Athletes open season

Stevenage and North Herts athletes travelled down the A1(M) on Good Friday for the annual Herts Phoenix AC open meeting. The first outdoor event of the new track and field season took place at the Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City, and saw many of t

Stevenage and North Herts athletes travelled down the A1(M) on Good Friday for the annual Herts Phoenix AC open meeting.

The first outdoor event of the new track and field season took place at the Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City, and saw many of the younger members posting new personal bests after their hard winter training.

Under-15 boy Billy Vernon-Hamilton improved in all his three events - 100m to 13.5, 200m to 29.6 and long jump to 4.17m.

Under-13 boy Jack Gates improved his high jump mark to 1.30m and his javelin to 23.51m.


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His twin sister, Alex, also improved in two events - 200m to 29.2 and 800m to 2:40.9.

Not to be outdone, under-15 boy Lewis Keeble ran the 200m in 25.3 and 400m in 56.2.

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Under-15 girl Anne Rees - also a star at the Marriotts Gym Club - improved her pole vault best to a mark of 3.00m which means she is the second best performer in the UK at present in her age group.

Another under-15 girl, Hannah Dewhurst, knocked a huge chunk off her 1500m best, clocking 5:20.5.

There were three other young improvers - two were in the 100m with under-13 girl Alice Rackham clocking 14.5 and under-15 girl Ashleigh Clarke 13.8; and in the 800m, with under-15 boy Paul Spicer clocking 2:37.2.

In the under-17 women's age group, two regular star performers moved from winter to summer with excellent marks.

Bunmi Awokoya posted 12.1 for her 80m hurdles and Joanne Mansell knocked five seconds off her previous 1500m time to post 4:54.7.

The high jump saw Bethan Scanes improve to 1.35m, and Loren Scanes to 26.88m in her hammer event.

Sara Bailey, now in the senior women's age group, ran the 3000m in a new personal best of 10:20.5.

She was joined in the race by another set of twins running their first race at this distance now that they are in the under-17 age group.

The judges gave their verdict that Natasha Little beat Victoria but the timekeepers could not split the time given to both as 11:19.4!

Senior man Adam Searle also posted a personal best in the 1500m of 4:16.1.

A large group of under-11s also competed in their special events.

Fastest girl in the 60m was Sarah Feeley, followed by Amy Knox, Siobhan Rapacchi and Emily Eames.

And fastest boy in the 60m was Bill Plumpton, followed by David Spicer, Tristan van der Merwe, Vincent Moulton and Nathan Gardner.

These athletes also competed in a 600m race and in the long jump.

Full results of all performances can be found on the athletics club's website: www.snhac.org.uk/results

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