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Exeter Harriers senior teams struggle in national league openers

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The Exeter Harriers ladies and mens teams both opened their season, the ladies having a home match and the men competing in Portsmouth.

The ladies team, competing in Div three of the UK Women’s League, failed to take the opportunity of a home fixture and struggled to put out a team, with many athletes unavailable through school and university exams. Eight events were left unfilled, but the seven athletes who turned out put in a very strong performance that they can be proud of.

Two athletes made their debut for the team, Jessica Dobson and Tegan Whittaker. Dobson had a superb afternoon with two personal bests with third place in the 200m with 25.76 and second in the javelin with 28.06. Tegan Whittaker had a busy afternoon competing in shot, discus and javelin, achieving second in the shot with 7.49 and fourth in the discus.

Meghan Whittaker was also busy in the throws and with third in the shot with 9.56, third in the hammer and fourth in the discus.

Jenny Robinson, back in the team after four years out, was delighted with her performances, finishing second in both the long jump with 5.09 and the 100 hurdles and third in the High Jump with 1.45.

Maria Brett, our Higher Competition athlete from Newquay & Par, won her specialist event, the hammer with 42.88, also winning the 100 hurdles.

The longer races were covered by Michelle Ellis and Anna Rust who came home from Bedford for the match. Michelle came fifth in both the 1500 and 3000 A races while Anna was a good second in the B race.

A better turn out in the next match in London will be vital for Exeter to retain its place in the league at the end of the season.

Ladies Match Result

  1. Herts Phoenix 203
  2. Liverpool 196
  3. Herne Hill Harriers 174
  4. Belgrave Harriers 169
  5. Newport Harriers 133
  6. Exeter 110


The men’s team, competing in Div 4 of the British Athletics League in Portsmouth, were also short of athletes with six withdrawing during the week before the match, but there were some excellent performances from the nine athletes who made the journey.

Sam Peters did well in the sprints, with third place in the A string 100 in 11.07 and second in the 200 with 22.47, with Owen Styler second in the B 100 in 11.19 and fifth in the 200 in 24.89. Jevgeni Judin earned valuable points in the 400 A string for sixth place with 53.67.

In the distance events Matt Dowell was sixth in the A 800 with 2:03.15 and Ollie Berry and Jack Bancroft ran well, Bancroft taking third in both the A string 1500 in 4:08.11 and 3000 in 8.56.62, and Berry winning the B 3000 in 9:45.05.

Steve Turnock won the A javelin with 63.02, some seven metres clear of the rest of the field, and Dave Dawson placed well in the A string throws with second in discus and shot with 40.85 and 13.48 respectively, and fourth in hammer with 38.33.

Josh Tunstall also performed well in the A string jumps, placing second in triple jump with 12.64 and fifth in both long jump and high jump with 6.26 and 1.70 respectively.

Men’s Match Result

  1. Newquay & Par 266
  2. City of Portsmouth 231
  3. Chelmsford 224
  4. Havering 197
  5. Reading 166
  6. Exeter Harriers 139