HARRIERS SET NEW RECORDS AT OPENING LEAGUE MATCH
A superb team spirit and a high standard of performances saw Exeter Harriers celebrate a convincing win at their first South West League match of the season which saw three Division Two records broken. In addition, all the U13 and U15 girls and boys teams finished first in their respective age categories – a great start to the new season for the junior athletes who supported each other from the side and encouraged their team mates in a suitably effusive fashion!
Peter Howard won the senior men’s discus with a massive throw of 48.78, a new personal best and the first record of the day to fall.
Sam Talbot had an outstanding day winning the U15 80m hurdles with 11.61, smashing his lifetime best by almost half a second and also setting a new league record. Next came the long jump and in very blustery conditions which caused problems with the run-ups for several athletes Talbot kept his cool and leaped 5.83 for a new personal best and his second record of the day. Committed to doing a third event for the team Talbot chose the pole vault, a new event for him, which saw him gain maximum points with a best clearance of 2.20. A talented multi-eventer, this will stand him in good stead for next year when pole vault becomes part of the octathlon for him.
Sprinter Jack Churchill performed well winning the U 15 200m in 23.86 and stepping up in distance to the 300 with another win in 39.97, both new lifetime bests. Sam Dove won the B string 80m hurdles in 13.35, the B long jump with 4.70, and the discus with 19.57.
Jeff Angila had an excellent win in the U17 triple jump with 12.60 and Joseph Rees had a couple of wins in the shot with 11.81 and the javelin with 33.57. Harriers excelled in the 1500 with Matthew Dowell taking the win with 4.22.76, Tom McShane winning the B string in 4.30.62 and Patrick Livingstone also performing well with 4.34.20
Newcomer Thomas Inglis was one of three new athletes in the boys’ U13 squad, winning his B string 75m hurdles in 17.27 and coming second in the B shot with 5.76. Lewis Churchill had a couple of third places in the 100 with 14.35 and 200 with 29.67 and second in the high jump with 1.15. Jed Dove had a couple of third places in the 75m hurdles in 16.64 and the shot with 6.44, and fourth in the long jump with 3.41.
Kerry Angila had a couple of good wins in the senior women’s triple jump with 10.42 and the high jump with 1.40. Miranda Hardacre was second in the 200 in 26.46 and Kerry Gale won the B string 200 with 26.83. Catherine Harman was second in the 1500 in 5.36.60.
Laurie Dawkins and Ellie Marok were the top performers in the U15 age group with Dawkins winning her specialist event the javelin with 34.89 and also winning the 200 in 27.53 and the B long jump with 4.48, while Marok had wins in the 300 in 44.15 and the B string 200 in 28.24, both of which were new lifetime bests, and second in the 75m hurdles with 12.81. Rachel Underhay had an excellent new best of 4.60 in the long jump and newcomer Sophie Inglis had wins in the B string 75m hurdles in 13.11 and the B string high jump with 1.35. Millie Bennett set an outstanding new best in the high jump to win with 1.50. Harriers again did well in the 1500 with Phoebe Killen winning in her best ever time of 5.14.47 and Florence Livingstone taking the B string in 5.16.22 which was also a personal best time.
Olivia Dobson did well with wins in the U13 shot with 8.42 and long jump with 3.94 and Isobel Pinsky had a good day with three second places in the 75m hurdles in 12.42, the 100 in 14.11 and the 200 in 29.75. Agatha Purser-Mountford won the high jump with 1.33 and the B 75m hurdles in a new personal best of 12.55 and Ella Crouch won the B string high jump and shot with 1.20 and 7.34 respectively.
Several of the junior athletes should be commended on digging deep and competing in events they would not normally attempt. Special mentions go to Phoebe Killen who, as a middle distance runner, gallantly took up the challenge to launch a javelin for virtually the first time (ably coached by Laurie Dawkins) and scored valuable points for the team. In addition, Josie Bennett put in maximum effort in the 1500m when she would rather stick to shorter distances and Rachel Underhay ran like the wind to score valuable points in the 300m.
All these performances were indicative of the fantastic team spirit that ran throughout a day in which seasoned ‘old hands’ mixed with several new junior athletes to put Exeter Harriers back on the SW League map.