It has been a busy bank holiday weekend of track and field action, and we will start our round-up of the action in Birmingham at the England Athletics Age Group Champs.
On Saturday, Sadie Parker kicked her U17 long jump competition off in style with a 5.47m jump in the first round, putting her in early medal contention. She followed this with a series of 5 more valid and consistent jumps but was unable to improve her distance. In a very close competition, she eventually finished 5th and just 5cm outside of the medal positions. Lauren Creaby went in the U17 800m heats, looking to make the final. She made a break towards the front with 450m to go as the pace ramped up. She eventually finished in 4th place, just outside of the qualification places.
Cool and breezy conditions greeted our athletes on Sunday, with Hollie-Anne first up in the 200m. Sadly it wasnt her day, and she was unable to perform to her usual standard and did not progress to the semi-finals. Luke Pichler started a busy day in the long jump, starting his comp with a solid 6.33m. After 3 rounds, he was in 9th place and so just missed out on an extra 3 jumps. Shortly after he took part in the 100m hurdles heat, and was right in the mix before clattering hurdle 9 which prevented him from challenging for the qualifying places. Finishing the weekend was Abigail Huntly at her first English Championships. On paper, she had the slowest PB going into the 75m hurdles, but she rose to the occasion and produced a fine run in her heat, finishing in a very competitive 5th place. Her wind-assisted time of 11.97 was her fastest ever time, and just 0.3 off what was required to qualify for the final. Check out our video report below.
The brilliant Tartan Games took place at Gateshead on Sunday, with athletes competing in mixed conditions to say the least! Alex and Harry once again starred in the U11 events. Alex was 1st in the Standing long jump with 1.90m, also winning the howler with a 24.10m throw and he took 3rd in the 60m. Harry took a brilliant 2nd in the 60m in 9.59s, and produced solid performamces in the howler and standing long jump. Aman set a new personal best of 18.78m in the javelin, whilst she returned to form in the hurdles with 12.79 which was another PB. Ben took 3rd place in the 75m in a close race, and finished 1st in the shot put. Izabela was 4th in the 75m hurdles in wet conditions just outside her personal best, and was just outside her PB's in Long jump and 100m. Well done to all who took part!
England Athletics Age Group Champs Results
Tartan Games Results
Five Team Blyth juniors will travel to the world-class Alexander Stadium in Birmingham this weekend for the national Age Group Championships. The qualification standards for this competition are extremely tough, so its testament to the progress of the club that we have more athletes taking part than any other North East club.
Abigail Huntly will be making her first appearance at this level, having achieved the qualification standard for the 75m hurdles last month. This will be a fantastic learning opportunity for her. Hollie-Anne Sudder has already competed over 200m at the English Schools Championship this year, and this is another opportunity for her to shine over the half-lap sprint.
Luke Pichler already has several national titles to his name, and will go up against competition of the highest standard in the 100m hurdles and long jump, as he looks to continue recent progress. Lauren Creaby goes into the 800m looking to finish her championship season on a high after a fantastic summer where she has excelled. Sadie Parker took silver at the corresponding indoor championships earlier on this year, and will require a performance of equal quality to get amongst the medals in a loaded Long Jump field.
Lauren U17 800m heat 1320 Final 1250 (Sunday)
Sadie U17 Long Jump 1000
Luke U17 Long Jump 1145, Hurdles Heat 1310, Final 1620
Hollie-Anne U15 200m Heat 1055, Semi-Final 1440, Final 1745
Abi U15 75m Hurdles Heat 1410, Final 1645
Day 1 Live Stream
Day 2 Live Stream
Results/Start Lists on ROSTER app or Here
Its been a busy day athletes competing all over the North of England. Caitin Creaby was at the York Open, working on her new run-up in the long jump. She followed this with a strong 28.8s running over 200m which was 2nd fastest overall. Meanwhile, we had a big squad in action at Shildon at the NECAA Open. A huge thanks to Mairi Bell for the following report:
With no coaches at the NECAA Open event to sort us out, today was a good lesson in self-sufficiency. Parents and athletes alike quickly got up to speed with the Roster app to plan the day ahead. Individual coaching tips sent from Dan via Spond helped every athlete focus on what they needed to do in each event- like cryptic clues for greatness!
First up were Isla in the long jump pit and Aman over at the high jump mats, competing through some very heavy late morning showers. Both girls put in steady performances with Isla pushing over the 4m mark on her final jump while Aman matched her PB with a jump of 1.10m.
Next the action moved to the track for sprints with our U11 boys first up. Alexander and Harry both took first in their 60m heats, - 9.73s for Alexander and 9.81s for Harry, with 1st and 2nd overall for their age group. Isabella took on the 100m with gusto, steadily building pace to finish first in her heat with a PB of 14.78s.
Next to the long jump were Fearne and Aman, with Aman jumping a steady 3.45m and Fearne achieving a PB on her first jump of 3.41m. The standing jumps followed at the long jump pits with Harry leaping an impressive 1.84m and Alexander jumping 1.95m, the longest jump of the day.
In the shot put, Isla had 3 good throws out of four, finishing with a solid 7.20m. Izabela achieved 4.09m with her first throw, her best of the day. Talia didn't manage to achieve her previous form in the event but put in a very convincing first throw at 5.20m.
The sun came out and things stayed dry in the afternoon but the wind picked up, making Fearne and Izabela's high jump that bit more challenging. Fearne didn't manage to get the lift she needed to repeat recent successes while Izabela stayed on to jump a solid 1.20.
More frustrations in the javelin as Talia and Isla struggled to achieve legal throws, competing in this technical event for the first time in breezy cinditions. Isla's first throw of 15.15m got her on the scoreboard. Aman achieved 3 good throws with the best a very credible 17.46m
The track action ended with 200m heats. First out was Isla - racing her sister Helen, running for Blyth seniors- and winning her heat with 28.11s. Fearne followed, giving her all round the bend and flagging a little on the straight- but securing a good PB with 34.12. Talia put in a solid performance in a very fast heat, just missing her PB with 29.92s. Rounding out the day, Milly G put in a 200m PB performance with 28.64. (Note- no wind indicator for all 200m heats).
At the final North East Grand Prix of the season at Monkton Stadium, our juniors produced solid performances. Ben Compton was just outside his PB in the 200m, and was 1st U13 in the shot put. Ben finishes the season as the U13 Grand Prix champion, having picked up a near perfect scorecard over the season. India Gorvett finishes the U13 girls competition in an excellent 4th place, thanks to a really strong hurdles race and a 1.20m high jump clearance. George Bryce was just outside his 3000m PB, whilst Hollie showed improvement in the 75m Hurdles and was just outside her PB in the shot put. Lauren Creaby was fastest female in the 800m, with yet another fast clocking. Senna Gorvett showed good development in aspects of her high jump even though the result was not what she wanted, but it was enough to finish 1st U17.
At the Club's Summer Cup handicap race, Jamie Flloyd recorded a time of 17:17 which was the 12th fastest time overall.
Isla Bell and Amber Wright travelled to Manchester for the Alexander Vidal Sprint Series, which featured a Live DJ and street food! Amber raced well over 100m and 200m ,with Isla racing over 100m.
A squad of 13 Blyth athletes travelled to Middlesbrough for the Northern Championships over the weekend of the 12th and 13th August. Blustery and at times wet conditions greeted the athletes on Saturday, making for a challenging environment, but our athletes handled it superbly.
First up, India Gorvett produced a consistent series in the U13 long jump, before older sister Senna cruised through her 300m hurdles heat as the fastest qualifier. Niamh Adams went in the 1500m final. She ran a strong first lap but was not quite able to maintain the pace and finished in 13th place. Sadie Parker put some difficult recent competitions behind her in the long jump, and started to rediscover some accuracy on her approach in the blustery conditions. A fifth round leap of 5.33m was enough to secure silver in a very strong field. Hollie-Anne Sudder was involved in a close battle in the javelin, and whilst she did not reach her usual distances, she was still able to finish 5th, within centimeters of the medal placings.
India produced one of the performances of the weekend in the shot put, throwing a massive personal best of 5.25m, before lining up for her 200m heat just minutes later. Senna Gorvett lined up for her 300m hurdles final, going out fully committed at the gun. She was engaged in a neck-and-neck battle with Lucy Salter of Stockport, with both girls pushing each other to the line in a thrilling battle. Senna maintained her form off the final hurdle, and produced a monster dip for the line to take the gold by just 0.06s. Her time of 44.00s was a huge PB, and is the 2nd fastest all-time by a North East athlete.
Sunday greeted our athletes with slighty more settled weather, and things started with a bang with 4 athletes in the long jump. Caitlin, Izabela and Abi did not quite hit there normal marks, however there was a big breakthrough for Talia Green as she leaped to 4.12m in the final round, a massive personal best and it secured her 2nd place in Pool B. Lauren Creaby negotiated her 800m heat comfortably, crossing the line first, whislt Luke started his day with a big personal best in the discus, exceeding 35m for the first time. Amber Wright took 6th in the high jump, with a best of 1.45m as she showed great composure. The 300m heats were up next, with Isla producing a huge PB of 43.04s to finish 4th in her heat, and qualify for the final. Caitlin also ran a massive PB of 44.34s, which was a brilliant performance.
In the 100m heats, Izabela recovered from a poor start to finish well, whilst Talia set another personal best with a great run. Next up were the sprint hurdles heats. In the U15 heats, Izabela produced a strong run, maintaining her stride pattern all the way, whilst Isla was just outside her PB despite having barely recovered from her 300m heat. Abi has been in fine recent form, and took a controlled win in her heat to set her up for the final. In the U17 heats, Amber had a solid race but didnt progress to the final, whilst Sadie was 2nd in her heat and qualified for the final later in the day. Luke Pichler went in a straight 100m hurdles final, and whilst his run was far from clean, he battled through for a well earned bronze medal.
In the Javelin, Sadie was not quite able to replicate her warm-up throws in competition, whilst Senna produced 3 throws all in excess of her previous PB to leave her very happy. In the Long Jump, Luke was involved in a thrilling battle for Gold with Rhys Brunton of NS Poly. The title looked to be slipping away after Rhys took the lead in the 5th round, but Luke fully comitted to a max-attack final jump, launching himself to 6.19m which was enough to take gold by just 6cm. In the 200m, Hollie-Anne Sudder produced a run just outside her PB from the trick lane 2 to finish 3rd in her heat, just missing out on a place in the final by a tenth of a second.
The action was coming thick and fast towards the end of the day, with more medal prospects still to come. Lauren went in the 800m final. The first lap was ran at a relatively slow pace, with Lauren part of the leading trio. The pace slowly ramped up on the 2nd lap, with the big moves being made with 150m to go. In an intense battle down the home straight, Lauren gave it everything, just being pipped to 2nd place on the line, but it was a hard-fought bronze.
In the Hurdles finals, Sadie was first up and she produced a sensational start in a loaded field. At halfway, she sat in 2nd place, with athletes all around pushing her hard. Off the final hurdle she was just overtaken by athletes either side, but a 4th place finish in a big PB of 12.04s was a great result. In the U15 final, Abi recovered from a slow reaction to attack the first hurdle with great intent. As she battled to get into contention, she hit several hurdles hard, which eventually affected her rhythm and she finished 7th. The action concluded with Isla in the 300m. After fully committing in her heat, the final was always going to be hard work - but and 8th place finish at this level was a creditible performance.
It was a fine Championships for Team Blyth, with our athletes showing superb maturity, teamwork and athleticism throughout.
Photo Credits Ross Pichler & Stuart Whitman
On Monday, Lauren Creaby travelled to Leeds for the BMC meet. In windy conditions, she recorded a time of 2:15.43s. On Wednesday, Niamh Adams took on the iconic Gateshead quayside 3k Run. Niamh was 11th girl home, recording a time of 12:19. Well done girls!
ENGLAND ATHLETICS NATIONAL COMBINED EVENTS U15/U17 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Manchester 5-6 August 2023
Report by Rob Wilson
A rainy Manchester in August was the venue for this weekends EA National U15 & U17 Combined Events Championships. Mid way through the outdoor season, it was to prove a true test of character and resilience for our 5 young athletes who made the trip.
As our athletes convened in the very handily located indoor arena, it was clear that conditions outside were going to be a factor to contend with, as Day 1 of the Heptathlon, Decathlon and Hexathlon got underway.
Left to right - Hollie Ann Sudder (U15G), Sadie Parker, Senna Gorvett, Hannah Wilson (U17W), Luke Pichler (U17M)
First up was Luke Pichler in his first year in the U17 age group, with an early start in the 100m. This was to be his very first experience of a full 10 event Decathlon. Luke set about the fastest heat, with a 4th place finish and his first pb of the weekend in 11.57s. A great start.
Next the U17 Heptathletes, again all first years, lined up for the 80m hurdles. Senna Gorvett, with an inside lane draw in heat 2, struggled to find her usual rhythm in the conditions, but battled with sheer grit to the line, for a 13.04 finish. In the next heat, Sadie Parker and Hannah Wilson also battled it out for a 4th and 5th place finish respectively in 12.26 and 12.51s. All 3 girls unscathed, back in the dry to refocus for the upcoming high jump.
Next to begin her campaign in the 75m hurdles, was our youngest athlete U15 Hollie-Ann Sudder, in her first 2 day competition. Placed in the 2nd fastest heat, Hollie managed a creditable 13.45 her 3rd fastest time ever in the event and points scored. All athletes were now off and running.
With what seemed like no time, the U17 Men were making their way to their 2nd event of the day over at the long jump, with Luke in the higher ranked Pool B. With only 3 attempts in the combined event format, Luke sensibly made sure of a safe opening mark, with a solid 6.11m, eventually extending this with his final jump to 6.44m - only 8cm short of his pb.
As the weather continued to play its part, in sharp contrast to the glorious baking heat from Cleckheaton, the high jump for the girls proved a tricky affair and it was always going to be a tough ask for anything close to pb’s in this event. However, points were added to their totals with Hannah 1.56m, Sadie 1.47m, Senna 1.44m, and now time to refocus again, take on some nutrition and prepare for the shot.
Hollie was next to contend with the blustery long jump runway and after a safe 4.11m mark, decided to push a little harder, a small foul followed, but with final adjustments, made it out to 4.27m, despite a strong -3.2 headwind!
The mens shot was next up and Luke stood as the youngest competitor in the entire field, but with a pb of 11.91m, was desperate to break the 12m barrier with the 5kg shot. He quickly got about it with his 2nd throw, going out to a huge pb of 12.30m, earning a huge 625pts and moving him up into 3rd place overall.
The U17 girls shot was next and despite their best intentions, it seemed the grey overcast sky was keeping a lid on any potential fireworks, Even the prospect of Birthday Boy Dan offering to wear his purple sash, if they could throw a pb, couldn’t quite get Sadie, Senna and Hannah to throw some bombs. All threw solid marks, if not quite as far as hoped, with Hannah going out furthest at 9.31m, Sadie 9.20m and Senna 8.90m.
Next to throw, this time with the javelin was Hollie, in her normally dependable event. Again she was being tested, with 2 initial no throws (NM), had to settle for a safe 24.74m to avoid a disaster and look to try to pick up points elsewhere.
Luke in the high jump followed and again it proved a tricky event to find any consistency. It seemed a mid afternoon lull in the atmosphere was being transmitted onto the field of play and 1.74m was his last clearance, some 9cm from his pb and the first real hiccup, in an otherwise stellar performance on Day 1.
After a brief rest with their feet up, the U17 women came out to conclude their Day 1 with the 200m. They were joined with yet another downpour of rain. Despite this, recent good performances suggested something of a possible upturn in fortunes. So it proved, almost… Senna with not the best start, quickly responded and gave absolutely everything to claw back what she could, giving everything she had to finish 4th in her heat in a fine 26.92s and a massive 718pts.
Again in form Sadie and Hannah both having improved their 200m times in recent months, went out hard from the off and in a tightly contested finish, scored good solid points to at least keep hopes alive of a better day to come.
Luke concluded his day 1 as he started with another pb, this time over the 400m in 54.35 and kept himself on course for his 6000 pts target overall.
DAY 2 : was altogether a drier start as the rain had moved off and although not exactly clear skies, there was hopes of a brighter day all round both on and off the track.
Reflections made of what could have been, or what could still be possible, were in the athletes minds, as they took to the action. Luke was to consolidate his great overnight position but needed to get out of the blocks well in his 110m hurdles.
Any tiredness or overnight soreness to the back of his mind, as he exploded out and set the track alight with an exciting finish with the top 4 athletes from lanes 4,5,6 and 7 scrapping for every point at the line. Luke's first sub 14s (13.92s) and another pb to start the day with his intentions firmly set.
Long jump was first up for the Heptathletes and immediately a reminder of why multi-event competing is challenging mentally as much as physically. Staying strong when things go wrong, focusing on the how, not the how far or how high, all go to make up the requirements to succeed in combined events.
2 initial no jumps for Sadie in Pool A, placed the pressure on securing a final mark, which she showed great composure to do with 5.07m. While not close to her best, was a real test of nerves, which she passed. In Pool B, Hannah and Senna both with problems of their own, Senna having to make big adjustments in her approach for her final jump, to secure a valuable 4.84m and Hannah some way from her best but a decent 4.89.
Hollie began her Day 2 with high jump and although conditions were more favourable than the previous day, it isn’t an event Hollie has competed more than once, since the spring and the lack of confidence was evident. It also didn’t help having 19 athletes in the single pool, so a lot of waiting around didn’t help the flow of the event. After clearing her opening height and a further jump, the bar demanded more speed, which just wasn’t there yet, so a 1.29m was her best clearance on the day.
While the U15G high jump was taking place, the U17M discus started right next to it and the closeness of the 2 events was nearly a disaster as one discus throw, left the cage and hit an upright and fell feet from where our very own Blyth stalwart, coach and T&F official Steve Walker was officiating on the high jump. A near miss was reported but thankfully Steve was unhurt and carried on as he had all weekend with good humour, support and professionalism.
Luke wasn’t hitting the upright, he was sailing the discus out to the infield and smashed a 4m pb with his first throw going out to a brilliant 33.38m. This was enough to finish 3rd place and consolidate his position and even start talking of a potential podium place.
After a short break, the athletes reconvened for the final push, those left standing, fit and able to continue had to gather themselves, find the energy for the last few events and keep scoring as many points as they could.
Hollie now over at the 3kg shot was consistent if not explosive. Not her strongest event, she still managed a consistent series, scoring over 400pts. Wanting more in this event is a good sign of determination for work ahead in the coming months.
Luke, now with hopes set high, took to the pole vault, in the penultimate event of the Decathlon and looking to break the 3m barrier for the first time. After deciding to give us a little scare, missing his first attempt at his opening height, he then set about finding his rhythm on the runway and cleared the next 2 heights at 2.83m, 2.93m with ease. This gave him an amazing 7th pb of the weekend. As the bar then climbed over to 3.03m, Luke then finally joined the 3m club, clearing this on his second attempt.
As the rain came back, reminding everyone what a wholly miserable summer we’ve had so far, the U17 women were now at the other end of the track, contending the javelin in less than ideal conditions. Sadly Sadie had to withdraw through injury before the start, so it was Senna and Hannah that battled to keep adding points to their tally in this technical event. Hannah managed a small pb with 18.92m, with Senna throwing 14.28m.
Luke now realistically looking at reaching his target and even possibly finishing on the podium also now moved onto the javelin. His younger years of howler throwing always suggested he would take to the event well and so it proved, sailing his 2nd attempt out to 44.97m agonisingly close to the 45m. Still this was far enough to win the javelin overall by over 2m and put him in 2nd place with only the 1500m to go.
As the Blyth girls came out for their final event, the 800m, multi’s know it’s not over until the last event and positions can change dramatically with a strong final run. Pride and grit were on display, as the girls prepared themselves for the final challenge, after a gruelling 2 days of battle.
Senna, fastest in her heat on paper, needed to run from the front and with no-one to chase. Any disappointments put to the back of her mind, she showed tremendous courage and tenacity to take it on, finishing a close 2nd (2:31:66) at the line only separated by a single point from Bury’s Blessing Idoko (2:31:56).
Hannah in heat 2 was the fastest girl of all on paper and knew to hold her top 10 position, she was going to also have to lead from the front and boy did she, taking a 10m lead by 200m, which grew to over 20m by the first lap and continued to grow as she stretched the field out, leaving the rest behind. Finishing in 2:29:41 and a round 700pts to add to her final score of 4212 and secure 10th place overall. Senna finished in 16th, her highest position of the weekend after her strong run.
Hollie for her part, went out strong, clocking a quick 77s first lap, as the group stretched out, she held her nerve and position, digging deep into the last lap to finish 5th in the heat with 2:44:34 over a second quicker than her last outing over the distance and just over a second and a half off her pb. Enough for a creditable 17th place overall in her first 2 day Hexathlon. A great experience to build on for the future.
So it was Luke to round out the weekend and complete his first ever Decathlon. Just the 1500m to go after 9 events over 2 full gruelling days of twists and turns, swapping positions in the overall table. Just like the Heptathlon, it’s not done until its done.
So after crunching the numbers and times required, Luke set about his task knowing he could reach his points target and secure Silver if he kept to his pacing and didn’t allow his 3rd place rival to get more than 30s ahead, fairly straightforward you'd think.
However his main rival Ruben hadn’t read the script and quickly set his stall out, immediately pulling out a massive gap from the rest of the chasing group. The gap was almost 200m by lap 2 and Luke needed to hold his nerve, trust his own pace, while at the same time, nerves on the sidelines were starting to jangle that the gap was getting too big for comfort.
As Luke hit the final bell, he realised his earlier good pace was slightly off and he needed to push. As he began to kick, aware that silver could easily slip away at the death, he dug deep, he built momentum and as his main rival crossed the line in an unbelievable 4:27, all eyes were on the time difference until Luke crossed the line.
Screams and shouts could be heard from the stands, urging every ounce he had left through gritted teeth and the exhaustion of his 9 previous events. He was giving everything he had left to cross the line in 4:54:00 exactly and a staggering 8th pb of the weekend.
Even though the points had been checked and doubled checked before the gun, we still needed a double check to be absolutely sure, after such an almighty final race. But it was there, by 75pts. Silver medalist. 10PB’S including his overall Decathlon score with 6064 pts!!! 3rd best EVER score for a UK first year U17, (with the top 2 being a Scot and a Welshman)
PHOTOS: ROSS PICHLER