THE final round of Southern Athletics League action was pretty dramatic for Marshall Milton Keynes AC as from the start the team was in fourth place, and remained there throughout until about 40 minutes from the end when they clinched the victory.
A win in the women’s steeplechase, excellent points in the women’s discus, and double wins in the men’s javelin, steeplechase and triple jump saw the team rise from fourth, past Enfield & Haringey and then past Stevenage who had led from the start.
But it was only when the final result, a double win in the men’s discus, that they moved ahead of Harrow to lead for the first time in the match to win by three points ahead of Stevenage & North Herts, leaving the club second in the League just two points behind leaders Southamption.
It was not the easiest of wins though and the men in particular struggled to gain podium places on the track, although there was a 3rd place in the 100m for Nic Williams (11.8s) and 1st for Ben Sturgess (22.8s) but the 200m was a bit better as Nic took another 3rd recording 23.6s while the women had a great race with a double win courtesy of Sophie Wilkins (26.6s) and Alice Ritchie (F17) 28.5s.
There was another win in the 400m by Ben (49.4s) with two 3rd places for Lucy Brady (70.9s) and Di Baldwin (81.9s) while in the 800m Chris Hearn grabbed 3rd spot by taking 1m 58.2s and there were wins for Eliot Winter (2m 02.0s), Sophie Wilkins (2m 21.9s) and Di Baldwin (2m 52.0s).
The usually productive middle distances came for the women with the 1500m resulting in 1st places for Tanya Taylor (5m 05.6s) and Lorna Adams (5m 48.9s) but there was only a 3rd in the men’s B race as Mark Dowson finished in 4m 29.7s. But the 3000m produced a win for Lara Bromilow in 10m 45.0s and 2nd for Di Baldwin in 13m 25.5s).
The 2000m steeplechase once again produced good points with three wins by Eliot Winter (6m 13.8s), Chris Hearn (6m 19.0s) and Elle Roche (5m 24.1s) but the hurdles were disappointing with only Di Baldwin picking up a 2nd place in the 400m event in a time of 101.3s.
The relays were not much better with 3rd places in the 4x100m with the men finishing in 45.1s and the women 55.1s, and there was a 2nd spot in the women’s 4x400m as they crossed the line in 4m 27.1s.
The field events did not make the most spectacular of starts either but there were three 3rd places in the pole vault as Carl Baldwin cleared 2.40m, Mark Roberson 2.00m and Rachel West 2.10m while the high jump saw only the women on the podium with a fine win for Sophie Wilkins (1.58m) and 3rd for Elizabeth Read (1.30m).
The long jump produced 2nd place for Will Lambourne as he leapt 6.39m, 1st for Franklin Ocran (5.89m) and 3rd from Elizabeth Read (4.34m) in the B event. The triple jump saw a double win coming from Chuko Cribb (13.77m) and Franklin Ocran (12.32m), with 3rd in the women’s B competition by Lucy Brady (8.85m).
Three 2nd places came in the shot putt thanks to Jackson Curtis, putting 11.16m, Emma Beales (10.98m) and Sadie Watts (9.77m). And it was even better in the discus with wins for Will Lambourne (36.68m), Jackson Curtis (34.58m) and Emma Beales (41.83m) with 2nd for Sadie Watts (30.27m).
The hammer also produced good points with wins by Mark Roberson (50.35m) and Sadie Watts (44.29m) and 2nd for Mike Burling (25.79m).
To conclude a good day and secure a place in the British Athletics League qualifying match, there were three 1st places in the javelin, lead home by the UK number two Mervyn Luckwell who won a fine 77.10m, Jackson Curtis (54.79m) and Sadie Watts (37.68m).