Athletics: Harlow AC women go close

Athletics / Thu 27th Aug 2015 at 01:49pm

HARLOW’S women’s season ended with a narrow defeat at the hands of division rivals, South London Harriers. Despite ending on identical league points Harlow was beaten by fifty match points on the day and by forty-two points overall in the race for promotion.

The competition ebbed and flowed and the result remained in doubt for much of the day before South London pushed home their advantage in the long and middle distances and relay events. There were strong individual showings as well as some performances that reflected commitment to the cause rather than prowess in the event.

In the senior women’s competition Amy Hunt, Megan Price and Naomi Harryman made their first team appearances of the season. Harryman eased through a couple of rounds in the long jump, shot and javelin and picked up a valuable first place and two second places. With her busy individual schedule her performances were a welcome bonus for the team especially as another multi-event athlete, Polly Woods, was unavailable.

Hunt recorded a season’s best in the 100m to win the senior event and picked up second in the 200m. Price, returning after a long injury lay off, also picked up a first and second in the B races for the same distances.

Dawn Jones was another making her first appearance of the season, having been injured early on and then away for the Master’s event in Lyon. She covered the maximum allowable number of events picking up three first place finishes, a second and a third; perhaps the most satisfying was a season’s best 4.50m in the B long jump.

Sharon Wright made her debut and ran an excellent 3000m in a time of 12.49.1 minutes to take third in the A race. This was no small achievement given that the race set off at seemingly the hottest part of the afternoon and the open nature of the track meant there was no respite at all. She also stepped in to the 1500m B race and took third place for that event.

Perhaps the outstanding individual performance on the day came from Eleanor Moss who recorded three personal bests from her four events. Importantly for the team she picked up two first and two second places.

Team stalwarts, Katie Champion, Isobel Moss and Steph Fuller epitomised the spirit shown by the team over the season: Champion literally stepped out of a car and onto the team bus having returned from her holiday; Fuller and Moss looked for events that remained unfilled and filled them. Neither are hurdlers but both saw the opportunity to score valuable points in an under strength event and ran the 400m hurdles.

The commitment shown by the women was matched by the girls in the U15 competition. Millie Upton made her club debut and came second and third in her two events; Lottie Rowedder made her Women’s team debut and was first in the 1500m; Ami Ashby recorded two personal bests. And, Eilidh Malcolm, Mairi Malcolm and Beth Harryman all picked up at least one personal best as they completed the maximum three individual events. Harryman’s effort was particularly noteworthy as she was determined to compete through the pain of a shin injury to ensure she scored team points. Grace Malcolm and Katie Brennan both scored valuable points coming second in the B 1500m and B 800m respectively.

After the event team manager Steve Lott said; “I’m immensely proud of the women and girls, it’s been a terrific season. Last year we were quite a distant second but this year we’ve matched the winners run for run, throw for throw and jump for jump. To be honest promotion might have come a year too soon but we’ve got some strong athletes coming through and can look forward to some competitive seasons ahead. Some of our juniors make the transition to seniors next year and so we should be setting our sights firmly on promotion next year.”

Match result:
South London Harriers 279, Harlow 229, Swale 110, Paddock Wood 96, Chiltern 76, Dorking and Mole Valley, 49

Final League Table:

South London Harriers 1010
Harlow 968
Swale 467
Paddock Wood 447
Chiltern 222
Dorking and Mole Valley 184

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