Southern Athletics League – Hampstead – Sat 15 Jun 2019

Team talk!

Mission accomplished yet again for our senior track & field squad, as Phil York reports:

Two weeks ago the ESM senior track and field squad made the short journey over to Parliament Hill to take part in the third Southern Athletics League fixture of the 2019 summer season. A magnificent team effort at the home of Highgate Harriers resulted in a third successive win, leaving the club sitting proudly at the top of the table in Division 3N.

There were some tremendous individual performances, with plenty of double A/B string wins across the various track and field disciplines.

Feia Starkey and Tanisha Prince started the ball rolling in the women’s 400m hurdles event, with Feia edging past the Newham & Essex Beagles athlete just a few metres from the finish line. Tanisha set a personal best to finish second in the B race. Chris Hepworth and Phil York ran season’s bests as they grabbed two second places in the men’s version.

Ash Conteh and Kai English won both strings of the 100m/200m, with Kai setting a PB of 11.8 seconds in the shorter sprint distance. With some of our specialist sprinters missing on the day, middle distance runners Patricia Thomas, Gabija Rasiukeviciute and Sarah Gerrie joined Tanisha Prince to fill in the gaps in the ladies’ sprints.

Ben Waterman and Tristan Collins-Marsh (U17) scored double-firsts over 400m, and it was great to see another U17 athlete Mikey Kouwiloyan setting a PB (56.3 seconds) in the non-scoring event. In only his second season at track and field, the durable Elias Simon-Ahmed is rapidly becoming a formidable competitor, and won the B string 800m and A string 1500m in commanding fashion. Mukhtar Farah picked up valuable points in the B string 1500m. It is reassuring to know that we have great depth in this event, as Seweryn Czapka, Chauncey Edwards, Arun Manget and Thomas Edgar took part in the non-scoring race.

Gabija Rasiukeviciute picked up two second places over 800m/1500m while Sarah Gerrie clocked her second PB of the day as she won the B string 1500m. Women’s team manager Patricia Thomas was delighted to duck under the three minute barrier as she finished second in the B string 800m. Leanne Smith and Breege Leane were narrowly outside their personal bests as they tackled the 3000m. Leanne returned later in the afternoon to partner Tanisha Prince in the 2000m steeplechase event. This proved to be the turning point in the match as the other clubs failed to line up in this gruelling race. Our gallant duo duly gathered maximum points, helping one another to negotiate the obstacles, including the dreaded water jump.

In the men’s 5000m, Jonathan Horan and Reece Asik battled well against the Highgate representatives and were rewarded with personal bests. Not sure whether Jonathon is now a track convert or whether he prefers road/parkrun! Akira Anzai-Jackson continued his good form in the non-scoring event, where he was joined by new member Richard Green, making his track debut for ESM and setting a personal record in the process.

Joint men’s team manager Chris Hepworth did what all team managers do from time to time, which is doing an event just for the point. He collected not just one point, but three as he sailed over the high hurdles. No other ESM athlete was brave (or foolish) enough to join him! In the women’s sprint hurdles event it was nice to welcome back Helen Leadbetter, who was partnered by Tanisha Prince – often the club are unable to field a full complement in this discipline.

Chris Hepworth and Peter Flewitt were relieved to find that on this occasion the men’s steeplechase was staged over the shorter distance of 2000m. They took advantage of this, finishing second in their respective strings in times just shy of their personal bests.

ESM enjoyed considerable success in the field events. Newcomer Amy Wentford covered three disciplines, winning the B string pole vault. Helen Leadbetter was third in the A string pole vault, and matched this position in the high jump. Tanisha Prince, trying her hand at all sorts of events here, took part in the non-scoring pole vault, ahead of her defence (with partner Chris Hepworth) of the World Wife-Carrying Championships in Finland this weekend. It is so refreshing to have new members making their debuts for the track and field team, but we need to have more people on board, if only to share the workload. Tanisha made a significant contribution in this fixture, but picked up a slight injury during the afternoon. Denise English set personal bests in the shot and discus, while Club Secretary Debbie McCaw covered all four throwing events, setting a season’s best in the hammer throw. Not many people know that Debbie is twelfth in the New Zealand all-time rankings list for the hammer event. Her personal best of 54.58m dates back to 2005 and was set in Sydney, Australia. Debbie was New Zealand women’s hammer champion in 2011.

Oscar Gjesdal and Kai English teamed up to record a double first in the high jump, while US-based Luke Miller flew in to win the javelin with a mighty throw of 55.08m. This gained him the accolade of Male Athlete of the Match, though it was way short of his 2019 best (and personal best) of 61.98m, set at Mount Olive, New Carolina back in April. Gurcharan Singh was on fire in the throws, setting personal bests in the hammer, discus and shot. It’s always reassuring when Gurcharan can pair up in the throws with club coach Juan Antonio Botillo Perez. Juan set season’s bests in these three events, gathering lots of useful points in the process. Kai English set a PB in the non-scoring discus, out-throwing our nominated scorers.

The sprint relays were something of a disappointment, with the ESM men failing to get the baton round, and the women playing safe just to get a point. The men managed to field two teams in the 4x400m event, demonstrating welcome strength in depth.

And so on Saturday 13th July our travels take us to Oxford, where we hope to continue our push for promotion. A coach will leave from outside Gurnell Leisure Centre at 9am, and it would be good to have lots of ESM people on board – athletes, officials, non-scorers, supporters etc.

Final match scores: 1 Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC 333, 2 Wycombe Phoenix H & AC 303, 3 Highgate Harriers & Mornington Chasers 290, 4 Ilford AC 222, 5 Newham & Essex Beagles AC 141, 6 Vale of Aylesbury AC 62

ESM results summary:


100m: A: 1 Ash Conteh 12.0; B: 1 Kai English 11.8; 200m: A: 1 Kai English (U20) 23.2; B: 1 Ash Conteh 23.5; 400m: A: 1 Ben Waterman 51.3; B: 1 Tristan Collins-Marsh (U17) 54.4; NS: Mikey Kouwiloyan (U17) 56.3; 800m: A: 1 Ben Waterman 1:55.3; B: 1 Elias Ahmed (U20) 2:00.4, NS: 2 Seweryn Czapka (U17) 2:07.8; 1500m: A: 1 Elias Ahmed (U20) 4:08.7; B: 2 Mukhtar Farah 4:36.7; NS: Seweryn Czapka (U17) 4:22.3, Chauncey Edwards (U20) 4:45.6, Arun Manget (U17) 4:47.4, Thomas Edgar (U17) 5:03.1; 5000m: A: 4 Jonathan Horan 16:27.1, B: 4 Reece Asik 17:40.8; NS: Akira Anzai-Jackson 17:36.4; Richard Green 19:54.5; 110mH: 3 Christopher Hepworth 28.6; 400mH: A: 2 Christopher Hepworth 66.8, B: 2 Phil York (M55) 97.3; 2000m SC: A: 2 Christopher Hepworth 6:59.2, B: 2 Peter Flewitt (M45) 7:08.1; 4x400m: 1 ESM 3:38.2, NS: ESM 4:17.3; HJ: A: 1 Oscar Gjesdal (U20) 1.85; B: 1 Kai English (U20) 1.75; LJ: A: 3 Oscar Gjesdal (U20) 5.09, B: 3 Christopher Hepworth 4.69; TJ: A: 3 Oscar Gjesdal (U20) 12.21; B: 4 Christopher Hepworth 8.56, PV: A: 5 Robert Densley (M65) 1.10, B: 3 Christopher Hepworth 1.10;  JT: A: 1 Luke Miller 55.08; B: 2 Gurcharan Singh 25.99; HT: A: 1 Gurcharan Singh 23.79; B: 1 Juan Botillo Perez (M50) 18.98; DT: A: 2 Gurcharan Singh 30.43; B: 1 Juan Botillo Perez (M50) 29.43, NS: Kai English (U20) 30.47; SP: A: 2 Juan Botillo Perez (M50) 10.63; B: 1 Gurcharan Singh 10.31


100m: A: 6 Tanisha Prince 16.3; B: 5 Gabija Rasiukeviciute 15.5; 200m: A: 5 Sarah Gerrie (W35) 30.6; B: 4 Patricia Thomas (W50) 37.1; 400m: A: 4 Sarah Gerrie (W35) 67.9; B: 4 Patricia Thomas (W50) 82.0; 800m: A: 2 Gabija Rasiukeviciute 2:29.2; B: 2 Patricia Thomas (W50) 2:59.7; 1500m: A: 2 Gabija Rasiukeviciute 5:17.5; B: 1 Sarah Gerrie (W35) 5:19.7; 3000m: A: 4 Leanne Smith 11:56.0, B: 2 Breege Leane (W55) 12:19.5; 100mH: A: 3 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 23.0, 2 Tanisha Prince 28.5; 400mH: A: 2 Feia Starkey (U20) 67.3; B: 1 Tanisha Prince 88.7; 2000m SC: A: 1 Leanne Smith 9:45.8, B: 1 Tanisha Prince 9:54.0; 4x100m: 4 ESM 67.5; 4x400m: 3 ESM 5:00.5; HJ: A: 3 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 1.35, B: Tanisha Prince 1.00; LJ: A: 5 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 4.36; B: 4 Tanisha Prince 2.61; TJ: A: 5 Helen Leadbetter 8.47, B: 2 Amy Wentford 8.35; PV: A: 3 Helen Leadbetter 2.40, B: 1 Amy Wentford 2.20, NS: Tanisha Prince 1.50; JT: A: 5 Debbie McCaw (W35) 16.24; B: 5 Patricia Thomas (W50) 10.38; HT: A: 2 Debbie McCaw (W35) 34.38; B: 4 Amy Wentford 3.03; DT: A: 3 Debbie McCaw (W35) 26.27; B: 4 Denise English 14.73; SP: A: 4 Debbie McCaw (W35) 8.56; B: 3 Denise English (W50) 6.95

Full results on power of 10