The presence of a record number of Nene Valley Harriers (16) at the English Schools Championships in Gateshead meant the club had to manage without many key athletes in Sunday’s Eastern Young Athletes League fixture at Hemel Hempstead.
A number of athletes were called up to make their debuts for the club and they didn’t disappoint with several catching the eye as Russ Prosser’s young squad finished third out of six teams.
Basildon AC were runaway winners on the day, but Nene Valley ran them close in several age groups, and won the girls under 17 section.
The Harriers scored maximum points in the 800m with Casey Hilliam winning the A race in 2:21.1 and Alice Calcutt winning the B race in 2:31.0.
A winning double was also achieved in the high jump with Beth Denial and Alice Gibbons enjoying success. Denial also won the long jump, and Rosie Fresen was first in the pole vault.
Priscilla Dadziea won the A string shot with Lydia Church the winning B string putter.
Fresen, Dadziea and Church were three members who did turn out for the club on their return from Gateshead.
The Under 15 girls finished third in their category with some fine individual performances.
Macey Carr took second place in the shot putt and discus and also finished third in the 75m hurdles.
Amber Park continued her successful season winning the 800m B race in 2:27.0, and there were also victories for Jada Daily in the 200m B race, Elysia Costanzo in the pole vault and Hana Ray in the B discus.
Nene Valley’s Under 13 girls were runners-up to Basildon with their throwers in top form.
Roseanna Clark and Megan Williams secured maximum points in the shot and Danielle Pusey threw furthest in the B discus.
Emily Davis won the 200m B race in 29.7.
For the boys the Under 15s were runners-up and the Under 13s finished third.
Although the Under 17s finished fourth, they were the highest scorers among the club’s boys teams.
Event winners for the Under 15s were all B string athletes with perhaps the finest performance coming from discus thrower Kai Harrison with a distance of 23.68m.
The other winners were shot putter Jack Roffe on his club debut, long jumper Jonathan Pitts and 800m runner Mapesho Mutukuma.
Oliver Bowling and Austin Herbert were A and B winners in the Under 17 1500m.
Nene Valley are still well placed to make the end of season league finals and victory in the final match at Norwich on August 2 will guarantee qualification.