Following victory in the first Southern Athletics League fixture the joint team of Andover and Overton Harriers AC made the short journey to Swindon to take on league leaders Tonbridge AC, Swindon AC and Cambridge Harriers.
The match was supported by warm weather, bright sun and a strong line up from both clubs.
During the early stages of the fixture stand out performers included Dave Awde setting a season’s best in the 400m hurdles to take a convincing victory and also setting a massive personal best in the pole vault. Dave’s cousin is currently part of the Great Britain 4x400m relay squad and the Andover AC athlete showed that talent runs throughout the family.
The sprints (100m - 400m) were fiercely competitive and as a result a number of local athletes ran season’s bests and close to personal bests. Highlights from the shorter distances included Matt Chant making a welcome return in the 100m stopping the clock at a solid 11.2, Hayley Coney and Annie Brookes in the 100m both recording their second fastest ever times, Sam Sears setting a new 200m pb of 23.7 followed by Amy Jaramozvic and Ella Neil both securing vital points in the 400m.
Technical events have hugely improved at Andover AC in recent years as a direct result of fantastic coaching, this is now becoming evident at senior level both on the track and in the field. Both Danni Horner and Cameron Neill showed excellent form in the sprint hurdles and the club’s throwers dominated the majority of events throughout the day. Special mention goes to Laura Jones who smashed a long standing U20 club record in the hammer throw.
Although slightly short on numbers in the endurance events the athletes that did compete did themselves proud as Lee Tolhurst ran his fastest 3km steeplechase this season and was joined by two debutants in Ben Reed and Archie McKellar. Overton starlet Hannah Bliss also dominated the 3km and was supported by Kay Noyce returning to the track after an absence of more than 20 years.
Relay is another area where Andover AC pride themselves and regularly work hard to refine changes and leg speed through the changeover zone. This was reflected by both the senior women’s and U15 girls (running as non-scoring guests) teams who both set new club record showcasing slick, non-visual changes. It is worth noting that the time the U15 girls ran currently ranks as fourth fastest in the UK.
After a long, hard fought day Andover AC / Overton Harriers AC finished in a strong second position and now sit in fourth place in the Division with three matches remaining.
End result: Tonbridge - 213 points.
Andover AC/Overton Harriers AC - 191 points.
Swindon AC - 153 points.
Cambridge Harriers AC - 124 points.
Next match is on June 21 at St Mary’s University in Twickenham.
Pictures from the Swindon meeting here later and in Friday's Advertiser.