Southern Athletics League Match 1 Report
Posted: 17th Apr 2018 by Lewis Smith
Ashford AC started their outdoor season in spectacular style on Saturday, winning their first match at Thurrock with thirty-two personal best performances. Team Managers, Derek Laws and Becky Dyer, sent out a strong team, despite this usually being a difficult task for the first match of the season. The senior team - comprising of athletes from fifteen years to forty-four years of age - was represented by nineteen male athletes and fourteen female athletes. The team was also well supported by officials and parents, filling up the coach provided by the Club.
Athletes of the match were chosen by this year’s team captains, Peter Davey and Alex Prickett. Faith Cox and Harry Pitman were chosen as the junior athletes of the match, whilst Hannah Owen and Marshall Smith were chosen as the senior athletes of the match for their efforts.
The race of the day was the hotly contested 800m, with brothers Marshall and Lewis Smith taking on each other. It was in fact both of their birthdays, Marshall celebrating his 18th birthday and Lewis celebrating his 21st birthday on the same day, adding to the excitement of the race. Marshall’s tactics of taking the first lap hard around the windy track allowed him to take the win (2m01.9s), with Lewis not far behind. Matt Hambrook also competed for the first time in the same race, with a very respectable time of 2m11.7s.
The strong sprint team saw some quick runs to get the season started. In the 100m, there was Matt Elliott (11.6s), Harry Pitman (11.7s), Matt Coward (12.3s), Yetunde Mongo (12.9s) and Alexandra Prickett (14.2s). The 200m was contested by youngster Kristian Samwell-Nash in his debut senior match taking the win with ease (22.9s), Harry Pitman with a personal best performance (23.4s), Ella Saxby also with a huge personal best performance (26.9s), Yetunde Mongo (27.6s) and Faith Cox (28.6s). The 400m department was just as strong with national talent Kristian Samwell-Nash (Under 17) putting pressure on the senior athletes (51.4s), Luke Hughes ran very strongly in the windy conditions with a time over 1 ½ seconds quicker than his personal best last season (53.6s), Deborah Martin filling in with a strong run (60.1s), and youngster Yasmin Sadler-Reeves running a personal best performance on her debut match (72.9s).
The middle-distance department saw a win and personal best performance for Briony Walsh in the 800m (2m18.9s), only recently coming back from training in Tanzania. Nikoleta Ivaylova also ran with a time of 3m06.6s. The 1500m saw personal best performances for youngsters Adam Wood (4m15.0s), Ben Smith (4:45.4s), Ciara Mackey (5m38.9s) and Alex Prickett (7m05.6s).
In the long-distance events, Team Manager, Becky Dyer, filled in the 3000m, despite her arm being in a cast (13m42.1s). Marshall Smith made a last-minute decision to help the team out by running the 5000m, with the aches of his 800m win still in his legs. Marshall unexpectedly changed his tactics halfway through the race... Rather than carrying on running at a comfortable pace for points, Marshall decided to pick up the pace and gradually pulled in each athlete and took the win in 16m01.6s. Unlike Marshall, Will Knight ran a well-paced debut race and ran a track personal best performance of 17m51.3s.
The hurdling events saw Faith Cox run a personal best in the 100m Hurdles (19.0s), and Alex Prickett took the win in the B-String race. Peter Davey ran an awesome race in the 110m Hurdles, despite having a knee injury (16.9s). Matt Hogben also contested in the event with a personal best performance (22.0s). The gruelling 400m Hurdles was represented by Matt Hogben (67.0s), Jonathan Hobbs (69.0s), Faith Cox (84.6s) and Nikoleta Ivaylova (86.7s). Marshall Smith, Jonathan Hobbs and Nikoleta Ivaylova all competed in the 2000m Steeplechase races, all finishing in 2nd place respectively in their individual races.
In the jumps, Ash Buckman won both the High Jump (1.88m) and Triple Jump (13.07m), whilst finishing 2nd in the Long Jump (6.36m). Harry Pitman rounded off the day in the Long Jump, with his third personal best performance (5.35m). The women’s Long Jump was contested by Nikoleta Ivaylova (4.20m) and Katie Hamilton (4.09m). Alongside Ash’s success in the Triple Jump, there were similar successes for Matt Hogben (10.52m), Yasmin Sadler-Reeves (9.02m) and Katie Hamilton (8.12m). Matt Smiley competed in the High Jump (1.75m) and Pole Vault (2.00m). The women’s High Jump was won by Deborah Martin (1.71m), with Katie Hamilton (1.45m) and Yasmin Sadler-Reeves (1.25m) jumping season best heights. The A-String & B-String Pole Vault was won by Luke Williams (3.40m), Laura-Ann Henderson (3.00m) and Grace Pitman (2.70m).
Despite some of the Club’s key throwers being absent, the team came together to ensure all throws were covered. The Shot Put was contested by Ben Roberts (8.48m), Matt Hogben (5.57m), Hannah Owen (9.43m) and Nikoleta Ivaylova (7.01m). The Discus was represented by Ben Roberts (29.00m), Lewis Smith (23.87m), Hannah Owen (21.85m) and Laura-Ann Henderson (18.92m). In the Hammer Throw, Hannah Owen threw an awesome personal best throw of 42.09m to take the win. Ben Roberts (21.89m), Matt Hogben (9.47m) and Katie Hamilton (16.73m) all stepped in to ensure the remaining places were covered for the Hammer Throw. Unfortunately, none of the Club’s Javelin throwers were able to compete – Lewis Smith (28.07m), Ben Smith (16.66m), Laura-Ann Henderson (19.31m) and Faith Cox (16.72m) all made debuts in the event to maximise match points.
The end of the day saw the hotly contested 4x100m and 4x400m relay races, with Ashford fielding strong male and female teams. This contributed to the match win for Ashford Athletic Club, placing them in overall fourth place in the Southern League. The next Southern Athletic League match is being held at Eastbourne on Sunday, 20th May.
Southern Athletics League
Posted: 10th Mar 2018 by Lewis Smith
Message from SAL Team Managers, Becky and Derek: