Midland safety following a home 2nd place

On a mixed weather day, a Harriers team missing some of its key point scorers clinched midland league safety with a fine 2nd place behind league winners Cannock & Stafford. Once again, it was the Harriers Womens team that led the way with an overall victory.

There were A String wins for Niamh Bailey in the 200m, Fran Ashworth in the 800m, Jess Gordon in the 1500m on the track. In the field, there were A string wins for Niamh in the Long Jump and Daisy Gilbert in the Hammer setting a new club record of 36.61m.

In a strong display, there were also B string wins for Claudia Nevett in the 1500m, Daisy in the Shot Putt and Annie Gilbert in the Hammer. There were also medal placings for Fran & Sheena Britten in the 400m, Niamh & Lorna Milne in the 100m Hurdles, Abi Coleman & Imi Stokes in the 400m hurdles, Abi in the 800m & Babs Fulton in the 3000m.

A depleted mens team suffered a further blow when Pete Mills injured himself in his first event of the day. Although there were no A string victories, the mens team led by multi eventers Aidan Bailey & Bradley Fox scored points across field and track. There were also v useful points scored by the Hayes brothers in both their regular track events and less regular field (Javelin and High Jump).

League 3 safety was only clinched however by the results in the relays with the 4x400m pairings taking a close second in the women's event and a fine win in the men's event to close the season. As Harriers wait to see who will be their 3rd division opponents for next season, todays performance gave hope that promotion can be achieved in 2015.

Middle Distance Squad Report

The last Midland league match of the 2014 provided some great opportunities for the squad to actively contribute towards the club target of retaining div 3 status, which was achieved on the day with a splendid second place overall, with some excellent performances.

In the Middle distance events, the women in particular were dominant, with Fran Ashworth cruising to a fine win in the A 800m with 2:21.6, and Abigail Coleman securing a B 800 second place (2:33.4) despite running the 400m hurdles some 30 minutes earlier where se secured an excellent A stream second place with 69.5. In the 1500m the squad were similarly dominant with a Fine A & B win with Jess Gordon reeling in a tiring Claudia Nevett with 400m to go to win the race outright with 4:54.9, and Cludia Nevett coming second overall and winning the B race in a solid 4:59.4. Fran Ashworth also secured an excellent second place in the A 400m with 60.4, and then returned in the penultimate race with the women’s 4x400m in the anchor leg, which was an exciting race which went right to the wire with Cannock & Stafford just winning by 0.5 of a second, C&S had secured a slight lead in the opening two legs in which Abigail Coleman (63) & Claudia Nevett (66) making an excellent start, Jess Gordon in leg 3 pulled the deficit right back with a strong leg (62) and Fran chased down the C&S anchor with a strong run (61) but was just unable to close them down before the line.

In the men’s squad there were similarly strong runs with Jed Hayes securing third position with 2:02.6, and debutant George Glinski securing a fine second place in the B race with a new PB to boot of 2:07.4. Also running as a gust in the B race U15 Jake Trent showed great maturity to time his finish perfectly to win the race with an excellent new PB of 2:05.9 and both show great promise in this event for 2015 season. In the 1500m Lewis Hayes ran well in his first outing following a 2 week break to finish runner up in the A race with 4:14.6, and Dan Thompson a little off his best with 6th position in the B race with 4:40.2. In the 3k Debutant in the Midland League, Edward Cannell ran a gutsy run to finish a fine 4th in the A race and dip below 10 minutes for the first time with a PB performance of 9:57.3, with David Edwards 4th in the B race with 10:21.1. In one of the most exciting race of the day the Hayes brothers and Dan Thompson/ Ashley McClintock secured a magnificent victory in the men’s 4x400m, with Ash finishing his lead leg neck and neck with 4 teams on the finishing straight, Dan ran a solid second leg but dropped a few places in a very competitive race, handing over to Jed who ran a superb 3rd leg to reel in and pass the leaders at the 200m mark, but he held on strong to pass the baton to twin Lewis who maintained his slender lead until the finishing straight where he unleashed his 800m kick to secure the win from Bromsgrove & Redditch by two seconds!

In a superb season of 9 Club Records for the squad, and not to be outdone by the new star steeplechaser Jack Hope, it was quite a shock that the 10th Club Record record fell to head Endurance Coach Shane Smith (who was filling in for Matt peleszok, recovering from his Iron Man exploits) who set new figures for the Vet 50-59 for the 3k steeplechase with a leisurely 13:32.9 for 4th in the B race with Terry Hatter finishing 5th in the A stream race. Not sure Jack will gain much insight from technique employed by his coach to clear barriers!!

The squad showed great team spirit in also competing for events not normally associated with them to secure points…..who could forget Jed Hayes triple jump & High jump, and Lewis Hayes Javelin throws??

Well done to everybody, with the 2014 season having been a massive success on all counts, it remains to be seen if there are any significant further success in the last remaining weeks of the season?