Athletics: It’s all about the teamwork for Harlow Athletics Club

Athletics / Wed 12th Jul 2023 at 10:51am

SANDY, in Bedfordshire played host to Harlow AC’s round 3 match in the Southern Athletics League, on Sunday 9 July. The club had hoped to have a host of athletes available, following exams. However, this did not happen and so seventeen athletes fulfilled the fixture.

Last weekend, the athletics fraternity marvelled at the selflessness and team spirit of Jolien Boumkwo. She is the Belgian shot putter who took part in the hurdles for a team point at the European Team Championships.

Up and down the land, club athletes regularly do this sort of thing, and more. This weekend, eleven men competed as A and B competitor in every event except for 400m hurdles. Incredibly, considering restrictions on the number of events young athletes can participate in, only six women covered half of the events between them.

Every athlete showed commitment in abundance:

Jack Ring, U20, competed in his maximum five events and picked up personal bests in both the 200m and 400m.

Seamus O’Brien was originally down for the 100m, saw the state of play on the day and the implications for the league table, stepped up and ran 200m as well and a leg of the 4 x 400m

Sonnie Mowatt was only able to stay for part of the day but still made the two-hour round trip to compete in two events. He picked up nine precious points and a pb in the 400m. Similarly, Conor McEwan, who as an U17 athlete is restricted to a maximum number of racing metres, still came up to Sandy to run the 3k and a leg of the 4 x 400.

Alfred Corrigan, now living and working in London, came up on the train and ran three of the most gruelling races and volunteered for a leg of the 4 x 400m also. This earned himself and the team 19 points,

Newcomer, Steve Osman, perhaps got swept up in the moment and ended up running the 3k, 3k steeplechase and the 1500m! This contributed a valuable 13 points to the team’s tally.

Carl Paxman participated in seven events picking up 25 points, including a win in the B hammer event. Brother, Glen, even with a sore Achilles that he was supposed to be resting, managed five events, one was a win in the B discus, and 22 points in the process.

Dave Bauer competed in two events and earned a hugely satisfying win in the discus – the last of only three event wins on the day for Harlow’s men.

Sam Dawson and Samson Brichieri-Colombi completed the team. Unfortunately, Dawson, who is usually a 4.60m plus long jumper, felt his thigh strain as he approached the board. This was his one and only jump and it was still good enough to pick up fourth in the B event. Brichieri-Colombi managed a new PB with the 800g javelin with a throw of 43.82m. His day didn’t end there as a newly qualified field judge, he helped the team by scoring further points as qualified help in the field.

The women showed just as much commitment:
Natalia Asemota-Lopez ran the 100m, a leg of the relay and jumped in the triple jump, thereby contributing 13 points to the cause. Abigail Dawson made her first appearance of the season and picked up a twelve valuable points in the long jump, triple jump, and discus.

Rhiana Drew had a very good day in the field as she achieved three personal bests in shot, hammer, and discus. The shot and hammer were most satisfying as they were achieved with senior weight implements.

On a day of such effort, it seems odd to highlight two performances. However, Eilidh Malcolm and Sharon Wright do deserve such a mention. They were the only two female athletes uninhibited by age restrictions and, except for the 800m, they managed to get out for every flat race between them, doubling up in several. Malcolm also managed a throw good enough for third in the B shot putt. Between them, they amassed 43 points.

The final standings saw Harlow in third place and with the prospect of a fascinating last match to look forward to. Cambridge and Coleridge, currently sit second in the standings, will be at Colchester for their final match. The rest of the top six, and Luton who are seventh, will all contest the final fixture together at Ware on the 19 August. Effectively, finishing in the top three at this fixture will guarantee promotion to Division 2.

Match 3 score:
Ilford 260, Biggleswade 246, HARLOW 236, Colchester 98, West Suffolk 85, Vale of Aylesbury 38

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