ATHLETICS: Flying start for Harriers

Isaac Huskisson
Isaac Huskisson
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Nene Valley Harriers got their track and field season off to a flying start with an impressive victory in 
Saturday’s Southern League Division One fixture at the Peterborough Athletics Arena.

After winning the league in 2015, and finishing third last term, the Harriers expect to be there or thereabouts again this year.

They couldn’t have made a better start with the 2016 champions Chelmsford AC playing second fiddle to the high-flying Harriers all afternoon.

Picking up an astonishing 27 individual victories and 31 second places, Nene Valley were always in the driving seat during a four-club fixture which also saw Harrow AC and Hertfordshire Phoenix in opposition.

As was so often the case last season, the Nene Valley throwers were in imperious form with Martin Tinkler 
winning the shot and discus and Isaac Huskisson also victorious in the hammer with a throw of 44.13.

There were B string firsts for Simon Achurch in the hammer and discus, along with javelin thrower Ben Stephens.

The ladies fared just as well with every thrower finishing in the top two of their events.

Lydia Church won the B shot and hammer with Kelly Lawrence first in the A string hammer.

Nene Valley’s jumpers were also at the top of their game with Emily Maltby and Bethany Denial enjoying an A and B double in the triple jump.

For the men, Sebastian Barker tasted victory in the B triple jump with Adam Fidgett doing the same in the pole vault.

The track events were also dominated by Nene Valley athletes with sprinters Alex Pullen and Georgie Ivens 
winning, as did Megan Ellison who clocked 2:17.4 in the 800m.

Ellie Piccaver and Ruth Jones won the B 1,500m and 3,000m respectively.

Devon Spencer was first in the B 400m hurdles and Maltby collected maximum points for the second time in the afternoon with a 100m hurdles win.

Ashley Sandall led the way with a 1:58.7 clocking over 800m while Dave Brown won the 400m with a time of 51.6.

There were also firsts for William Hughes and Callum Winchester-Wright in the B 100 and 200m sprints.

To cap a fine day, Claire Smith set a club veterans 400m record with her 62.9 clocking and Priscilla Dadzie’s putt of 10:38 was a new Nene Valley under-20 shot record.

Meanwhile, Nene Valley distance runners Phillipa Taylor and Jones both ran well in the 3,000m Southern League race on Saturday.

Jones won the B race and Taylor finished as runner-up in the A race.

The speedy duo then made their way to Nottingham on Monday morning for an off-road 10k at Wollaton Park and both came away with prizes.

Taylor collected the £70 runners-up prize with a 39:00 clocking, while Jones – who finished 2nd last year – came home sixth in 41:22, a full three minutes quicker than last year.

The 36-year-old was amply rewarded with three bottles of locally-brewed beer.

Donovan Capes entered his first outdoor competition of the season at Bedford International Stadium.

This was his first discus competition as he started to learn the event during winter training at the Lincs Academy in Holbeach.

He threw 27.06m which ranks him second nationally and only 19cm off the number one rank.

Capes threw 9.97m in the shot put which was his best outdoor performance but a little down on his best of 10.65m to finish the indoor season.