st spot (fourth MV40, 35:25), with Hannah Eveleigh clocking 39:39 to take top step on the podium in the FV40 bracket (third female overall). Steve Foxon (167th, 43:29), Kenny Anderson (193rd, 44:43), Nick Johnston (199th, 45:23), and Jackie King (255th, 49:01) rounded off the Club's proceedings.
Elsewhere, Matt Driver took on the Clayton 10km race, notching up a new Personal Best time of 36:46, for ninth position amongst over 240 runners, and over half that distance, Dan Taylor also reduced his lifetime best – to 19:27 – at the latest South Bank Parkrun, taking sixth place in the process. At the Northampton version of that same global Series, Graham Laurie continued his race walking outings, clocking 32:59 this time round.