Having had such an overwhelmingly successful season with 3 wins in the first 3 matches, we started the final match in Division 1 of the British Athletics League with a very comfortable lead and were, in fact, already guaranteed promotion to the Premier League. The hope for the day was that we would win the final match and maintain a perfect card with 4 wins out of 4 for the season.
Thames Valley Harriers young athletes were given another opportunity to run at the Olympic Stadium on an evening where there was a new world record set in the women’s 100m hurdles, 3 new British records and Usain Bolt ran his fastest 200m of the year.
TVH were one of the few clubs with a team in all eight 4x100m Club:Connect Relay races. Well done to athletes and coaches as managed to get fantastic team performances including 3 new age group club records.
There were high expectations from the U20 men’s team and they performed exceptionally well to beat their nearest rivals Harrow AC and their club record from the 2015 Anniversary Games by 1 second. The quartet of Keano-Elliott Paris-Samuel, Olamide Lanihun, Kamal Mitchell and Daniel John (Daniel winning: photo creditKieran Calvin/Action Foto Sport) all did fantastically well to claim the £250 prize for the club. TVH’s U20 men’s relay team are the number 1 ranked club team in the country and have the potential to go even faster with a better leg 1 to 2 baton exchange.
TVH’s U17 girls did very well to break TVH’s 17 year old club record by 0.8 of a second. Jozae Grant made a great return to the team with a strong first leg, passing on to English School’s 100m finalist Erika Yeboah, with Ellie Crow running a good 3rd leg and another great anchor leg from Hannah Hall saw the team in 5th place in a very competitive race.
The U15 Boys quartet ran their fastest ever time to set a new age group club record for the 4x100m in 47.82 thanks to Neon Richards, Harvey Kitchen, Jeriel Quandoo and James Lanlyan-Jones as they finished in 4th place.
There were many other great legs from TVH athletes including from the U20’s Venus Benjamin-Maclean and Brittany Robinson who put the team in the lead after two legs but were very narrowly disqualified for their second change over. The Under 15 girls also did well to finish without getting disqualified despite dropping the baton. All round it was a great evening for all TVH’s young athletes who were rewarded for their hard work and commitment to the club during the last year.
Friday 22nd July, Müller Anniversary Games – Club:Connect 4x100m Relays, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
It was a fine, if slightly muggy, morning as 583 runners gathered in Surrey for the 9 am start to the Elmbridge 10k, the seventh stage of the TVH Endurance Cup.
Parking is a perennial issue at this event. This is exacerbated by the (relatively) remote location of the race HQ. Try getting there by public transport on a Sunday morning. When you do arrive, they do not have a designated baggage area, meaning it’s pot luck about whether you score a pay locker in the leisure centre. Moving to the start area, there is a serious bottleneck, meaning you have to arrive there very early or push by people to be at the front (remembering that the off is itself a rather fresh 9 am). Compared to other events there are areas where this could be improved and it’ll be interesting to see if it retains its place on the prestigious TVH Endurance Cup tour.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, three Valley runners took part. First in from the Club, claiming ninth overall and 20 Endurance Cup points was Conor Kissane-Wood. As one of the first 100 finishers, he claimed a ‘gold’ medal for his time of 34:23, a tantalising second off of his PB. Well done Conor nonetheless! The second TVH runner, Paul Woodgate, registered a strong 41:33. This earnt him 150th overall, nineteen Endurance Cup points and a ‘silver’ medal (awarded for 101st-200th). v60 Nick Michael, as well as driving, registered a season’s best 55:26 in 440th, a ‘bronze’ medal and eighteen important points.
All of which moves Paul Woodgate ahead of Chris Thomas in the men’s Endurance Cup table, leaving the women’s contest unchanged. What will happen? You’ll have to wait until September for the final two episodes: the Victoria Park/Middlesex Championship 10k and the Southern Road Relays at Aldershot.
Having finished just a point away from winning the last home Southern League match in June, the Valley men and women made sure of maximum points by winning the second home match by 22 points in the fourth Southern League match of the season at Linford Christie Stadium on Saturday.
In an impressive team performance the final match scores placed TVH first on 207.5 points, Radley 2nd on 185.5 points, Southampton 3rd on 168.5 points and City of Norwich 4th on 153.5 points.
The match statistics make impressive reading with the men and women both fielding strong teams of 27 and 20 athletes respectively, with the men posting 7 wins and the women an incredible 23 wins on the day.