Nathan hurls PB for medal

First published in Athletics

BLACKBURN Harrier teenage hammer thrower Nathan Billington continued his fine 2012 campaign after achieving a superb personal best at the North of England Championships.

The 14-year-old was among four East Lancastrians who picked up medals at the championships, held at Hull’s Costello Stadium.

In his biggest competition to date, Billington was up against a strong field in the U15 boys hammer final, in his bid to make the top three places. But the Harrier came up trumps with a throw of 36.69m, beating his previous best distance of 33.89m to take second place behind City of Sheffield’s Samuel Lancaster (43.28m).

There was a double hammer success for the Harriers as Jack Vickery, 17, took silver in the U20 men’s final with a distance of 48.82m, just three centimetres short of his personal best.

Both Vickery and Billington are coached by Mick Hitchon, father of Harrier star Sophie Hitchon who is representing Great Britain at the London Olympics.

Pendle’s Leah Hillman was East Lancashire’s sole double medal winner at Hull as she achieved silver in the U15 girls javelin and bronze in the U15 girls shot putt.

Chorley’s Luke Betts took second place in the U20 men’s 800m final after a time of 1:53:10.

Elsewhere, Blackburn’s Morgan Angland came second in the U15 girls 75m hurdles final, while club-mate Rebecca Ornell took sixth in the U15 girls discus final.

Pendle’s Natrika Wildman was 12th in the U15 girls long jump, while her brother Neng came fourth in his U17 men’s 100m heat.

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