Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Athletics: Gibbs getting close to sub-11 second barrier

IN a busy weekend for the Harriers senior men there were many pleasing results.

The senior mens track and field team took 3rd place in the Southern Mens Division 1 Match at Blackshots. There were six teams competing.

Arguably the best performance came from Ben Gibbs who won the 100m in 11.1s. It is only a matter of time before he breaks the 11 second barrier. He also earned good points in several other events, the best of them being 2nd place in 110m hurdles B String and a respectable 28.15m throw in the hammer.

Michael Shortall won the 400m hurdles comfortably but lost his unbeaten record in the 110m hurdles to Medway’s decathlon International Martin Buckman.

This season Michael has been indispensible as always in the sprints and jumps. Other winners were Nick Houghton filling in for the B 400m hurdles, Dan George who won both the B String javelin and shot and the promising Aiden Simpson in the B high jump.

Nick Houghton’s 2m 1s 800m was again a remarkable performance given that his work commitments restrict his training to a minimum.

Alec Finch gave his all for the team and scored excellent points in the middle distance events made more gruelling by the sweltering conditions. Jon Metcalf toiled equally hard with a ‘good for age’ 5k being his best moment. Douane Jibonah had mixed fortunes during the afternoon.

Having recorded excellent marks in the shot and javelin of 11.79 and 46.48 respectively he could not find his rhythm in his main event the discus, although his 32m throw did earn him 3rd place. Mark Jenkins and Jack Palmer contributed good points throughout the afternoon. Mark’s all round abilities have been a great asset all season.

The final league table reads as follows: 1st Medway and Maidstone 22 points, 2nd Bexley 17 points, 3rd Thurrock 14 points (652 agg.), 4th Harlow 14 points (622 agg.), 5th Luton 10 points, 6th Milton Keynes 7 points.

406 distance runners finished the Essex 10k championships held in heatwave conditions around the village of Felsted. Scott Rice notched up a pb with 35m15s in 15th place. Surprisingly after such a good performance he was pushed back to 4th place in the veteran’s section.

David Johnson was just short of his pb in 23rd place. He is in good form at the moment as his 4th place in the previous Wednesday’s Crown to Crown run illustrates. Also just outside his pb on Sunday was Antony Tobin whose 39m29s gained him 50th spot. Thurrock’s other finisher was Nick Trencher 82nd in a good pb of 41m33s.

At the end of the afternoon of a good level of competition Don Lawless finished 3rd in the A string steeplechase, again with a ‘good for age’ time of 12m16.6.

This weekend the senior men and women’s section tackle round 4 of the Southern Athletics League at Watford.


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