Rarely has a weekend served such a contrast in athletic venues. Eastbourne on Saturday, nestled in the South Downs National Park, for a Southern Athletics League, where our combined men’s and women’s team secured a hard fought second place. This kept us in contention with the league’s leading clubs, but we are likely to need two big wins in our final two matches at Tooting (9 July and 20th August) to have any chance of securing one of the two promotion places. We have enough good athletes to get us out of this starter division, but we need all to turn out to make this possible.
Then on Sunday to Hornchurch Stadium, nestled somewhere between Upminster and Hornchurch, and home to our hosts Havering AC. Provisional results indicate that we finished a very close second, 508 points, just 0.5 points ahead of Croydon and 7 behind the host club. This result enabled us to close the gap on the City of Portsmouth, who lead the overall table.
Herne Hill Harriers 14
Havering AC 14
Croydon Harriers 10
Enfield and Haringey AC 3
The above standings are very much provisional, and in view of their closeness things could change following recount.
There were some outstanding performances by the Herne Hill athletes, across the full range of running, jumping and throwing disciplines. Ore Adamson set a league record in the U15G LJ with a leap of 5.53 (a further league record was set by a Havering U15B, who threw the javelin an almighty 61m40). I also believe a third was set, see below.
In the U15B, Tiarnan Matthews secured very good points in the discus, hammer and shot putt, with PBs in the first two of these three events, and was well backed up by Andre Parker who won the B string discus with a PB throw. Not for the first time, the U15B middle distance runners returned good points, with the highlight being Oscar Millard’s massive PB, 2.06.8.
In the U13B, the best performance came from Jaden Kennedy, a storming 2.09.5 for 800m. In a piece of front running that is a standout characteristic of James McDonald’s athletes, Jaden massively revised his PB and UK lead time, and club record. Although not reported as a league record, it is quicker than the record currently posted on YDL www site. Jaden was backed up well by Cameron Welsh who recorded a PB for second B string. Jacob and Ben Harrison dominated the 1500m, both securing first places.
HHH sprinters also scored good points, Noah Ojumo, Clayton Mytill and Jaden Kennedy, with the latter two also securing first B and second A respectively in the long jump. Jaden finished off a great day by helping the 4 x 100m team to a clear victory.
The middle distance runners secured excellent points in the U15G category, with firsts for Rosie Hammond and Clarissa Nicholls in the 800m, and Lulu King (4.48.3) first and Susannah Hirst second B in the 1500m (with a massive PB of 5.07.8).
As noted above, Ore Adamson produced a league record to win the long jump, and there were two good seconds for Beth Callaghan and Ursula Hall in the U15G high jump.
In the U13G age group, athletes from across the disciplines contributed very good points. Faith Price was second in the 75m sprint, a position matched by Layla Wilkinson in the 800m, with Jess Butland winning the B string.
Maisie Collis ran superbly to record a massive victory in the 1200, 3.46.9. This was a club record, UK lead time, and probably a county record, another stunning piece of front running. Eva Holland easily won the B string and, underlining the versatility of James’ athletes, was 2nd in the A javelin with Emily Callaghan winning the B string, and who herself also secured a second in the B string high jump, a position matched by Natalie Webb in the B string long jump.
The final match is on 16th July at the nearby Croydon Arena. Make sure you give priority to this fixture, and help ensure we win the league.
Keith Newton 19/06/16