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  • Writer's pictureDanielle McGifford

Rising stars at Upper YDL Match 1 as athletes shine bright in sunny Blackpool


On a sunny but deceivingly cold day in Blackpool, our U17/U20 athletes stepped out to kick off their 2024 YDL season. Here is a review of the day:

U20 Men

On a day where male athletes were few and far between for the club, a strong set of jumpers took on the U20 category. Our internationals Will Jackson and Jack Hilton won the long jump A and B competitions with Will setting a new PB of 6.65m and Jack not far behind with 6.36m. Will then went on to win the high jump with 1.90m and Jack the triple jump with 13.57m (although keeping us on the edge of our seats with an early set of no jumps).

In the pole vault George MacKenzie unfortunately didn’t manage to clear a height, on a day where the wind proved to be a formidable challenge for most athletes.

Finally, our U17 long hurdler Owen Baron took on the U20 200m race finishing in second place with a new PB of 23.3s.


U20 Women

The U20 women was another category where the club was struggling for athletes and was filled in the main with U17 women.

Some fantastic results in the sprints…. In the 100m, Grace Winrow ran 13.8s with Halle Walsh coming third in the B race with a new PB of 13.4s (w). Emma Pimblett looked a class act in the 200m, smashing her PB for the win in 25.5s, although unfortunately a +2.9 wind meant that this wasn’t a valid English Schools’ entry qualifier. Grace ran the B race in 28.7s. Our long sprinter (literally, as she is very tall) Isobel Dyson (U17) then also smashed her 400m PB running 60.7s for second place.

Nour Kholeif stepped up to the U20 800m and finished in third place with 2.44.

In the jumps, Chloe Budworth placed fourth in the long jump with 4.37m, whilst Jess Taggart won the U20 triple jump with 8.78m. Amy Hewitt, our U17 International triple jumper, won the U20 high jump with 1.50m (managing both the wind and a 4x100m relay in-between)! Florence Bardon competed in the U20 pole vault competition but unfortunately didn’t manage to clear a height on this occasion.

Finally in the discus, Yasmin Baker took the win with 23.08m.

4x100m relay – Aimee Glenn, Halle Walsh, Chloe Budworth, Grace Winrow – 3rd place (53.6s)


U17 Men

The U17 men category was managed by just three athletes!

In the 400m hurdles, Owen Baron had a spectacular run, finishing in second place in 57.4s. This places Owen 3rd in the UK rankings, is beyond the English Schools’ entry qualification and just a hair’s breadth away from the club record of 57.0s, set in 1985! Amazing stuff Owen!

Matthew Hayton was just outside of his PB in the 100m running 12.1s, whilst Sami Manir-Jolley outclassed the field in the 1500m race for the clear win in 4.21m.

In events outside of their comfort zone, Matty jumped a PB of 4.35m in the long jump, whilst Owen gained valuable points in the discus throwing 16.87m.

Well done guys!


U17 Women

The U17 women was by far Wigan’s strongest category of the day.

In the sprints, Emma (the bullet) Pimblett dipped just below the legal wind limit (+1.9) to run the English Schools’ entry standard of 12.5s for 100m, coming in second place on a photo finish. Well done Emma – there is just no stopping you! In an equally impressive B race, Holly Capstick ran 12.9s for third after a long road back from injury. Great result Holly on your return back to fitness.

Kady Hall was close to her PBs in the 200 and 300m races (27.5s) and (44.2s for 3rd). Whilst in the B races, Jessica Taggart set a 200m PB (28.6s) and Nour Kholeif ran 49.2 in the 300m B.

In the 300m hurdles, Amy Hewitt (returning from a tricky metatarsal injury) finished second in 49.5s, a little outside her PB. Lucy Stretton on her debut won the B race following a great run (54.7s). Whilst in the 80mh, Jess Taggart ran 14.0s, with Aimee Glenn coming second in the B race (13.6s).

Katie Bonner ran a PB in the 800m (2.46m), with Esme Clark finishing in third place in the B race (2.48m). Whilst Esme Harris was the sole runner in the 1500m steeplechase completing in 6.50m, just 4 seconds off the club record – well done Esme.

In the jumps, it was wins across the A and B competitions for Kady Hall (1.40m) and Aimee Glenn (1.25m) in the high jump, and the same in the triple jump with Emma Pimblett (10.23m) and Lucy Stretton (8.30m) on her triple jump debut. Halle Walsh took second place in the long jump A (4.53m) with Lucy close to her PB for fourth in the B (4.12m). Claudia Berry also took the pole vault win just below her PB vaulting 2.90m.

Finally in the throws, it was our UK no.3 Yasmin Baker who came second in the shot with 13.16m. Whilst Aimee Glenn and Chloe Budworth both helped to gain valuable points in the discus with 11.80m Aimee and 10.54m Chloe, plus Chloe also threw 5.91m in the shot.

4x100m relay – Jessica Taggart, Amy Hewitt, Kady Hall, Emma Pimblett – 2nd (52.1)


And Finally……

The day ended with the 4x400m mixed relay which was very entertaining. High jumper Will Jackson set off on the first leg, followed by Isobel Dyson, Amy Hewitt and Owen Baron – all running superbly. The team finished in second place with a very respectable 4.05m.

Thanks to all athletes who turned out to support the club and also to the team of parent helpers and supporters. A special mention goes to Chloe Budworth, who had a great attitude and helped the team by competing in events outside of her comfort zone. Chloe got to all of her events on time and with no fuss, even dealing with clashes and lots of number changes. She must have enjoyed it too as she is now looking for her next competition.

Wigan are 5th in the league after match one. This is a phenomenal result considering the 93 events that we didn’t manage to fill. The quality of athletes at the club is clear to see, however we are evidently struggling for numbers. If anyone who didn’t compete could help the team at future matches, then please speak to your coach. Next match Sunday 26th May @Leigh Sports Village.


John Hewitt

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