Following a successful start to the Youth Development League Upper Age Group, the club capitalised on its previous win with another victory in the second meeting at Mile End Stadium, albeit a considerably smaller margin of 11 points over 2nd placed Medway & Maidstone (467), 3rd placed Victoria Tower Highgate, 4th placed Orion Harriers followed by Enfield and Haringey AC in 5th. Considering a number of male and female athletes were absent due to GCSE exams, injury and illness, the athletes that competed performed extremely well in humid conditions to bring the win home.
Photos (by Alex Wardle)
Andreea Golban: ranked in the top 10 in the UK
Both the U17 and U20 women’s categories suffered losses in squad depth, but performed well considering these restrictions. Andreea Golban (U17), achieved a PB in the hammer throw (3k – 52.38m), alongside 2nd place A finishes in the Javelin and Discus, complemented by B string wins from Simbiyat Sikiru in the Discus (19.36m) and Hammer 47.97m). Pheobe Fuhr (U20), took A and B wins respectively in the PV (2.00m) and TJ (8.76m), while also contributing points competing in the 100mH and 4x400m relay squad. On the track, the only outright sprint win came from the U17W 4x100m team, composed of Temitope Olusesan, Rhianna Buaku, Eloise Lewis and Rebecca Fafowora, finishing in a time of 53.12s. Olusesan also took a B string win in the 400m in 66.61s.
In the U17M, A string wins came from Joseph Geller, who ran a fine 800m personal best in 2:00:03, and even stepped out of his comfort zone to take an unopposed A win in the 1500m steeplechase in 4:46:46, alongside a B string win in the 1500m steeplechase from Ben Sloan, finishing in 04:52:05. Ben also took the A string 1500m, in 04:13:94.
Rhys Martin (photo right) who has recently returned from a hip injury and heart investigations, performed marvellously in the field, taking A string wins in the Hammer and Javelin (48.26m & 41.68m respectively). First time out for Elliott Luscombe in the PV, clearing a height of 2.15m, but he did clear 2.40m in warm up. Ellis Ward sprinted to a B string 100m win in 11.94 (w-0.7), and also contributed to a finely navigated 4x100m win, alongside colleagues Matthew-Adum-Yeboah, Reece Barton and Tolani Alaba. In the U20M, strong performances came from Thomas Finch, who split his time between five events and officiating, thrilled the crowd with a nail-biting 2000m steeplechase conclusion, coming a close second in a time of 9.24.61, alongside B wins in the JT and DT. Contributions from Videsh Weerakkody (U17, photo below) cannot be ignored, as he fought his tiredness to run a 400m and 4x400m in his own age group, and then stepped up to race over 800m in the upper age group for vital points.
Overall, the success of this match came down to the hard work and dedication that the athletes placed into representing their club, participating in a number of events, some of which were not their normal events. An additional thank you to all parents who came along and provided moral support to all athletes. Team managers James Bongart and Wendy Fuhr, alongside co-ordinator Alan James, look forward to the next meeting on the 1st July at Woodford Green, in which many athletes shall return as we attempt to continue our winning streak in our return to the YDL, as we seek promotion.