Report by Charlie Dickinson and Arne Dumez
This year the Southern Athletics League climaxed on our home turf at Battersea Park. It was a rough season, to say the least, and we had tried our absolute best to rally the team for one final stand at the Millennium Arena. We faced some of the strongest teams in the league with the eventual top team Winsdor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow packing every single event to score as many points as possible.
We were treated to several stellar performances on the day. Our female runners were in fine form as shown by Sian Harry’s 26.03 200m run which was enough for silver. New Belle Amy Mat also had a strong run in 27.64. Fi Maddocks took the tape in the 800m B race but was only 1s slower than a steamrolling Emma Howsham who ran a big PB of 2:22 in the A race, sadly, in last place.
The long distance runners tackled the 3000m shortly after. Jojo Rhodes is clearly coming back to form judging by her 11:36 silver medal place in the B string. The A race was given to Rachel Brown who took home bronze in 10:57. This looks very promising from the incoming XC season – summer lactic will turn to winter smiles!
The phenomenal Mia Callenberg once again collected more than her fair share of events and points, competing in the Shotput, Discus, Javelin and Hammer. Accompanied by Emma Watkins in the Long Jump and Grace Johnson in the jumps, Mia grit her teeth through another tough day at the office concluded by an exciting 2nd place in the 4 X 400 relay for the Belles.
Perhaps the most notable runner of the day was Sam Ige who took on the 100m/200m double. Not only did he win the 200m A race in an outstanding 21.69, he also claimed gold in the 100m A race in 10.74 which got him an entry to the British Championships the following weekend. Sam has always been one of our standout sprinters and it is great to finally see him represent us on the big stage. There are much bigger things coming from Mr Ige, just watch this space! Regular big-time scorer Sam Shore finished third in the 400mH A race in 55.01… Yikes, clearly a blisteringly fast race!
On the middle distance front, new recruit Will Stockley attacked his own double – the 800m/1500m. He took very convincing wins in both disciplines in 1:57.97 and 4:03.9 respectively. He was also very nicely backed up by Robel Fesoom in the B 1500m where the promising young gun ran his second fastest time ever over the distance in 4:25.46.
Paskar Owor and Nick Buckle brought home maximum points in the 5000m. With times of 16:18.14 and 16:18.57 it almost doesn’t matter who ran which, we all know both of these gents are worth far better than that. Very well done, chaps!
Out in the field, recent Bel Cameron Touron jumped 1.60m to claim the win in the High Jump B string and 10.9m for silver in the Triple Jump B string. Abi Ekoku casually won the Discus A while Pete Mayfield came 2nd in the B competition. Ali Prenn was 2nd in the Javelin A with Tom Ikeda brought home maximum points in the B.
Although Belgrave only just avoided finishing in last place on the day by a mere half a point, we can be encouraged by some outstanding individual performances. There was a terrific team spirit throughout the afternoon with support from Tony and Gillian Fairclough, Rose and Aidan Grace, Carl Lawton, Chris Privett, Richard McMillan, Bob Bridges, John Hall, Don Anderson, and of course Charlie and Mary Dickinson, among others. Rose provided drinks and pizzas after the meeting and Bob Bridges was presented with a wonderful birthday cake made by Laura Suggett. It was a lovely end to the track and field season.
Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow: 252.5
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers: 184
Belgrave Harriers: 151.5
Nene Valley Harriers: 151