Southern Athletics League – Match 1
Saturday 15th April, Bromley
Teams: Blackheath and Bromley, Belgrave, Colchester, Thames Valley Harriers
Fresh off the back of warm weather training an eager group of Belgrave Athletes headed to Bromley for the opening Southern Athletics League match at Bromley. There was a good turnout for all teams to kick start the track season despite the opening fixture occurring on Easter weekend.
Despite a few gaps in the high jump, steeplechase and hurdles the men’s team banded together to put in a strong performance with a few wins and memorable moments thrown in the mix.
The middle and long distance was a display of team effort and determination. Opening up with the 800 race Aidan Grace and Richard McMillan put in a textbook display of getting it done for the team and putting points on the board. Next to come was the 5000 race that saw a PB from Matt Welsh as he took on the Colchester duo right from the start to clock in under 16mins whilst Steve Gardner ran a smart race in the B race to come in just shy of the 17 mark as he eases back into running following an injury. High of his PB run Matt then turned his efforts to the 1500 B race where he was going to just “get around” but was duly tempted into a race led out by team mate Fraser Logan who ran a PB in the A race with Matt hot on his heels to take a win in the B.
In the throws it was the dependable duo of Chris Privett and Tom Ikeda who led the way as they battled against the might of Blackheath and Colchester with an appearance from Harvey King who took second in the B javelin.
Debuts from Antonio Jose Araque Andreu in the 100 and 200 sprints and Ed Caltieri in the long jump and triple provided great support for the team before the pair joined up to show their speed in the 4×100 relay where they were anchored home by Pierre Walker who had also competed in the 100 and 200.
The 400 boys were out in force with Matt Threadgold winning the 400 A race and Mike Burslem making a cracking debut run in the 400 B before trying his hand at triple jump. They were also joined by Thomas Steindler who put in a solid run in the non scoring 400 race after stepping up for a cheeky long jump just moments prior. Whilst Sam Shore proved dominant in the 400 hurdles with a win before a turn in the 110 hurdles before they all united for a 4×400 victory.
The ladies had a brilliant day on the track with record performances and real team spirit shown to cover off all of the events on offer.
The club reaped the benefits of Monique Krefting becoming a first claim member as she made her SAL debut in fine fashion with a win and British Masters record performance(third fastest of all time) in the 400 hurdles to open up the match. This was followed up by a speedy 400 and javelin throw before leading the 4×400 relay out in fine fashion.
Another debut came from Swedish import and star find Mia Callenburg who put in an epic display on both the track and field, covering off the hammer throw, shot put, discus, sprint hurdles, triple jump and 4×100 relay before deciding to do a 2000m steeplechase as a warm down! Racking up a cool 13 points for the team, Mia is a welcome addition to the team.
The middle distance girls were represented by Charlie’s Runners alumni Fiona Maddocks, Keri Mackenzie, Helen White and Claire Stokes. Fi opened up with a brilliant season opening run in the 800 A race before a win in the 3000 B race. Claire came within half a second of her PB in the 800 B race before doing club duty in the 200 B race and running a brilliant leg in the 4×400. On the return from a lengthy time out last year was Keri who stepped up to cover the 1500 A race to take second place before a promising run in 4×400 relay. Meanwhile Helen rounded out the long distance with a PB in the 3000 A race before an excellent run to back up in the 1500 B.
Our ever dedicated young guns Georgia Patterson and Milla McKenzie paired up to take care of the long jump, 100m and high jump. Evie Grogan made her team debut with a closely fought second place in the high jump whilst also taking a turn in the shot put. Julia and Carla Doukrou were also out for a quick study break to help the team out with Julia putting in a solid turn at the triple jump and excellent 4×100 relay leg. Coming into the home straight in second place for the 400 B race Carla was extremely unlucky to pull up with a hamstring injury which put paid to her relay hopes later in the day. Undeterred she proved the loudest supporter as she cheered from the sidelines for the rest of the meet, we wish her a speedy recovery and return to the track.
Leanne Bettis had a full day in the throws with solid returns in the hammer throw, javelin and discus. Ellen Hunter opened up her day with another successful turn in the pole vault to take second place before having a gander at the non-scoring throws. TM Rose O’Brien filled the gaps left behind with a turn in the pole vault, 400 hurdles, sprint hurdles, 200 and both relays whilst Helen Brown rounded out the team with a run in her favoured 2000 steeplechase and a cheeky non-scoring triple jump.
Despite our best efforts and great team spirit we could only muster a third place against a dominant home team Blackheath and Bromley who took the win followed by a very strong Colchester in second with Thames Valley trailing behind us in last place. We now sit 11th in the table
A massive thank you to our officials who helped out on the day and allowed the match to happen – Tony and Gillian Fairclough, Charlie Dickinson, Carl Lawton, John Hall and Richard McMillan. Also to our coaches and support team Bob Bridges, Dave Lucas, Sophie Harris, Elaine Fogg, Ed Auden and Tony Ganio.
Team Managers Match Awards
Man of the Match – Matt Welsh for a significant PB in the 5000 and a win in the 1500 B race.
Woman of the Match – Monique Krefting for a record performance and win in the 400 hurdles A race.