Bank Holiday Heatwave

Looking back at last year’s Tartan Games photos was a stark reminder of how bad the English summer can be. As many of you will remember, it was a day for wrapping up warm as the rain gradually got heavier and athletes battled it out on a waterlogged track! In contrast, this year’s meeting took part during one of the hottest Bank Holiday weekends on record. Not ideal conditions for running round a track, especially those competing in the mile. But our juniors did themselves proud, and after a long, hot day of tough competition, they came away with rather an impressive medal haul!

Under 11 Boys It hasn’t taken long for Hugo Douglas-Reeves to make a name for himself at Darlington Harriers…..and he certainly dominated events in the Year 5 Boys category today. He competed in 3 events; the 60m sprint, the 400m and the Standing Long Jump, and came away with the gold medal in all of them…..and setting a new Championship Best Performance for the 400m! What a fantastic achievement, well done, Hugo! We know he likes his cross country as well so we’re hoping this good form continues into the new season.

Under 13 Boys With the holiday season still in full flow, our unusually large U13 squad was depleted a little today; but there were still 3 of our regulars in action. Taking on the mile were two of our top endurance runners, Alex Boyer and Harry Lyons. Right from the gun you could see the boys were both up for it as they battled their way to the front of the pack. Joining them at the front was a young athlete who’d obviously travelled a few miles to compete, from Invicta East Kent Athletics Club! The three of them stayed up front for most of the race, with Alex and the Invicta athlete sharing the lead and Harry close behind in 3rd. At the bell Alex pushed hard and opened up the gap and maintained his lead all the way to the line, setting a new Championship Best Performance of 5:16.15 in the process.

Harry wasn’t far behind in 3rd place in an excellent time of 5:30.94. Well done boys, a very impressive performance from both. It was great to see Ollie Porter in action today. Our resident wheelchair racer certainly was a busy young athlete, competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m and the 800m! This year has seen Ollie go from strength to strength; now with his own purpose built chair he really has developed into an accomplished young racer…..and that showed in today’s results – 2nd in the 100m, 3rd in the 200m, 2nd in the 400m and 2nd in the 800m. 4 races, 3 silver medals and a bronze; what a fantastic day’s work. Well done, Ollie!

Under13 Girls As with the boys, there were two of our U13 endurance runners competing in the mile. It was a tough race for Zara Jones and Libby Hammond, up against two athletes from Gateshead Harriers. It was a close run race to begin with, with all four athletes happy to run together. But eventually, Zara’s strength began to show through as she opened up a gap between her and one of the Gateshead girls, with Libby following closely in 3rd. As the race progressed, the gaps continued to open and Zara extended her lead, eventually crossing the line as the clear winner in 5:57.68 – setting another Championship Best Performance! Libby worked hard and sprinted across the line in 3rd place, with an excellent time of 6:14.70. Well done girls, top running from both!

Girls bring home the bling: L-R, Zara & Libb

On to the sprints, and it was Emily Hornsby who took on the 100m and the 200m. With 16 athletes taking part, the 100m was split into two heats. Emily was in Heat 2, which turned out to be the faster of the two. Up against some tough competition, she finished in 5th place, but with a fast time of 14.61s which was enough to qualify for the final – a great achievement in itself! The final was even tougher, but Emily put in a great effort to finish in 7th place in a time of 14.72s. In the 200m there were two Heats again, but this time, the times from each were combined and compared as a Graded Final. Emily ran very well, finishing 4th in her Heat which was enough to take 7th place overall. But with no time to rest it was straight into her final event of the day – the Shot Putt. She put in some great throws and her best on the day of 6.56m wasn’t far off her PB, and enough to take home the bronze medal for 3rd place! A great end to the day; well done Emily! More field events, and it was the turn of our talented multi-eventer, Tori Buckley to get involved as she took on the High Jump, Long Jump and Javelin. First up, one of the first events of the day, the High Jump. Six competitors, the top three managing 1.40m, and the other three, including Tori, with a best of 1.25m which is just 3cm off her PB, so not a bad start to the day. Next up, the Long Jump, and Tori’s first jump turned out to be her best with an impressive 3.83m, again not far off her PB of 3.87m. She just missed out on a medal position here taking 4th place out of the 12 taking part. Finally, Tori’s day finished with the Javelin and a very solid best of 18.27m. This time though, she secured a very nice silver medal for 2nd place; a great end to the day and an excellent overall performance. Nice one Tori, well done!

Under15 Boys There was just the one Under 15 Boy competing for DHAC today, sprinter and high jumper, Benedict Davies. No jumping today, but he took part in both the 100m and 200m. The 100m was a straight final and Benedict ran it very well, pushing hard all the way to the line. He finished in 4th place in a time of 12.81s. As with the girl’s race, the 200m was run as two Heats and the results combined to produce a Graded Final. Benny had a cracking run in Heat 1, finishing an impressive 3rd in an excellent time of 25.81; not far off his PB. That put him in 6th place overall, but remember this is still his first year at this age group and without doubt he’d have been up against older competition, so a great result considering. Well done Benedict!

Under 15 Girls The mile race for the U15 Girls only had three competitors so Macy Kelly new she was guaranteed a medal – but what colour would it be? Her two opponents, one from Gateshead Harriers, the other from Gosforth Harriers, both looked bigger and stronger; but Macy didn’t let that put her off! Right from the gun she looked confident and took charge of the race, setting the pace and making it her own. At about 800m to go Macy opened up a gap which gradually extended into a comfortable lead. She managed to maintain the lead for the rest of the race, keeping a watchful eye on her opponents, and eventually crossing the line as the clear winner in 6:15.13 – setting a new Championship Best Performance. Well done, Macy, a very mature run, and a well earned Gold medal! In the sprints we had Kate Williams and Olivia Bell, who came up against each other in the 100m. Kate continued as she has done all season with an excellent 1st place in a time of 13.51s, with Olivia just missing out on a medal this time in 4th in 14.19s. In the 200m there were only six competitors so it was run as a straight final, and Kate was back in action. She had a cracking run and was 1st across the line again to claim her second gold of the day in a time of 27.71s. Olivia opted for the longer sprint today and took on the three other competitors in the 300m. After a steady start, she stepped up the pace round the bend and finished with an excellent 100m, and was just beaten into 3rd place to take home the bronze medal. Top sprinting girls, well done! In the Shot Putt it was time for Lily Thompson to do her stuff. Three impressive throws with a best of 9.81m; enough to add another medal to the collection, this time it was silver. Nice one Lily! Well done to all our U15 girls – all of them collecting a medal today and all of them still a year young! Bodeswell for next year

Under 17 Girls Multi-eventer , Charlotte Rutter was in fine form today competing in the Long Jump, the 100m and the Javelin. In general, PB’s have been lacking today, probably because of the heat, but Charlotte pulled out the stops in the Long Jump with a tremendous PB of 4.98m – getting ever closer to that 5m mark, and enough to take 1st place! It was another top performance in the 100m which earned Charlotte her second medal of the day; this time it was silver for an excellent 2nd place in a time of 13.06m. The only event that didn’t really go her way was the Javelin where she finished in 6th place; but it’s a new discipline for her this season and forms part of her combined event programme for the Heptathlon. Knowing Charlotte though, she’ll continue to work hard on improving! A great all round performance, well done Charlotte! More top throwing action came from Rosie Thompson in the Hammer and the Shot Putt. A great result in the hammer with an impressive throw of 36.53m, taking 2nd place. She continued with her good form in the shot with a best of 9.55m, earning her second silver medal of the day. A fantastic effort, Rosie, well done.

Under 17 Boys Next up, a new name to DHAC, welcome Macy’s big brother, Kieran Kelly. Obviously talent runs in the family…..and please correct us if we’re wrong, as far as we know this was Kieran’s debut competing for the club. First up, the 200m and a great effort against some tough competition brought Kieran home in 5th place in 25.44s. Next, an excellent performance in the discus, with a best of 32.43m and enough for 2nd place and a silver medal! Nice one Kieran, great to have you on board! (Sorry, no photo of Kieran!)

An outstanding performance from our Junior Harriers with quite an impressive haul of medals. If our calculations are correct our young Harrier Heroes came way with 9 golds, 6 silvers and 5 bronze medals. Congratulations to all for such a successful day!

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