Southern Athletics League – Kingston – Sun 21 May 2017

We managed a slightly higher match score than the first meeting at Yeovil but still finished a disappointing fourth at Kingston.

There were some encouraging performances from the men, especially in the track events, writes Phil York. We welcomed back Jamie Taylor-Caldwell, who has been studying at West Texas A&M University and has improved many of his pbs while on the US collegiate circuit. At Kingsmeadow Jamie covered the 800/1500/3000m distances, winning the two longer races. He paced Oliver Way to a season’s best in the 1500m (see featured photo) and helped George Kerry achieve a personal best in the 3000m as they managed double-firsts. Mo Hashi was hot on Jamie’s heels in the 800m, winning the ‘B’ string.

Team manager Bob Densley faces some tough team selection decisions for the third match, as stand-in steeplechasers Angelo John and Phil York won both strings of the 3000m event. Our regular hurdlers were either injured or absent through work, and we lost valuable points as a result.

In the sprints, Desmond Ofasi ran a fast 100m, although fractionally slower than his recent performance in the Middlesex Championships. Tom Sanders finished second in the ‘B’ string 100m and third in the ‘A’ string 200m. Ash Conteh ran the non-scoring 100m.

Rowan Board, who missed the first match, returned to gain good points here in the 200/400m. Reef Hook sampled some senior competition as he finished strongly for second place in the ‘B’ 400m.

Many of the above-mentioned athletes teamed up late in the day as the 4x100m and 4x400m squads both finished second. The photo shows Tom Sanders handing over to Kamau Muhammad on legs 2 & 3 of the sprint relay.

In the field events Martin Densley found a fine 4.15m clearance only good enough for fourth in the pole vault, but he also scored points in the long jump, shot put and javelin. Matt Clampin had a busy afternoon, competing in the long jump, triple jump and high jump. The youngest member of the team, Kai English, finished third in the high jump and we look forward to him linking up with the senior team again. Kamau Muhammad, though primarily a sprinter, was one of our main points scorers, covering triple jump, shot put, discus and hammer throws. Bob Densley managed to organise the team and cover three events, but with two home matches to come, remains sanguine about what we can achieve over the remainder of the season.

The women’s effort was boosted by convincing wins in the 800m for Nicola Ravenhill and Lucy O’Brien, writes Fiona Kennedy, and another first place for Nicola in the 1500m steeplechase (see photo). Nicola had aspirations to qualify for English Schools in the ‘chase, but technical errors at each of the three water jumps dashed those hopes.

Lucy Ellis ran a well-paced 5000m in her track debut, placing second. In the sprints, we welcomed the return of Gladis Bitulu after several years’ absence, supported from the stands by the injured Amber Henry. Hurdle specialist Laura Stewart showed further technical¬†improvement, though she lost ground in the latter stages of the race.

Debbie McCaw once again scored valuable points by competing in all four throws, backed up by Zoya Styles in the shot and javelin. Unusually, Debbie did not win any of her events, but had the satisfaction of a season’s best in the hammer, her main event. Club stalwart Helen Leadbetter also enjoyed a season’s best in the pole vault, with a welcome second place. Besirat Tesfu and Kamile Bykovaite made their season’s debut in the long jump and triple jump respectively, and it would be good to see them resume their successful double-act in the remaining matches. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the women’s team suffered from a lack of coverage in many of the events, and scored only half as many points as the men, so this is an area to address at the next match.

Thanks to the team managers, officials and coaches for their contributions. The next match is at Perivale on Saturday 17th June, so please turn out to compete or otherwise support the club. Non-scoring places are available if you would like to have a go at any of the events.

ESM Results summary

Men: 100m: A: 2 Desmond Ofasi (U20) 11.6; B: 2 Tom Sanders (U20) 11.8; NS: Ash Conteh (U20) 12.0; 200m: A: 3 Tom Sanders (U20) 23.3; B: 2 Rowan Board (U20) 23.8; 400m: A: 4 Rowan Board 53.1; B: 2 Reef Hook (U20) 53.9; 800m: A: 2 Jamie Taylor Caldwell 1:59.4; B: 1 Mo Hashi 1:59.7; 1500m: A: 1 Jamie Taylor Caldwell 4:15.2; B: 1 Oliver Way (U20) 4:19.4; NS: Dave Foley (M60) 5:16.8; 3000m: A: 1 Jamie Taylor Caldwell 8:58.4; B: 1 George Kerry (U20) 9:09.8; 3000mSC: A: 1 Angelo John (M45) 12:16.3; B: 1 Philip York (M50) 13:31.9; HJ: A: 3 Kai English (U20) 1.60; B: 3 Matthew Clampin 1.50; PV: A: 3 Martin Densley 4.15; B: 3 Bob Densley (M60) 1.20; LJ: A: 4 Matt Clampin 4.94; B: 4 Martin Densley 4.91; TJ: A: 4 Matthew Clampin 10.55; B: 4 Kamau Muhammad (U20) 9.71; SP: A: 2 Martin Densley 8.48; B: 3 Kamau Muhammad (U20) 6.63; DT: A: 4 Kamau Muhammed (M50) 20.17; B: 3 Bob Densley (M60) 14.80; HT: A: 4 Bob Densley (M60) 19.17; B: 3 Kamau Muhammad (U20) 15.19; JT: A: 3 Martin Densley 28.54; B: 3 Angelo John (M45) 25.12; 4x100m: 2 ESM (Ash Conteh, Tom Sanders, Kamau Muhammad, Desmond Ofasi) 45.2; 4x400m: 2 ESM (Rowan Board, Tom Sanders, Mo Hashi, Jamie Taylor Caldwell) 3:38.2

Women: 100m: A: 4 Gladis Bitulu 13.2; 200m: A: 4 Gladis Bitulu 27.4; 800m: A: 1 Nicola Ravenhill (U20) 2:20.6; B: 1 Lucy O’Brien (U17) 2:26.9; 5000m: A: 2 Lucy Ellis 19:26.8; 400mH: A: 4 Laura Stewart (U20) 71.4; 1500mSC: A: 1 Nicola Ravenhill (U20) 5:24.8; PV: A: 2 Helen Leadbetter 2.65; LJ: A: 4 Besirat Tesfu (U20) 3.98; TJ: A: 3 Kamile Bykovaite 9.57; SP: A: 4 Debbie McCaw (W35) 9.03; B: 4 Zoya Styles (U20) 8.19; DT: A: 3 Debbie McCaw (W35) 31.54; B: 4 Tracey Gould (W40) 21.00; HT: A: 2 Debbie McCaw (W35) 45.84; JT: A: 4 Debbie McCaw (W35) 22.22; B: 4 Zoya Styles (U20) 12.99

Full results here