The Exeter Harrier’s ladies team made a good start in their first league match of the season at Bedford at the weekend. The men’s team were also at Bedford for their British Athletics League match so this generated a good team spirit throughout the weekend.
The fixture list is better this year with no clashes with the schools competition. The league was reduced to seven teams a few days before the match as Aldershot resigned from the league. Three athletes made their debuts for the team – Rosie Chamberlain, Miranda Hardacre and Meghan Whittaker.
Rosie was the star of the team in this match. She stormed to comfortable victories in both the 800m and 400m with 2:16.66 and 58.10 respectively. It was good to see her running in the team after injury kept her out last season. Meghan did well to finish third in the Shot B string with 9.16m and came fifth in the Discus A string with 19.55m. Meghan will be a good addition for the team this year as Exeter are low on athletes for the throwing events.
Miranda finished third in the 400m A string with 59.58s. The strong blustery conditions didn’t favour the one lap runners. Beth Skinner had an excellent afternoon with two personal bests, 28.07m for second place in the javelin and 1.50m for sixth in the High Jump. She also came sixth in the triple jump.
Maria Brett was restricted to just her specialist event the hammer due to injury and came second in the A string hammer with 42.41m, just 54cm away from winning.
Anna Rust has her usual busy afternoon, maybe too much on this occasion, given that the steeplechase was run as 3K for the first time instead of the usual 2K. She ran a total of 7500m and got good points with her two fourth places in the 1500m and the 3000m and fifth in the steeplechase.
Sara Geary had a busy afternoon despite carrying a foot injury. She came second in the B string Long Jump with 5.22m, won the B string High Jump with 1.45m and came third in the Shot with 9.30m. Katherine Humphreys once again scored good points for the team with her three third places in the B string 800m, 3000m and the triple jump.
Rebecca Chapman had a busy day which started with a win in the long jump with 5.82m. She also came fourth and fifth in the 100m and 100m hurdles respectively.
Lucy Smith had a hard afternoon doing three throwing events. Her best result was a fourth in the javelin A string with 33.19m. She also got two fifths in the Discus and Hammer B strings. Becca Jones did five track events, two of them relays. She got a second in the 100m hurdles B string and fourth and fifth in the 100m and 200m respectively.
Good points were scored in the relays. In the 4x100m, Becca Chapman, Becca Jones, Beth and Sara teamed up for fourth place. In the 4x400m relay, Sara, Miranda, Rosie and Becca Jones gained third place in an exciting 4x400m which included a storming third leg from Rosie moving up 3 or 4 places into second place.
The only disappointment of the day could be missing out on third place by 4 points. Given that six events not filled in, we should have finished third. The availability of two or three more athletes would have helped the team and taken the pressure of those competing to try and cover too many events. Four athletes in this match were still feeling the effects from competing at the British University Championships the previous weekend.
This result was an excellent start to the season. By comparison we were seventh in our first match last season. There are two more matches left – Stevenage in June and Liverpool in July.
1. Bedford 218
2. Harrow 211.5
3. Liverpool 188
4. Exeter Harriers 184
5. Herts Phoenix 172
6. Belgrave 155.5
7. Leeds 143