Athletics: Track and road success for Harriers

Bexley Senior Mens Meeting

The senior men’s teams Southern Mens League Division 1 programme continued on Saturday at Bexley. Another 2nd place resulted. They lost

to the home side Bexley but defeated Aldershot, Farnham and District  and Hastings.

Again the triumvirate of Mark Jenkins, Michael Shortall and Dan George notched up half the team’s points total. They also covered half the
events. Dan George, whose work committment and recent bout of ill health have restrictred his training, notched up many good performances
in the jumps and throws. The best performance was a 1.85m high jump.

Michael Shortall’s big moment came with an excellent win against good opposition in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.9. He also scored good
points in the sprints, long and triple jumps and the 110m hurdles.

Mark Jenkins, now a V45, had a great day. He scored in 6 events. His best being the 400m hurdles with 2nd place in the B string with a time
of 74 seconds.

Probably the best performance of the day was Nick Houghton’s 2.00.7 800m. The talented Grays based athlete looks capable of a sub 2m 800
before the end of the season. He also won the 1500m which made it a rewarding day for him. His twin brother Alex ran a speedy 16m21s in
the 5K and followed that with a runner up spot in the steeplechase.

These 2 athletes add very welcome quality to the endurance section of the Club. In addition to his track performances Nick also cleared a
height in the pole vault which added valuable points to the total.

The middle distance squad made an all round strong contribution. Jon Metcalf, a V50 veteran, ran 2m 14.9 for the 800m which will earn him a high place on that age section’s ranking list. Adam Essa was runner up in the B 1500 with a time of 4m29s and Don Lawless was also runner up in the B
steeplechase.

Ian Burgess churned out a pb in the 5K to earn 3rd place in the B string. Jack Farmer covered the sprints well while Jamie Kensey high jumped an excellent 1.65m and long jumped 5.8m. These 2 athletes are in the under 17 age group and have a promising career ahead of them. Ben Gibb’s sprint career has been blighted by persistent injuries but he has turned to throwing very successfully. His best effort came in the shot with a 9.66 putt.

Great Baddow 10

Thurrock had 8 athletes taking part in this race which included the County Championships. The women’s team finished 2nd in the County
Championships with Tracy Swindell 2nd overall, Toni Noble 7th overall and Victoria Peacock finishing in 210th position but in the early 30s
in the women’s race. Their medals are under scrutiny because of a discrepancy on one of the entry forms. The quality of Tracy Swindell’s
performance speaks for itself although Toni Noble’s 7th place just a month after the London Marathon was also a brilliant performance.

Five men competed. Most pleasing of their performances came from Justin Renda who finished 62nd with a time of 65m59s. Pat Dobbs added yet another County Championship to his list of achievements by winning the 70+ race in a time of 80m58s. Other finishers were David Johnson 38th in 63m22s, Rob  Russell 49th in 64m37s and Bernie Johnson 181st in 74m49s. 700 athletes started the race.

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