First a Happy New Year to all our members, friends and families and hopefully 2021 will see us return to some semblance of normality over the coming year – vaccines permitting!
This year is also special as the Club reaches the ripe old age of 100, having first formed in 1921. Membership back then was originally comprised exclusively from the “Old Boys” of what was the Harrow County Grammar School (now Harrow High). The school spawned a number of Old Boys associations with athletics being one of many popular sports featured.
We will celebrate this year with a number of special occassions and momentoes still in the production phase but including –
National League home fixture at Allianz Stadium on 4th July
Celebration dinner at the Grange, Northwood on 4th September
Commemorative booklet recording the Club history
2021 will also see the delayed start of the National Athletic League (NAL), the new elite joint-scoring Club competition for women and men. Harrow is in the Premier Division, which features the top 16 clubs in the UK and will host the Allianz Stadium fixture.
The Club was also a member of the UK Women’s League for ten years before it was replaced by the NAL. The Club’s best UKWAL performances in the ten years from 2010-2019 are shown in the attachment. The Club’s NAL team manager, and former international, Laura Turner tops the sprint rankings.
Over the coming weeks and months we will share further plans and information with our members in what promises to be a truly special year as we return to full competion and celebrate our unique history!
Club president Tony Bush has reviewed the 2020 season to look at UK ranked performances and produced the attached summary:
Despite the negative effects of the pandemic, many Club athletes produced excellent results in 2020. Twenty three male performances, and 20 by women, achieved spots in the top 51 in the UK senior rankings. Congratulations to all these athletes.
The Club has 22 entries in the UK 2020 age-group rankings. Congratulations to all these athletes, especially Lewis Byng (U20 shot), Taia Tunstall (U20 discus), Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (U17 100 metres), and Lily Carlaw (U17 shot), who are ranked number one in the UK. Also ranked first are Dave Sketchley (M40 javelin) and Andy Lewis (M40 long jump)
Seasons greetings to all our members and supporters!
Appalling weather greeted the athletes for some of the early races at Merchant Taylors school yesterday for the first ATW event to be held there. Final results now posted here plus photos from the day here.
Senior Ladies match report: “The race was started in waves as part of the covid mitigation measures which gave it the slight feel of XC relays rather than the traditional XC mass charge start.
Heavy rain during the week and earlier on during the day gave large sections of the 8k course a very muddy feel. Overall it was a great performance from our women’s team with all three athletes running well.
Eilish O’Grady was first home in her first race since March, finishing very strongly as 18th woman in 34:20. Evie Grice was next, in a very different race to her usual 400m on the track, for a very good performance as 27th woman in 35:59. Jennifer Keal continued her run of consistent XC performances for the club to complete our trio in 32nd place with a great time of 36:53.
The senior mens team report just added below:
A solid run for Damian Nevins who placed 14th. Declan Traynor showed he had recovered from his knee niggle to race strongly coming home in 37th just pipping Micheal O’Sullivan (38th) who displayed his improved fitness from a recent period of solid training.
Peter Butler had a great time in his first cross-country run for the club sealing a top 100 place ahead of Jason Kabel. Jag Matharu ran well in 107th place whilst Rob Hawkes was happy to finish in one piece in 112th just one place ahead of Kevin Concannon 113th. Stalwart Tom Morris came home in 137th.
Congratulations to our Harrow men and junior teams for their performances today and thank you to ATW for organising the event”.
Last night saw the final open meeting run by the Club at the Bannister stadium for this season and once again there was a great turnout by athletes desparate for some quality racing!
All eyes were on the track as no field events were held this time, instead focusing on the classic 1 mile distance plus another series of 3Km races.
However this was not to be without its own additional excitement as there was to be a world record attempt by Belfast athlete David Clarke, who was hoping to break the M60 world record he narrowly missed last week and which currently stands at 9:29.47.
As heat 6 of the 3Km race set off, Harrow athlete David Lawrence kindly stepped in after having run the mile earlier (4:35.91) to be the pace maker for David. By now the air temperature had cooled and it was noticable that many athletes were not hitting the times they had hoped for and so it was to be for David. His final time was a very worthy 9:34.65 and he was appreciative of the support provided by all the athletes, officials and watching fans! Better luck next time David 🙂
Thursday night at Bannister Stadium saw the Club host the penultimate installment of the highly successful open meetings series. The weather calmed just in time for the early 800m races and Long Jump pool 1 and by the time of the final 1500m races the air was still and a little on the cool side.
There were some good quality races with Shaftesbury Barnet U17 athlete Mukhtar Musa winning the final race in 3:53.53 and Harrow’s Kahlill Best-Morris winning the Long Jump with a sprightly 6m 38cm.
Also noteworthy was new V40 veteran and MD coach Damian Nevins who broke 2 long standing Club records this week dating back to the 1990’s! On Wednesday he broke the Club v40 1500 record with a time of 4:13.66 at Wimbledon and Thursday saw him set a new v40 800m record with 2:05.21 in the open meeting.
In other recent record breaking news, new Club signing Lewis Byng competed yesterday at Moulton and set a new UK under 20 shot record with 20.26, which is also a Club junior record, beating Felix Hyde’s mark of 18.67, set in 1995. Earlier, on 12 September, Taia Tunstall set a new Club senior and under 20 discus record of 49.90. Congrats to all our new record breakers!
Well done to all the athletes and once again a big thank you to all the officials and volunteers from Harrow and all the other local Clubs who generously gave of their time to make the meeting happen!