NENE Valley Harriers’ youngsters battled hard to clinch second place overall at the recent Eastern Young Athletes’ League match at Allianz Park in Hendon. The result places them seventh in the league table after three matches, which is an agonising one place short of the qualifying position for the league’s cup final. However, with two more meetings to come there is still time for the Harriers to claim that top six position.
The U15 girls and the U17 boys had the best performances on the day, although there were sparkling achievements in all of the other age groups too. U13 Ben Roberts ran well to place second in the 800m in 2:24.50 before also competing in the high jump and javelin, while U15 Josh Akinwumi won the 80m hurdles in 12.54 before doing well in the 300m in 41.86 and jumping 4.45m in the long jump. Charles Hughes won the javelin in 33.02 in the same age group, and U17 Alison Church impressed in the javelin, coming second with 26.68m, as well as jumping 8.97m in the triple jump and leaping 4.80m in the long jump.
The stars of the day in the U15 girls included Megan Ellison and Kelsi Ellis, who won the A and B strings in the 800m in times of 2:21.55 and 2:33.48 respectively, Rosie Fresen who won the pole vault in 2.20m, and Alex Pullen and Jasmine Allen, who won both long jump competitions in 5.06m and 4.72m. Kelsi then went onto win the 300m in 45.47, while Jasmine took the 100m in a storming 13.05, and was third in the 200m in 27.35.
In the throws, Lydia Church, Alison’s sister, had an excellent day, putting in strong performances in the discus, shot put and hammer with throws of 18.79m, 8.32m and 30.51m, while Tierney Augustine won the discus with a 25.40m effort.
Alex Hampson again dominated the U17 1500m race, comfortably winning in 4:16.14, with Olly Bowling taking the B race in 4:26.74. Bradley Spurdens also had an excellent day’s racing, winning both the 400m and 800m in 53.03 and 2:00.88 respectively, while Rob Shaw dominated the shot put, winning easily with 13.9m before also competing in the discus and hammer.
The next match at Basildon on July 13 is a crucial one, being not only the penultimate fixture of this season’s league, but it also falls the day after the English Schools Athletics Championships, so some athletes will be competing tired after the previous day’s events.