Harriers avoid relegation after showing spirit

David Bush
David Bush

Nene Valley Harriers battled to fourth place in the final match in Division One of the Southern Athletics League which was just sufficient to avoid relegation.

Decathlete David Bush swapped spikes for throwing shoes to compete in the shot put and win the 400m hurdles.

He managed seven events, most involving jumping or throwing, plus running a relay leg.

Phil Wilson won the B string while at the same time finishing second in the shot put.

Devon Spencer, having completed her win in the triple jump, followed it up by throwing the discus and taking part in the high jump.

Pete Lewis (pole vault) ran 800m while decathlete Adam Fidgett scored in the 1,500m, 5,000m, 2,000m steeplechase and 800m.

Other athletes also stepped into events to help the club pick up valuable points.

Leigh Ann Rose (under-17) and Tash Segal stepped into the 800m.

It was a warm-up for Segal’s 400m straight afterwards in which she picked up a commendable second place.

She went on to record second place in the 200m and stepped up to the mark to assist both relay teams to second place, scoring a massive 13 points.

Rose ran the 1,500m steeplechase and was strong enough in her first season in the event to beat both Portsmouth’s scoring athletes.

Lily Hughes was another athlete who arrived on the day and willingly stepped into compete in additional events.

The 100m and 200m sprinter claimed second and first places in those A string events but also volunteered to claim a fourth place in the shot put, and assist both relays teams to second places.

Megan Pusey only found out she was going to have to run a scoring 400m when an athlete failed to turn up on the day but undaunted she went out and won the B string with a decent time considering the weather.

She was also a member of the second-placed 4x400m relay team along with Segal, Hughes and Cat Foley.

Sean Reidy followed Bush’s example in the 110m hurdles despite hitting the ninth hurdle and virtually somersaulting over the last one as a result.

Emily Maltby, once again competing in her maximum number of events permitted, even pleaded to be able to do more.

She picked up good wins in her main event the triple jump and the 100m hurdles which she has stepped into.

Maltby also achieved second place in the 100m flat sprint and points in the long and high jumps.

Ellie Mae Stokes stepped up for the hurdles and proceeded to win the B string race. She was the fourth member of the 4x100m team which claimed second place along with Hughes, Segal and Spencer.

Kelly Lawrence continued to be the club’s top scoring senior lady with good points in all four throwing events, similarly Foley, Emma Penniston and Yolanda Gratton who competed in the distance events for the team.

At the end of the day the men’s 4x400m team were disqualified for starting outside the blue box.

However, Harriers’ 11th- place finish in the top division was sufficient to ensure top flight competition next season for the ladies and men’s combined team.

The men are in action at Abingdon on Saturday for the British Athletics League.