Thursday, October 6, 2022
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Athletics: Second place for Thurrock Harriers in first meet of the season

THE Club finished 2nd in the SAL match held at Blackshots on Saturday. Only British league Newham and Essex Beagles beat them, narrowly, while Invicta East Kent, Medway and Maidstone, and Orion Harriers were all comfortably beaten. The team consisted of regular points winners but with a smattering of newcomers to give the team management some encouragement for the future.

Michael Shortall, Dan George and Ben Gibbs contributed half of the men’s team points. Michael Shortall’s hurdelling was again outstanding. V50 Mark Jenkins on the B pole vault and scored good points in the throws. Dan George, whose work commitments prevent him from training regularly, can still produce winning performances in the jumps and throws. Outstanding sprint performance came from the U17 Ynka Sodipo in the 200m where he recorded 23.4 for 2nd place. Also in the sprints the 4×100 relay team recorded a good 44.8 but are capable of much faster.

With Ben Gibbs and Michael Shortall in the seniors and Joe Winn, Ynka Sodipo, Charlie Splarn and Nweike Nwabude from the under 17s the club record of 43.1 could be under threat. It is about time as it has stood since 1977!

An eye catching effort came from Joe Winn with a high jump victory of 1.85. Aidan Simpson vaulted and high jumped well. Nigel Instance won the B javelin and filled in valuably, in the middle distance events. Best middle distance of the day came from Scott Rice in the 5k who was 3rd with a time of 16.46. Under 17 Oliver Mann improved his 1500m time by 2 seconds. Don Lawless, Tei Lynn-Jones, Adam Dowman and Jon Metcalf also made valuable contributions in the middle distance section.

In the women’s events the throws contributed the bulk of their points. Madeline Kennell and Sue Lawrence finished 1st or 2nd in all the throws with Lucy Howes contributing in the B shot.

Natalie Le Beau toiled all afternoon in the sprints and jumps. Her best effort came with a win in the long jump with a distance of 5.08.

Jodie Farrell, to her club mates’ delight, won the 800m and took 2nd in the 1500m. In the women’s section Liberty Milne and Anna Stancombe provided the under 17 input. Anna sprinted with fierce determination in the 200 and 400m while Liberty scored well in the B 400m and the long jump.

The next match at Hemel Hempsted, at the end of May, will be a tough test of the club’s ability to produce good teams for away matches. If they do this gaining promotion becomes a possibility.

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