In blustery conditions but with new training kit to show off, the Bels faced a tough challenge in the form of Thames Valley, Bracknell and Crawley – all better placed than us in Division 1 this season.
Mia Callenberg continued her fine recent hammer form with a win from a throw just below 40m. In the long jump Grace Johnson and Emma Watkins picked up 4th (A) and 2nd (B) respectively with a testing tail wind to contend with on their approach to the pit. A solid high jump for debutant Cameron Touron secured him 4th place in the A, while Ali Prenn and Pete Mayfield both heaved their way to 2nd place in the shot amongst a full field of competitors.
Pete Mayfield and Tom Ikeda contributed solid throws in the men’s Hammer to finish 3rd and 2nd, supported by none other than Bob Bridges in the non-scoring, and in the women’s Shot Mia Callenberg was again maximum points in the A-string with great support from Grace, who finished 2nd in the B.
Elsewhere Cameron Touron was scoring more valuable points with 4th place in the A string long jump.
Grace and Jodie brought home a few more points in the women’s High Jump, and none other than Olympian Martyn Bernard won the men’s Triple Jump for us while Gareth Holden picked up maximum points for winning the B string with just a 15cm advantage over his nearest competitor. In the men’s Discus Ali Prenn and Pete Mayfield were back with a 3rd and 1st respectively, banking us yet more points in the closing stages of the match.
Women’s Javelin was a fantastic double win for Jodie Albrow and Mia Callenberg. Men’s Javelin saw the duo of Pete and Tom, who both threw well but a strong field pushed them into 4th and 3rd places. Women’s Triple Jump saw our sole representation coming from Mia, who at this stage must have been quite jaded, and against a strong field, but she jumped well for a solid 4th, before nipping back across to the throwing circle for another win in the women’s Discus, with great support in the B string from Emma Watkins.
In the 400mH the wind gusted around the athletes from all angles, but Jodie Albrow, Sam Shore and Mike Burslem all picked up valuable points by finishing in the top 2 of their respective races and asking politely that their times never be remembered.
In the 800m Keri MacKenzie had a great run in the A string for 3rd and the youngster Maddy Whitman with an absolute stormer of a run in the B string for 1st place (in a Senior Competition!). In the men’s race, hard-fought efforts from Rob McHarg and Yordan Mehandzhiyski brought us yet more valuable points.
The 100m followed with a DQ for the usually angelic Emma Watkins. Grace Johnson scored points in the B string. Then came the return of a familiar face and fast legs of Sam Ige who he didn’t disappoint, winning the men’s race in great style – we expected no less – with Mike Burselem offering great support in the B string.
Regular updates on the overall standings were leaving no-one under any illusions, this match was close; between TVH & Bracknell for the top spot and between Belgrave and Crawley for the 3rd spot. The wind continued to blow and we continued to run, jump and throw!
In the 400m Jurgita Levertaviciute ran valiantly in the women’s A string for 4th place, while Gareth Holden finished a fabulous 2nd in the men’s but we were sadly lacking B strings in either race, unlike Crawley.
With 2nd place finishes for Alice Reed and Lizzie Goldie-Scott in the 3000m the points were flooding in again; there was also additional support here from non-scorers Mimi Corden-Lloyd (who also ran a PB), Clara Zibell and Maureen Noel – it was great to see such a blur of claret and gold in one race.
The 100mH for women was a very badly populated event, but a light-on-speedwork Jodie Albrow came in 2nd. The men’s 110mH was a great race but sadly ended in a DQ for Ali Prenn. There’s always next month!
In the men’s 5000m Paskar Owor (never one to disappoint or not smile!) and Nick Buckle ran strongly in the breeze to finish 2nd and 1st in the A and B races respectively, with additional support here also from Steve Gardner.
By the half way stage we were all looking decidedly wind-swept despite the best efforts of the new kit.
The final few track events before the relays saw Emma (4th, A), Jurgita (4th, B), Sam Ige (2nd, A) and Fausto Galofaro (4th, B) in the 200m all battling the wind as they came into the home straight.
The 1500m saw a breakthrough performance from U17 Maddy Whitman, taking 2nd place in the A string ahead of a 3rd place for Emma Howsham in the B.
Robel Fesoom continued his upward trajectory with a PB of 4:26 to finish third in the men’s A, while a returning and Scott Mills should be pleased with a solid run for third in the B.
And so it was time for the relays, starting with the 4x100m: the women (Emma, Jodie, Grace and Fiona) came in 4th whilst the men (Mike, Gareth, Fausto and Sam) improved on this by one place finishing in 3rd. The lack of a Crawley team in the women’s 4×400 meant we were left to contend with a couple of strong teams: Fiona, Maddy, Emma and Jodie acquitted themselves well but ultimately finished 3rd.
The last race of the day was probably the most exciting, too: the men’s 4×400 was gripping from the gun to the ribbon with as much energy going into the cheering as went into the running( although the team of Mike, Gareth, Sam Shore and Miles, might dispute that) but they all ran brilliantly to bring the baton home in 1st place.
No match could take place without the contribution from our officials, plus they also earn us points too, so a big thank you as always to Charlie Dickinson, Bob Bridges, Carl Lawton, Jo-jo Rhodes and Richard McMillan. After what really was a team effort we finished 3rd in the match, 146 points ahead of Crawley’s 134, offering us some much needed league points to try and help pull us up from the bottom of the table. What was evident at this match was our team spirit and the support that athletes offered each other was fantastic, it was a most enjoyable day. Let’s do it all again next month please!