Young Hearts Run Free!
At the second of this year’s Heart of England tri-Series Competition, the female branch of Harborough AC’s youth ranks busied themselves quite literally aping the recently-released ‘Fast Girls’ film!
On the big screen, the movie focuses on a relay squad taking shape ahead of a gold-medal winning performance. And, at Stourport’s Alan Moreton Track, the U13 Girls’ 4x100m team produced a podium-topping run this past weekend, stopping the timing devices at 59.7s. Not only that but, in doing so, they also set new Club Records for all age groups, from their own U13 level, right through to expunging the senior mark from the annuls! The quartet of Charlotte Ellis, Mollie Watson, Alice Tansey, and Niamh Watson registered the swiftest ever female HAC relay run as very much the icing on the proverbial cake, after a plethora of Personal Bests and new Club Records had already been set.
On a remarkable day, no fewer than fifteen individual bests were established, along with four individual Club Records. In the Under 13 group, Mollie Watson produced a new Club mark in the 70m Hurdles, taking 0.5s from the previous best, which had stood since 1986 – some 13 years before she was even born! Seemingly not content with that, she then went on to win the B-string Long Jump, and place second in the B-string 1500m, before taking her spot in the ‘awesome foursome’ relay team. Mollie’s sister, Niamh, also set a new Club Record over the 1500m (5:37.5), before then taking second spot in the A-string Long Jump. Also in that bracket, Alice Tansey completed a set of podium-place finishes, with first in the 800m, second in the High Jump, and third in the 200m (A-string). Over the latter of those distances, for the B-string, Charlotte Ellis took top-spot, before going on to set a new Record of 6.65m for the Shot Put.
In the oldest age-range for the Series – the Under 17s – Bethany Ellis competed in three disciplines, returning with one win, and two thirds. Victory in the 800m – an event in which she has represented the Senior team on several occasions this term – was supplemented with third in the 300m. But it was her other bronze-medal finish – in a time of 13.6s over the 100m – which brought the biggest smile, as she consigned the previous Club Record – set in 1985 – to the dustbin.
Reflecting, Junior Club Co-ordinator, Traci Edwards, said: “what the girls have achieved today has been nothing short of incredible! The conditions were great, and they certainly took full advantage. There’s no doubt either that they all help to inspire one another, and drive each other on. The support and camaraderie is clear for everyone to see, and we all can’t now wait to the final meeting, in Leamington at the start of September.”
The weekend also saw the 2012 British Masters Track & Field Championship. Held over two days at the Moorways Stadium, Derby, the Championships is highly prized amongst the athletics community. And twelve months on from collecting a silver and bronze, Karen Brooks took the opportunity to complete a full set!
Competing in the FV50 category, Brooks first took to the tarmac – on Day One – for the 1500m. Her time of 5:22.31 not only represented her best time personally for two years, but also sees her now ranked fourth in the whole of the UK! Day Two, and the double-run of 5000m and 800m beckoned. With third spot in the former (in 20:05.78), it was down to the shorter distance to conclude her efforts. And, in fine style, she would do just that! A time of 2:41.20 took her up to second in the UK-wide rankings (with a new PB), and yielded the much-sought gold medal for Brooks. A clearly beaming training partner, Rick Brown, was quick to offer “Karen’s had a really strong season, all-round. And to come away from the weekend with the full set of medals is testament to that. She should be really proud, and has flown the flag for everyone at the Club in fantastic fashion.”
Also competing in the BMAF Championships, Andy Wilkinson took a good run of recent form through to another strong showing. However, his Pole Vault clearance here of 3.20m could only take him to fourth spot.
Earlier in the week, meanwhile, Roy Barber continued his season with a double-run at the Cambridge AA Open. The two-time County Champion produced two solid performances, to help maintain a long season, heading towards the final Senior Track & Field meeting of the campaign – proving once again the benefit of a dedicated winter training programme.