Nene Valley Harriers' production line of talented young athletes shows no sign of slowing down, and with the business end of the season approaching many of them are hitting top form at the right time. This proved to be the case at Norwich on Sunday as The Harriers produced a barnstorming performance to win their Eastern Young Athletes League match, and qualify for the end of season finals, which take place at Bedford on 6 September.
The six team competition is divided into under 13,15 and 17 age categories for both boys and girls. Nene Valley impressively won both under 15 and under 17 competitions. it was the under 17 boys who lead the way with a dominant performance on the track, winning nine of the 12 races. Callum Crosby won the 100 metres, and there were A and B string wins in the 400 metres for Lucas Fidler and Chris Jones. This feat was repeated by Austin Herbert and Liam Brotherton in the 800 metres, Oliver Bowling and Nathan Davey in the 1500 metres and the 100 metres hurdles pairing of Josh Akinwumi and Tom Pask.
Away from the track there were victories for pole vaulter Grigonj Kondratovic and Lewis Cunningingham in the triple jump, whilst Lucas Fidler gained his second top place finish of the day in the B triple jump.
The under 17 girls also came out on top in their group after a hard fought battle with runners up, City of Norwich AC. The Nene Valley throwers were in top form with Lydia Church gaining maximum points in the hammer, discus and B Shot Putt, whilst Priscilla Dadziea did the same in shot putt and B discus.Rosie Fresen won the pole vault, and Hermoine Wright took the honours in the B high jump.
All-rounder Casey Hilliam won the B triple jump, 300 metres and 800 metres, whilst Megan Ellison, who is unbeaten in the league this season, continued this fine record as she crossed the line first in the 800 and 1500 metres with times of 2:17.7 and 4:54.0. Other race winners for the girls were Megan Pusey in the 300 metres and B string 80 metres hurdler Shannon Hodgeson.
One of the highlights of the season has been the form shown by the Hughes siblings, and brothers William and Charles were in great form for the under 15 boys. Sprinter William Hughes is ranked 2nd in the country in his age group in the 200 metres and seventh in the 100 metres. He won both events comfortably at Norwich, with times of 11.9 and 23.2. Throwing throwing specialist Charles Hughes achieved a hattrick of wins in the discus, javelin and shot putt. Nathan Pickering achieved first places in the 300 metres and the B shot putt, and Harry Burchnell did the same in the 800 metres and B 300 metres. Other winners on the day were Ronan Rawlings in the B 300 metres, Nandeli Palembe in the B 800 metres, Oliver Oakley in the 1500 metres B race and Dan Lawrence in the second string discus.
The under 13 boys and girls both finished third with consistent performance throughout. For the boys Sam Oakley took first place in the B 1500 metres and Hannah Knight was first over the line in the girls 800 metres.