The composite team of Andover AC and Overton Harriers travelled to Twickenham last week to compete in match three of the Southern Athletics League – Division 2 South. The team faced strong opposition from the larger squads of Bexley and St. Mary’s Richmond, and familiar sparring partners in Newbury AC. It was a somewhat depleted team that took to the track and field, though the fine weather buoyed the spirits resulting in some outstanding individual and team performances over the day with several achieving new PB’s, and a new club record set.
Men’s track athletes James Folkes and Matt Chant made a thundering start with Folkes taking the honours in the 100m A-string in 10:9s, and Chant replicating this to the second in the 100m B-string – equalling the U20 club record.
Folkes continued his impressive form taking second in the 200m A-string – equalling the long standing club record, second B-string pole vault, and first as part of the 4x100m relay team alongside Chant. Folkes and Chant deservedly shared the Sweatshop Man of the Match Award for their efforts over the course of the match.
Acting team manager and Andover stalwart Dave Awde kept up the momentum, finishing second in the A-string 400m, second A-string 110m hurdles, first A-string 400m hurdles and joint first A-string pole vault, also securing vital points in throws and jumps events. Emulating Awde’s achievements Cameron Neil finished second in both B-string 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles.
The team fought hard in the middle distance and endurance events with upcoming talent Sam Sears achieving two new PB’s - taking second in the B-string 400m and third B-string 200m. Matt Dewey took second A-string 1500m, Archie McKellar third B-string 2,000m steeplechase, James Knight second B-string 1500m and Lee Tolhurst second A-string 2,000m steeplechase.
Achievements in field events came in abundance with Gary Jones setting a new PB and club record in the shot putt (12.27m); second overall A-string. Jones then won the A-string discus and A-string hammer and his return to top form bodes well for the team in its remaining fixtures.
An outstanding performance by multi-eventer Keiran Nicholls won the A-string high jump achieving a new PB of 1.70m. Nicholls continued his success winning the B-string triple jump.
League debutants Matt Coombes and Robert Horne gave good account of themselves in the javelin, with Coombes achieving third A-string, with a new PB of 37.96m, and Horne (bottom age) taking third B-string.
The much-depleted Women’s contingents of the team were equally impressive with star talents Annie Brooks and Kelly Butler leading the way. Brooks took second A-string 100m, second A-string 200m and won the B-string long jump. Butler took second A-string pole vault, second B-string triple jump, second B-string discus and third B-string 100m.
A solid performance from Ella Neil saw her take second A-string 400m, third B-string 200m and third B-string high jump. Teammate Hannah Bliss was also on form in the endurance events securing second A-string 3,000m and third A-string 1500m.
Andover multi-eventer Alice Boughton was in fine form on the field taking top honours in the A-string long jump, B-string shot putt and B-string javelin. Fellow Andover thrower Laura Jones won the B-string lavelin.
Although finishing the match fourth the team is sixth in the league with two fixtures remaining. They will be looking to climb the league table further at their next meeting at Kingston on July 12.