Track & field
Northern Track & Field League 2011, Match 3
Holmfirth Harriers’ athletes were out in force for the 3rd Northern Track & Field fixture held at Preston. With Holmfirth in equal 3rd place at the halfway stage, it was important to maintain their position in order to stay in Division 1 at the end of the season. The weather conditions were ideal; warm, sunny and with just the gentlest of breezes ensuring good performances throughout the day.
Sprinters Lauren Storr and Emma Szostak were first in action in the 400m hurdles recording 73.1secs and 78.8secs respectively. Their best performance, however, came later in the afternoon in the 100m hurdles with Lauren finishing 3rd ‘A’ in 16.2secs and Emma 4th ‘B’. In the men’s 110m Hurdles Graham Bickerdike finished a clear 3rd whilst George Price gave excellent support with his 2nd place in the ‘B’ event. Jake Richardson and Peter Franklin continue to improve in the 400m hurdles dipping under the 70sec barrier with 69.7secs and 69.8secs respectively.
Max Kaye, fresh from his success at the English Schools the previous day, stormed round the 800m to win in 1min 59.4secs ahead of some very experienced senior athletes. Team mate Thomas Traviss-Pollard lowered his PB to 2mins 02.7secs in the ‘B event. Max went on to finish a fine 3rd in the ‘A’ 1500m’ gaining a total of 15 points to take him into second place in the top point scorer award. Matthew Pierson and Dave Turnbull again ran strongly in the 5000m to take 3rd ‘A’ and 1st ‘B’ respectively. Richard Smith was just outside his PB in the 3000m Steeplechase with a time of 10mins 18secs. Jake Richardson showing improved technique over the barriers broke the 12min barrier with a new best of 11mins 55secs.
In the women’s 3000m, Katie Walshaw and Nikki Brown had tremendous runs to cross the line in 2nd ‘A’ and 3rd ‘B’ respectively. Katie followed this with another fine performance in the ‘A’ 1500m with 5mins 01.9secs, whilst Claire Leaver gave good support in the ‘B’ race recording 5mins 09.4secs. Ruby Sykes made her debut in the senior team with a solid performance in the 800m. She went with the initial pace but despite finding it tough against older, stronger athletes recorded 2mins 35.2secs.
It was in the Jumps events that Holmfirth’s male athletes showed massive improvement. Jacob Henton took 3rd place with 6.11m in the Long Jump to head the 2011 club rankings. Luke Craven was 2nd ‘B’ in the Long jump before going on to take 3rd ‘A’ in the Triple Jump with 12.02m. George Price gave good support with his 11.02m. Both George and Graham Bickerdike were 3rd in the High Jump each recording 1.65m in their event. For the women Emma Szostak and Naomi Harvey-Franklin teamed up in both the Long Jump and Triple jump giving solid performances, whilst Katie Franklin and Jenny Ibbitson contested the High Jump.
Luke Craven was given the responsibility of running the ‘A’ 100m. Three athletes crossed the line in 11.7secs behind Carl Dickinson and Sean Vernon, but it was Luke who out dipped the rest to take third. Team mate Russell Bamforth finished sixth in the ‘B’ 100m. Jacob Henton’s best performance in the sprints was his 5th place in the 400m ably supported by Peter Franlklin. Will Lander found the going tough in the 200m recording a time of 25.1secs
Luaren Storr finished 4th in the ‘A’ 100m with 13.7secs, whilst Harriet Roberts ran her fastest time in the 400m for 2 seasons recording 62.2secs before going on to support Naomi Harvey-Franklin in the 200m. Cara Penfold moved down a distance to run the ‘B’ 400m in 69.9secs.
The clubs top throwers Graham Bickerdike and Thomas Jennings had an extremely busy day. Graham was second in the Javelin, Shot and Discus ‘A’ events. Thomas gave excellent support by winning the ‘B’ Shot, and finishing 4th in the ‘A’ Hammer gaining valuable points for the team.
Jenny Ibbitson and Katie Zientek were both in good form in the throws. Jenny’s best performances came in the Discus was her 3rd place with 29.32m, whilst Katie’s fourth place in the ‘A’ Javelin and 2nd in the ‘B’ Discus show the benefits of consistent training. Jenny’s 2nd place in the Pole Vault added a further 7 points to her total.
The relay events always provide an exciting finish. In both the women’s 4 X 100m and 4 X 400m, Holmfirth finished 5th whilst the men finished 6th in both the 4 X 100m and 4 X 400m.
Finally the club’s officials John McFadzean, Kevin Johns, Adrienne Dewhirst, Richard Szostak, Andy Storr, Andrew Ibbitson and helpers Russell Bamforth, Alwyn Dewhirst, and Peter Franklin, ensured the full complement of 30 points could be added to the athlete’s scores.
This was the highest level of competition yet faced by Holmfirth AC’s athletes. Preston Harriers and City of Manchester having drafted in their National League athletes took 1st and 2nd place with 418.5points and 384points respectively. However it was a titanic struggle for the remaining clubs with positions changing throughout the afternoon as the results for each new event was added to the scoring tables. After 37 events only 6 points separated 3rd, 4th and 5th places. Holmfirth had moved back into 4th with 328.5 points behind Blackburn on 333 points and ahead of Lincoln in 5th with 327 points. The League positions remain close with Holmfirth now in 4th. It is vital that Holmfirth turn out in force for the last match to secure their place in Division 1 for the following season.