HHH’s Southern Men’s League team produced our best performance in this league so far this season at a Parliament Hill venue that is more famous for cross country racing than track and field. In a neck and neck battle throughout a sunny afternoon with previously unbeaten division leaders Kent AC, we prevailed by just 2.5 points in winning both strings the final event of the afternoon, the discus, courtesy of the fine throwing of Ashley Ralph and Garry Power, who had also scored a double first in the hammer and come 2nd in both strings of the shot earlier in the afternoon. With Allandre Johnson and the versatile Didier Sorel giving us a win double in the javelin our throws were a rich source of points towards this valuable and exciting team victory.
This was, however, an all round team win in which every single point counted and in a two way scrap where it was difficult for the two main protagonists to take points off each other it was vital that every event was filled and no silly mistakes were made. U17 Tshon Carnegie placed 2nd in both the A string sprints as a prelude to winning a boys 100m race at the UK Trials in Birmingham in 11.37, while in his SML debut his contemporary Eugene Osei-Amevenu impressed in winning both B 100m and 200m races. In the A 400m Vaughn McPherson and indeed the HHH team benefited from the disqualification of the Kent man for a false start which allowed him to win the race and ultimately HHH the match.
Dan Brown fought valiantly for 2nd in the B 400m, a position also occupied by Richard Sephton and Simon Coombes in the 800m scoring races and also Ben Paviour in the A 1500m. Ben had already won the A 5000m by a big margin in a time that was his best for 6 years and 2nd best ever, and his B partners Sam Woods in the 1500m and Tim Elsey in the 5000m were also winners.
Keith Newton was one of a handful of quality veterans in our team aged at least 45 who complemented our young athletes in the sprints and non scorers in a number of events to illustrate why HHH are considered by some to be a model club that performs well in almost all age groups and both genders. At 48 Keith was 2nd in the A steeplechase, backed up by Simon Coombes, whose earlier exertion in recording his 2nd best 800m time slowed him in the B chase but he still garnered 2nd place points. Another vet, Clarence Allen rolled back the years to record a good win in the 110m hurdles, with Didier placing 2nd in both the B 110m and A 400m hurdles races and also won the A pole vault and was 2nd in the B high jump to contribute good points in no less than 5 events. 50 year old Tom Conlon, who has made a comeback in vets league matches this year came along to his first senior track and field match for many a year and won the B pole vault, placed 2nd in the B 400m hurdles and 3rd in the A high jump to also score well for the team.
In the jumps, the highlight was a big breakthrough triple jump PB for Shola Olojo who moved from a previous best of 14.50m 6 days earlier to a huge 15.16m in this match, competing as a non scorer due to SML barring rules relating to BAL athletes. In the scoring long jump Alex Bonnick was 2nd in a PB of 6.34m and Jerrel Clarke was also 2nd in the B string, as well as filling in for an absentee in the B triple jump, where he came 3rd. Another super vet over 50, Akin Oyediran triple jumped 12.63m to place 3rd in the A string.
Our relay teams simply needed to get their batons round safely to keep our noses in front in the match, which they duly achieved with 2nd places in both races, but the star performance came from a HHH U15 boys 4 x 100m relay team, competing as non scorers as they are deemed too young for the scoring events. These boys, Raheem Stroude-McLean, Zanson Plummer, Frederick Afrifa and Fawwaz Okunole got their baton round more quickly than our scoring team and clocked the fast time of 44.2, which shatters the club U15 record by 2.5 seconds and also breaks the club U17 record by 0.5 seconds with one of the fastest times recorded by a sprint relay team of this age. 3 of these boys were in the victorious London Schools 4 x 100m team at the English Schools Championship at Gateshead at the start of the month, where an even faster time was produced and there is room for even more improvement should they get the chance to run together again this season.
With one Southern League match to go, at Crawley on 13th August, we are a very close 4th in Division 2 South and with the 2 teams above us due to meet each other in another match on that final day, a win for us could see us move up to 3rd in the final standings and an outside chance of promotion by the back door. No less than this team would deserve, but the job of course has to be finished for this to remain a true story.
All results can be found on the Power of 10 website at this link: