4x400m Club Records Tumble

A small squad of 14 athletes from the Middle Distance Squad (& 1 woman squad…Amanda Marlow!) put in some memorable performances at the 3rd Midland League match which saw the Harriers finishing in last place on the day.

The undoubted highlights of the day were both left until the last races with fantastic new Junior Club records for both the men & women’s 4x400m relay teams, which saw the Harriers totally dominate the competition and both move to top 5 in the UK rankings, an impressive feat for middle distance athletes! The women’s 4x400m squad sliced over 3 seconds from their own club record set in April, which was even more impressive taking into account that all had competed in earlier events, and the margin of victory was such that they were just running against the clock. Their time of 4:02.1 ranks them second in the UK behind Enfield & Haringey (excluding the Junior GB squad).

Fantastic 4x400m Record Breaking teams:

Guilliaume Morand, Ethan Mehmet, Jake Trent, Jed Hayes

Ella Palmer, Abigail Coleman, Jess Gordon, Francesca Ashworth

First leg on the women’s team was from English Schools bound Ella Palmer, fresh from setting her first sub 59 second clocking earlier in the day, who powered out with an aggressive start and brought the girls home with a short lead with a battling performance and the second fastest clocking of 59.79, handing over to Abigail Coleman who had completed a PB 400mH earlier in the day. Abz extended the lead significantly with a 61:87 split with a wonderfully paced run and then handed the baton to Jess Gordon, who had completed a tough 1500m earlier in the day, Jess extended the lead to 100m with a superb 62:10, and handed over to Anchor leg Fran Ashworth who like the rest had competed earlier with an 800m. Having left some in the tank, Fran was left with a sub 62second challenge to break the existing club record, but in a determined mood she romped home with a near 140m lead with a scorching individual split of 58.26 to bring the team home with a victory some 21 seconds ahead of second place, Halesowen A&CC, a race which will live long in the memory.

Not to be outdone by their female counterparts, the junior men’s squad were fired up and were looking to break the 2004 record of 3:30.4. Guilliaume Morand who had completed a 800m earlier was the lead leg, and he got the team off to a terrific start bringing them home neck & neck with host club Tamworth AC with gutsy run with 52:21, handing over to Ethan Mehmet who had also run an 800m earlier in the day. Ethan took charge on leg two and brought the team home with a 10m lead over Coventry Godiva with an impressive run to record a split of 52:97 and leave the team on track for the record. Jake Trent who had earlier set a new PB in the 400m with 52:6 ran an inspired third leg to stretch the lead to over 30m with a remarkable individual split of 50:96 leaving anchor Jed Hayes the easy task of completing the last leg in a low 54 seconds to break the record. Jed was as determined as ever to make a statement, and so it was as he set the fastest leg of the team with a scorching 50:12 to smash the existing record by 4 seconds with a magnificent 3:26.3 to secure a UK to 5 ranking, and like the women’s race this one will also live long in the memory.

It was a wonderful testament to the numbers of quality athletes & the 400m pace the middle distance squad have in abundance, and the teams will be looking for further opportunities to lower the times still further, with a women’s sub 4 minute clocking a definite possibility!

Other performances on the day were very respectable with fine second places for Fran Ashworth & Hannah Winstone in the A&B 800m, a fine second for Jess Gordon in the A 1500m, a new PB & fine 2nd place also for Ella Palmer in the women’s A 400m with 58.6. There was also a 3rd & 4th place respectively for Claudia Nevett & Chloe Hearne in the women’s 3k made very challenging by the hot conditions. And there was a new 5 second PB for guest 1500m runner, Amy Robinson who finished just behind 4th place B runner Sophie Moss in 5:27.7. The Women’s 4x100m team also bagged a 3rd place with Sophie Moss, Claudia Nevett, Chloe Hearne & Amy Robinson. Special mention to “1 Woman Team” Amanda Marlow who apart from officiating on the day was scoring points in many of the women’s field events/ throws, with a fantastic effort.

For the boys there was a solid 2nd place for Jed Hayes in the A 800m with 1:57.0, and a new PB in the A 400m for Jake Trent with 52:6, with decent runs from Edward Cannell in the men’s 5k, Josh Golding in the 1500m, & Tim Hale in the 200m.

Well done to everyone who competed, the final league meeting is on 09th August in Coventry.