A golden start to the new year for athletics club

PUBLISHED: 10:55 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:58 14 January 2016

Daniel Streeter

Daniel Streeter


Stevenage and North Herts athletes had a busy start to the new year with events in Sheffield, Lea Valley and Stevenage.

The club was competing at the England Athletics Senior and U20 Combined Events Championships, the South of England U15 and U17 Championships and the Hertfordshire County Cross Country Championships, this year held at Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage.

This event was organised by both the club and Fairlands Valley Spartans running club.

Cross Country Championships

The highlight of the Cross Country Championships was in the U13 girls’ 3,000m race with Lucy Taylor leading the field home to win in 16 minutes 26 seconds.

Team-mate Bluebell Cooke was caught on the line for fourth place in 16:33 while Kate Thompson was 24th in 19:41 to give the team a fourth place finish.

The U11 1,500m girls’ race saw Jessica Astill finish fifth in 8:20, Laura Thompson 11th in 8:54 and Kate Skyers 13th in a time of 9:08 to bring home a team bronze medal.

The U13 boys’ 3,000m saw Harry Hatton finish 18th in 16:59 while and Oliver Crake crossed the line in 19th place in a time of 17:03.

Both the boys and girls’ U15 teams ran the same 4,500m course. Aaron Hadfield was 17th in 22:03 and Haydn Williams 25th in 23:50 for the boys.

Kate Saunders was 14th in 25:39, Molly Astill came 18th in 26:17 and Lizzie Raymont was 19th in 26:18 giving the A team girls a fourth place finish.

The B team was seventh. It was made up of Erin Oliver, who was 21st in 27:31, Kristin Knight, 24th in 28:23, and Naomi Sleater, who finished 29th in a time of 32:32.

In the U17 boys’ 6000m Adam Mason led the way with an eighth place finish in 23:06, and in the girls’ race Lisa Barber was 15th in 33:07 and Emily Marvel ran 36:48 for 16th.

In the U20 men’s 8000m, Jack Gladman finished seventh in 34:55 while senior athlete Chris Westcott ran his 12k course in 47:12. He was 38th.

Five medal haul from SEAA Age Group Championships

The U15 and U17 athletes competing at Lee Valley had a successful weekend with PB performances and five medals.

U17 Dan Streeter finished second in his heat at the 800m (2:05.03) then collected a silver medal in the final running 2:00.37.

Peter Keefe gained a PB and bronze in the U17 shot put with 12.66m. He was also third in the high jump (1.75m) and reached the semi-final of the 60m hurdles running 8.88s.

Oscar Jopp and Lee Brown both gained PBs in the pole vault clearing 3.60m and 3.35m respectively. This was despite Lee gashing his ankle with his spikes during the competition.

Kit Kerr ran 9.28s in his heat of the 60m hurdles.

U15 athletes Haydn and Ralph Williams both gained bronze medals in their events. Ralph ran 9.69s in the 60m hurdles and Haydn cleared 2.50m in the pole vault.

Will battles with knee injury for PB points score and seventh place at National Championships

Five of the club’s athletes competed in Sheffield at the Senior and U20 Combined Events Championships.

This gave SNHAC’s pole vault coach Beth Harris a busy weekend as she was in Sheffield for the U20 pole vault on Saturday afternoon and then drove back to London for the 8.30am start of the U17 boys’ pole vault on Sunday.

The best performance of the weekend came from U20 Will Marklew who finished in seventh place in the U20 heptathlon with a personal best points score of 4,533, 300 more than in the same competition last year.

Will’s efforts over the weekend were hampered by a knee injury so the PB points score and a PB in the pole vault (3.42m), as well as solid performances in all the other events, did him credit.

Nathan Gardner was eighth with 4,304 points, also a PB.

His 4.22m vault along with PB performances in the 60m (6.63s), 60m hurdles (9.11s) and high jump (1.81m) helped him gain this score.

Elior Harris finished 20th in the senior men’s competition with PBs in the 60m (7.40s), 1,000m (3:06.53) and shot put (8.99m).

Competing in the U20 girls’ pentathlon Rebecca Pickard and Rebecca Beddall both gained PBs in the 60m hurdles (10.30s and 10.78s respectively).

Pickard equalled her long jump PB and ended with a PB total points score of 2,920 for 18th place for the five events. Beddall also gained a PB in the shot put (7.31m) for a PB points score of 2,313.

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