Report from Mike Robbins
Izzy on her way to an 800m pb
With a team of just 24 athletes, Newbury AC faced a daunting trip to the south coast in their latest Southern Athletics League Division 2W fixture. A match against the home club Portsmouth, last year’s 3rd place finishers Woking, and strong local rivals Oxford City was always going to be tough, and with the limited numbers Newbury could manage no better than fourth place with 140 points, behind Woking (195), Portsmouth (187) and Oxford (182).
With the smallest squad in recent memory, the ability to fill all but one of the 84 scoring positions was an achievement in itself. In addition to that, a remarkable 22 new personal bests set across the team was way beyond expectation.
The sprinters have been struggling for numbers all season, but showed quality over quantity with Mike Forbes and Harry Russell both setting PBs in the 100m, the latter winning the B string in doing so, and ensuring that Newbury had two athletes under 12 seconds for the first time in three years. Mike repeated this feat in the 200m, while Harry showed his willingness to help a struggling team by covering all three sprint events, two relays and even trying his hand at triple jump.
Dan leaping to a pb in the LJ
Wins were hard to come by against tough opposition, so the women’s middle distance section was a breath of fresh air. Izzy Fry dropped down from her usual distance to take on the 800m, timing her kick to perfection to snatch the A string victory from Woking in a close finish with a PB time of 2:17.3. Chloe Blair followed Izzy home for second place in the B string, setting a new PB in doing so. Another athlete to bide her time was Sophie Crumly, sitting comfortably in third place in the 1500m before kicking on the crucial third lap to take the lead, and never looking back to win the A string in 4:51.9. This coming after a hard fought second place for Sophie in the 5000m A string earlier in the day, where she was joined by U20 Charlotte Clover who survived a lonely race to win the B string.
Helen Broadbridge lead the Newbury throws squad, bouncing back from a rare defeat at the last match to win the hammer by nearly six metres from her closest rival. Helen followed this with a second and third place in the discus and shot, ably assisted in the throws by Emma Guite, Rosie Stanton and Sara Henderson. The men’s equivalent saw veterans Ian Payne, Pete Kuehnel and Bruce Bamber complete the line-up, with the best result a pair of second places in the hammer.