Thurrock’s senior mens team opened their season in Division 1 of the Southern Mens League at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium on Saturday. The team consisted of a blend of very experienced athletes and
some talented youngsters. Whatever their age great performances came from all of them.
Alec Finch ran his 2nd personal best of the season in the 800 where he recorded 2m 3.17s. To break the 2 minute barrier is now a realistic target for the Stanford le Hope student.
Top points scorer was Dan George who competed magnificently all afternoon to notch up 18 points. Dan’s training has been sparse but he has lost none of his competitive spirit and not too much of his
fitness. His best performance was probably winning the B string shot. He also scored three 2nd places in the long jump, triple jump and high
Michael Shortall, recovering from illness, sped to an excellent victory in the 110m hurdles and scored a further 9 points in the jumps and sprints.
Former Commonwealth shot putt champion, Matt Simson, made a surprise but very welcome return to competition. At the age of 41 he rediscovered his competitive edge by winning the shot putt with the final throw of the competition at 11.66m. He also threw the hammer a respectable distance of 34.4m. Hopefully he will make further appearances during the summer.
17 year old Jack Farmer, from South Ockendon, ran a great 400m to finish 2nd in 53.2. That performance was the highlight of the sprints.
At the other end of the age scale Mark Jenkins, who competes in the 45-50 veterans section, amassed an extremely useful 16 points.
His highlight of the afternoon was just missing victory in the B string 110m hurdles. The middle distance squad, in addition to Alec Finch, notched up good performances. Dennis Cross contributed 10 points in the
800m, 1500m and 3k steeplechase. Nick Houghton ran a good 5k in 17m9.7 as did Adam Essa who recorded 17m18.
3 other under 17 athletes were in good form. Jamie Kensey scored an encouraging victory in the B long
jump. Akinbola Moronkeji leapt 1.7m to earn runner up spot in the B high jump. Damon Nugent’s pole vault season took off to a good start
with a 3m clearance which gained him 2nd spot.
This was a great team effort and the spirit the athletes showed bodes
well for the rest of the season.
Team result: Bedford 116, Thurrock 95.5, Hercules Wimbledon 65.5,
Metropolitan Police 41.