THE fourth round of the Southern Athletics League was always going to be tough with the visit of league leaders Southampton, but the Marshall Milton Keynes AC team acquitted themselves well to secure an excellent second place finish.
As expect, Southampton proved too good for the rest as the south coast side won to stay top of the pile, but MK remain their nearest challengers and after some great performance stretched their lead over Luton in third.
Ealing Southall & Middlesex and Herts Phoenix joined Southampton in travelling to Stantonbury, but it was the home team who enjoyed the best start to the action as there was 2nd for Ben Sturgess (11.4s) in the 100m and 1st places in both B races by Nic Williams (11.7s) and Alice Ritchie (13.1s). Nic then followed that up with 2nd in the B 200m, taking 23.6,s with 3rd for Rebecca Hardy in 26.9s.
The 400m yielded three 3rd places for Katie James (61.0s), Alana Slater (62.4s) and Ben (50.8s), before a great run In the 800m gave Sam Deathe top points in 1m 54.0s, with 2nd for Chris Hearn (1m 57.8s) and also for Rebecca Goyder-Smith (2m 23.5s).
However, the club’s best performances came in the 1500m with a clean sweep of wins for MK’s four runners. Ross Threlfall won in 4m 06.8s, Matt Eager in 4m 09.2s, Elle Roche (4m 52.5s) and Kirsteen Welch in 4m 58.2s. And the men repeated this in the 3000m with another great effort by Sam, winning in 8m 56.1s and Marcin Fudalej taking top point in 9m 14.9s, with 2nd places for Wendy Webber (11m 11.7s) and Di Baldwin (12m 57.3s).
Amazingly all five of the club’s hurdlers finished 3rd, with Will Lambourne (16.5s) in the 110m race, and Ross (63.2s), Ryan Burling (63.6s), Michelle Jessop (81.8s) and Di (106.1s) in the 400m event. The 3000m steeplechase saw Ryan win in 9m 54.2s, as did Chris (10m 17.7s) and Di was 3rd in the 2000m race taking 9m 25.2s.
But the relays didn’t go quite to plan with the men’s 4x100m squad finishing 2nd in a time of 44.7s and the women 3rd in 53.4s. And only the women’s 4x400m team also made the podium with another 3rd in 4m 05.8s.
There was a sluggish start to the field events with the high jump resulting in 3rd places for Jerry Danjuma (1.70m), Mark Roberson (1.40m) and Elizabeth Read (1.40m) with joint 2nd for Jan Hardcastle (1.25m).
And it was no better in the pole vault as Mark added another 3rd with a clearance of 2.20m, with 2nd for Rachel West at the same height.
However, there was an improvement in the long jump with two A string 2nd places for Franklin Ocran by leaping 6.27m and Devon Byrne (4.89m), with B string wins for Chuko Cribb (6.13m) and Alice Ritchie (4.60m). Chiko added another win in the triple jump after clearing 13.43m, while it was 2nd place for Franklin (12.44m) and two 3rd places for Elizabeth (9.40m) and Lucy Brady (8.92m).
The shot putt brought more joy with wins from Sadie Watts (10.21m), Devon (9.76m) and Will Lambourne (12.51m) and 2nd for Mark Gardiner (8.76m). But it was the discus that really brightened the day with four wins thanks to Will (34.21m), Mark Roberson (29.52m), Emma Beales (41.86m) and Sadie Watts (30.44m).
It was almost as good in the hammer with 1st for Sam Ridgway (48.26m), Mark Roberson (46.84) and Kayleigh Presswell (39.89m) in the B event and 2nd for Sadie (41.99m) in the A string,
Finally in the javelin there was 2nd for Mark Roberson (39.24m), 3rd for both Sam (30.25m) and Sadie 37.98m, and a win for Devon (34.85m).