Massive breakthrough for Nene Valley Harrier
DARRELLON Holding’s whole season could have changed for the better on the basis of less than 50 seconds at the weekend.
The Nene Valley Harrier made a stunning improvement and went from 118th to eighth on the UK Under 20 400m rankings after a superb display at Crystal Palace.
He took the bronze medal at the South of England Under 20 Championships and was closing rapidly on the silver medal only to miss out by three hundredths of a seconds.
The 17 year-old was already the fastest Nene Valley Harrier ever with his 49.33 to reach the English Schools final last year but he took almost a second off that with a superb 48.39 on Sunday.
Holding had not even broken 51 seconds so far this year, although that is perhaps a little misleading as he had not even raced over the distance much as he was concentrating on his speed with regular outings over 100m and 200m.
But he smashed through the 50second barrier in the heats and then produced that stunning run in the final, leaving him dreaming of an international call-up and an English Schools gold medal.
He said: “I was very apprehensive when warming up for my heats on Saturday as I hadn’t shown any form going into the championship and I wasn’t sure what I was capable of.
“When lining up for the race I said to myself: ‘Darrellon, just get out and the rest will follow’.
“I went out like it was a 100m race and found use for my newly-adopted tactic of hitting the first 200m as if it were only 200m I was running. I held on at the end to finish in joint first with a time of 49.66, a dramatic season’s best.
“I was incredibly pleased with the race. My coach said I had another second in me, but I didn’t really think it was possible . . . until I ran in the final!
“In the final, I was drawn in lane four, right in the middle of the two fastest runners, so I saw this as a good chance to chase the runner in the lane outside me and try and hold off the runner on the inside lane.
“Again I went out as if it were a 200m but this time, instead of just holding on, I pushed the second 200m and chased the lane outside of me all the way to the line.
“I wasn’t sure of my time at first and looked up to my mum (Sherie, herself an excellent sprinter in her younger days), who signalled to me that it was in the 48’s. When I was given the official time of 48.39 I looked up to my mum and mouthed: ‘That’s another second off, how did I do that?’
“As a result the rest of my season may have changed for the better. I am now going into the English Under 20 Championships at Bedford this weekend looking to qualify for the World Junior Championships 4x400m relay team.
“Then, two weeks later, I’m looking to win the 400m at English Schools as I am currently the fastest Under 18 in England right now.”
To cap an excellent championships for Nene Valley, Chris Wright also made the podium, taking bronze in the 5000m in 15.59.11.
Hunts Athletic Club’s Matt Leadbitter broke 50 seconds for the first time in the semi-finals of the senior 400m but it was not enough to reach the final.
THERE were also some superb local performances at the North of England Championships at Manchester.
Spalding sprinter Chris Craig won his 200m heat in 21.45 before taking gold in the final in 21.67, and Nene Valley Harrier Robert Mohan won the Under 20 shot with 17.04m.
Two Peterborough Athletic Club members were in action, Emily Moss clocking a personal best of 61.91 for silver in the 400m hurdles and Steph Hendy finishing fourth in the Under 20 women’s hammer with 45.36.
Moss said: “I still made a couple of big mistakes so I feel there’s more to follow if I can get things right.
“I’ve under-performed this year as I’ve been having problems with my stride pattern but this was a really pleasing run.”
JOHN Herbert of Werrington Joggers won the Abbey 10k at Ramsey on Sunday, leading Werrington Joggers to team victory,
IN-FORM Stamford Strider Mark Greenwood retained his title in the Hickling Corn Dolly Challenge Trail Race on Sunday.
Last year he set a course record over a 8.2-mile distance but the route was reduced to 6.75 miles this time and he won in 38.42.
Four days earlier Greenwood had won the 5000m at the Army Five Division Championships in a then personal bets of 15.59.0.
And yesterday he made it three wins in eight days as he improved that personal best to win the semi-finals of the Army Championships at Tidworth. in 15.34.4.
ALEX Pycock of Peterborough Athletic Club chalked up two wins at the Cambridgeshire Development Meeting at St Ives.
HUGE LEAP UP THE RANKINGS: Darrellon Holding.