A competitive 2nd YDL upper age group fixture at Sutcliffe Park, Eltham, on Sunday 26 May eventually saw Woodford placed 3rd. Four different teams led through the course of the day, but the combined Basildon Beagles team pulled away late on to win their 2nd successive fixture. The next 3 teams remained close, at the end of the match WGEL were placed 4th but were moved up to 3rd after initial results scrutiny, just behind Tonbridge and ahead of the composite Team ATIP with hosts Cambridge Harriers a distant fifth.
Matthew Adum-Yeboah: dominated the U20 sprints
For the second match in a row, WGEL was the top scoring team on the field but this time with a relatively large gap to the other teams. Our hammer throwers led the way, literally as well as figuratively as their events were held early due to the cage not meeting current specifications. Kai Wright won the U17M in 42.85, Simbiyat Sikiru the U17W in 49.53 and Andreea Golban the U20W in 43.02 ahead of B winner Abigail Allen in a 31.91PB. In the U20M discus Thomas Finch, the team’s top scorer of the day, won in a PB of 29.88 with Charlie Reid taking the B, a double repeated in the women by Precious Hamilton (35.11) and Abigail Allen.
U20 hammer winner: Andreaa Golban
In the jumps, 2nd claim athlete Jordan Akinpelu took the U20M triple jump in a 12.12PB. Joba Ashiru was edged into second in the U17M in a slightly longer distance (12.35) with Merveilles Messembo taking the B string. Rebecca Fafowora took the U20W TJ in 10.41 and achieved a 4.95PB in the LJ where Larrisa Anipa won the B string despite an injury. Coming back from injury Joshua Adewumi took the B U17M LJ behind Samuel Oshodi’s A string.
The Woodford men dominated in the short sprints, with A string doubles for U20 Matthew Adum-Yeboah and U17 Tolani Alaba. Winfred Hakeem took the U20M B 100m, with U17 Sikiru Onigbanjo stepping up an age group to take the U20 B 200m after a big PB in the non-scoring 100m of 11.21. Aiden Fernando won the U17M B string 200m. In the U17W Nicole Alves was an impressive winner of the 300m in a PB of 40.66.
At 800m there were PBs and wins aplenty. Ben Sloan stepped down in distance to win the U17M in his first sub 2 clocking and twin brother Sam had the biggest improvement to take the B string in 2:04.9. Videsh Weerakkody took over 3 seconds of his best in the U20M, 2:02.8 having already run a 1500. Louise Gilbert also attempted the middle distance double, and having just missed out in a very tight match race at 1500 comfortably took the U20W 800m, while Jess Adams set PBs at both distances in the U17W.
Our U17M 4x100m relay team thought they had broken the club record while winning by almost 50 metres, but were denied by a red flag in what proved to be a costly disqualification that left the team in fourth overall. The U20M (Jordan Akinpelu, Joey O’Neill, Winfred Hakeem, Matthew Adum-Yeboah) were almost as far ahead but safer and slightly quicker, 42.91, which was the fastest by the club since 2012. Steeplechase wins by Thomas Finch and U17M Rhys Edwards (4:55.74) closed the gap to the two clubs just ahead into the final long relays. As the only team to field all 4 age groups in these the battle for 2nd became too close to call, but ultimately three second places in the 4x400m races was insufficient to catch Tonbridge.
The result of a match which was always going to be distorted by being in the middle of the exam period leaves WGEL still in 4th overall in the division, behind Team ATIP on countback but well clear of Cambridge Harriers who already appear set to be relegated. The team managers will be hopeful of victory in the next match, at home on Sunday 30 June.