PBs 52 (23%)
Power of Ten results: Here
Link to videos of the meeting are available HERE
Link to Photos taken on the night by D Greenwood at www.darkstarphotos.com
MEN’S 800 A-B
Jake Wightman ended his 2016 Grand Prix campaign as he started it with an emphatic victory. Wightman launched the BMC centenary season with victory over 1500m at Sports City and ended it with success in the 800m.
The 22-year-old Edinburgh AC international waited until the 600m mark before surging past 20-year-old Max Wharton , who had led the pack through the bell in 53.13secs.
Once Wightman hit the front he never looked like relinquishing his lead despite Richard Charles working hard to close the gap as the pair were the only two runners to break 1mins 50secs on the night.
“It was hard to get motivated this evening but I was nice to win again ,” said Wightman.
Wightman’s time of 1:49.18secs was two seconds slower than the PB he ran to win the Watford GP but it extends his unbeaten reign over five 800m this season.
Last season was marred by injury & illness and Wightman only manage a best of 3:40.05. This summer he has looked more his old self setting PBs in the 400m (48.34secs) and 800m (1:47.13) to win the BMC Grand Prix at Watford.
Third place in the Olympic trials earned him selection for the Europeans, where he finished seventh, but just missed the cut for Rio with the selectors opting to take just Chris O’Hare and Charlie Grice.
Rory Graham-Watson admitted that not even victory in the B race could disguise a disappointing summer.
“It has been a terrible season,” groaned Graham-Watson.
“I think I did too much mileage over the winter and consequently I have lost some of my speed in my legs. It was an experiment and it was a shame it was not worth it.
“But next summer I will be going back to the training I did the previous year and maybe that extra strength work will then pay off for me.”
At his best Graham-Watson was a regular A race contestant with a PB of 1:47.40, a time which he hasn’t got within two seconds off this summer.
MEN’S 800 C-G
In the supporting races there was no happier winner than Euan Martin in the G event.
“That is my first time under 1mins 54secs so I am delighted,” said Martin, who ran 1:53.77.
“I started the season late but I am getting stronger now.”
Runner-up Lewis Ashmore also clocked a PB of 1:55.44 .
In the E race Warrington AC’s Sam Dykes kept his form well under pressure from Chris Monk and was rewarded with a season’s best of 1:53.40 for victory.
MEN’S 1500 A-B
Tom Lancashire reckoned it was the first time he and good friend Andy Baddeley, GB team-mates at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, had raced each other since 2012.
Lancashire was happier with their re-union as he kicked clear at 1200m for an emphatic victory in 3:44.80. In contrast Baddeley, who has been making a steady comeback after long-term injury, was clipped on the knee by another runner and also had a twinge in a tight calf so ended up walking across the line.
With the problems he has endured one could understand his caution.
“It is nothing too serious but I felt the leg go tight,” said Baddeley.
For Lancashire, who is hoping to find some fast end-of-season races, the presence of his friend on the same track was a reason to celebrate.
“It is great to see Andy back racing again,” said Lancashire.
“He was one of my biggest rivals and was the main man a few years ago. It was nice to race him again even if it didn’t work out for him tonight.”
Tonbridge’s James West was runner-up in 3:45.62 with Trafford’s James Bowness recording a PB of 3:45.74 in third.
In the B race there was a first GP victory for Preston’s Parick Dever as he out-paced Derby’s Matthew White on the final lap.
“I have done a lot more 1500m races this season to get more experience and while this was outside my PB (3:48.19) I am pleased to win,” said Dever.
White just held onto second from 0.14secs from the fast-finishing Vidar Dahle of Norway.
MEN’S 1500 C-G
Joe Armstrong won’t forget the 100th anniversary of the Grand Prix Series as he celebrated his first appearance with an impressive victory in the C race.
Encouraged by his coach David Lowes to give the event a go the 18-year-old Morpeth Harrier timed his finishing burst to perfection as he edged past training partner Ross Tennant and George Corcoran in the final 10 metres for victory in a personal best time of 3:53.50.
“That is three seconds off my PB so I am delighted,” said Armstrong.
“I have now taken off 11 seconds from my best since joining David’s group so it has been a really good season for me. It is my first Grand Prix event so I see that as a good stepping stone for next season when I will be looking to get under 3:50.”
Runner-up Corcoran also clocked a PB of 3:53.55 with Tennant just missing his by 0.04secs and there were also PBs for 22-year-old Scott Stirling (3:54.37) and 18-year-old Chris Durney (3:55.57) as the runners took advantage of the lull in the blustery and wet conditions.
Host club athlete Daniel Lawton stamped his class on the D race as the 19-year-old sprinted clear at the 1200 mark to by win by almost two seconds in 3:58.69.
“I saved something for the last 200m as it was pretty windy down the home straight and I am delighted to get my first Grand Prix win,” said Lawton.
“It was more about racing tonight and it was a good experience for me.”
European Championship 5000m runner Jonathan Taylor ran away from the field in the closing as of the 3000m for an emphatic victory in 8:05.37.
“That is what I needed this evening,” said Taylor.
“I have not raced for a while so I wanted a run-out before doing a 5000m in Italy in a few weeks’ time when hopefully there will be a chance of a fast time.”
Marius Vedvik chased hard on the last lap, without ever looking like he would catch Taylor, to finish second in a season’s best of 8:07.53 while Adam Hickey was third.
Not that the Southend runner was happy with that performance – so he later went on to win the 10,000m! (see below).
Adam Hickey was so disappointed with his run in the 3000m that just over an hour later he lined up for the 10,000m – and raced clear in the closing stages for a handsome victory in 29mins 51.64secs.
“I wanted to run a lot faster in the 3000m so I felt I needed to make amends,” said Hickey.
“I looked at the timetable and the only thing left was the 10,000m so I thought I would give it a go. It was a good training session though I am not sure that my legs will appreciate it in the morning. I might need to go for a swim instead!”
Also bear in mind that Hickey also ran a 3000m at the Manchester International the previous Wednesday making that 40 pretty swift laps of the track in four days.
“I love to race!” said Hickey, with a grin.
He also paid tribute to the musical accompaniment organised by meeting director Steve Green, who tried to bring a hint of Rio to Manchester with a samba band in the Trafford Stadium grandstand.
“I thought the samba band really helped and it was a nice touch,” said Hickey.
WOMEN’S 800 A-B
Sarah McDonald has been one of the most consistent performers in the 2016 Grand Prix season so it was fitting that she claimed victory in the 800m.
The 23-year-old claimed her third victory of the season after wins at Sports City (1500m) and Oxford, when she ran her PB of 2:01.10 as she developed into a top performer who made her senior international bow at the European Championships.
The pack, led by Katie Snowden, opted not to follow the pacemaker as she reached the bell in a fraction over 60 seconds. Snowden continued to lead from Mhairi Hendry down the back straight but no-one had an answer to McDonald when she hit the front.
Her winning time of 2:04.13 was the slowest of the summer’s Grand Prix races and way off the performance she delivered on a sunny afternoon in Oxford but McDonald was satisfied with her evening’s work.
“When I saw the conditions I took the view that it was about racing and not a time trial,” said McDonald.
“My 1500m background meant that I always finish strongly so I am pleased with that. It has been a good season for me and I cannot complain about my progress.”
Georgina Outten came through for second and Hendry completed the top three – coincidentally they are all aged 20.
The B race saw a one-two for sisters Venla and Aino Paunonen from Finland with the older Venla taking advantage of the fast 60.08secs split at the bell to record a PB of 2:07.78.
Reigning English Schools’ junior girls’ 800m champion Molly Canham worked really hard to stick with the Finnish pair but the 14-year-old found herself isolated which cost her the chance of attacking the UK Under 15s record of 2:06.22.
“We came here to have a go at the record but it was always going to be difficult in the conditions,” said Canham.
“Still it was a good work-out ahead of the England Championships next weekend.”
WOMEN’S 800 C-D
Derby’s Natalie Weir ran a season’s best of 2:11.95 – just 0.93secs off her PB – to win the C race and in the D event Cara Anderson burst into the lead down the home straight after leader Issy Cotham faded into the wind.
“I didn’t think the conditions were too bad for our race,” said Anderson.
Sale Manchester Harriers’ Emma Tilley finished second in a PB of 2:15.78 and Cotham dug in to also secure a PB of 2:16.80 in third.
WOMEN’S 1500M A-C
The A race ended up with arguably the strongest entry of the meeting with internationals Alison Leonard, Rosie Clarke, Jess Judd, Millie Courtney and Emelia Gorecka in the field.
Leonard, who is third in the UK Rankings for 800m, was always going to be hard to beat if it came down to a sprint finish and while Millie Courtney did her best to inject some pace in the blustery conditions it wasn’t sharp enough to give the Blackburn runner cause for concern.
“Mollie tried to wind it up so I just stuck on her shoulder,” said Leonard.
“My coach (Bud Baldaro) had told me to go with 300m remaining but I thought that’s a long way out so I waited until between 250/200 metres out and felt strong down the finish. I was pleased with my run.”
In the conditions Leonard’s winning time of 4:13.77 was respectable with Clarke and Courtney finishing within 0.17secs of each other in second and third respectively.
Birchfield Harriers’ Bryony Haines was happy with her second place in the B race as she narrowly failed to catch winner Christina Toogood of Norway.
“I have not raced that well tactically this summer but that was a lot better,” said 18-year-old Haines, who set her PB of 4:25.4 at a BMC meeting in Tipton.
“I am off to Loughborough University in September so that is a great opportunity for me.”
The C race witnessed one of the best finishes of the evening with 16-year-old Beth Barlow (4:35.36) of Manchester Harriers just holding off 19-year-old Trafford runner Sinead Bent (4:35.66) in a terrific duel down the home straight.
“I was hoping for close to 4:30 this evening having set my best (4:30.39) two years ago,” said Barlow, who led the whole of the last lap.
“Now we will see how it goes at the England Championships, where I have entered the 800m and the 1500m and then the UK School Games where I will be doing the 1500m.”
The samba band, organised by meeting organiser Steve Green, played on (under the sanctity of the grandstand) but a tremendous downpour was not the sort of encore that the four women wanted in the final race of the night at 8.45 as the heavens opened.
The rain literally bounced off the track so Lauren Howarth’s effort – ably assisted by coach-turned-pacemaker Steve Vernon – to win in a personal best of 15:44.28 was outstanding.
“That was so, so hard,” sad Howarth, who was soaked and shattered. “I could not have done that without Steve’s help and I am so pleased with the time.”
The time should give the 26-year-old from Leigh a huge boost in confidence and in better conditions Howarth will clearly go a lot faster.
Elinor Kirk, who is also coached by Vernon, followed the early pace but couldn’t sustain it and was over-taken by Katrina Wootton in the battle for second while Kate Hulls gamely kept it together in an isolated forth.
|.||Race : 9||BMC 800m A (Mens)|
|1||8||01:49.18||Jake Wightman||Edinburgh Ac|
|2||13||01:49.97||Richard Charles||Shaftesbury Barnet|
|5||2||01:52.21||Jack Hallas||Birchfield Harriers|
|6||9||01:53.20||Max Wharton||Liverpool Harriers|
|7||4||01:54.21||Nzimah Akpan||Liverpool H / St. Mary’s Uni|
|.||Race : 8||BMC 800m B (Mens)|
|1||17||01:51.03||Rory Graham-watson||Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow|
|2||15||01:51.40||David Proctor||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|.||Race : 18||BMC 800m C (Mens)|
|5||26||01:53.05||Kristoffer Janson Grindedal||Norway|
|.||Race : 3||BMC 800m D (Mens)|
|1||31||01:53.42||Thomas Murilo Heggã¸y U23||Norway|
|2||32||01:53.87||Massi Dendani U23||Bedford & County / Bedfordshire U|
|3||34||01:54.15||Jonathan Currie U23||Tynedale / Birmingham Uni / Edinbur|
|4||29||01:54.27||Jonothan Kay U23||Bolton|
|5||33||01:54.74||Aaron Thorpe U20||Sheffield & Dearne / Sheffield Ha|
|7||28||01:57.36||Daniel Neal U23||Preston|
|.||Race : 16||BMC 800m E (Mens)|
|1||43||01:53.40||Sam Dykes||Warrington Ac|
|5||38||01:55.91||Ben Lee||Vale Royal|
|8||41||01:58.83||Cameron Gilmour||Edinburgh Ac|
|.||Race : 1||BMC 800m F (Mens)|
|1||46||01:56.78||Andrew De-camps||Gloucester / Swansea Uni|
|2||49||01:57.13||Jonathon Beharrell U20||Kingston Upon Hull|
|3||48||01:57.78||Stephen Morris||Cardiff / Federation Of Disabilit|
|4||50||01:57.98||Alan White||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|.||Race : 17||BMC 800m G (Mens)|
|.||Race : 7||BMC 800m A (Womens)|
|1||64||02:04.13||Sarah Mcdonald||Birchfield Harriers|
|2||63||02:04.83||Georgina Outten||Birchfield Harriers|
|3||68||02:05.14||Mhairi Hendry||Victoria Park City Of Glasgow|
|6||62||02:05.76||Katie Snowden||Herne Hill|
|7||66||02:08.30||Rachel Mcclay||Bracknell Ac|
|.||Race : 10||BMC 800m B (Womens)|
|5||75||02:13.04||Emma Alderson||Southport Waterloo|
|.||Race : 2||BMC 800m C (Womens)|
|2||79||02:12.54||Becky Townsend||Leeds City / Birmingham Uni|
|3||80||02:13.72||Julie Dobbin U23||Victoria Park City Of Glasgow / G|
|4||83||02:14.09||Charlotte Gaughan||Cardiff / Lse|
|5||81||02:14.81||Natasha Harrison U17||Stockport|
|6||77||02:15.66||Danielle Webb U20||Liverpool H|
|.||Race : 15||BMC 800m D (Womens)|
|1||88||02:15.54||Cara Anderson||Perth Strathtay|
|2||85||02:15.78||Emma Tilley||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|3||92||02:16.80||Issy Cotham||Wolverhampton & Bilston|
|4||91||02:17.80||Stephanie Mitchell||Herne Hill|
|.||Race : 21||BMC 1500m A (Mens)|
|4||105||03:46.41||John Ashcroft||Liverpool Harriers|
|5||104||03:47.00||Adam Clarke||Aldershot Farnham & District|
|.||Race : 13||BMC 1500m B (Mens)|
|5||134||03:51.93||Ricky Harvie||Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow|
|6||113||03:52.10||Daniel Jarvis||Liverpool Harriers|
|8||107||03:54.37||Edward Dudgeon||Edinburgh Ac|
|9||109||04:04.14||Alex Burrows||Telford Ac|
|.||Race : 5||BMC 1500m C (Mens)|
|2||121||03:53.55||George Corcoran||Kingston & Poly|
|3||131||03:53.96||Ross Tennant||Cambridge & Coleridge|
|7||122||03:56.28||Chris Perry||Vale Royal|
|8||130||03:57.32||Tom Bowerman||Aldershot Farnham & District|
|11||126||04:06.39||Michael Harrison||Bedford & County|
|.||Race : 6||BMC 1500m D (Mens)|
|2||139||04:00.34||Matthew Rawlings||Reading Ac|
|4||144||04:01.63||Jacob Brown||Vale Royal|
|.||Race : 20||BMC 1500m E (Mens)|
|1||150||04:02.40||Oliver Newton||Kingston Upon Hull|
|2||155||04:02.54||James Wignall||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|3||146||04:03.36||Thomas Rogerson||Liverpool Harriers|
|8||151||04:12.79||Dean Richardson||City Of Stoke|
|9||147||04:13.54||Aaron Jarvis||Liverpool Harriers|
|.||Race : 22||BMC 1500m A (Womens)|
|2||163||04:15.44||Rosie Clarke||Epsom & Ewell|
|3||171||04:15.61||Melissa Courtney||Shaftesbury Barnet|
|4||170||04:17.82||Kristine Eikrem Engeset||Norway|
|7||174||04:20.76||Katie Kirk||Lagan Valley / Ireland|
|10||162||04:21.81||Kate Holt||City Of Stoke|
|12||173||04:26.25||Emelia Gorecka||Aldershot Farnham & District|
|.||Race : 14||BMC 1500m B (Womens)|
|2||184||04:28.94||Bryony Haines||Birchfield Harriers|
|5||178||04:30.04||Rochelle Harrison||Lincoln Wellington|
|6||181||04:30.37||Georgia Malir||Leeds City|
|8||179||04:31.77||Philippa Bowden||Aldershot Farnham & District|
|9||175||04:31.96||Megan Davies||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|11||191||04:35.11||Zara Knappy||Keighley & Craven|
|12||195||04:37.06||Jessica Craig||North Down|
|14||186||04:44.80||Caroline Ford||Cambridge Harriers|
|.||Race : 19||BMC 1500m C (Womens)|
|1||199||04:35.36||Beth Barlow||Manchester Harriers|
|2||197||04:35.66||Sinead Bent||Salford Harriers|
|6||193||04:43.32||Francesca Brint||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|7||198||04:43.34||Alice Moore||Barnsley Ac|
|8||194||04:44.61||Anne-laure Larriviere||Notts / France|
|.||Race : 12||BMC 3000m A (Mens)|
|5||202||08:19.65||Charlie Hulson||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|6||212||08:22.38||Robbie Fitzgibbon||Brighton Phoenix|
|8||208||08:25.58||Jake Shelley||Shaftesbury Barnet|
|9||203||08:26.10||Mathew Jackson||Liverpool Harriers|
|10||201||08:27.40||Will Richardson||Birchfield Harriers|
|14||205||09:00.18||Liam Burthem||Liverpool Harriers|
|.||Race : 11||BMC 3000m B (Mens)|
|1||233||08:43.35||Jonathan Shields||Sheffield & Dearne|
|3||221||08:44.97||Bruno Lima||Salford Harriers|
|5||229||08:46.20||Marc Rigg Brown||Keswick|
|6||226||08:47.68||Will Beauchamp||Salford Harriers|
|7||223||08:48.48||David Rigby||Salford Harriers|
|8||234||08:52.72||Josh Lunn||Bedford & County|
|9||227||08:52.76||James Gray||Sheffield & Dearne|
|11||222||08:54.92||George Lowry||Jarrow & Hebburn|
|15||220||09:30.15||Alex Brown||Houghton Harriers|
|.||Race : 24||BMC 5000m A (Womens)|
|2||243||16:07.39||Katrina Wootton||Coventry / Coventry Uni|
|4||240||16:43.25||Kate Hulls||Bristol & West|
|.||Race : 23||BMC 10000m A (Mens)|
|2||253||30:15.66||Jack Parslow||Dacorum & Tring|
|5||246||30:46.13||Jack Bancroft||Wells City|
|7||245||30:57.00||Tom Cornthwaite||Salford Harriers|
|8||252||30:57.71||Nigel Martin||Sale Harriers Manchester|
|9||271||30:57.73||Niall Sheehan||Newham & Essex Beagles|
|10||247||31:05.06||Shane Robinson||Lincoln Wellington|
|14||258||32:08.88||Howard Bristow||Brighton & Hove|
|15||264||32:10.83||Bryn Reynolds||Clapham Chasers|
|17||263||32:11.24||James Savage||Kent / Chorlton|
|18||269||32:27.25||James Turner||Brighton & Hove|
|19||259||32:30.09||Timmy Davies||Leeds City|
|.||Race : 4||BMC 10000m B (Mixed)|
|1||256||33:13.05||Dermot Cummins||West Waterford/Corstorphine/Ir|
|2||294||33:13.54||Chris Prior V35||Salford H|
|3||289||33:23.19||Jonny Evans U23||Jarrow & Hebburn/Northumbria U|
|4||287||33:29.55||Jeff Prest V40||Trafford/Northern Vets|
|5||282||33:53.16||Bryan Clark V35||Corstorphine|
|6||278||34:41.20||Christopher Tully V35||Salford H|
|7||281||34:59.92||Lee Dover||Houghton Harriers|
|9||275||39:00.75||Josann Attard Pulis||Malta|
|10||296||39:15.93||Peter Fairclough||Sutton St Helens|
|11||295||39:16.25||Rachael Fairclough||Sutton St Helens|
|12||290||45:10.84||Anna Neufeld V40||Chorlton/Germany|