Athletics: Busy weekend for Harlow AC

Athletics / Mon 12th Jul 2021 at 10:12am

A BUSY weekend for Harlow AC athletes began with Shemar Boldizsar competing for Great Britain’s U23 team, in Estonia on Friday. He comfortably qualified from the morning heats in a time of 21.04s. And in the semi-final on Saturday he made no mistake as he qualified for the final in a time of 21.28s. There was no undue concern about being unable to negotiate the rounds as a strong headwind of 2.6m/s tempered all times.

The evening final was run well, getting out of the blocks strongly and being in the mix coming off the bend, but he was headed by the determined challenge Reais, of Switzerland, and Gomez and Retemal, both of Spain. A photograph was needed to separate fourth, fifth and sixth. Boldizsar was placed sixth by two thousandths of a second. 20.84 was his second fastest time of the season.

Also over the weekend was the British Wheelchair Athletic Association’s Grand Prix event, held in Coventry. There were races for ambulant athletes as the event provided one final opportunity to hit times and distances required to qualify for the Paralympic trials next weekend in Bedford. Bebe Jackson competed on both days in the 200m and 100m respectively. In the 200m she recorded a new PB of 30.30s and was second on the track. On Sunday in the 100m, she ran 14.71s into a headwind. This time was not far off her PB and sets her up nicely for the trials next weekend.

On Sunday, the senior team was in action at Chelmsford, in the second match of the Southern Athletic League. The team was depleted through unavailability and injuries but this did not prevent those who participated from turning in a determined performance. The day was not made any easier by the loss of both Annalyse Hassanally and Eddie Brown to injuries in their respective 100m races early in the day.

Brown recorded a second placed finish and was supported by Marley Sarling’s impressive run for first in the B race. Eloise Tyrell-Price was fourth in the B race in a new PB time of 14.8s. Tyrell-Price then stepped up to the A position for the 200m, a distance she had not previously attempted and was fifth in the race.

Harlow are currently blessed with a strong sprint core and Sarling slipping into the A race, with Harry Woodall stepping up from non-scorer to B race was no issue, as both men won their respective races.

There were no Harlow representatives in three of the of the sprint hurdle events but Beth Harryman won the women’s 100m hurdles. Nor was there representation in the women’s 400m, but in the men’s 400m James Petty closed down the field to take second on the line in the A race and Asa Fletcher-Snow was third in the B race.

Middle distance events are enjoying a resurgence at the club thanks to the efforts of a growing group of coaches for such distances. Athletes from all training groups were involved from 800m to 5K at this match: James Barnard and James Malyon were fifth and fourth respectively in the 800m; Jake Lacey and Henry Wright notched a brace of fourths in the men’s 1500m, with Sharon Wright third in the women’s event. Wright then went on to win the women’s 5K. Debutant Lee Wood was impressive as he secured fourth in the men’s 3K in 9.32.6 minutes and James Malyon competed in his first ever steeplechase: he was fourth.

Field events were bolstered by the tremendous commitment of athletes who stepped in and just filled gaps for points, some most impressively indeed: Carl Paxman was fourth in the men’s A long jump with Malyon also in fourth in the B competition. Like Malyon, James Barnard had come to run but jumped in the A high jump and was third. Carl Paxman took third in the B jumps.

Another impressive performance was Petty stepping in and taking third in the A triple jump, Carl Paxman was first in the B event. Carl then stepped in to the A Pole Vault and was third. His brother, Glen, returning from injury was still good enough to take second in the B competition.

Jumps were equally admirable in the women’s events: Beth Harryman won the A long jump and Abigail Dawson was second in the B jumps; Ellie Marklew jumped 1.50m and was second in the high jump with Dawson again second in the B competition. Dawson then stepped up to participate in the triple jump and was fourth in the A event.

Strong performances in the throws also helped to bolster the team effort: Dave Bauer claimed two thirds and a fourth in the A shot, discus and hammer respectively and was ably supported in the B events by Glen Paxman who was second in shot and discus, and won the B hammer. Bauer did not compete in the javelin and Glen was fourth in the A competition with brother Carl second in the B javelin.

In the women’s events, Harryman took third in the shot with Marklew fourth in the B competition. Katie Brennan and Emily Scofield claimed both third places in the discus and Marklew took third in the A javelin with Harryman completing her individual events with first in the B javelin.

The traditional ending to any meet is the relays and this event was no exception. Except that the trial of mixed sex 4 x 400 relays in alternate matches was passed by the SAL committee and will continue this season. In the 4 x 100m Harlow’s women were third. This was a creditable performance as many of the practised changes didn’t materialise as the team shuffled around and personnel changed. Harlow’s men were first, this despite a tricky first change where Fletcher-Snow had stepped in for the injured Brown.

Despite tired limbs, Harlow managed to field the allotted two teams in the mixed 4 x 400 and were third in the A race and second in the B race. This was an excellent effort, providing 15 points toward the overall total.

In the match, host club Chelmsford were distant winners with 414 points, Basildon were second with 283 points and Harlow third with 236.5 points. Braintree ended the day on 174 and Colchester 157.5 points.

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