Saturday 19 April 2014, was the first fixtures in the Southern Athletics League and pitted NVH against a strong Bedford and County team who won promotion last year having come up the leagues and Radley who finished 2nd in the first division last year. The other team present were Stevenage & North Herts. Firstly, the teams were well supported by the numerous volunteers who enabled us to hold the event and keep the fixture both running on time and complaint free.
The match result was:
1 Bedford & County 219
2 Nene Valley Harriers 201
3 Radley 170
4 Stevenage & North Herts 136
Six club records and six ranking performances for man of the match awards.
The men and the women of NVH scored very similarly throughout the meeting with the men only winning one point more than their counterpart ladies. When it came to the man of the match awards then the ladies scored exceptionally well. Max Everest was sixth in the men's competition with his 15.2s for the 110m hurdles but in the ladies competition NVH athletes took five out of the six positions. Andrea Jenkins won it with her 50.18m hammer throw and also took 4th with her 40.91 discus. Becki Hall took second place with her shot putt of 12.48m and Georgie Ivens took the fifth and sixth spots with her 56.7s 400m and 25.1s 200m sprints in the week she celebrated her 21st birthday with the festivities to go along with it.
The ladies also recorded five club records. Maria Hollingsworth smashed the previous under 20 ladies 100m hurdles club record with a time of 15.4s and Becki Hall did the same to the ladies shot putt club record with her putt of 12.48m. Rosie Jacobs broke the under 20 ladies 6 year old 400m hurdles club record with her time of 69.5s. The 400m relay team of Paige Lambert, Emma Hornsby, Rosie Marshall and Georgie Ivens smashed the previous club record by over 6 seconds showing a time of 4:06.6. Georgie Ivens also broke her own 200m club record of two weeks ago with a time of 25.1s and Lily Hughes also broke her own under 20 200m club record with 25.5s.
The 27 personal best performances is too many to be mentioned individually so congratulations to each and every one of those athletes and performances. There were a number of athletes who worked hard to get the day off work to compete or left work early which enabled the teams to be completed. A special mention for Leigh-Ann Rose who upon hearing that we were firstly short of someone to do the steeplechase volunteered stating that she would like to try that event and then stating that the 400m hurdles cannot be much tougher than the steeple so she would give that a go as well. It was brilliant to see athletes such as Adam Fidget and Pete Lewis impressive display in the men's steeplechase, stepping in to win points for the club. Valuable points are won by these athletes and they are just as valuable as those previously mentioned winning awards, club records and personal bests.
Martin Tinkler scored well with his wins in the shot putt and discus; whilst David Bush bounced back from a 400m hurdles false start to score well in the throwing events. The male hurdlers won all the races to score well missing out only on David's disqualification.
The lady sprinters showed their strength with only one point dropped between the 100m through to the 400m inclusively; well supported by maximum shot putt scores from Andrea and Becki, Andrea scoring almost maximum points for all three of her throwing events.
The day has put NVH fifth in the league overall and given the club the start they needed to try and at least match their third place last year.