Nene Valley Harriers are flying high at the top of the Sweatshop Southern League after a superb win in Saturday’s fixture at Colchester.
Despite missing several athletes who were either injured, suffering from exam stress or attending the England Athletics Under 23 and Under 20 Championships, the city club displayed great team spirit to earn the victory.
They made sure every event was covered, employing willing veterans like Over 55 Masters man Paul Parkin in the 800m and 5,000m, and they were also prepared to shuffle their pack, which meant many athletes taking on unaccustomed roles.
Gemma Skells, for example, forwent her usual 100m and 200m to pick up a third place in the 800m and a second place in the 3,000m.
That fighting spirit and effort was rewarded with a 27-point win on the day.
They made a cracking start to the match with wins from Rosie Jacobs, Sean Reidy and Phil Wilson in the first track event, the 400m hurdles, and a maximum haul in the first field event, the ladies pole vault, through Rosie Fresen and Devon Spencer.
Carl Titman and Reidy also banked maximum points in the men’s pole vault while in the men’s throwing events Nene Valley reigned supreme with Martin Tinkler, Simon Achurch, Isaac Huskisson and David Bush dropping just two points in the four disciplines.
And it was a similar story for the women as Andrea Jenkins, Becki Hall, Lydia Church, Ellie Mae Stokes and Alex Stubley dropped just three points.
Stokes also teamed up with Emily Maltby to dominate the jumping events and the latter went on to record wins in the A string short hurdles and the 100m to finish as top points scorer of the day with 16.
Georgie Ivens, a 400m specialist, dropped down to the shorter sprints due to a house move the day before, and she registered an impressive double first.
Best male performer on the track was Sean Garmory, who won the 200m and 400m A races, clocking a PB of 22.9 in the 200m.
As well as the team winning the match, Nene Valley also dominated the man-of- the-match awards with Tinkler (shot), Reidy (400m hurdles) and Garmory(400m) being the top three men and Jenkins (hammer), Hall (shot), Stokes (long jump) and Church (hammer) taking all but the winning spot for the ladies.
There are two remaining fixtures - at Crawley on July 8 and at Southampton on August 19 - and Harriers are in with a great chance of taking the title for the second time in three years.
Match result: 1 Nene Valley Harriers 241pts; 2 Bracknell AC 214pts; 3 Colchester Harriers 201.5pts; 4 Basingstoke & Mid Hants 117.5pts.
Nene Valley Harriers results:
100m - A 4 Abraham Jones 11.6, B 3 James Marsh 11.7; 200m - A 1 Sean Garmory 22.9, B 1 Callum Crosbie 23.2 4; 400m - A 1 Sean Garmory 50.4, B 1 David Brown 50.9 4; 800m - A 4 David Bush 2:23.1, B 4 Paul Parkin 3:00.7; 1500m - A 4 David Bush 5:09.9, B 4 Sean Beard 6:16.6; 5,000m - A 3 Michael Channing 16:38.8, B 2 Paul Parkin 18:44.5 3; 110mhurdles - A 2 Sean Reidy 16.7, B 1 Phillip Wilson 18.9; 400m hurdles - A 1 Sean Reidy 56.9, B 1 Phillip Wilson 60.3; 2,000m steeplechase - A 3 James Mac Donald 7:54.5, B 2 David Bush 8:33.3; High Jump - A 3 Lewis Cunningham 1.60, B 2 Carl Titman 1.60; Pole Vault - A 1 Carl Titman 3.60, B 1 Sean Reidy 2.70; Long Jump - A 2 Lewis Cunningham 5.57, B 2 David Bush 5.45; Triple Jump - A 2 Lewis Cunningham 11.59, B 2 Sean Reidy 11.05; Shot - A 1 Martin Tinkler 14.08, B 1 Simon Achurch 12.24; Discus - A 1 Martin Tinkler 40.56, B 1 Simon Achurch 34.07; Hammer - A 1 Isaac Huskisson 45.59, B 1 Simon Achurch 40.95; Javelin - A 2 David Bush 44.27, B 2 Simon Achurch 39.70; 4x100m - 3 Nene Valley Harriers 46.0; 4x400m - 1 Nene Valley Harriers 3:26.0.
100m - A 1 Emily Maltby 13.0, B 1 Georgie Ivens 13.0; 200m - A 1 Georgie Ivens 26.2, B 2 Claire Smith 27.5; 400m - A 3 Megan Pusey 62.2, B 2 Kelsi Ellis 62.3; 800m - A 3 Emma Randall 2:23.5, B 3 Gemma Skells 3:02.8; 1500m - A 3 Emma Randall 5:06.2, B 4 Imogen Woodard 5:36.4; 3,000m - A 3 Nicky Morgan 12:15.2, B 2 Gemma Skells 15:37.7; 100m hurdles - A 1 Emily Maltby 17.0, B 1 Rosie Fresen 20.0 4; 400m hurdles - A 1 Rosie Jacobs 73.9, B 3 Claire Smith 77.0; 2,000m steeplechase - A 4 Rosie Fresen 9:22.7, B 2 Devon Spencer 11:52.8; High Jump - A 4 Emily Maltby 1.40, B 2 Ellie Mae Stoke 1.30; Pole Vault - A 1 Rosie Fresen 2.90, B 1 Devon Spencer 2.05; Long Jump - A 1 Ellie Mae Stokes 5.14, B 1 Emily Maltby 5.03; Triple Jump - A 2 Emily Maltby 10.93, B 1 Ellie Mae Stokes 10.76; Shot - A 1 Becki Hall 12.45, B 1 Lydia Church 10.41; Discus - A 1 Andrea Jenkins 40.23, B 1 Becki Hall 30.27; Hammer - A 1 Andrea Jenkins 49.71, B 1 Lydia Church 38.86; Javelin - A 1 Ellie Mae Stokes 29.21, B 4 Alex Stubley 15.71; 4x100m - 2 Nene Valley Harriers 52.2; 4x400m - 2 Nene Valley Harriers 4:19.3.