12 May 2019 - British
League - Swansea
I suppose all the disappointment occurred before the
first British League match of season with a long list of people unavailable
for all sorts of reasons. Looking at the teamsheet it seemed we would finish
But we didn’t. Although we had a small team, it
contained a lot of talented athletes who were prepared to do a little bit
extra on the day to help out. Most other clubs were below strength too.
After 13 events we were in eighth place but only 18 points off fourth place.
We ended up 7th and were less than 30 points off 4th, that is not a lot. We
were the second best team on the track but it was no surprise we were last
in the field where we scored 48.5 out of a possible 224.
So who were our Lucas Mouras?* We won three A strings
on the track. First of these was Lewis Mills who had been expecting to be
dragged round to a fast time in the steeplechase. Only nine athletes toed
the line and he led from start to finish setting a personal best of 9.28.70.
Second win of the day came from another under 20,
Ethan Brown who ran a perfectly paced 400 to cross the line in 47.20. Dan
Putnam made it maximum points in the B string with an excellent 47.31.
Both joined Duayne Bovell and Matthew Knight to secure
victory in the 4x100 in 41.91, before, with Jordan Layne replacing Duayne,
they took runner up spot in 4x400 with our fastest time for a while,
3.16.40. This included a 46.8 split from Dan.
Phil Sesemann raced a 5km on the road the night before
in Ipswich but still travelled across country to compete. He was rewarded
with second place in the 1500 with James Habergham third in the B string.
Like Phil, James had raced the day before, setting a new best of 3.55 for
1500 at the Yorkshire championships before travelling down to South Wales
where he also did the 800 and shot.
Youngest member of the team was Ben Gardiner who made
his League debut in the 800. He ran a blinder in the B race battling down
the home straight to secure third place and take over a second off his
personal best with 1.54.80.
One of the best races of the day was the 3000 metres
where Ross Braden missed out in a last lap burn up finishing 5th in a very
useful 8.28.55. Charlie Davis set a best of 8.38.78 in the B string.
Matthew Knight’s 21.90 in the 200 was another personal
best and Richard Morris 55.78 for the 400H was a best with electric timing.
Richard is one of our HCAs who was happy to help out
once his main event was out of the way. He did the hammer, discus, javelin,
high jump and 110 hurdles. He was one of a number who went the extra mile
for the team.
Tom Desborough only came into the team at short notice
having just started running again after a ten week injury lay off. He came
third in the steeplechase and fourth in the 400 hurdles as well as throwing
Alex Nwenwu is not fit yet but still made the trip and
threw the javelin after his 110 hurdles. Then there was Ross Braden and
Jordan Layne in the long jump, and Duayne Bovell (shot and hammer).
We did have two “proper” field eventers though.
Kelechi Aguocha, our find of the season last year, took fourth in the high
jump with a clearance of 2 metres before scoring some important points in
Rob Sutherland, spent much of the weekend doing his
University studies, and despite one or two niggling issues gained sixth in a
useful triple jump contest.
Each club is now required to supply officials at the
British League so it was great to have John and Margaret Baldwin, Dave
Cordell, Kieve Brown, Keith Field and Denis Lawrie helping out plus Chris
Haines, Ken Daniel and Nick Brooks supporting and helping out.
Conditions could not have been better, bright
sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze. Oh and the
refreshments were good, with the mini Cornish pasties a bargain at 30p each.
Time will tell as to the significance of the match
result. In terms of team positions at the end of the season it may prove to
have been a missed opportunity, but maybe not. We have plenty of firepower
to help us improve, but so do the other clubs. We shall see.
For the moment though, those who competed should be
congratulated for some fine performances and nine personal bests. You can’t
ask for more than that. Well done!
Next match, Sunday 9th June, Allianz Stadium, (Barnet
Copthall for older people).
* = superheroes!