World Masters medallist Brown scorches to league record

Simon Achurch won the hammer.
Simon Achurch won the hammer.
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The heat was on for the track and field veterans of Peterborough AC and Nene Valley Harriers last week.

On a day when the mercury rose to above 35c, the city rivals met for the third time this season in the Eastern Veterans League.

And the sun certainly shone on Peterborough AC as both their men’s and ladies teams all but secured qualification for September’s finals at Bedford, while Nene Valley look set to miss out.

PAC finished runners-up in both the men’s and ladies matches, and lie first and second overall in the respective tables.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the men’s Over 35 400m, which Nene Valley’s Dave Brown won in a scorching time of 50.02.

Brown left the opposition standing, and,despite the race becoming virtually a time trial, the 37 year-old World Masters bronze medallist set a new league record in a time that he has only ever bettered twice in his long career.

The ladies Over 35 400m threw up a surprise, with Harrier Nicky Morgan winning it in a time of 71.9, which placed her in the top 20 top in the UK rankings for her age group in 2015.

Morgan is better known for her prowess as a long distance runner, and only ran the 400m because of a shortage of athletes in the Nene Valley camp.

Judith Jagger was her usual dominant self for PAC winning the Over 50 100m, 300m hurdles, hammer and shot, while fellow all-rounder Lisa Richardson won the Over 35 400m and 400m hurdles.

PAC’s 62 year-old Dave Whitehead made a nonsense of his age, winning the Over 60 long jump and then the 100m sprint in a stunning time of 13.4.

Nene Valley Harriers lacked the strength in depth to put up a sustained challenge but the club are renowned for the quality of their throwers, and it was no surprise when Andrea Jenkins won the ladies Over 35 shot and hammer.

Not to be outdone Simon Achurch won the men’s Over 35 hammer, hurling it a massive 40 metres, before proceeding to win the shot.

The Harriers took third place in both competitions, but find themselves too far adrift of the pacemakers to have a realistic chance of proceeding to the finals with just one more match to come.

Overall standings:

Men: 1 Peterborough AC279pts; 2 Hunts AC 275pts; 3 Wellingborough AC 232pts; 4 Nene Valley Harriers 202pts; 5 Corby AC 78pts.

Ladies: 1 Wellingborough AC 243pts; 2 Peterborough AC 217pts; 3 Nene Valley Harriers 130pts; 4 Hunts AC 77pts; 5 Corby AC 19pts.