Despite home track advantage it was a tough match in the second Southern Athletic League meeting for Marshall Milton Keynes AC as they finished 2nd to Radley with Nene Valley Harriers a close 3rd.
Although slightly disappointing the team must take heart form a very creditable performance with a relatively young and inexperienced team.
The sprinters in particular struggled with just three 3rd places in the 100m through Suboni Onanuga (M17) 11.26s, Nic Williams (M20) 11.63s and Alice Ritchie (F20) 13.20s with no podiums in the 200m at all. It was better in the 400m with a fine win by Ben Sturgess 49.56s with 2nd for Tom Purton 51.22s while Alana Slater (F35) was 3rd taking 64.33s. The women did better in the 800m with 2nd places for Carly Scott 2m 35.16s and Diane Baldwin (F55) 2m 48.37s with two 3rd spots for Ross Threfall 1m 58.88s and Sam Deathe 2m 00.30s.
The 1500m produced 2nd places for Ross Threfall 4m 13.3s, Sam Deathe 4m 20.7s and Diane Baldwin (F55) 5m 45.07s and 3rd for Kim Lowden (F40) 5m 17.78s. A win in the 3000m thanks to Tom Comerford 9m 03.82s gave a much needed points boost helped by 2nd Carly Scott 11m 46.00s and 3rd Kim Lowden (F40) 11m 09.79s.
While the men still have problems finding Hurdlers the women produced two 2nd places in the 100m event courtesy of Rachel Gibbens 16.12s and sister Sophie 23.45s while in the 400m Hurdles it was 2nd for Faye Richold 67.8s and 3rd for Tom Purton 66.45s and Sophie Gibbens 79.3s.
It was even better for Sophie over the solid Steeplechase barriers with a win in the 2000m race finishing in 8m 10.84s with 2nd for Diane Baldwin 9m 20.71s with two 3rd places over 3000m for Tom Cox (M20) 10m 54.01s and Michael Greener (M20) 12m 15.05s.
Three 3rd spots came in the Relays with the Women’s 4x100m team crossing the line in 52.74s with the Men’s 4x400m taking 3m 37.78s and the Women’s 4x400m 4m 27.53s.
Once again it was the Field events where good points were won with the Triple Jump adding a superb maximum with wins by Chuko Cribb (M20) 14.05m, Franklin Ocran 12.78m, Laura Zialor (F17) 10.76m and Elizabeth Read (F20) 9.72m.
It was not quite so good in the Long Jump with wins for Chuko 6.23m and Naomi Greener (F17) 5.34m and 3rd Franklin Ocran 6.41m while the High Jump resulted in wins for Rachel Gibbens 1.56m and Laura Zialor (F17) 1.45m and 3rd Chuko Cribb 1.85m.
There was an identical result in the Pole Vault with Rachel clearing 3.30m and Laura 2.70 for top spot with 3rd for Mark Roberson 1.20m. Only the Women made the podium in the Shot with 1st by Kayleigh Presswell (F20) putting 9.74m and 2nd Emma Beardmore 10.41m but it was almost the reverse in the Discus with 2nd by Mark Roberson 29.28m and 3rd by Lewis Barnes (M20) 37.64m and Emma Beardmore 35.99m. In the Hammer Mark and Lewis were on top form both winning with throws of 46.27m and 37.14m with 2nd places for Kayleigh Presswell (F20) 48.67m and Emma Beardmore 41.58m.
Finally in the Javelin there was a win for Jonathan Pownall (M17) 44.95m, 2nd for Lewis Barnes 38.54m and Emma Beardmore 20.87m with a 3rd for Kayleigh 26.58m.
On the international scene Greg Rutherford finished 3rd in the Long Jump in the Shanghai Diamond League Meeting with 8.08m behind Jinzhe Li (CHN) 8.34m and Aleksandr Menkov (RUS) 8.31m. Craig Pickering made his return to the track with 10.40s for 4th place in the 100m at the Loughborough International and Freddie Curtis threw 61.84m in the Javelin.
In Cambridge at the “Varsity match” Beth Swords finished 4th for the home university finishing the 5000m in 18m 11.73s and at the Newport Open meeting Joey Duck won both the 100m and 400m recording 11.91s and 55.40s respectively. Competing at the Woodford Green Combined Events Meeting Devon Byrne finished 4th in the Heptathlon with a Personal Best of 4595 points. In addition Devon recorded PBs in the 100m Hurdles 15.82s, 200m 27.01s, and 800m 2m 22.50s, while in the Shot she putted 11.15m with a High Jump of 1.48m, Long Jump 5.00m and Javelin 36.21m.
There was not much reward for a lot of hard work for the Club’s Southern Men’s League team after a long trip to Gillingham where they are still struggling in their first year in Division 1. With a home fixture in the Southern Athletic League only nine competitors attended resulting in most doing several events and sadly the team left in 6th place dropping them to the same position overall in the League. While there were few podium finishes for the team the highlight was a win in the B Hammer for Mike Burling (M55) 25.38m with 3rd for Iain Lawrence 29.28m in the A event. There was also a 2nd in the B 3000m Steeplechase by Carl Baldwin (M55) 16m 06.3s and 3rd places in the 1500m for Nick Washington (M35) 5m 16.9s and in the B High Jump for Jim Lawrence (M55) 1.00m.
However there was a very encouraging debut by M17 Harrison Caird who contested the 100m, 200m, Long Jump and Relay, just missing a podium in the 200m with his 24.2s 4th spot.
At the second race of the East Midlands Grand Prix series it was Leamington’s Andrew Savery and Rugby & Northampton’s Emily Waugh first home in the Rugby 6 (mile) race.
There were category wins for Kelvin Smith (M60), Diane Baldwin (F55) and Julie Dalzell (F45) with 2nd places for Paul Mason (M60) and Keith Cook (M65). Leading the Club’s contingent home in 12th was Matthew Clarke taking 34m 11s followed by 35th Jeremy Vick 36m 36s, 40th Chris Cahill (M40) 36m 48s, 50th Andrew Wasdell 37m 16s, 65th Martyn Erasmus (M45) 38m 26s, 77th Ian Pheasey 39m 00s, 107th Stephen Howe (M55) 40m 34s, 108th Michael Groom (M55) 40m 36s, 112th Kelvin Smith (1st M60) 40m 48s, 120th Lido Medori (M50) 41m 08s, 121st Paul Mason (2nd M60) 41m 17s, 145th Diane Baldwin (1stF55) 42m 37s, 152nd Julie Dalzell (1st F45) 42m 52s, 179th Keith Cook (2nd M65) 44m 01s, 248th Ed Hill (M60) 48m 32s, 266th Malcolm Kidby (M45) 50m 19s and 300th Peter O’Sullivan 54m 50s.
In the second race of the Welsh Ultra series Richard Harrison joined a small group who added about an extra mile and a half to the 40 planned when a sign was removed but despite this, the inclement weather and the 8500 feet of ascent he finished 8th veteran in 9h 37m 07s.