Record-breaking start to the SAL campaign
HW's track and field teams got off to a superb start to the Southern Athletics League programme at Norman Park, Bromley, on Saturday, winning a close fought match by just 19 points, with a record-breaking score of 273 points (the previous highest of 246 was achieved in 2016). It was the response that team manager Heather Jones had called for in the Club's bid for promotion this season and, most hearteningly, in the men's match there were winning performances across the field events, as this has traditionally been the area of weakness.
There were 19 wins for the men's team. Star of the show was all-rounder Mark Andrews (below centre) who competed in no less than 11 events. Across five hours of exhausting athletics, Andrews posted six wins, in the triple jump A event, and high jump, pole vault, shot, hammer and javelin B events plus four second places in the 110m and 400m hurdles A races, the steeplechase A race and the discus A competition. He was also third in the long jump A event. All in all he mustered 49 points, almost a third of the 152 gained by the entire men’s team.
There were maximum points in the triple jump, with teenager Bryn Cann taking the B event after finishing third in the long jump B (he was also second in the high jump A event), and also in the hammer as Sam Hitchings won the A event, together with the discus B event. He was also third in the shot A event, and to round off his day he ran a leg for the 4x100m relay team which finished third.
Lance Power partnered Andrews in the 110m and 400m hurdles, winning both B string events as well as winning the pole vault A and finishing second in the steeplechase B race.
HW also dominated the endurance events with Charlie Eastaugh (A) and Andrew Thomas (B) taking the 1500m and David Lewin(A) and Luke Davis (B) winning the 5000m. Eastaugh was also runner-up in the 800m A race, with World Masters M50 bronze medallist Dominic Bokor-Ingram taking the B race. Bogor-Ingram also finished third in the 400m A race.
Hamed Agboke was runner-up in the 400m B race and third in the 200m B (Pete McLeod was fourth in the A race), before linking up with Eastaugh, McLeod and Mark White to win the final men’s event, the 4x400m relay.
In the Women's match W40 Gina Galbraith and U17 Georgina Clarke secured maximum points in the women’s 3000m taking the A and B races respectively. For Gina her time of 10:23.49 was yet another pb, as she posted the third fastest 3000m by a W40 so far this year. Lisa Thomas won the steeplechase A and showed her determination when she picked herself up and dusted herself off after a fall in the 400m hurdles to win the B race (behind Victoria Johnson, who was third in the A race). Lisa also finished third in the 1500m A race before running legs for the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams, both of which finished third.
Despite an ongoing injury team manager Heather Jones gained vital points in a total of eight events, winning the shot and hammer B, taking second place in the javelin A and finishing third in the discus A, high jump A and long jump B, as well as running legs for both relay teams. Ann Martin also had a busy time taking third in the shot and hammer A events and discus and javelin B events.
Match result: 1 Hercules Wimbledon 273pts; 2 Guildford & Godalming 254; 3 Sutton & District 187; 4 Holland Sports & Dorking & Mole Valley 75.
On a windy and chilly South Coast on Sunday Matthew Sharp (above) broke the HW M40 record in the Brighton 10km road race, finishing fourth in his age category in 32:35. In the Marathon, which starts after the 10km event, Kieran White was third M40 in 2:4517.
21 Hercules Wimbledon athletes were among the 500 runners in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday. Teenager Lulu Weisz won the women’s race in a pb of 19:58 with fellow teenagers Henry Silverstein and Sam Barker second and third in the men’s race also in pbs of 16:58 and 17:01 respectively. M45 Peter Collins was fourth in 17:47.
Jonny Earl was runner-up in the Kingston event in a pb of 15:51, just one second behind the winner, improving by two seconds on his previous best set last November.