Northern Track and Field League
Division East 1N
Sunday 9th July 2023 at York University
Fixture 2 at Cleckheaton had seen a resurgent Holmfirth Harriers team claim an excellent 3rd place. The challenge for fixture 3 in York was to try and back it up with another good team performance. We welcomed a few athletes into the team who were making their first appearance of the season, but we also lost a few athletes due to injury, work, or other commitments. Despite this, the balance of the team looked good and even with a few last-minute changes due to injury we had a decent team. Great credit to everyone who competed, and we couldn’t ask anymore of any of them – there were more than a few tired bodies by the end of the day!
Starting with the men’s team. Will Lander had a superb day with a clean sweep in the sprints with 1st place in the 100m, 200m and 400m A races. Lavell Pierre backed Will up in the 200m and 400m B races coming 2nd and 3rd respectively with a bonus PB in the 200m. He also gained points in the Long Jump, 800m and Steeplechase in an extremely busy day for Lavell. Craig Sheard made a welcome return to track and field and ran a solid 100m in the B race for 3rd place, he also achieved an excellent 3rd place in the Triple Jump A event and additional scored valuable points for the team with PBs in the Shot and Javelin.
In the longer distances we had a good turnout of men. Jack Sunderland in the 800m A race found himself up against some quality opposition but wasn’t fazed and ran a mature race in 4th place and was only narrowly outside his PB. Jack also tried his hand again at Long Jump with a solid performance to get more points.
In the 1500m Kai Sunman ran an excellent season’s best to come 3rd in the A race and soon after put in a decent triple jump effort for 3rd place in the B event. Gary Graham was a good addition to the team this time round and despite being up against far younger opposition ran a superbly judged race to win the B event in a season’s best outdoor 1500m. Damo McQueen ran the 5000m and showed he is coming into form with a 3rd place in the A race in a new season’s best run. The Steeplechase threw up a controversy with Adam Sunderland suffering an extremely harsh disqualification which was disappointing for him and the team. It was more down to an officiating error but sadly despite an appeal the decision stood. Even having won the event comfortably his points were not allowed. Not to be put off Adam put in a huge effort in for the team by stepping in to run the 5000m a bit later and winning the B race on tired legs.
Soljai Waterman competed in all the throwing A events and achieved 3rd place in the Shot Put with a new PB, he also achieved PBs in the hammer and discus winning more valuable points. He then competed in the High jump where he came 3rd in the A event. Finally in the javelin he threw a near personal best to round off a successful and tiring day for him.
We turned out a team in both men’s relays. The 4 x100m (Jack, Lavelle, Will, Craig) made sure they got the baton round to achieve a superb 1st place. Then, the men’s 4x 400m team (Kai, Jack, Lavelle, Will) backed this up with a comfortable victory.
Over the to the ladies, Eve Dutton had another busy day, starting with a solid long jump in the A event. She then came an excellent 3rd place with a new PB in the 100m A race. Later she competed in the High Jump to get some valuable team points before turning out in the 200m with a strong performance with another 3rd place in the A race. Lauren Hirst was busy again in the field events, picking up excellent points in the Long Jump, Shot and Discus events. Lauren also showed her versatility by running the 800m B event for the team – despite having had minimal training.
Ruby Sykes competed in the 800m A event and was a clear winner leading from start to finish in a race on her own. Ruby also offered to do the triple jump and despite it being a while since she last did it managed a decent jump in the A event. Helena Croft and Claire Leaver-Hewitt were once again out representing the team and they both doubled up in the 1500m and 3000m. First up was the 3000m and Helena came 2nd in the A event with an excellent new PB. Claire backed her up with a 2nd place in the B event. The 1500m played out the same way with them both achieving the same positions in the respective events.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a 4×100 team, but we did put out a 4 x 400m team and the team of Eve, Lauren, Helena, and Ruby all ran strong legs to come 3rd team and earn more valuable points.
Special mention to the volunteers from our club who carried out vital officiating duties on the day giving up their time to help make the event happen: John Buckingham, Ian Moore, Phil Scaramuzza, Mike Hirst, Paul Sammonds and Neil Dutton. Officials also score points which go towards the team’s final score so if you are available and willing to lend a hand at future fixtures then please let me know (details below) and I’ll tell you what it entails – you won’t be asked to do anything you’re not comfortable with or qualified to do.
Throughout the day we had put on a good showing, but it was clear that the other clubs had stepped up a bit as well and they were focusing on getting as many events filled as possible to accumulate more points. Overall, in this fixture we finished in 5th place narrowly beaten by Skyrac AC who managed to acquire a few more points by having provided more officials than us.
In the overall standings for the season, we currently lie in 5th place – just above the relegation spot. There is little to separate the teams from 3rd to 6th and so it will be an exciting and close contest to finish off the league season at the final fixture on Saturday 19th August.
We are looking for more athletes to join us for the final fixture at Cudworth, Barnsley. So, if you can run, jump, or throw, and you are interested in representing your club at this event then please let us know. You don’t have to be a superstar, this is a league where every competitor will score points for their club.
Note: To compete you need to be old enough – year 11 at school or older, and a member of Holmfirth harriers.
Please make yourself available for selection by contacting Neil Dutton by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07868 032076 or 07305 130132