Race report from Mike Robbins
With a number of last minute dropouts, long standing injuries and early season rustiness, Newbury AC could be forgiven for expecting a tough time in their first SAL match of the season at Walton-on-Thames on Saturday. However, a fantastic team effort by all those in attendance pushed the club into second place on the day with 178.5 points; behind Croydon Harriers (209pts) but ahead of the host club Walton AC (162.5pts) and Hillingdon AC (152pts).
Helen Broadbridge was the standout athlete on the day, comfortably winning all three heavy throws – the highlight being a 50.22m throw in the hammer, over 12m clear of her nearest competitor.
The endurance running section of the club racked up some strong points scores. Both Yaz Ryder in the 3000m and Mike Robbins in the 2000m steeplechase took the lead on the first lap and never looked back, gradually pulling away from the field to take comfortable victories. Dan Tuttle sat patiently in the pack in the men’s 1500m, kicking on the final lap to take the lead and narrowly held off a charge from the Walton athletes to take the win. Rebecca Downie continues to improve in the steeplechase, showing good technique over the barriers to record her first ever A string win.
Newbury scored maximum points in the 100m hurdles, with Lilly Gohara just missing out on a PB, taking the win in 18.6swhile Bo Stewart overcame a difficult race to follow up with the B sting victory. A similar success was seen in the women’s pole vault, where Jenny O’Connor was joined by her daughter Scarlett – attempting pole vault for the first time with great success for another double win. There was a similar story in the men’s equivalent, with Reuben Langdon unfazed by inexperience to clear 2.30m for second B.
Mark Lane was a welcome debutant to the club, keen to fill in wherever necessary and showed his full range, all the way from the 100m to the 2000m steeplechase. The latter was his best result, taking the B string win. Maisie Jeger made her long awaited promotion to the senior team and amongst other events was a big part of the 4x400m relay team who tooksecond place, running a stunning 62.3s second leg.
There were further comfortable B string wins for Bob Broadbridge in the shot put and Emma Downie in the 800m. Despite throwing an impressive 54.94m in the hammer, Oliver Hewitt had to settle for second in the A string on this occasion – a position he matched in the shot put. There were also second places for Phil Marshall in the B string 5000m, finishing agonisingly close to breaking the 17 minute barrier, and Ben Wickens in the B string triple jump, scoring well on his debut in the discipline.
This was a fantastic team effort, where every athlete in the team did everything they could to help out, and everyone should feel proud of the result. As well as the above, Hugh Beattie, James Craggs, Wayne Lillis, Ryan Hill, Amber White, Catherine Tuttle, Caroline Tuttle and Ros Pearson all added much needed points to the total, while Ellis Russell and Andy McKendrick were thrown in at the deep end for their senior track debuts, and coped admirably. We look forward to building on this result at the next match – our home fixture in Andover on 19th May.