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Close second at home in SAL 3

Woodford finished second in the third SAL fixture of the year at Woodford on Saturday 14 August, albeit as the score was lower than the previous home match it will not alter the overall league position. Havering came through late to win the day, provisionally on 343.0 points, but remain 0.3 behind WGEL overall. The two teams finished well clear of Thurrock, with Ilford fourth ahead of Newham and Essex Beagles.

Photos (Alex Wardle)

Among a number of high quality performances, Yemi Mary John’s 24.37 200m was faster than the division record in the club’s usual division. U17 Shona Vincent, in 12.10m and Kyra Boyce in 57.69 were almost as dominant in the 100 and 400m respectively. Joanne Ryan was next quickest in taking the B 100 and 200 with 12.52 and a season’s best 25.46 respectively. Louise Gilbert ran a strong 800m, achieving a 1 second PB of 2:14.6 and finishing a close second to the second fastest time in the league this year. U17 Kezia Beeton was next to finish, almost matching her PB set at the first SAL of the year with 2:19.6. Anna Clark rounded out the individual women’s winners on the track with 4:40.21 in the 1500m.

The top points scorers in any individual events in the match for women and men were Lucy Marshall and Peter Clarke who won their respective hammers in 56.49 and 52.82 respectively. Woodford actually had the top 3 scores in both men’s and women’s competitions, with Precious Hamilton’s 40.78 discus win marginally ahead of Mary’s 200m, while George Vaughan’s 53.89 400m hurdles win was ahead of Nabil Tezkratt’s significant 10.79 PB time in the B 100m (-0.7 m/s) which was marginally faster than a good quality A race which had a much more favourable wind. Medwin Odamtten missed out on the 100m win but came back with a 22.37PB to take the 200m. Paul Scanlan won the 400m in a season’s best of 50.17 with Adrian Richards taking the B in 51.76. The remaining A string track wins were in the 2k chase for Tom Beedell and Joshua Entwistle who finished well to take the 5000 in 15:46.39.

For the second match running Woodford won 7 out of 8 A string throws, all but the men’s javelin on this occasion. Chris Linque won the mens discus in 43.89, with Devon Douglas returning to take the B in 41.08 ahead of non–scorer Hugh Williams who was close to his PB with 35.42. Hugh had earlier won the shot with a season’s best of 11.98 and even covered the B string long jump. Fergus Harford who was presented with his life-membership award during the match took the B hammer in a season’s best of 30.48. Lucy Marshall was the highest overall scorer for the team, winning the shot as expected (10.61) but more surprisingly also taking the javelin in addition to her match high score in the hammer.

The jumps were not a strong area for the WGEL team, with the exception of the men’s high jump in which Joba Ashiru took the overall win (1.90) and Merveilles Massembo the B string (1.70). U17 Kharina Partridge improved her personal best to take second in the women’s triple jump (10.33), and another U17, Evie Ceeney, was second in the long jump with Rhianna Buaku taking the B, but gaps elsewhere proved expensive for the final result.

With relatively favourable conditions there were quite a few PBs on the track, particularly for the younger athletes. There were 3 PB’s from U17s in a competitive 800m, with Max Richards finishing 3rd in the A in a frustrating 2:00.04, with Reuben Fabian (2:07.01) and Alfie Ward (2:12.54) also improving significantly. Joel Doye (4:11.86) and Tom Adolphus (4:14.43 to take the B string) set PBs in the 1500m. Merveilles Massembo broke 11 seconds for the first time in the 100m  (10.96), ahead of U17 Kaidan Chambers (11.21) and new members Evion Hackett and Ayo Osundun. Kaidan also improved his 200m best, to 23.06, to win the non-scoring race, as did Levania Ugonna-Mba to take the women’s equivalent (27.76). Ben Richards improved his best 400m to 53.50 and Renany Dobson her 800m PB to 2:43.88.

The women’s 4x100m team of Sophie Anderson, Joanne Ryan, Kyra Boyce and U17 Zahara Malcolm took a dominant victory while a non-scoring U17 team ran a season’s best of 52.40. The winning time of 49.34 is the fastest recorded by a Woodford quartet in the SAL and surprisingly seems to be the fastest electronic time ever recorded at Ashton Playing Fields as it was faster than the winning time in the previous week’s NAL fixture. The men’s 4x100m team of Kaidan Chambers, Joey O’Neill, George Vaughan and Merveilles Massembo also won clearly in 44.42, while the women’s 4x400m squad of Louise Gilbert, Anna Clark, Zahara Malcolm and Kyra Boyce were never threatened, winning in 4:04.97. Even a trademark storming last leg by Adrian Richards (50.00) was unable to bring the mens 4x4 team higher than 3rd overall to round off a day of enjoyable competition but where the team narrowly failed to prevail. The final SAL at Thurrock on Saturday 11 September will conclude the track league season.