ATHLETICS: Girls shine as Nene Valley take third

New personal best: Katy Robinson leapt 4.97m in the long jump at Harrow. Photo supplied
New personal best: Katy Robinson leapt 4.97m in the long jump at Harrow. Photo supplied
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NENE Valley Harriers recorded a battling third place finish in the latest combined Southern League Athletics Division One match at Harrow.

Faced with a dominant home club performance as well as strong challenges from Ashford and Blackheath and Bromley, Nene Valley staged a late rally to secure a place in the top trio.

It was another tough day at the office for the team in the new combined league, but their solid showing has all but ensured the club’s survival in the top flight.

It proved to be a day when the women outshone the men with five individual victories. Although the men recorded no wins, there were a number of solid performances for the men – including many second places.

With only four senior girls fit, it was down to the young guns of the U/17 section to lead the Nene Valley charge.

Among those stepping up to the plate was 16-year-old Natasha Segal, who volunteered to do the 2000m steeplechase and proudly finished second in extremely hot and windy conditions, clocking a decent 9.44mins in the process.

She then had to go straight into the 100m relay, having previously run the 100m individual race in 13.6secs, and finished a fine second in the long jump B string with 4.65m.

Staying with the jumps, Katie Robinson set yet another personal best (PB) of 4.97m in the long jump – which was agonisingly close to the 5m barrier she is sure to smash very soon.

That jump gave her second place in the A, a position she held in the high jump A as well, when she achieved another personal best of 1.6m, placing her 34th on the national U/20 rankings.

In the throws, Kelly Lawrence won the discus and hammer B strings with 29.58m and 39.14m respectively, before taking second place in the shot put with 7.78m.

Charlotte Harris took top spot in the 1500m B race in 6.13.1mins, having earlier run a personal best of 2.49.5mins in the 800m.

The only major disappointment for the girls saw the 4x100m relay team disqualified for baton irregularities, while the 4x400m squad were edged into fourth.

The stand-out performers for the men were the 1500m duo of Sam Hunt and Tom Rodgers.

While they lost their individual battles against their Harrow opponents, their efforts ensured excellent personal bests for them both.

Rodgers recorded another second place in his normal first choice event of the 3000m steeplechase.

Backing up Rodgers in the chase was Sean Beard who also recorded two second places on the day, the other being in the flat 3000m.

Youngster Ashton Capes performed well in the triple jump, while there were second places for Simon Achurch in the A string hammer and Sam Lawrence in the B Pole vault.

The relay performances didn’t hit the heights that they have proved capable of this season, however the results did at least confirm that Blackheath had been held off for third.

• Anybody interested in joining Nene Valley Harries can email or call Ken Maggs 01775 713197.

They train at St Guthlac School in Crowland on Monday night and The Embankment Track in Peterborough on Thursday night (both 7pm).