With a number of high profile new signings this year we were hopeful that we would be strong enough to be competitive in the Premiership this season. The first match in Sheffield showed that we had the necessary strength and team spirit to finish a creditable 5th – equal with local rivals Shaftesbury.
This match saw first time appearances from Jack Hatton (110m hurdles), Florian Vogel (110m hurdles), Jaymee Domoney (1500m), Jude Bright-Davies (Long Jump), Joel Bright-Davies (Triple Jump), Olamide Lanihun (400m), and Manuel Caeiro (Steeplechase), along with Keano Paris-Samuel and Clyde Anucha (non-scoring 100m). The team currently has a real mix of young developing athletes and seasoned senior athletes and the combination worked really well on the day as the Valley men finished 4th. This puts us in 5th place after 2 matches and sees us establishing some distance between ourselves and the bottom two teams at the halfway point of the season..
The match scores were fluctuating all day but we were always in the top half and finished just 1 match point behind Woodford Green and 2 match points in front of Newham so every point really mattered.
On the track we were only outscored by Birchfield and Southampton and a top 3 placing in the 4×100 would have put us ahead of Southampton. In the field we scored 4th behind Birchfield, Shaftesbury and Newham so the overall team performance was pretty balanced.
There were 4 lifetime best achieved by TVH men today, Edmond Amaning 200m of 20.86m, Andrew Walshe 800m of 1:51.87, Jaymee Domoney 1500m of 3:53.86 and Jamie Potton-Burrell Hammer of 57.13m. What a great set of performances when most needed! But there was much more to enjoy from the Valley’s perspective throughout the day.
Man of the Match on the track was Edmond Amaning, predominantly for his big new pb in his favoured event the 200m where he recovered from a steady start to finish strongly and close down the leader to just a metre. His time of 20.86 is his first legal sub 21 second clocking and puts him 11th in the UK this season. It is worth mentioning that he had already run a windy 10.51 100m and came back to feature in both 4x100m and 4x400m relays. With that kind of endurance and thirst for competition we are all very excited to see how he progresses over the season.
Man of the Match in the Field was Jamie Potton-Burrell who has been stuck on around 55m for a couple of seasons but came good today with a new lifetime best in the Hammer of 57.13m and looks set to threaten 60m soon.
Club Man of the Match was awarded to Mo Aadan for his fine win over 5000m in a classy field on a hot and sometimes windy day. His winning time of 14:24.89 was impressive enough as he picked up the pace with 2 laps to run and powered away to win by over 5 seconds, but additionally Mo is a devout Muslim and is in the middle of Ramadan when he fasts from food and water during daylight hours. It is difficult to imagine how hard it is to maintain full training and racing but Mo seems able to just carry on and produce outstanding performances – well done on another really impressive run.
On the track Leroy Cain ran close to his lifetime best in the 100m A race as he clocked 10.59 for 3rd, just 0.02 behind the winner. Edmond Amaning had a 2.5m tailwind but his 10.51 won the B race and is inside his legal best of 10.55. In the non-scoring 100m Keano Paris-Samuel ran 11.16 with a 1.9m/s headwind and Chaka Maillet running 11.64 whilst Clyde Anucha running 11.18 with a 0.1m/s tailwind. The 200m saw Edmond run a fantastic straight to clock his new pb of 20.86 and just fail to catch the leader in the final strides. Luke Lennon-Ford stepped down from his favoured 400m event and ran a season’s legal best of 21.92 for 6th in the B race. Leroy Cain ran his first 200m of the season and won impressively with 21.46 with a 0.2m/s tailwind, which is just 0.02 outside his lifetime best and Andrew Ajube ran 24.02.
Victor-Ricardo Dos Santos Soares continues on his path back to full fitness following a serious injury to his thigh last year. His time of 47.50 matches his season’s best as he held on for 4th place in the A race in a blanket finish that saw 4 athletes finish within 0.05 seconds. Olamide Lanihun tried to go with the pace in the 400m but as he is better known for his 100m and 200m talents he found the going tough in the final 100m as he jogged home to finish 8th in 53.01. Kamal Mitchell ran the non-scoring 400m and did himself justice in finishing in 51.45 for a new best time.
Andrew Walshe is going through a purple patch as he continues his fine form following a new indoor pb over 800m of 1:52.33 this winter with his first sub 1:52 clocking of 1:51.87 for a fine 5th in the A race. Andrew raced well in the 1500m to clock 3:56.98, which would have been a pb by almost 3 seconds had he not recently run a big new pb in the 1500m of 3:49.70 during the week. Andrew has done a great job for the club over 800m and 1500m in the BAL this summer and looks set to run new best performance over both distance again before the season is out.
Kieron Sexton is another middle distance runner who has been running better than ever this summer as his new 1:54.92 pb shows. Kieron was well placed on the first lap in the B race but felt the pace dropping and hit the front with 450m to go. Although he ran strongly for most of the second lap he was up against really strong competition and faded in the last 100m. However, his time of 1:56.37 is still respectable and he will be more competitive next time out.
Jaymee Domoney is a new young athlete from Salisbury who ran an outstanding 3:53.96 indoor but was looking for a fast outdoor time to guarantee his place at England Schools. He ran a determined race to finish 7th in the 1500m A event against talented older athletes with a new lifetime best of 3:53.86. We wish Jaymee the best of luck at the England Schools Championships.
As previously mentioned Mo Aadan was majestic in the 5000m where he just upped the pace with 2 laps to go and ran away from a quality field to win in 14:24.89. Supporting Mo was Antonio Silva who ran a 10,000m pb on the road recently and is clearly in great shape. Antonio is a very determined and tough competitor and despite suffering from a muscle strain gamely hung on to record a solid 14:44.33 and was rewarded with a win in the B race to give us the only double win of the day.
Jack Hatton made his debut for the Valley in the 110m hurdles and ran a creditable 14.31 having had a great start but clipped the first hurdle. Jack has just finished his degree and is returning to full training having broken Ken Campbell’s long standing club record over 60m hurdles this winter with a 7.97 clocking. Jack has high expectations for himself and was disappointed with losing first place by a stride but his time was just 0.01 outside his lifetime best and a sub 14 second clocking is surely just around the corner. Jack’s father Mark was himself an outstanding 110m hurdler and a long-time friend of our own Ron Roddan who was instrumental in signing Jack this year. We look forward to a new club record from him this summer.
Florian Vogel made a welcome appearance in the B 110m hurdles and did well to finish 6th in 17.57, which, although outside his best time, was achieved despite a long standing lower back problem and we are very grateful for his commitment and willingness to compete.
Chris McAlister had a fantastic season in 2016 but an injury put him out of the early part of 2017. Chris ran well to finish 4th in the 400m hurdles in 52.48 and although this is 1.6 seconds outside his best time represents an improvement of half a second on recent times and augurs well for a late season peak. Andrew Ajube earned valuable points in finishing 4th in the B race, finishing with 58.91.
The steeplechase saw the return of Andrew Hennessy who, despite little running training (he is trying triathlon currently), looked smooth as ever as he clocked 10:28.44 for 7th place, which time he hasn’t bettered by more than a second since 2012. Manuel Caeiro may have found his event as he clocked 10:37.63 to improve on his best time from last season by almost half a minute and finish 4th in the B race on his British League debut.
Jamie Potton-Burrell had a really good series and produced the best throw of his life with 57.13m for 6th in the Hammer. This represented an improvement of well over 1.5 metres and will hopefully provide a springboard for further improvement. Steve Whyte recovered from the disappointment of not scoring in match 1 to throw 50.74m to finish 4th in the B event. The challenge remains for him to throw his age in metres in Matches 3 and 4 – Steve is a remarkable 52 years old!!
Both Craig Sturrock and Remco Goetheer were down on distance in the Discus, with Craig struggling with very painful IT bands managing to throw 41.31m and Remco just not managing to hit a big one on the day, although his 38.93m was further than he threw in Sheffield. However, all points scored were invaluable as the final positions were so close and both athletes are Shot specialists.
The Shot was a better event for Remco, and although he wasn’t happy with his distance, his 17.09m earned him 3rd place. Craig suffered badly with the discomfort of his niggling injury but still reached 13.72m for 5th place in the B event. Remco will not be able to compete in the last 2 matches as he has the Dutch National Championships in July and then goes to represent the Netherlands in the Shot at the World Student Games (Universiade) in Taiwan in August. We wish him every success in the rest of his season and will follow his competitions with interest.
The Javelin proved to be a high scoring event with Gavin Johnson-Assoon throwing 64.29m for 2nd place in the A event whilst Jack Swain threw 62.85m to win the B event. Had Jack not just thrown a massive personal best of 67.10m the week before this would have been within 11cm of his best distance. This was a great result for our two Javelin throwers who are both new to the club this season and have made a great impact both in terms of scoring and commitment and loyalty to the team.
The A string Pole Vault was a very close event as 4 athletes tied on 4.43m but Emmanuel Thomas sadly lost out on countback and finished 7th. Having recently jumped a pb of 4.60m we fully expect this young man to make a big impact before the end of the season. Emmanuel was well supported by club stalwart Stan Vilga, whose 3.43m earned him 5th place.
The High Jump saw our two Under 20 athletes in action against their senior competitors. Joel Khan had a really good competition, clearing 2.08m before having 3 good attempts at his personal best height of 2.13m to earn third place. Toni Ademuwagun had a disappointing day as his clearance of 1.83m was down on his recent pb of 1.95m. However, Toni still finished 3rd and would have needed to clear 2.08 to score any more points and there is still a long way to go before the end of the season and 2.00m still beckons.
Ogo Anochirionye jumped his best distance of the season, reaching 7.24m for 4th place and only 2cm down on 3rd place in a very good standard event. Our young star Triple Jumper, Jude Bright-Davies, was resting from triple Jump to allow a minor back problem to recover but was able to do the Long Jump and reached a very creditable 6.70m for 4th place in the B event. Jude recently jumped another best of 15.71m in the Triple Jump to lead the UK ranking in his age group. We wish him luck in upcoming age group championships.
Another club stalwart, Nav Childs, has been having a good season and was concentrating today on the Triple Jump where he battled through to jump 14.09m for 5th place whilst Jude’s twin brother Joel Bright-Davies stepped in to cover the B string and earned 4th place with 12.81m.
The meeting finished as always with the relays, which swung from one end of the scale to the other as the 4x100m team, following the loss of a couple of our sprinters to niggles, saw Leroy Cain, Edmond Amaning and Luke Lennon-Ford joined by Kamal Mitchell. Sadly the first changeover from Kamal to Edmond didn’t go well, the baton didn’t pass and we failed to finish. However, the 4x400m squad of Chris McAlister (49.1), Luke Lennon-Ford (47.4), Edmond Amaning (47.4) and Victor Dos Santos Soares (46.5) combined to run a time that we initially thought was a new club record. In fact, it proved to be the second fastest time by a Valley team just 0.3 seconds slower than the BAL team of 1993 (Kermit Bentham, Gary Telfer, Vince Rose and Ade Mafe) who ran 3:10.1. The class of 2017 does have the potential to take at least 2 seconds off that record and we hope that they come together later in the summer and do just that. The race went well from the start with Chris McAlister running a solid first leg and showing his strength in the home straight to bring us in close to the leaders. Luke Lennon-Ford kept the pressure on and we were still in contention as he handed to Edmond Amaning who closed out his busy day with another impressive leg as we moved away from the pack into second place, albeit about 5-10 metres down on the leaders. Victor always had the Southampton runner in his sights and steadily ran him down to take the lead coming into the straight and finished so strongly that the winning margin was almost a second.
As ever the hard work of Caspar Donnison and Phil Wetton was rewarded by a great result and another solid performance in Match 3 could clinch our Premiership League position for 2018. Thanks also to John Husbands and the other support team at TVH for their hard work and unfailing loyalty.
3 June 2017
BAL Premiership Match 2 Result :
|Position||Team||Match Points||League Points|
|2||Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers||304||7|
|3||Woodford Green w Essex Ladies||277||6|
|4||Thames Valley Harriers||276||5|
|5||Newham & Essex Beagles AC||274||4|
|7||City of Sheffield & Dearne AC||248.5||2|
|8||City of Liverpool||209||1|
BAL Premiership Standings After 2 Matches :
|Position||Team||League Points||Match Points|
|2||Newham & Essex Beagles AC||11||577|
|3||Woodford Green w Essex Ladies||11||548|
|4||Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers||10.5||565|
|5||Thames Valley Harriers||8.5||537|
|6||City of Sheffield & Dearne AC||8||544.5|
|8||City of Liverpool||2||424|