ATHLETICS: Harriers are the team to beat again
Nene Valley Harriers got their Southern League campaign off to a promising start at The Embankment on Saturday.
As current league champions, and winners in two of the last three years, Nene Valley have become the team to beat.
They finished second out of the four teams, losing out by just half a point to Bracknell.
But there were plenty of performances to suggest that it will be no easy task to prise the league trophy from Nene Valley’s clutches.
In the men’s throwing events, they cleaned up by dropping just one point.
Martin Tinkler and Simon Achurch won the A and B competitions in the hammer, shot and discus.
Achurch also finished runner-up in the javelin with team captain David Bush winning the B event.
Tinkler’s putt of 15.02m was a season’s best and the third longest of his career.
The ladies were nearly as successful and Becki Hall won the ladies shot with a 12.62m throw.
Hall also came first in the B discus, while Lydia Church won the B shot and Kelly Lawrence took the B hammer.
Andrea Jenkins was just beaten into second place at both discus and hammer.
On the track Nene Valley steadily accumulated the points with a host of second-place finishes and race wins.
Alexander McNally won the B 100m and Ronan Rawlings was first in the B 200m.
Abraham Jones and Ashley Sandell continued the trend with firsts in the B 400m and 800m respectively.
Will Hughes had a terrific 200m race. Despite finishing as runner-up, the teenager clocked 21.90 – the third fastest time of his career in his first race of the season.
Sean Reidy was first over the line in the 100m hurdles.
Emma Randall enjoyed a fine run to win the B 100m and ladies captain Devon Spencer won the B pole vault and triple jump.
Nene Valley also fielded a quartet of veterans in the British Masters Road Relay Championship at Sutton Coldfield, finishing in 34th place.
Three of the members were at the higher end of the age category but acquitted themselves well against many of the finest veterans in the country.
The times were Chris Mooney (19:32), Darryl Coulter (20:47), Barry Warne (21:52) and Paul Parkin (22:20).
Coulter competed in the relay just six days after the London Marathon.
The 47-year-old was 72nd out of 826 finishers at the Flitwick 10k with a clocking of 41:32.