Youthful Exuberance, Across All Ages
This past weekend saw the culmination of team Track and Field competition across the age spectrum, as both the concluding Heart of England Series meeting, and Veterans’ Cup Final took place.
Saturday saw a small but combative group of eight youngsters make the trek to the Stourport Stadium in Kidderminster for the third Heart of England Division 3 contests. However, with three first places, four second spots, and two thirds (not to mention a Club record, and three further Personal Bests), it certainly proved to be a journey worth making! In the Under13 bracket, there were wins for Charlie Blencowe (100m, 16.1s) and Niamh Watson (800m, 2:50.3 and Long Jump, 3.73m). Isaac Watson then registered a superb run to clock a new Club Record time of 16.0s for the 75m hurdles, before also making the podium places in both the Long Jump (with 3.94m) and Discus (14.85m). After a somewhat disrupted route to the meeting, Susannah Hickie displayed no ill-effects, taking fourth in the 200m (32.3s), and second in the Discus (13.30m). Mollie Watson, meanwhile, was equally as active as her siblings, competing in the 70m hurdles (4th, 15.0s), 800m (3rd, 2:55.4), and Long Jump (3.57m).
In the Under15 group, Ben Morris continued his fine form with two PBs over the sprint double of 100m (14.7s) and 200m (29.3s), placing fifth in both. Sam Edwards also maintained his strong season, taking third in the 800m, with 2:16.7. Martha Clapp was the sole female representative in the Under15 category, but flew the female gender flag high in coming home second in the 1500m in a time of 5:48.3. That came hot on the heels of her recent Club Record time of 12:01.66 for the Under15 Girls 3,000m, clocked at an Open Meeting held by Watford Harriers.
On Sunday, there was an equally as distant journey to be navigated for the Club’s more experienced campaigners, as the Midland Veterans’ Cup Final dawned. Held as a one-off meeting – and seeded according to League positions – the 2011 finale was held at the Nunnery Wood Sports Complex, Worcester. However, the 80-plus mile sojourn evidently played to no detriment on the part of the HAC contingent, as they ably aped their younger Clubmates. Marise Taylor has had the Vet40 100m record in her sights for the majority of the season, having run to within 0.1s of the existing 16.1s mark on numerous occasions. This time, though, she was not to be denied, clocking 15.9s to etch her name into the record books! Seemingly not content with this, Taylor then took her place in the 4x100m team to also lower the Vet35 relay mark to 63.9s, alongside Jill Roginski, Nicola James, and Linda Lawton. Jill then supplanted her running exploits with victory in the Javelin, hurling the spear out to a Club Record distance of 23.99m. Not to be outdone, their male counterparts proved just as ebullient! Sean Fenwick took the tape in the 1500m in a new Club Record time of 4:21.6, while Stuart Avins was his usual multi-disciplined self, winning the Triple Jump and High Jump, and coming second in the 200m and 400m. Dave Oram continued the Vet60 success, claiming the runner-up spot in the Shot Put.
On the roads, Sunday also had the last in the Summer Leicestershire Road Running League Series, held as the John Fraser Memorial 10, in Countesthorpe. Described as a “tough but fair” run, the course sees athletes cover a ten mile out-and-back route that takes in the nearby villages of Willoughby Waterleys and Peatling Magna. A combative septet ably took on the challenge, being led over the line by Matt Driver. He was chased all the way by Adam Brooks, with Kenny Anderson third, and the returning Sarah van Nierop next. Lin Farrow was fifth to the finish for the yellow and black of Harborough, with Jo Johnston and Ruth Bingham completing the Club’s quota amongst a field of nigh-on 500 runners.