Solid start for Southern League team

The winning 4x400 metres relay team at Saturday's SAL match at Carshalton

The winning 4x400 metres relay team at Saturday's SAL match at Carshalton

1 May 2018

Solid start for Southern League team

By Tom Pollak
The Southern League team got off to a promising start to their 2018 programme in unseasonably cold weather at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Carshalton, on Saturday.

It was an especially good day for the Club's teenagers. A week after celebrating his 19th birthday, Ryan Facey, who switched to athletics from football, had a busy afternoon on his debut in a team competition.  He gained an individual hat-trick on the track winning the 100m, 200m and 400m B races (having only previously raced over 60m and 100m) as well as taking second place in the long jump A and javelin B events, the first time he had competed in either. Meanwhile, Jaleel Roper was runner-up in the 100m and 200m A races and then linked up with Armani Thomas, Hamed Agboke and Devonte Casely-Hayford in the victorious 4x400m relay team. And yet another teenager, Sam Barker took two seconds off his previous best in winning the men’s 1500m.

James Meiklejohn, making his Southern League debut, ensured maximum points in the 1500m by taking the B race. Johnny Cornish won the 5000 metres and was runner-up in the 800 metres, while Rob Tuer was second in the 5000m B race and steeplechase.

In the women's events, team manager Heather Jones led by example, taking the women’s 100m hurdles, finishing runner-up in the high jump and triple jump, and taking third place in the 400m hurdles and javelin. Emilie Bokor-Ingram was also busy, winning the 200m B race and finishing runner-up in the 100m and 400m A races. Tianna Gayle, Madeleine Orenstein, Johanna Tofte and Rebekah Riches were second in the 200m A, 400m B, and 800m A and B races, respectively; and Lisa Thomas was runner-up in the 2000m steeplechase and 3000m B race.

All-rounder Dave Orchard also had a full-on afternoon garnering valuable points for the team as he contested six events, gaining a hat-trick of wins in the pole vault A, and shot and hammer B events, and taking third place in the high jump, discus and javelin A events. Sam Hitchings ensured maximum points in the hammer by winning the A contest as well as the discus B, and taking third spot in the shot A event.

Former Scottish Commonwealth Games representative, Alison Murray, won the women’s pole vault, while Ann Martin was runner-up in the hammer A and discus B events and third in the shot A and javelin B, and both the men's and women's 4 x 100m teams finished second.

Meanwhile, after winning the Surrey 3000 metres track walking title for the past three seasons, Tor-Ivar Guttulsrod made a winning debut in the Surrey 10000 metres track walking championship at the Millennium Arena, Battersea park, last Wednesday night, to take the gold medal in 55 minutes 48.7 seconds. It was the first time he had raced over that distance on the track.

Unusually, Guttulsrod combines race walking with running and three days after his County triumph, he was in action in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun for the sixth time this year, one of 19 Hercules Wimbledon runners in the 424-strong field. Top Hercules Wimbledon finisher was teenager Henry Silverstein who was fifth in 18:27, with Adam Harwood sixth three seconds later, and another teenager Hector Revill seventh in 18:36.

Hercules Wimbledon’s Zac Purnell was a comfortable winner of the junior event at the Kingfisher Aquathlon in Morden on Sunday. He won the 400m swim by more than half-a-minute and the 4.5 km cross country run by over a minute to finish more than two minutes clear of the second competitor.


Sat 28 May: Southern Athletics League 3SE (match 1), David Weir Centre, Carshalton. Full results

Note: due to the dire weather conditions on Monday, in consultation with the competing clubs, the Vets League Meeting at Wimbledon Park was cancelled.

Hercules Wimbledon