ATHLETICS: Senior squad set for league celebrations

James McCrae took both middle distance wins.
James McCrae took both middle distance wins.
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Victory in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash means Nene Valley Harriers are almost certain to claim the Southern League Division One title for the second time in three years.

As long as they avoid last place in the final fixture on August 20 at Southampton, they will win the league.

The senior squad saw off the challenge of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers and Dartford Harriers – placed second and third – in the fixture at 
Crawley who were only a couple of points further behind.

The first track event suggested that this was going to be a tough day’s work with all teams fielding A and B string athletes in the ladies 400m 

Rosie Jacobs and Claire Smith claimed third places with Smith breaking the club record in the process.

The men’s version of the event set the foundation for the day with both Sean Reidy and David Bush winning to put Nene Valley and Blackheath ahead 
in the fixture.

Rosie Fresen was unlucky not to continue a winning streak when pipped on countback in the pole vault.

New member Cipriano Miranda claimed third place, allowing Gregorij Kondratovic to win the B string. He added a pole vault win and Cipriano won the triple jump with an impressive 13.46m.

Meanwhile, Nene Valley’s ladies field eventers started an unbelievable day.

Andrea Jenkins, Lydia Church and Kelly Lawrence continued their fine form by winning the hammer then Becky Hall and Ellie Mae Stokes joined in with shot putt and javelin wins respectively.

These five ladies won all the throwing events on the day.

The jumpers, however, were not outplayed with Emily Maltby and Stokes winning both horizontal jumps.

Maltby added the B string high jump while Fresen and Jacobs added points.

The ladies won all but two of their field events.

Maltby added a 100m sprint and relay to her tally of wins with a second place in the A string hurdles.

The men claimed a great haul of points in the field with wins and second places in all but three competitions.

The throwers had a hard day with some very tough competition showing why these three teams were all at the top of the table.

Simon Achurch recorded two wins and a second while Martin Tinkler had two second places with his shot putt – giving him a top-three man-of-the-match finish.

In the short sprints, Gideon Okoh and Callum Crosby won the 100m.

Okoh was pipped in the 200m but David Brown won the B string.

James McCrae took both middle distance wins with Ollie Bowling also winning the 800m B string, adding second place in the steeplechase.

The men won both the 100m and 400m relays and the ladies added the 100m relay but one exceptional leg by Yimika Adewakum for Blackheath left Nene Valley in second place.

If the men’s squad can continue their form in the British League fixture at Bedford next weekend then they could win promotion the day after the Southern League title.