ATHLETICS: Relay wins the highlight as Harriers finish third

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Nene Valley Harriers produced some fiery performances at the second Southern Athletics League match at Milton Keynes.

Perhaps the most impressive win went to the women’s 4x400m relay team, who stormed to victory for the first time in this event since the league began.

Led out in style by Michelle Tweed, Rosie Jacobs took on the second leg with a substantial lead, holding onto it before handing over to Rosie Marshall.

She increased the gap with an impressive performance not long after a comfortable win in the 800m. Paige Lambert ran the glory lap, just holding off a strong attack from Harrow to cross the line to victory.

The men also won their 4x400m relay by a significant margin, with sterling runs by Sean Reidy, Dave Brown, Darrellon Holding and under-17 Ashley Sandall to take the top points for the Harriers.

Ken Baker and Andrea Jenkins shone in the field events, with Baker taking second in the ‘A’ shot put with 14.02m, third in the ‘A’ hammer (34.66m) and third in the ‘B’ javelin (36.03m).

Jenkins maintained her excellent form when she won the ‘A’ shot and discus competitions with distances of 10.55m and 39.81m respectively – and also did well in the hammer and javelin.

She was ably supported by Kelly Lawrence, who won the B Hammer with 42.73m.

There were some gutsy performances in the endurance events too, with young Callum Reid tackling the 3,000mSC for the first time, and Cat Foley and Ruth Jones doubling up in the 1,500m (5.08.67mins and 5.16.89mins) and 3,000m (10.54.15mins and 11.04.09mins) events.

Adam Birch (9.20.53mins) got a PB in third in the 3,000m, with Paul Halford (9.26.52mins) not far behind in winning the ‘B’ competition.

Nene Valley showed strength in depth in the event, with guest runner Michael Moore (9.30.14mins) winning the non-scoring competitions, his time faster than many of the scoring athletes.

Chris Allison excelled in the 1,500m with a decisive victory coming in 4.11.9mins, supported by James Vernau in 4.22.00mins, while there was a GB athlete to contend with in the women’s 100m and 200m races in the form of Harrow’s Laura Turner.

Turner, who holds a 100m PB of 11.11secs, just held off Harrier Natasha Segal on the day, who was just over one second behind in 12.95secs, with club mate Emma Przybyl not far behind.

Michelle Tweed joined Segal in the battle with the international in the 200m, posting an impressive time of 26.18secs in third.

Multi-eventers Adam Fidgett and David Bush gave their all in their events, as did every single member of the team who turned out for the club.

However, the Harriers narrowly missed out on second place by just seven points on the day.

They go into the third of the five fixtures at Hornchurch next month with a fair amount of work to do to if they are to maintain their place in the top division of the Southern Athletics League.