Nene Valley Harriers’ youngsters completed one of their best ever track and field seasons on Sunday when they placed an admirable fourth in the Eastern Young Athletes’ cup final at Basildon.
This was the second year in a row that the Harriers had made it to the final of the highly competitive league. To qualify for the coveted final place, the young athletes had to place in the top six overall in the league, which they managed comfortably despite having to travel significant distances for each of the five league matches during the last six months.
To add to the euphoric celebrations, team manager Russ Prosser revealed that four club records were smashed at Basildon.
Prosser, who works tirelessly for the club in ensuring as many athletes can compete and experience as many levels of competition as possible, congratulated all those who took part in this year’s league: “It is a great achievement that we made the final for the second season in a row, and to finish the cup final with a handful of new club records was the icing on the cake.
“I would also like to thank all the officials and parents who helped out this season. We didn't drop any points from not having enough officials, so this is your result as well. This team work is what makes Nene Valley Harriers a great family club.”
The four club records to fall were: Rosie Fresen, who jumped 2.7m in the U15 pole vault, Alison Church continued her fine form to throw 29.3m in the U17 javelin competition, Ben Roberts stormed to an U13 1500m best of 4:47.4, and the quad of Alex Pullen, Rosie Fresen, Serena Korkmaz and Jasmin Allen ran an impressive U15 100m record of 52.3.
The Harriers’s achievements are all the more impressive considering they are a comparatively small club when lined up against their league rivals, such as Basildon, Bedford and Stevenage. The Peterborough, Spalding and Boston-based club’s athletes have had to travel hundreds of miles to compete at Barnet in London, Sandy, Basildon, Luton and Norwich, further adding to the level of commitment required from the athletes, parents, officials and coaches.
Helping to take the club to these heady heights was U13 Olivia Thompson, who won the 70m hurdles in 11.9 and was second in the long jump with 4.18m, while fellow U13 youngster Macey Carr won the discus with 23.77m.
U15 Jasmine Allen won the B 100m and 200m with times of 13.5 and 27.2 respectively, before going onto win the B long jump with 4.76m, while Priscilla Dadziea won the shot put with a strong 10.17m throw. Lydia Church had a very successful day with the shot and hammer, recording wins in the B shot with 9.2m and in the A hammer with 37.07m.
Kelsi Ellis won the B 300m with 45.6, just behind club mate Casey Hilliam with 44.7.
The duo also ran well in the 800m with times of 2:27.8 and 2:21.6, helping the U15 girls’ win their age group competition.
In the U17 events, Beth Denial was busy competing in the 100m (14.0), 200m (29.6) and the discus (13.45m), as were Alison Church and Alice Gibbons in the jumps and throws.
U13 Josh Munton continued his valuable contribution to his new club when he jumped 4.01m in the long jump, while Callum Robertson threw a huge 9.55m to easily win the A shot put. Nathan Rudman also had an excellent day, running fast in the 100m (13.3), 200m (27.6) and throwing the discus to 14.36m.
U15 Will Hughes also put in strong performances in the sprints, recording times of 12.2 and 24.3 respectively, while Scott Waumsley stormed to an impressive 12.4 to win the A 80m hurdles event. Will’s brother Charles and Kai Harrison were as reliable as ever in the throws and jumps, recording valuable points for the Harriers, while U17 Bradley Spurdens proved his mettle when speeding to 53.2 and 2.00.3 in the 400m and 800m events, winning the latter race by two seconds.
Olly Bowling and Michael Cawood both put in strong performances in the 1500m (4:28.1 and 4:34.9), while Dan Lornie and Callum Lewis had busy days in a variety of events, working hard to ensure the team finished on a high.