Back to back promotions for Harriers 7/8/17


This week Richmond and Zetland Harriers senior track squad were on the hunt for promotion to Division 2 of the Northern athletics league in the last meet of the year held at Whitley Bay. Starting the day in 2nd but clear of 3rd by 3 points it only required Team R&Z to finish in at least 3rd to guarantee promotion. However, we were shorn of a large number of athletes in both the mens and womens teams with unavailability due to weddings, work, holidays, cricket matches, postings to the Falklands, humanitarian missions to Peru and even an unfortunate selection for the World Championships deprived us of at least 15 athletes. However, the strength and depth of the club even one that is not as large as many of our competitors shows the true fighting spirit of the Harriers.

Even before the day started members had to battle their way through two accidents on the A1 to arrive just in the nick of time. As usual the match commenced with the mens hammer and our big men of Alex Canizo (19:97) and Mark Fletcher (12:67) didn’t disappoint with a good early platform of points with both finishing 3rd in the A and B strings. The ladies throwers of Fiona Wilson (12:32) and rookie Helen Robson (9:92, pb) were 3rd and 4th in their respective competitions. Alex Canizo in 4th (19:87) returned for the discus with rookie Ryan Greer an excellent 3rd in the B string (16:35, pb). The ladies competition had Pauline Whittaker in 4th (13:76, A string) and a fine performance from Fiona Wilson in 2nd in the B competition (13:44). In the ladies shot rookies Michelle Sprent (5:29, pb) and Helen Robson (4:21, pb) finished 4th in the A and B events in new pb’s. The mens team of Alex (7:97) and Ryan (6:69) again produced strong performances in 3rd in both strings. In the javelin the same throwers were both 5th, but Ryan (22:06) in the A and Alex (15:31) in the B events. The ladies throwers of Fiona Wilson (12:20) and Helen Robson (8:76, pb) were 4th and 5th respectively with their javelins. Joey Hewson had a great jump in 3rd (4:02, A string) and Laura Kirkham producing another excellent result in 2nd (3:71, sb, B string). The mens team of Richard Kirkham (5:04) and Alex Greer were 4th (4:77, sb) and 2nd in their respective long jump competitions. Richard again had a superb jump to finish 2nd in the A triple jump in a new pb (11:39, pb), with great support from Karl Murray (9:57) 3rd in the B event. In the ladies event Pauline Whittaker finished 4th in the A string (6:09). Alex Greer produced a seasons best in the high jump to finish 3rd in the A string (1:50, sb). Karl Murray had a good run in the mens 100m to finish 4th (12:4) and Alex Greer running well in 4th (13:3, sb) in heat 2. In a very tight ladies race Joey Hewson (13:3) was 3rd in the A race with rookie sprinter Natalie Wood 4th (18:2, pb) in new pb in the B race. Joey again had an excellent race in the 200m finishing 2nd (27:5) and Pauline Whittaker took 3rd in the B string (34:2). The mens runners of Richard Kirkham (25:7) and Luke Hack (26:9) both finished 3rd in their respective heats. Luke produced a great run in the 400m in 2nd (57:4) with Rob Scott also taking 2nd in the B heat (58:3). In the ladies 400m, Laura Kirkham took 4th (71:5, pb) in the A string with Emily Kirby winning the B race (74:5). The 800m had Pauline Whittaker take a famous 2nd and a huge chunk of her pb in the A race (2:53:6, pb) and Natalie Wood also in pb form with 4th in the B event (4:07:6, pb). In the mens races Liam Rabjohn was 2nd (2:13:7) in the first heat and Lewis Moore running a controlled race was also 3rd in the second heat (2:28:9). David Hack produced a seasons best in the 1500m to finish 4th in the A event (04:55:0, sb) and Lewis Moore smashed his pb also 4th in the B string (05:05:8, pb). In the ladies race Laura Kirkham was 3rd (5:42:8) and Michelle Sprent with a new lifetime best in 2nd in the second heat (6:47:8, pb). Michelle also ran in the 3000m running well for 5th (13:55:3, pb). In the mens steeple chase Rob Scott (10:18:1) and Luke Hack (11:21:7) both ran excellent tactical races to finish 2nd and 1st in their respective heats. This tactical running to preserve legs for the relays to come was repeated in the 5000m, with Liam Rabjohn (15:25:3) stretching away for 1st in the A race and Rob Scott also 1st in the B race (16:24:5). Karl Murray ran another great race to win the 400m hurdles and end the season undefeated (63:6) and Luke Hack took top honours in the B race (67:0, pb). Karl also won the 110m hurdles in another great time (19:8). The day finished with the relays and Richmonds ladies quartet were 3rd (62:7) in the 4 x 100m (Joey Hewson, Laura Kirkham, Emily Kirby and Pauline Whittaker). Their mens counterparts of Lewis Moore, Richard Kirkham, Alex Greer and Karl Murray were 4th (59:5). In the 4 x 400m the squad of Emily Kirby, Michelle Sprent, Pauline Whittaker and Laura Kirkham finished in 3rd (05:36:5) and the mens team of Rob Scott, Liam Rabjohn, Luke Hack and Karl Murray ended the day in a very good 2nd (03:49:2). After all the points were totted up Richmond ended the day in 3rd which was more than enough to ensure promotion to division 2 and trips to exotic tracks such as Leeds, Morpeth, Middlesborough and York. Our other elite athlete, Liam Rabjohn took a last minute decision and used the 5km on the track as a warm up for the Jane Tomlinson York 10k to win comfortably (31:41) in a field that included international athletes. It was noticed that he wasn’t wearing his club vest – however not being a minger he had left it to be washed from the day before.

Young Kyle Rabjohn finished 1st at Skipton parkrun and a massive new pb by nearly 6 minutes (18:38, pb). Nicki Buckett was also a tourist this week at Bournemouth parkrun finishing in 255th (29:10, pb). At Darlington parkrun Jeremy Pattison was 6th (18:16), Ken Harker was 9th (18:33), Shaun Purkiss was 26th (20:40) and Craig Morton was 188th (28:46). Reece Dalton took the win at Fountains Abbey parkrun (16:18). At Catterick racecourse parkrun Tony Ditchburn was 20th (20:51, pb), George McCowie was 25th (21:22), Holly McCowie in 40th and the 3rd lady (22:47), Ryan Greer was 60th (25:14, pb), Karen Greer was 114th in a huge new pb by over a minute (31:03, pb) and Susie McCowie in 133rd and another new pb (33:42, pb). Kevin and Jane Bond ran Penrith parkrun with Kevin finishing in 12th in a big pb (20:48) and Jane also in pb shape in 134th (29:26, pb). It has been suggested that Marc Scotts real reason for going to Oregon is to help recruit a number of new athletes for next seasons track league. However, this has been rejected by the management in case of potential recruits confusing York and New York as venues. We can also confirm that Justin Gatlins application has been rejected by Chairman Ken Harker as he goes against our policy of developing young up and coming athletes, nothing to do with his past or that he wouldn’t get in the team! Marc Scott will only be eligible for selection after a lengthy meeting (may last all of 5 minutes) and it has been suggested that his previous runs during 2016 in the 200m and the 1500m at the hallowed field of Darlington have been the building blocks for this seasons pb’s and selection for the British team. The team management, athletes and captains would like to thank our officials of Heather and Bill Atkinson, Graham and Fiona Wilson, Graham Purvis, Christiane Adams and Frank Baxter for all their sterling work in officiating during the season, promotion couldn’t have been possible without you all! It is very much appreciated. Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website