Southern Vets Track and Field Match 4, Perivale Park, Wednesday 1st August 2018
And finally, after many a successful year, Herne Hill Men’s T&F Vets contrived themselves to not qualify for the Southern Area Club Championship final. No doubt every team was affected at the rescheduled divisional Match 4 in Perivale, but this was not the sole cause of our loss. The good news is that England football progressed to a World Cup semi-final raising the spirit and interest of the people, including our athletes! Apologies for no official reports of Matches 2 or 3 but confusion and delays over results interacted with personal commitments to prevent timely reporting.
From the offset of the rescheduled Perivale Match 4, it was clear the match was very likely to have new divisional winners but with many regular athletes unavailable the match consequently carried the fun of unpredictability. HHH’s men still put in a grand show to demonstrate we are not bowed and we compete with honourable gusto irrespective of circumstance.
Kicking off proceedings with the Javelin Richard Tricker, Garth Francis and Nick Nicola put in solid performances of 3rd, 2nd and 2nd. Hillingdon got three straight firsts to lay down their interest to win. Starting trackwise, HHH looked good Mo Ismail taking his 1st win with aplomb and pace, Dan Hallam timing his big run for home to perfection winning the B-string and Waldy Pauzers racing a tactical 2nd place. Gavern Newsum supported at M35, too young to cover our M50 gap, so ‘nul points’ there. Hillingdon covered the four slots, as did Serpies so both rival teams beat us on points here, too. The Long Jump delivered good work from Paul Marriott and Allan Long, both 2nd in their event but an M35 empty slot again cost us dearly. Paul put in further events of High Jump, 200m and relay for a hard shift for the hoops but our depleted team just could not cover the age groups for each event to be competitive.
We welcomed Richard German to the team and a race without warm up due to travel difficulties. We did fill all 200m slots with Mo Ismael, Paul M and Allan Long. Allan ran a fabulous bend and held his speed to the line hitting a hand-timed 30.2 seconds a day before his 76th birthday ! This looks like it will move Allan to the top of the M75 200m ranking for 2018. What an athlete!
A welcome return to London and the RnB Hoops for Stuart Thurgood in the Hammer where his ‘poor throw’ of 47.74 metres still dwarfed those of his competitors. Des Austin also won his M50, whilst Chris Carden clocked a season’s best and 2nd in the M60. Andy Lea-Gerrard was there as non-scoring Hammer and Javelin back-up. So, with one of the Power boys back with us, we also return to the Hammer being our best field event over our rivals. This is where we have lost out this season, with both Garry and Stuart having been unavailable, losing us in the order of 10 points per match.
On track, Mo Ismael was back to winning the 3000m for his second 1st of three events. A fine scoring debut for James Ward gave him 3rd place in the B-string race and ever resilient Mike Mann took a 2nd in the M60’s in the hot conditions. Yes, good enough to compete for the match, but once again the HHH M50 slot remained unused. This just re-enforces our need to cover events and shows how everyone is needed to make sure that this happens.
Closing out with a 4 x 100m relay were Richard Tricker, Paul Marriott, Gavern Newsum and Dan Hallam. What the hell, we were going to have a bit of fun !
Thanks to all that competed, supported, organised or helped out throughout the season. Let’s learn and commit, just as our rivals have successfully do so. It certainly looks like we need to relearn those lessons. Best of luck to Hillingdon, we wish them the best of luck in the final, and I am sure their representation of our division remain competitive at the very top of the Veterans Track & Field Club Championships.
And best wishes to all who have aspirations at the World Vets, Malaga in September!
Valdis Pauzers, Vets Team Manager, HHH.