Rotherham Harriers & Athletics Club
England Under 15 & Under 17 National T&FChamps

Five of the Harrier's female athletes competed in the 2021 event, held at Sportcity Manchester over the weekend of the 7th & 8th of August. Three were middle distance athletes coached by Richard Harris, and two were sprint athletes coached by Stuart Kerr.

Not only are the national champs the pinnacle of the competition pyramid for the athletes, they also provide valuable experience of competing & qualifying in heats and finals, which will be invaluable for the next level of competition.

The best performance was a silver medal, won by Lilia Harris (Richard's youngest daughter) in the U15 girls 1500m.

This was a straight final, held on Saturday the 7th, and Lilia was the early leader, with Freya Murdoch leading through 800m in 2:23, Lilia again took the lead with 100m to go, but just lost out - by 4 tenths of a second at the finish. The race winner, Freya, from Stockport Harriers, who ran 4:32.57, with Lilia setting a new PB of 4:32 .96.

Evie Thomson ran in the U17 women's 1500m on Sunday the 8th, which again was a straight final to finish 4th, just outside the medals, in 4:34.50. The winner was Kiera Brady-Jones (Wirral AC) in 4:27.18.

The remaining 3 athletes all had to qualify for their event final. Lucy Rebori ran 12.83 to finish 5th in heat 1 of the U17 women's 100m, but unfortunately didn't progress beyond her heat.

Maisy Heggie finished 4th in her heat of the U17 women's 300m hurdles event, on Saturday but made it through to the final on Sunday with her time of 48.02, finishing 7th in the final in an improved time of 47.48. The final was won by Stephanie Okoru (Havering AC) with a significant lead in a time of 42.82.

Caitlin McCloy also qualified for the final of the U15 girls 800m (on Sunday) finishing 3rd in her Saturday heat, in a time of 2:18.07. Caitlin finished 7th in the final, with a time of 2:19.58, the race winner was Shakira King (Wreake & Soar Valley) in a time of 2:13.74.

The performances above suggests that the next generation of athletes is preparing to repeat the successes achieved by the GB athletes in the women's 800m at the Tokyo Olympics - where all 3 made the final and ran PB times.

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