Athletics: Thurrock Harriers sneak win over Harlow

IN round 5 of the Southern Athletics League the Harriers seniors completed the grand slam by winning the final match. In a ding dong battle with closest rivals Harlow the Harriers prevailed by just 4 points. Final score was 318 to 314. The team was drawn from all age groups and all of the club’s members achieved some success.

The turning point in the match came from 2 of the final events. Lucie Ball ploughed round the 2000m steeplechase as the only competitor to run and she recorded 9m20s to score 6 points. Shortly after a motley bunch of athletes was brought together to provide the only team in the ladies 4 x 400m ladies relay. The 12 points gained in these 2 events turned over Harlow’s 8 point lead and ensured the club’s overall victory. The main points winners for the men were Ben Gibbs and Michael Shortall who contributed a total of 47 points. Ben’s best effort came in the triple jump where he cleared a distance of 12.41m. Michael recorded yet another win in 400m hurdles.

Middle distance star Alec Finch won the 800 and 1500m and with Sam Smith ran an eye catching 2000m steeplechase. 17 year old Nwaeke Nwabude had a great day winning the 100m and the long jump.

Best throws performance for the club came from Glen Rawlinson who smashed his pb in the javelin with 46.27m. Advice from Maggie Whitbread is obviously paying dividends.

Luke Strudewick’s best effort on the busy day was his pb of 69.93s in the 400m hurdles. 16 year old Liam Chivers is a rapidly improving 400m exponent as his brilliant final leg in the 4 x 400m relay demonstrated. V50 athletes Mark Jenkins and Jon Metcalf contributed 17 points between them.

Jack Farmer, Dan George, Anthony Tobin, Tim Martin, Daniel Soyebo and Nigel Instance all put their energies into the determined drive for eventual victory.

On the women’s side Rebecca Bernard contributed no less than 28 points with some top class performances in 5 events. As always Sue Lawrence in the throws (22 points) and Natalie Le Beau (25 points) in the sprints and jumps made invaluable contributions. Sue Beck showed great promise in the 3k and 1500m in what was her track debut. Kendrea Nwaelene was the class act of the day winning the 100m and getting 2nd places in long jump and triple jump.

Club Chairperson, Gerry Heapy, and it’s child protection officer, Jill Boosey, scored great wins in the B throws. Gemma Holloway, who was saving herself for the county event the following day, won the 400m. Club Captain Lucy Howe can be pleased with her improving performances in the ladies section.

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The following day at the Southern Inter Counties match Gemma Holloway representing Essex under 20 team won the 800m with a time of 2m13.14s. Also in that match at Oxford Hayley Instance fought her way to the final of the 800m, for under 15s, and finished 6th in a time just outside her personal best.

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