Fourth North of England title for Harriet Pryke

Harriet Pryke (centre) was crowned North of England women's 400m champion for a fourth consecutive year at the weekend

Harriet Pryke (centre) was crowned North of England women's 400m champion for a fourth consecutive year at the weekend

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Laxey’s Harriet Pryke claimed the women’s 400 metre title at the North of England Track and Field Championships for a fourth consecutive year at the weekend.

The Isle of Man was well represented at the championships which were held at Sport City in Manchester. However the weather was not very kind to the athletes.

The forecast heavy rain showers did not materialise on Saturday but cold temperatures and variable wind speeds recorded up to +5.1 made it extremely tricky in some events. Sunday was even worse - mostly wet, cold and blustery.

Day one started in style with victory for Pryke in a time of 54.76 seconds. She was closely followed on the podium by Island Games-bound Joe Reid who ran a personal best time of 49.35s to secure third place in the under-20 men’s 400m in his first appearance in this competition.

In the senior men’s 100m it was good to see Michael Taubman returning to form with a wind-assisted time of 11.32s (+3.00). In the u20 men’s 100m Jack Lemaire also had the benefit of the wind as he ran 11.01 (+4.5) to qualify for the final where he came sixth in 11.18.

Meanwhile Emma Snell ran 13.59s again with a +3.8 wind in the senior women’s 100m. Over the senior hurdles Tom Riley ran 15.58s (+2.2 wind) to secure fourth place in the 110h while his sister Hannah ran a season’s best time of 14.62 in the 100h.

In the longer distances Rachel Franklin was eighth in the senior 1,500m in 4 minutes 40.25 seconds and in the men’s equivalent Andy Barron ran 4.13.64 to finish ninth. Alan Corlett recorded a great PB of 10m 6.92s in fifth place in the 3,000m steeplechase. Kevin Loundes ran strongly in the 5,000m to finish fourth in 15m 03.67s with Oliver Lockley 12th in 15m 29.18s - both just outside their PBs.

The sole competitor on the field was Richard Bell in the hammer who, recovering from a broken wrist, threw 44.88m.

Day two brought the rain and even colder conditions. Strong head winds hindered the 200m competitors. Lemaire and Reid were both drawn in the second of three heats of the u20 men’s 200m. It was a close battle narrowly won by Joe who finished third in 22.82s while Jack was fourth in 23.22s. Joe qualified for the final, finishing seventh in 22.63 (-2.3 wind).

In the senior women’s 200m, previous day’s winner Pryke was third in her heat in 25.39 (-2.3 wind) but decided to withdraw from the final to protect a niggling calf ahead of the UK trials in July.

Franklin was the only other Manx athlete to battle the weather, finishing fifth in the senior women’s 800m in 2m 15.18s.

Most of these athletes will be competing this coming weekend at the Isle of Man Track and Field Championship (see below) sponsored by Celton Manx at the NSC, before heading to warmer conditions next month for the NatWest Island Games in Bermuda.

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