The athletes of Nene Valley Harriers were competing in the fourth match of the campaign down at Crawley on Saturday 9 July 2016. The travel contingent had the option of going via the M11 or M1 and the decision made by those to avoid the M1 benefitted after an accident delayed half of the team. The meeting was delayed for fifteen minutes allowing the clubs officials to attend their events.
The Nene Valley ladies team had a magnificent day and massively outscored their opponents amassing a score of 106 points compared to their nearest competitors 89 points. The team had a good spread of age groups representing to club ranging from under 17 to masters.
The individual performance of the day though came from Emma Hornsby who won the ladies long jump by over half a metre with a leap of 5.91m. Emma thus extended her club record and is hoping to beat 6m on Saturday when she competes in the Loughborough EAP Open meeting.
Emma next competed in the 100m recorded a double win with Lily Hughes coming back to form winning the A string. This was the first of a number of double wins including Emma recording her third individual win with a high jump of 1.50m and supported by Rosie Jacobs winning the B string.
Andrea Jenkins recorded double wins pairing up with Becki Hall in the discus and Lydia Church in the hammer. Becki also secured an individual win with a shot putt of 12.21m, continuing her good form this season.
Emily Maltby increased her seasons best in the ladies triple jump three times before finishing with a distance of 11.37m and with Devon Spencer recorded another double win for the club. On the track Emily and Rosie Jacobs also achieved the double in the short hurdles event.
Also on the track, the club had wins with under 20, Jenny Smith stepping in to replace the sick Chloe Pavey in the 2,000m steeplechase. Jenny is better known as a 400m or 200m sprinter was spotted as she went over the water jump and went on to record a shock B string win. The ladies then finished the track with a significant 100m relay win.
The club’s under 17 contingent all competed well and recorded good second and third place finishes with Kelsi Ellis in the 200m and 400m and Imogen Woodard in the 800m and 1,500m. Ellie Piccaver in her first outing for the senior team recorded an impressive second place in the 1,500m whilst Jasmine Oldfield ran her first 5k on the track taking third place and supporting master Nicky Morgan’s second place in the same event.
The men’s 3,000m team had a total of 106 years of life experience between them but got stuck into the race with both Paul Parkin and Barry Warne grabbing points for the club. Barry also scored for the club in the 800 and the 1,500 whilst Paul attempted to fill a gap in the steeple chase before remembering why he had not run one in the last 20 years.
There were other significant volunteers which are deservingly mentioned in this report. Under 20 thrower, Charles Hughes surprised everyone by volunteering to run the 1,500m and scored as the club’s A string athlete. He is known to be handy over 100m in the relay teams but no one thought he could compete at 15 times that distance.
The men’s team recorded a good double win in the short hurdles with Max Everest and David Bush. Also gaining maximum points were Martin Tinkler in the discus and Sam Wilson in the B string hammer. Sam’s A string team mate, Issac Huskisson not only took second place in the hammer but picked up a point in the 400m hurdles after offering to run it for a fiver.
The great team spirit was clearly evident in the men’s discus where the four team mates were warming up and taking the mickey out of each other. This lead to the other teams also getting involved and a good one two result for Nene Valley with Martin Tinkler and Simon Achurch. Master, Simon also recorded second in the shot putt and a third in the javelin continuing his season of high scores for the club.
The points on the day were extremely close with Nene Valley finishing in third place and all those who competed on the day showed true grit and determination. The result should have secured the clubs safety from relegation but the division is extremely close and the club needs to record a result at the final fixture in Norwich on 20 August.