Mission accomplished! We achieved a fifth successive victory at the final SAL match of the season on Saturday – all the sweeter because it was on home soil. We now stand at the top of our Division, with promotion back to Division 2 assured for next season. It wasn’t plain sailing though. Harlow never took the lead, but they did close the gap significantly at key points during the match, so we had to pull out all the stops to make sure we took every points-scoring opportunity.
The weather looked like putting a dampener on the afternoon, as it started off cloudy in the morning with light drizzle. We also fielded no competitors in the first track event – the women’s 400m hurdles – which wasn’t the best start. However, we needn’t have worried: not only did the sun come out, but we were represented in almost every event thereafter.
When it came to the men’s 400m hurdles, newcomer Usamah Shaban teamed up with Jamie Taylor-Caldwell. Later on, Usamah also ran the 110m hurdles, which are 106.7cm in height (3’6” in old money), with Chris Hepworth – being so tall – merely stepping over them! Chris and Seweryn Czapka scored full points in the 800m A and B races. Jason Carty, who is the British M45 record holder over 60m and 100m, then stepped up to run the 100m supported by Bilal Uba. The pair experienced vastly differing wind speeds in their races: Jason’s time was legal, but Bilal’s PB of 11.2 benefited from a significant tailwind (3.6). They teamed up again later for the 200m, where both finished second – this time Bilal’s PB was legal! Ash Conteh took a rare outing over 400m, while Tristan Collins-Marsh won the B race. Guillaume Adam, back over from France for the summer, finished second in a competitive 5000m, with Moe Hashi winning the B race. Guillaume went on to win the 1500m, with Seweryn Czapka winning the B in a personal best time.
Guillaume also competed in the pole vault, hammer and triple jump – quite an unusual combination! Welcome returns saw Matt Clampin throw shot and Angelo John throw discus and javelin. Oscar Gjesdal and Louis Clow were each first in the high jump, with Louis also competing in the triple jump. Gurcharan Singh contested all four throws and he continues to improve. Martin Densley returned to win the pole vault, with Guillaume winning the B. Stalwart Phil York ran the steeplechase with Chris – not so easy to step over the barriers with water in the way.
In the women’s events, we saw another good performance from the sprinters with Golder Waife and Bessie Aban-Owusu winning both the 100m and 200m, as well as being key members of the winning sprint relay team. Bessie scored a PB in the 200m. Team manager Patricia Thomas had a busy afternoon on the track, supporting daughter Cameron in the 800m, running the 1500m A with Christine Meek in B, and the 2000m steeplechase chase with Fiona Kennedy (who managed to get time off scoring the match to do this, as well as the 3000m with newcomer Maria Hamilton). Cameron also ran the 400m with Laura Stewart. Laura went on to run the 100m hurdles with another newcomer Joy Choufar.
Few are better placed to report on the women’s field events than Helen Leadbetter (who has often run, jumped and thrown in the same match). She tells us that a good team spirit ensured A & B strings were covered in all field disciplines, gaining good overall points.
In the throws, we welcomed back Tracey Gould, who competed in all four events, securing victory in the B string hammer followed up with second place in the shot and discus. Debbie McCaw finished second in the A string hammer, while receiving great support from her family visiting from New Zealand. Helen herself and team manager Patricia Thomas covered B string in discus and javelin respectively, both finishing in second place.
In the jumps there was a PB in the long jump for Joy Choufar in only her second competition for the team, while in the pole vault there were second places for Amy Wentford and Helen, along with first and second in the triple jump respectively.
The relays are always an exciting conclusion to the match. Both women’s teams were very strong, establishing a comfortable lead right from the first lap.
We had yet another reason to celebrate at the end of the match, as we presented Bob Densley with a gift marking his 50 years of club membership. Bob is not only the friendly face that greets us most evenings down at the track, but he’s the oil that keeps our club running smoothly, carrying out so many tasks that I’m not even going to attempt to list them!
Thanks as ever not only to our athletes but also the team managers, officials and coaches who have supported them in this campaign. We look forward to our return to Division 2 next season.
Thanks to Bob Densley and Helen Leadbetter for their contributions to this report, and to Arun for always being there with his camera! Any corrections to Fiona please, at admin @esm.org.uk.
1 Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC 365, 2 Harlow AC 326, 3 Luton AC 221, 4 Enfield & Haringey/HAWCS © 139, 5 Biggleswade AC 69
ESM results summary:
Men: 100m: A: 3 Jason Carty (M45) 11.3, B: 1 Bilal Uba (U20) 11.2, NS: Shay James (U17) 11.6, Miles Bernadine (U17) 11.8, Chris Burbidge (M40) 12.7; 200m: A: 2 Bilal Uba (U20) 22.4, B: 2 Jason Carty (M45) 22.9; 400m: A: 3 Ash Conteh 53.4, B: 1 Tristan Collins-Marsh (U17) 54.8 NS: Mikey Kouwiloyan (U17) 57.6; 800m: A: 1 Christopher Hepworth 1:58.6, B: 1 Seweryn Czapka (U17) 2:02.0 NS: Marcus West (U17) 2:08.3, Mukhtar Farah 2:08.6, Arun Manget (U17) 2:12.8, Fuaad Sadiq 2:15.7, Akira Anzai-Jackson 2:18.4, Angelo John (M45) 2:39.5; 1500m: A: 1 Guillaume Adam 4:07.3, B: 1 Seweryn Czapka (U17) 4:14.4, NS: Chauncey Edwards (U20) 4:32.5, Vitaly Bender (U17) 4:42.4, Akira Anzai-Jackson 4:44.8, Arun Manget (U17) 4:45.2; 5000m: A: 2 Guillaume Adam 15:19.4, B: 1 Mohamed Hashi 15:50.3 NS: Elliot Jones 17:40.2, Nick Steel 18:18.7, Colin Foster (M45) 18:26.9, Sean Hanrahan 18:45.4; 110mH: A: 3 Usamah Shaban 22.8, B: 2 Christopher Hepworth 26.6; 400mH: A: 2 Usamah Shaban 67.9, B: 2 Jamie Taylor-Caldwell 74.1; 2000mSC: A: 1 Christopher Hepworth 7:06.4, B: 2 Philip York (M55) 9:41.0; HJ: A: 1 Oscar Gjesdal (U20) 1.80, B: 1 Louis Clow (U17) 1.75; LJ: A: 3 Bilal Uba (U20) 5.25; TJ: A: 2 Louis Clow (U17) 11.55, B: 1 Guillaume Adam 11.01; PV: A: 1 Martin Densley 3.40, B: 1= Guillaume Adam 1.80; SP: A: 3 Gurcharan Singh 10.22, B: 3 Matthew Clampin 8.73; DT: A: 4 Gurcharan Singh 30.66, B: 3 Angelo John (M45) 20.64; HT: A: 4 Gurcharan Singh 23.67, B: 4 Guillaume Adam 11.51; JT: A: 3 Angelo John (M45) 35.76, B: 2 Gurcharan Singh 32.05; 4x100m: 2 ESM (Jason Carty, Bilal Uba, Ash Conteh, Tristan Collins-Marsh) 45.2; 4x400m: 2 ESM (Moe Hashi, Guillaume Adam, Seweryn Czapka, Ash Conteh) 3:40.7 NS: ESM (Arun Manget, Vitaly Bender, Akira Anzai-Jackson, Kamau Muhammad) 4:07.0
Women: 100m: A: 1 Golder Wiafe (U17) 12.7, B: 1 Bessie Aban-Owusu (U20) 12.7, NS: Olamide Belewu (U20) 13.2; 200m: A: 1 Golder Wiafe (U17) 26.3, B: 1 Bessie Aban-Owusu (U20) 27.0 NS: Olamide Belewu (U20) 28.2, Joy Choufar (U20) 30.6; 400m: A: 2 Cameron Thomas (U20) 64.3, B: 1 Laura Stewart (U20) 67.1; 800m: A: 2 Cameron Thomas (U20) 2:35.7, B: 1 Patricia Thomas (W55) 2:57.4; 1500m: A: 3 Patricia Thomas (W55) 5:58.9, B: 2 Christine Meek (W60) 6:23.6; 3000m: A: 4 Fiona Kennedy (W60) 12:28.6, B: 1 Maria Hamilton (W35) 14:03.2; 100mH: A: 2 Laura Stewart (U20) 19.2, B: 1 Joy Choufar (U20) 21.7; 2000mSC: A: 2 Patricia Thomas (W55) 10:03.7, B: 2 Fiona Kennedy (W60) 10:28.3; HJ: A: 4 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 1.35; B: 1 Amy Wentford 1.00; LJ: A: 3 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 4.67 B: 3 Joy Choufar (U20) 4.32; TJ: A: 2 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 8.75, B: 1 Amy Wentford 7.88; PV: A: 2 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 2.50, B: 2 Amy Wentford 2.20; SP: A: 4 Debbie McCaw (W35) 7.67, B: 2 Tracey Gould (W40) 7.46; DT: A: 2 Tracey Gould (W40) 23.81; B: 2 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 17.03; HT: A: 2 Debbie McCaw (W35) 33.86, B: 1 Tracey Gould (W40) 32.00; JT: A: 4 Tracey Gould (W40) 19.13, B: 2 Patricia Thomas (W55) 11.46; 4x100m: 1 ESM (Bessie Aban-Owusu, Golder Wiafe, Joy Choufar, Olamide Belewu), 51.6 4x400m: 1 ESM (Cameron Thomas, Jessica Leane, Joy Choufar, Laura Stewart) 4:49.0
Full results on power of 10