Sat 9 June 2018, Blackpool For many athletes these championships are a stepping stone to qualify for the English Schools Track & Field Championships which take place next month in Birmingham. Preston Harriers athletes run in unfamiliar kit for their district schools’ teams. Ten Harriers set qualifying performances and so will represent Lancashire County Schools at the national final.
Reigning English Schools champion Jasmine Jolly ran a championship best performance beating her own best from last year by 1.4 seconds to post 42.4 in the intermediate girls’ 300 metres hurdles and book her place on the Lancashire team to try and retain her title. Darcey Lonsdale ran a qualifying time of 2.14.3 in winning the intermediate girls 800m. Senior boy Nathan Dunn won the 3000 metres in 8.34.1 which was a qualifying time.
Training partners Taylor Jacob and Harry Burrow had a battle royal in the junior boys 80 metres Hurdles. Taylor took the lead from the start with Harry a metre behind at the first hurdle. Taylor extended his lead by another half a metre by the sixth hurdle. Harry then started to reduce the gap but was still behind by half a metre at the last hurdle but the finishing line came too quick for Harry. Taylor won in a championship best performance of 11.7 (a record that had stood for 14 years) with Harry just 0.1 second behind and also equalling the old record (both qualifying times). The rivalry will continue at the Nationals.
Junior Thomas Barnes won his 1500 metre race in 4.20.3 to qualify. Also qualifying were senior boys Leon Stubbs 400 metres (49.0 sces.) and Joshua Leatherd 200 metres (22.2 secs). Harvey Noble, a combined events athlete was delighted with his lifetime best of 6.40 metres (qualifying distance) in the intermediate boys’ long jump. A brilliant throwing sequence saw James Lupton qualify, throwing in his first competition this year in the junior boys’ discus (38.12m). The most unexpected qualification was junior boy Will Walmsley who only joined the club 5 weeks ago and jumped over a metre further than his previous best in the long jump with 5.94 metres.
Lancashire Schools will select 40 athletes, so other Harriers athletes who were close to qualification may be selected for the team.