A Close Fought 2nd Place For TVH In First NAL Premiership Match

TVH NAL Match 1 Team Photo

National Athletics League, Match 1, Windsor, Saturday June 1, 2024

The first NAL match of this season proved to be a very close competition between TVH and Harrow, with TVH missing out on the match win by less than 40 points to finish in 2nd place, 142 points ahead of home team Windsor in 3rd place.

As always there were some fantastic performances from the Valley men and women, including a total of 9 field wins and 4 track wins for the women, and 3 field wins and 3 track wins for the men.

There was also an amazing total of 7 PB performances for the Valley women and 3 PB performances for the Valley men.

The men’s and women’s matches both saw a head to head battle with the Harrow men and women, with the Valley women winning their battle by 12 points and the Valley men in 2nd place in the men’s match scores.

It was a very good start to the match on the track for the Valley men, with 2nd places in the A and B string 400m Hurdles for Chris McAlister (50.34) and Samuel Clarke (53.90), followed by a great win for Basil Rock in the A string 800m (1:53.14) and a close dive across the line saw Max Bishop just miss out on 1st place in the B string by just 0.02s (1:55.78).

For the Valley ladies Jessica Tappin stormed to a 2s+ victory in the A string 400m hurdles (57.31) and Julia Johnson had a brilliant TVH debut for 3rd in the B string (63.10). Similar to the men, the Valley 800m ladies finished 1st in the A string and 2nd in the B string. All TVH’s 800m athletes on the day came from coach Dave Wilkinson’s brilliant middle distance squad. Adela Svihalkova winning in a perfectly judged A string race with a new PB and U20’s club record, 2:08.20. Maya Sutaria (2:14.01) was also excellent in a tactical B string race, she was unlucky to narrowly miss out on the win crossing the line in 2nd place.

Starting off in the early field events, our new GB junior hepathlete, Chisholm Nwafor, broke Phyllis Agbo’s (TVH former GB junior and senior international heptathlete) U20’s long jump club record with an amazing 6.17m for 2nd place in the A string. Liisa Truupold made a strong return back from injury with a solid 5.16m for 6th place in the B string.

Over in the outside throwing area, TVH welcomed another debutant to the team, Ava Leigh, who is expertly coached by one of our recent hammer legends, Katie Lambert. Ava scored very valuable points for the team with her 3rd place in the B string hammer (43.48m) to back up, Sophie Mace, the ever reliable and TVH’s top points scored from the last two years. Sophie was very close to her best ever hammer throw finishing in 4th place in the A string (46.58m).

Andre Pereira Carneiro was a 6th place finisher in the A string discus (41.28m), and decathlete Phil Kastner made a welcome return to the team after recent injury to record a PB for 2nd place in the B string (38.98m).

George Harwood-Edwards enjoyed a great TVH and NAL debut with a PB jump for 6th place in the A string pole vault (4.20m) and was well backed-up by Stan Vilga with 4th place in the B string (3.40m).

Later in the day Chris McAlister completed the trio of PB’s for the Valley men with an excellent win in the A string 400m (46.75), while Joel Houslin was close to his PB with 5th place in the B string (49.14).

In the 5000m women’s event, TVH dominated the race with a very welcomed return to the team and race victory by over 30s from Dani Chattenton (16:17.86). Kate Olding took maximum points in the A string and a new PB (16:51.08). Yvie Lock despite picking up a hamstring injury before halfway did an amazing job for the team to finish 3rd in the B string.

The ladies final PB’s on the track came from our heroic sisters, Alex and Tash Mundell. Due to some late withdrawals from the team, Alex happily volunteered on the day to do the A string 3000m steeplechase having already trained in the morning. Tash having been TVH’s track judge for the earlier events took on the B string to ensure that TVH had a complete team. Both Alex (11:41.58) and Tash (12:26.93) were rewarded with two new PB’s for 5th and 3rd place in their respective strings.

The third win for the men on the track was achieved by Alex Rowe who was making his NAL debut to win with a great finish in the 1500m B string (3:59.62), with Basil Rock racing well again after his 800m to finish 5th in the A string (3:56:27).

The final TVH track victory came from the exciting 4x400m races. The brilliant quartet of Katie Sherlock, Charlotte Buckley, Zoey Clark and Róisín Harrison all ran very strong legs for victory over Harrow and a fast time 3.43.21 that puts them well clear in the 2024 UK club rankings. It was also nice seeing the men’s quartet consisting of debutant Tom Street, William Palmer, Basil Rock and Samuel Clarke all having an excellent 4x400m race. Samuel was exceptional again on the anchor leg narrowly beating two athletes to the line to bring the team home in 2nd with his very fast 47.1 split.

TVH’s first double victory in the field came from our high jump duo, ladies captain Pippa Rogan (1.70m) winning the A string and another awesome debut from Mabel-Rose Scales (1.60m) to win the B string.

There was an A and B string win also in the women’s javelin. With very little/no time to warm-up due to the M40 being closed following a road traffic incident, Sarah de Kremer did amazingly well to compose herself and win the A string javelin (45.91m) in her first ever competition for TVH team. Erin Waters was just over a meter behind (44.16m) and comfortably claim victory in the B string. It was also nice seeing club record holder, Laurensa Britane supporting the team throughout the day and being prepared to compete if Sarah or any of the other throwers didn’t make their event in time.

Double victories kept coming in the field for the women. World indoor champion Molly Caudery with a shortened run up easily won the pole vault with a new league record of 4.50m. Molly was extremely well backed up by Nemiah Munir who took victory in the B string with 4.00m.

The final clean sweep for the women came in the discus. Olympian Jade Lally, who has been chasing another Olympic qualifying distance won the A string by over 7m’s with a tremendous throw (60.51m) in far from ideal throwing conditions. Sophie Mace who has had an excellent start to the season claimed the B string win (46.84m).

Another one of TVH super stars of the team is Amelia Campbell. In a very competitive shot put field, British Champion Amelia claimed her 10th NAL victory in as many fixtures to maintain her unbeaten record in the A string (17.40m). Chisom Nwafor did well in her second event of the day for 5th place in the B string (11.46m).

The final ladies jumping event saw a fine new PB from TVH’s U20 debutant Gracious Olamona for 5th place in the A string (10.85m). Pippa Rogan followed her victory in the high jump to score more team points in the B string triple with her one and only jump (10.81m) as she had a tight schedule to catch a flight.

Back over to the men the field, GB athlete Joel Clarke-Khan starred in the high jump to ensure maximum points for the team to win the A string (2.15m), and Noor-Eldin Mahmoud jumped well for 4th place in the B string (1.90m).

A further 2 wins on the field were achieved with a fantastic clean sweep in the men’s javelin, Charlie Evans gave an impressive performance on his TVH and NAL debut as clear winner in the A string (69.55m), and it was great to see Gavin Johnson-Assoon back on the team after missing last season through injury and he was also a clear winner in the B string (63.00m).

Alongside Alex Rowe, Charlie Evans and George Harwood-Edwards, it was great to welcome another 6 men onto the Valley men’s team who were making their TVH and NAL debut at Windsor.

These TVH debutants included:

Jody Smith (5th A string 100m, 11.07 and 8th 4x100m Relay, 44.88).

Joe George (2nd B string 100m, 10.97 and 8th 4x100m Relay, 44.88).

Ezekiel Lowe (1st NS 100m, 11.47, 1st NS 200m, 22.81, and 8th 4x100m Relay, 44.88).

Morgan Treasure (6th A string Long Jump, 6.87m and 2nd B string Triple Jump, 13.26m).

Anthony Akinwale (5th A string Triple Jump, 13.45m).

Jack Wadman (3rd B string shot, 12.80m).

In addition to Ava Leigh, Chisom Nwafor, Gacious Olamona, Julia Johnson, Mabel-Rose Scales and Sarah de Kremer, it was great to welcome to the team our new and very talented sprint duo Elise Modest (5th A sting 100m 11.97s) and Akaysha Ellis (2nd B string 100m 11.98s and 2nd B string 200m 24.48m). Elise and Akaysha combined well with TVH’s young athletes; Hebe Evans and Sileena Farrell to beat Harrow into 2nd place in the 4x100m sprint relay with Valley’s fastest time since 2021, 46.90s.

TVH Track Man of the Match award winner was Chris McAlister, with a win in the 400m A string in an impressive PB time of 46.75s and a close 2nd place in the 400m Hurdles A string in 50.34s.

TVH Track Lady of the Match award winner was Charlotte Buckley for her a massive 10s PB in the 1500m (4:24.01) and her excellent leg for the victorious 4x400m team.

George Harwood-Edwards made an impressive TVH and NAL debut to win the TVH Field Man of the Match award with a 6th place in the A string pole vault in a new PB height of 4.20m.

With the TVH ladies being so dominate there were several candidates considered for the TVH Field Lady of the Match award. TVH’s super star pole vaulter, Molly Caudery, was a very deserving winner of this award for her league record 4.50m. Molly is in very high demand to compete all over the world; in Diamond Leagues and World Athletics Tour events – it always nice seeing Molly support TVH in the NAL and being part of our fantastic team. 

Basil Rock had a busy day to win a well deserved TVH Club Man of the Match award, with a fantastic win in the 800m A string in 1:53.14s, followed by a 5th place in the 1500m A string in 3:56.27 and a strong leg in the men’s 4x400m relay team’s 2nd place finish.

For her valiant efforts to score points and complete the 5000m for the team after picking up an injury just after the 2000m, Yvie Lock won the TVH Club Lady of the Match award. We wish Yvie a speedy recovery and hope to see back to her early season form that was her brake various club records om the road and being part of our winning ladies 6 stage national road relays team last spring.

Many thanks to all those who competed at Windsor, as well as travelling officials, coaches, physios, photographers, helpers and supporters who all helped to make it a great day for the Valley.

Looking ahead to the next NAL Premiership match we will be competing at Woodford on Sunday July 7.

Up The Valley!

All the results from the Windsor match can be found online at : https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2024/GBR/nal-prem-1/scores

Final Match Scores:

PositionTeamMatch PointLeague Points
1stHarrow AC645.28
2ndThames Valley Harriers605.37
3rdWindsor Slough Eton & Hounslow463.56
4thGlasgow Jaguars T&F Club436.55
5thWoodford Green with Essex Ladies425.64
6thBirchfield Harriers3883
7thSale Harriers Manchester371.52
8thBlackheath & Bromley Harriers345.51

Featured image by Brandon Burnett additional photos available on his website.

Additional photos also available from Christophe Cayssials.