Athletics: Harlow AC success at Essex Relays

HARLOW AC had six teams in action at the Essex Relay Championships in what turned out to be an exciting night for the club.

The first team in action were the U15 Girls. Unfortunately a changeover fault saw them disqualified. The run itself was a good lap and they will learn and improve.

Next came the U17 Men’s team who have impressed at club matches all season. The team of Danny Leahy, Freddie Henderson, James Petty and Marley Sarling were third in their heat in a new PB time that was also a new club record for the age group. In the final later in the evening, in which they were fourth, they could console themselves by repeating the 44.8s set in the heat. As all members of the team are in the first year of the age group, next year could be very exciting indeed.

The senior events were sadly poorly supported but not by Harlow who fielded two teams at both 4×100 and 4×400 distances. In the 4×100 Team one, consisting of Shemar Boldizsar, Leo Chashchin, Regan Lawrence and Harry Woodall was third. The second team of Asa Fletcher-Snow, Benison George, Teale Cunningham and Freddie Henderson was fifth, still beating other club’s first teams.

The 4×400 proved to be an exciting finale. Two well-matched teams had been put together and both went under 3.30 minutes. The first leg saw James Petty run a well-controlled race to position his team in first place. Jamie Putt ran strongly but was caught close to the line in the handover to Harry Woodall. The gap now to third was becoming distant and it would fall to Teale Cunningham to try and make up the distance to first and withhold the threat of third. He couldn’t quite manage the former and could not have imagined with the race situation where the threat of the latter would eventually come.

Team two, comprising of Asa Fletcher-Snow, Leo Chaschchin, Donald Campbell and Shemar Boldizsar was third but this doesn’t tell the whole story. Fletcher-Snow ran a good first leg that saw the team in fifth place and good handover helped Campbell make a small gain into the deficit. Chaschin took on the mantle and ran well but again could only maintain the distance between himself and the runner ahead. By the time the baton was in Boldizsar’s hands the almost seventy metre gap to third looked challenging. Perhaps buoyed by his U23 GB selection, but certainly on the energy of the occasion, he began to close the distance, cruising past the fourth placed athlete from Ilford, and eventually catching his Chelmsford opponent in the home straight to bring his team home in third.

In further good news for the club, Vincent Lawrence, coach to Boldizsar, has been appointed to the U23 Team GB staff for the upcoming championships in Gavle, Sweden, and will be working with the relay squads. He has previously worked with England squads at age group levels.

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