HHH team a solid second in SAL against home team C&G – well clear of other two teams with a great squad showing.

SAL Match 3 2019, Guildford, Report

A day that began with unfortunate communication problems and ended up a fine afternoon of performances that demonstrated the value of and the embedding of the good squad mentality.

We missed the services of our most outstanding thrower and a usually reliable younger sprinter. It demonstrates the need for me to have direct email communication with all squad athletes, not to rely on phones and texts or to have emails filtered through other addresses. In all three of the matches this season, someone has missed the match because I did not direct contact with them. I cannot possibly send out a whole series of text and phone calls. There are 99 people on the mailing list now.

Moan over! Everyone else made it and made it in good time, despite rail problems. People doubled and tripled to good effect  – young and older alike.

First up came the stalwart Des Austin and new stalwart Seandelle Haley in the Hammer. Des threw everything except the Javelin and Seandelle threw everything! Young Shanice Daley backed up Seandelle in the Hammer in what is becoming a regular slot. Seandelle came 2nd in the Hammer with 19m80 and Shanice 3rd with 16.36. Seandelle then picked up another 2nd in the Shot with 9m29 and continued to clock up more points in the Javelin and Discus.

Meanwhile Des came 2nd in 24m62 in the Hammer and then  3rd in the Shot with 7m09 and  3rd in the Discus with 22.35. Steve Pugh filled in for a point in the Discus, coming 3rd with  11.73.

It was a feature of the match for our Under 17s not only to step up and compete against seniors but to show them how it was done. Emily Callaghan won the Javelin yet again with 33m29 and filling in with the B string Long Jump with 4m44 while new U17 Chyna Stewart won the A string with 4m73. Chyna was part of a Triple Jump duo of U17s with Natalia Webb; Chyna winning the B string with 9.77 and Natalia the A string with 10.50. Another U17, Mabel Smith was only 3cm off her best, winning the High Jump with 1m70.

In the men’s field event, team vice-captain showed his maturity all afternoon, covering several events as necessary and organising the short relay. Micah Goode started with the High Jump, coming 2nd in the B string (1m45) while new boy Ore Ijinigba also came 4th with 1m50 – making up to an extent for our missing team captain Memphis, who was competing for Surrey in an Inter Counties match. Micah teamed up with U17 star Igantius Abebrese in the Triple. Albeit, slightly disappointed, Ignatius won with a splendid 12m44 and Micah came 1st B string with  11.27.  Ignatius was equally impressive coming 2nd the B string Long Jump with 6m00 while our senior jumper Seb Wilson Dyer Gough won the A string with 6m55.

Our sprinters had a good day. The women’s group did really well. Ever present and ever effective Vanessa Grant (12.7 and  27.3) and Lillian Matomola (11.8) clocked up double wins in the 100 and 200m and Shanice Daley running a good 200 in 29.2 for 2nd in the B String. Nadine Odalakun ran a fine 61.8secs for 2nd and Helena Page ran a PB 63.5 for a B string 2nd place. In the 400m. Vanessa and Lilian then shepherded Natalia and Shanice around to an impressive win in the short relay in 51.7secs. Vanessa had a great first leg but Natalia did all the damage with a really storming back straight – job done at that stage.

The men did almost as well. Victor Nzolele had an excellent win in the 100m with 11.3 and Micah winning the B string in11.7. Victor ran a gritty 200 for 2nd place in 22.9, while  Morgan Lewis came  3rd in 25.9, picking up a slight tear unfortunately. In the absence of Memphis and James Stocker, middle distance men, Steve Pugh and Eric Dol covered the 400m. Having run the 800 an hour earlier, Steve ran a PB 56.2 for 3rd, while Eric ran his 15th PB of the year, going under 60secs for the first time with 59.4 and 2nd place.

Victor and Micah teamed up with Jonathan Grant and Luke Manzona for a really impressive 4 x 100 win in 43.9secs.
The ladies middle distance group picked up good points as well as new people putting down markers which will make future selection quite difficult. Aimee Hargreaves set a new seasons best with 2.20.8 in in 2nd place in a well-judged effort while Helena set another PB in 2.25.2 winning the B string (an hour before her 400 PB). Aimee filled a gap and ran the 1500 coming 2nd the A string with a 15sec PB, in 4.48.1.

Jordan Foster ran a fine but isolated 3k in 10.24.8 for 3rd and Julia Wedmore hit her target of going under 11 with 10.55.9, coming  2nd. Lily Newton ran an impressive 2k chase and won easily in 7.46.5 despite having to run virtually solo, having dropped the rest of the field in 50m. She hurdled well and took the water jumps very well indeed. All boding well for the ESAA champs.

The men showed up in force and made future selection equally difficult. Simon Coombes ran a combative 800 in 2.8.1 in very windy conditions, only half a second off his seasons best. Just behind him, Steve Pugh won the B string in another PB of 2.9.2. Non-Scoring veteran Derek Lee ran an isolated 2.20, only a second off his best, again in very windy conditions. In the 1500, Simon ran another excellent race in 4.13.9 coming 3rd and Jack Dickenson ran a PB of 4.21.5 for 3rd place. In the non-scoring race, Arlo Ludewick ran 4.14, Nick Bester a 4.16 PB, Jack Brotchie 4.28, Eoin Brady 4.46, Eric Dol 4.50 with Ian Strong 7.26.

The masses turned out again for the 5k. Nick Bester ran a PB 15.33 for 2nd and Jack Brotchie had another fine race for 16.16, a startling last 50m and a B string win. Non-scoring Jeff Cunningham ran 16.22 prior to his Steeplechase and Eoin Brady ran another PB of 16.43.

In the steeplechase, Jeff ran 7.09 for 2nd place and John Foxall ran 7.15.3 for a B string win, having run 18min for a parkrun in the morning. As team manager, I wonder what they might have done if they were fresh?

The match finished with what seems to be our customary 4 x 400 wins in both the men and women’s races. Nadine ran first leg and ran her second 61.8sec 400 of the day. She ran a really strong first 200, held on through 300 at 45 and then battled the home straight to hand over in the lead. Some more endurance work will see her under 60secs again soon. Helena ran a determined 64.8 against the best of the opposition to hand over 4m down. Coming off her sickbed, Ella Newton stormed back into the lead with 62.5 and in her third race of the day, Aimee set off strongly and held on grimly for the win in 4.13.7 and a 64.8 leg.

The men’s team was made up entirely of middle distance men. In his 4th event of the day, Steve Pugh came in 4th in a quick first leg, running 59sec flat. Arlo stormed through into the lead with 57.5 and in his third race of the day, Simon held onto it with a 60.7 leg. This gave Eric just enough to hang on for the win in another sub 60 run of 59.9.

The home team, Guildford and Godalming were of course out in force and covered every event. We again lacked hurdlers and pole vaulters. They had B strings in every event that were to a large extent specialists, compared with many of our team covering over cracks. They won by a substantial margin, scoring  297 points to our 236. We were well clear of  London City (140) and Worthing (122).

Our team is progressing well, with more and more events being covered by increasingly tough competitors of all ages. It was a very pleasing afternoon as the TM and I want to thank you all for committing to the team and for much improved reliability once the team selection has been made.

As a group, we also need to be aware of the support from Steve Bosley, Anthony Mayhew, Ivor Northey, Mary Setyabule and John Appelton who came and both coached and picked up points providing our quota of officials. In fact we were the only club to score maximum points for having all the officials we needed.  Finally a big thanks to all the parental taxi drivers who got people down in time

The highest value performances from the meeting included Seb at 4th place and Mabel 2nd, Emily 4th (Javelin) and Vanessa 8th for her 100m performance.

I’ll give you all a week off before I start putting the next team together. Please check the diaries and make sure that you reply to the email asap.

Team Manager