Mason Trophy Report

At the Mason Trophy Inter-County championship the 8 Harriers in action helped Northamptonshire Schools into a fine 4th place overall, with the highest placing being for the JG in second place. This is an impressive result for a minor county competing against some much larger counties such as Cheshire, Gtr Manchester, West Midlands in the 10 county schools competition. It was a significant step up in competition for many of the Harriers and a chance to secure English Schools places for those who did not have the qualification time. The event was  held at the impressive Birmingham Alexander Stadium on a day with a mixed bag of weather, which included the threat of thunder storms!

There were some excellent performances from the Harriers contingent with pride of place going to 16 year old Ella Palmer who ran a magnificent race to finish second in her race, and second fasted on the day, with an impressive 2 second PB to lower her 800m time to 2:15.53 and move to the top 25 in the UK. Ella in her first full season in the endurance group has taken to middle distance well and is blossoming as a fine 800m runner. She was quickly on the pace in her race settling into third place on the opening lap which split in 66 seconds, at 300m to go Ella surged ahead of second place and looked full of running into the home straight where she again kicked, closing down the winner Carianne Robertson of the West Midland all the way to the line, and cement her claim for an all-important ES place with an improved sub qualifying time of 2.5 seconds! Ella will wait anxiously for an e-mail and importantly looks capable of going even faster.

There were further fine performances in the 800m with 13 year old Emily Williams finishing in a superb 3rd position in her race and overall with her 4th ES qualifying time with 2:18.74 in a well-executed race which saw the remarkable UK no1 Tilly Simpson win in great style to destroy the old CBP by nearly 6 seconds to record 2:07.94. Emily likewise will wait anxiously to see if her consistent fine performances will get her selected for an ES place at the first attempt as a bottom year Junior Girl? Bottom year IB Jake Trent gave a typical gutsy run to finish in 4th place overall on the day in the Inter-Boys 800m and record an identical time to his PB and his third sub 2:00 clocking with 1:58.80 which was agonisingly 0.8 seconds shy of the ES qualifying time and with 30+ Northants athletes having a qualification standard, it may be a case of Jake having to force himself into contention next year? Ethan Mehmet also in action in the IB 800m set off far too quickly with the first 200m being covered in 27 seconds, Ethan suffered at the bell and run the reaming lap with Lactate filled legs to finish in 2:14, but learning an important lesson in pacing!

There were some good performances in the Inter-Girls 3000m race with Claudia Nevett running a solid race to finish in 6th position with 11:10.34, and Chloe Hearne finishing in 10th with 12:15.86.

There was some good performances for two further Harrier debutants with Erin Healy running in the 100m and finishing in a respectable 11th place overall with 13.17 and will no doubt have gained valuable experience as a bottom year JG. Erin was also just 0.2 seconds off the qualifying time with an injury plagued start to the track season so will also be able to try to secure selection in future years. Danni McCann-Gaskill also finished in a respectable 11th place overall with a solid race in the JG 1500m just outside of her PB with 5:01.70.

In a separate attempt tp secure an ES qualification time, Jack Hope was in action as a guest in the Southern Area League Match in the 2km steeplechase, Jack who has only raced twice over this distance all season due to difficulties in finding races, again improved his PB by 3 seconds with a fine 6:15.9 but again finds himself slightly shy of the 6:10 qualification time, with the move from 1500 to 2k steeplechase from IB to SB proving a difficult step to take in a single year.

Well done to all the Harriers competing and let’s keep finger crossed for Emily & Ella who have ES qualification times but await an e-mail to see if they have been selected?