The Kids Are More Than Alright!
On a beautifully warm, hazy summer’s day – and in the secluded surroundings of the idyllic Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton – eleven of Harborough ACs junior contingent further underlined how the future of the Club’s track and field arm is in rude health, with some stellar performances.
Under the astute leadership and guidance of Traci Edwards, the junior aspect of the Club has been reinvigorated, and the continued expansion and strong on-track performances merely serve to reap the justified rewards for her endeavours. In the guise of the second in the Series of the Heart of England Track & Field meetings, no fewer than six of the Club’s record marks were re-written! Chief among these was the standard redressed by Sam Edwards in the Under13 Boys 1500m, where the debutant took a mammoth 29 seconds off a time that had stood since 1986, clocking 4:58. Seemingly not content with this, Sam then registered first place in the Under13 Boys Shot Put (6.53m), and 14.5s in the 100m. Not to be outdone, two of the more senior members of the team then showed their mettle; Emily Taylor further lowered her own Under17 Women’s 200m Club Record to 28.5s, before setting a new Record mark in the Under17 and Under20 Women’s Shot Put, with 6.11m. Roy Barber also continues to go from strength-to-strength as the season progresses, and this meeting saw him take yet another 0.2s off his 100m Personal Best, and also add 1.76m to the Under17 Men’s Shot Put Record, obliterating the previous record that had stood for some 24 years. Bethany Ellis then continued the trend, taking another Record of similar standing, with 31.1s for the Under15 Girls’ 200m.
Elsewhere, there were first place finishes for Molly Watson, in the Under11 Girls’ 75m and Long Jump; Jack Benstead, in the Under11 Boys’ 75m; Isaac Watson, in the Under13 Boys’ 100m; and Martha Clapp, in the Under13 Girls’ 1500m, while Niamh and Jake Watson maintained their excellent recent form. Alice Tansey, meanwhile, impressed on her Club debut, with Personal Bests in both the Long Jump and 600m (in the Under11 Girls’ category)! Having watched her young charges in action, Traci enthused on their individual and collective progression: “It’s great to see so many of the junior athletes getting out and competing, and you can see how it’s doing wonders for their confidence. For Club Records that have stood since before they were born to be getting broken is no less than they deserve, and I can’t say enough about how proud I am of them all!”
Meanwhile, towards the other end of the age-range spectrum, the recent Veterans’ League Track & Field meeting saw some equally impressive performances at the third of this season’s Divisional matches, held at Leamington. The town was given a royal prefix by Queen Victoria in 1838, and bore witness to some fittingly regal displays of athleticism from Harborough AC Members. Whilst there were wins for both Sean Fenwick (4:21.0 in the Men’s Vet35 1500m) and Hannah Eveleigh (5:12.6 in the Women’s Vet35 1500m) – showing the sort of elegance and grace that has become a quintessential feature of their respective running styles – it was elsewhere, over the same distance, that principle acclaim was levelled; as both Richard Bufton and Karen Brooks set new Club Records. Bufton, for whom 2010 has been a revolution, took over two seconds off the previous benchmark, serving just reward for his fine season. However, the time registered by Brooks – 5:21.1 – reset both the Women’s Vet40 and Vet50 times, and also saw her place sixth in the country over that distance for 2010 (for the Vet50 age), and also crack the UK top twenty list of all-time female Vet50 performances. After recent county and regional rewards over the distance, due national standing came as the perfect recognition for all Karen’s hard graft since returning from injury.
Linda Lawton also had a notably successful evening, recording a new Personal Best in the Women’s Vet50 100m, as well as picking up high-scoring finishes in the 400m and as part of the medley relay, while Marise Taylor had a busy one, scoring well across no less than five events – a feat matched by the evergreen Stuart Avins on the Men’s side.
Away from the Track & Field surroundings, five HAC runners tackled the seven mile course of the fourth in the Leicestershire Road Running League Series. Held around the rural settings of Hungarton, there were strong runs from all five, with Ady King heading the Club pack (in 54th), closely followed by Matt Driver (59th); Adam Brooks (88th); Martin Hughes (203rd); and Jackie King (383rd), in a total field of 482 finishers.