Southern Athletics League - Promotion

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Bracknell Athletic Club, travelled to Kingston on Saturday for their final match this season, in the Southern Athletic League. Lying in fourth place the Club needed to retain that position, in order to gain promotion, They were matched against the three teams above them in the league. Kingston, Hastings and North Devon. Wimbledon making up the fifth team in the fixture.

 In order to ensure promotion, from Division 3 South, Bracknell needed to take second place in the match.  Not an easy task, made worse, by virtue of the meeting clashing with the U17 Southern Championships at Ashford.  The club thus unable to call upon the services of many of the youngsters, who had served them well during the season.

For whatever reason, possibly a deficit of home officials, the meeting quickly fell behind time. A situation which only grew worse as the match progressed.  Culminating in the fixture ending over ninety minutes late, with the final scores not being announced. Despite the chaos however, Bracknell are confident with only the Male Discus and officials points to add, that they took second place and can look forward to competition in Division Two next year. For in the worst scenario, the missing points can only total sixteen.  With those still to add, the match ended with Kingston winning, scoring 236.5 points. Bracknell came second with a point tally of 212.5. North Devon were third with 194. Hastings finished fourth with 189 and Wimbledon were fifth scoring 188 points.

In the throws, Robert Mungham took second place in the Hammer. A great achievement, when considered, that because of the tardy time keeping, he could only take two throws, before dashing off to work.  His partner Team Captain Jan Drzewiecki, also took second place in the “B” string.  This partnership also gained useful points in the earlier event the Shot Putt.  As did Brandon Ridley and Sam Russell in the Javelin.

Missing from the Throws team on Saturday was Mark Wiseman as he is competing in the World Masters Championships in Lyon, France.  Mark in the M45 class, has already taken the Discus Gold medal and a Silver in the Shot Putt and there is still one day to go.  Well done and come on Mark.

Maximum points were obtained in the High Jump. Ben Russell equalled his personal best height to win the senior competition and Peter Marlow added two centimetres to his previous best, to win the “B” string.  Luke Batup jumped over six metres for the first time in the Long Jump, allowing his partner Adam Thomas, to win the junior event.

This was just one of three individual victories, Adam achieved.  Clocking 10.7 seconds, Adam who was making his seasons debut for the club, destroyed the field in the 100m, finishing nearly a second ahead. A remarkable achievement, as a strong wind was blowing down the Home straight.  He then added the 200m to his tally.  His partner in the one gasp dash was Lewis Graham, who stole the “B” string sprint, with a 0.3 second, margin of victory. 

Two others made their season debuts on Saturday.  Scott Halsted ran away from the field in the 1500m, finishing eight second ahead of his nearest rival.  Then later in the day, Matt Seddon beat the second runner home, by nineteen seconds, in the 2K Steeple Chase.  Adding to the Bracknell coffers, was stalwart Richard Stock, who not only tacked the 5000m, but the 800m and 110m Hurdles as well.

Moving onto the Ladies, Lauren Shaw and Hannah McClay took maximum points in the 100m.  They nearly achieved the double in the 200m races but sadly although given the same time as the winner, Lauren was judged to be second in the senior race. 

This was indeed an amazing day of double victories for the Ladies team. Rachel McClay and Rebecca Turton took the honours in the 400m.  Rebecca again and Phillippa Bowden climbed the winners rostrum in the 800m. Then reversed roles to win the metric mile, 1500m races.

The purple patch nearly continued into the 3K. But sadly although Rachel won the senior race, Hannah Barnard was beaten into second place in the “B” string. Later, Hannah with partner Natasha Norris were to pick up two useful third places in the 2K Steeple Chase.

In the jumps, Abi Waters took third place in the High Jump, allowing Emma Haines to win the “B” string.  Then Clare Bryant and Josie Doyle took useful respective third places in the Long Jump.

The throws saw the welcome return of Laura King. Although having not competed for a while and thus match rusty. Laura took well deserved third places in the “A” string Shot and Discus and the “B” string Javelin. Georgia Hulbert took a deserved second place in the Senior Hammer, as did Kelly Jones in the “A” string Javelin.

The last races of the day are the relays.  The Ladies nearly won both. Being sadly beaten into second place in the 4 x 100m.  The 4 x 400m relay was an entirely different story. The Ladies Bracknell quartet, brought the baton home, over 23 seconds ahead of the second team finishing.

The male quartet of Graham, Calum Wesley, Jake Hatfield and Thomas, tried to break the Club 4 x 100m sprint relay record of 42.6. A time which has stood since 1978. Sadly though, despite all their change overs being very smooth, the strong wind, combined with the track not being fast, thwarted their attempt.  Instead the squad had to settle for a time of 43seconds. Two seconds faster than second team Kingston. Not only Bracknell’s fastest recorded time, since before 1992 and possibly the club’s second fastest time but also a new League Record.