Mas­sive break­through for Nene Val­ley Har­rier

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds - by BOB FRANK

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.

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