(Above: Elise in the New Mexico State pale blue vest coming out of the water jump at NCAA Steeplechase; photo credit James Schwaberow, Getty)
Another good week on the track, road and fells this past week by Wells City Harrier members:
National Collegiate Championships (USA); Somerset Schools County Championships; fast 5k; and Dartmoor fell-running. Plus news of prizes for breaking course records at the Wells Festival of Running races in September .....
U23 year old twins Elise & Ollie Thorner competed out of their skins at the US NCAA Championships. Elise finished 5th in the 3000m Steeplechase in a time just 1 second outside of her personal best (pb) but she had such a gutsy run against the cream of the US+ Steeplechasers – the winner of this race may well be competing for TeamUSA at the forthcoming World Championships. Ollie achieved 2 personal bests in the Decathlon -and again a couple of the US Athletes in the event will, for sure, be at an Olympics soon.
Meanwhile, closer to home there were a number of junior Harriers out competing for their Area Schools teams at the Somerset Schools T&F Championships and a good number either won or achieved personal bests on the day. Some have now been selected for the Somerset Schools team to compete this coming Saturday at the SW Schools Championships, another stepping-stone to the prestigious English Schools Championships.
Read on also for some great times at a recent 5k road race by a squad of senior Harrier; another fell running report; the return of the Yeovilton 5k race – in July; and an update on the Wells Festival of Running (11th September) where prize money is on offer to any that break the course records.
(Below: Ollie Thorner, 3rd from camera, in his Washington State vest, fast out of the blocks...)
We start with some outstanding performances by Harriers over in the States where they battled hard in the National Collegiate Athletics Championships against the best of the USA (& often the rest of the world!). These Championships are highly regarded – the College based system in the States is the engine room for developing athletic talent, and the various Colleges vie with each other to sign up young talented athletes from around the world to bolster their squads on scholarships – Nigerian; Kenyan; Uk; Jamiacan; etc nationals get all their College fees paid and effectively become part-time athletes under close professional coach supervision whilst also studying for their Degrees.
Ollie achieved a total of 7473 pts in the Decathlon, just a tad short of the 7750 needed for Commonwealth Games selection for TeamEngland. He finished 15th out of the 24 competitors. His individual events saw two personal bests amongst the ten:
PV 4.81m (6th) pb
1500m 4.24.59 (4th) pb
15th out of 24
(Below: Ollie goes over for a new PB at Pole Vault)
In her semi-final, Elise ran a 9.43 and qualified for the final with the 9th fastest time. In the final itself she finished 5th in what was a very fast race. A new Meeting & Championship time (5th fastest by an American ever) was set by the winner whilst Elise was a second outside of her pb with 9.33.
She was in 7th place with 400m to go and managed to catch & overtake 2 other competitors by the line. She's going to be doing some pacemaking for a fellow athlete in the next few weeks, before competing at the British T&F Championships.
Somerset Schools County Championships – Yeovil – Saturday 11th June
Another good set of performances by the Harrier youngsters, with at least one personal best, by u15 Tom Webb, and a host of wins in different age groups. Well done all.
(S=now Selected for County team at SW Championships)
Harry Barton 110h senior boys 1st 14.3 S
Dan Maydew 3000m SB 1st 8.41 S
Sophie Nicholls 1500m IG 1st 4.34 S
Macey Noad 1500m 5.04
Tom Webb 1500m JB 1st 4.19 (pb) S
Finlay Downes 1500m IB 4.54
Melissa McCusker 300m IG 1st 44.25 S
Melissa McCusker 800m IG 2.32
Bradley Glover 400m SB 53.12
Bradley Glover 800m SB 1st 2.07 S
Oliver Castle 800m SB 2.14
Jack Harvey 800m IB 1st 2.13 S
Amelie Cook 800m JG 2.39
(Below: Tom Webb 1st at Junior Boys 1500 - Year 8&9 - with a pb)
At the Dorset Schools Championships Hannah Blundy won the Senior Girls 3000m in 10.11.
U20 Harry Barton also competed earlier in the week at an invitational Loughborough meeting where he achieved a pb of 14.14 for the 100mHurdles. This time consolidates his position amongst the top 4 quickest in the UK for his age group at this event.
National Athletics League at Portsmouth 4th June - National One Division
The results from this fixture are now available. YOAC finished 2nd behind Belgrave Harriers but ahead of Portsmouth AC, Milton Keynes AC, Yate AC & Southend AC. There were a couple of Harriers competing hard at this fixture, gaining valuable points for the combined team.
1st Steeplechase 3000m
6th 1500m 4.15
4th 3000m 9.26
5th 800m 2.54
6th 1500m 6.17
5th 3000m 13.11
Dates coming up for Track & Field in addition to the dates for the SW League & National League (see team tab or YOAC website). Paid up Harriers should enter these events as YOAC members.
***Thursday 7th July - Yeovil Open Meeting
***Sunday 24th July South West Athletics Championships (check the standards) at Exeter - entry information & link here https://form.jotform.com/221574751750356 (entry deadline Tuesday 12th July)
Great times at a local 5k – Odd Down on1st June 2022
Jon James reports on some nippy times by the senior Harriers squad over 5k:
“There were good performances to report at the recent Bristol and West AC organised South West pb 5K series, held on the Odd Down cycle track in Bath.
19th - Matt Lusby - 15.43 - pb
30th - Jon James - 15.58 - ranks 1st nationally in M55 age group for 2022 and 5th in the all time list for 5K
71st - Tom Dukes -M40 - 17.06 - quickest time for 3 years
86th - Adam Sutton - 17.42 – pb
98th - Jeremy Linter - 18.02 - pb"
Coming up on the road we hear that theYeovilton 5k road race is coming back this summer
Yeovilton 5k returns: Wednesday 13th July 7.15pm: Enter online via fullonsport
Fell Running bit
Also racing this last weekend was yours truly at a Dartmoor Fell Race – the Oke Croak. This 10.6 mile race with 2,000feet of climb, from Okehampton, takes competitors to the top of Oke Tor and then across to the checkpoint at Yes Tor with runners following their own line to and from the Tors back to the finish. Even after 5 times of running this race I’m still fine-tuning the best line to run. It can be disastrous to follow other runners! This year, I was 18th out of 30 competitors in a time of 2.00.17 with glorious views across the moors.
A few Harriers have already entered the Brecon Fans fell races on 2nd & 3rd July. Information here. Compete in one or both races over the weekend.
Multi-terrain team race coming up
Oli Frost reports:
“The Harriers have been invited once again to enter teams in the Parrett Team Ten K race Langport 14 July 2022 at 7pm from behind the Tescos in Langport. We entered two teams last year and won the team prize! it is a trail race running much of it alongside the river Parrett, up to Aller and back to the start. It would be great if we could get a couple of teams again. It is teams of 5 with the first 4 counting. We need to let the organisers know by the 1st of July if we plan to take part.
Who's in? If you are a paid up Harrier the club will pay your entry fee.”
Looking ahead, the organisers of the Wells Festival of Running are making progress as they look towards the races on Sunday 11th September. The new committee organising these races on behalf of the Festival are looking to incentivise some fast running and there will also be T-shirts available....Whilst not organising these races, the Harriers support this community event which raises money for local good causes.
Rosie Parks reports:
“Prizes for course records at Wells Festival of Running
With just under three months until the return of the Wells 10km and 5km races - now called the Wells Festival of Running - the organisers are offering generous prizes for anyone who sets a new course record on the day. The races take place on Sunday 11 September.
The prizes on offer are:
- Men’s and women’s 10km course record - £100 each
- Men’s and women’s 5km course record - £50 each
The challenge is no easy feat with some great times set in previous years by talented runners. The current course records are:
- Men’s 10km – 30.54 (Ben Tickner, 2008)
- Women’s 10km – 35.57 (Holly Stables (nee Rush), 2008)
- Men’s 5km – 17.38 (Lewis Sternkopf, 2017)
- Women’s 5km – 22.14 (Emily Fenner, 2017)
Fancy your chances? Enter the race here. “
Below: The start of the various races is always fast and furious...this one from 2018...