27 April 2019, Sportscity, Manchester Last summers Northern Champions of the Lower Youth Development Premier League, Preston Harriers (winning it for the first time in their history), had a tough start to the season travelling to Sale Harriers Manchester (who were Northern Champions for the previous five seasons) in their opening match of the season. Sale were keen for revenge last seasons defeat, fielded a strong team. Harriers started well and established a lead of 12 points after a third of the events. Sale from then on slowly outscored Harriers to overcome their deficit and pulled away to win by 65.5 points. Scoring 656.5 to Harriers 591 points. Harriers finished second with Wirral A C 13 points behind in third.
Jay Whiteside had a brilliant day setting a new club record with a lifetime best jump of 1.53 metres in the under 13 boys High Jump 4cm higher than his previous best. He also ran a personal best in the 200m ‘B’ Race of 29.8sec (0.9 secs faster). Harriers athletes set 31 new personal bests. George Lowe improved his personal best by 7.32m in the under 15 Boys Hammer throwing 34.21m in the ‘A’ event while Isaac Delaney increased his lifetime best to 29.49m in the ‘B’ competition. Also in the Hammer both Emma Harrison & Tamalyn Dickinson set new personal best in Under 15 Girls recording 34.84m & 30.12m respectively.
In the under 15 Boys age groups personal bests were set by Archie Dowds 100m(11.8) & 200m (23.5), Daniel Valentine 300m (45.9), Hayden Middleton 300m (43.4), Thomas Chadwick 800m (2:16.2), Charlie Haigh 1500m (4:52.9) and Michael Kiley Javelin (29.41).
Lifetime best were set in the under 15 Girls by Imogen Blackwell, First, 800m (2:20.4), Ruby Allison Pole Vault (1.90) and Isabella Buraimo Javelin (21.44). The Under 13 Boys had personal best set by Jack Winstanley 800m (2:41.4), Sam Smalley 1500m (5:18.4), Connor Rigby High Jump (1.15m) and Harry Appleton Shot (6.69).
Cerys Allen (under 13 Girl) had a brilliant match winning both the 75m and 150m in 10.5 secs. (PB) and 20.1 secs. respectively to record a sprint double. In the same age group Evie Kett powered to win the 70m hurdles in a personal best time og 12.9 secs. and then set a new figures of 11.1 for the 75m. Annabel Cutting ran 2:49.7 (PB) in the under 13 girls 800m. Under 13 Girls 1200m saw both Megan Reynolds & Ava Jones set PB’s of 4:35.3 & 4:45.3 respectively, then Sophia Ince Shot (5.86m), Evie Kitchen Shot (4.81m) and Eleanor Norris-Jones Javelin (14.36m) all set new lifetime best.
The standard of competition in this league has significantly improved since last season and Harriers will need to put out their strongest team to catch Sale in the next match which is at Bebington on the Wirral in two weeks time. Match Result 1 Sale 656.5pts, 2 PRESTON HARRIERS 591 pts, 3 Wirral AC 578pts, 4 West Cheshire 457.5pts, 5 Liverpool Harriers 437pts, 6 Blackburn Harriers 424.5pts, 7 Stockport Harriers 402pts.