Written by PW
Here's PW's assessment.
Kinnaird & Sward Trophies Kingston, April 18th 2009
Report by Peter Waddington
A typically combative performance saw a depleted K&P team retain the Sward Field Events Trophy and maintain contact for much of the day in the hunt for the elusive Kinnaird Track Events Cup.
On a gloriously sunny, but blustery afternoon, Achilles just held off the close attentions of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow in the Kinnaird Track competition, with Blackheath & Bromley in 3rd and K&P not far behind in 4th place. Achilles also performed ably in the Field events, coming 2nd to K&P in the Sward, with St Mary’s Richmond 3rd of the 8 teams contesting.
Our track athletes often seem disinclined to risk themselves this early in the season, but the Kinnaird turnout this year will have been more heartening for our BAL team manager, David Barrington, as he surveys his options for the summer. The sprinters were particularly numerous, perhaps aware that we have more competition for places this season, and eager to catch Mr B’s eye. Promising U20 Jordan Smith-Bent was probably the most impressive, running 11.30 into a headwind for 2nd in the B 100m and winning the B 200m in 22.54. BAL stalwarts, Justin Green, Chris Hall, & Maris Kuklis all made solid starts to the season and picked up good team points in the process, and it was nice to see Andre Nembhard back in shape as a non-scorer. Amongst the other non-scorers, U20 400m specialist Richard Smeaton (52.15) looks very capable of ducking under 51 seconds and I wouldn’t bet against him going sub-50 if he gets the right race and conditions. Middle-distance was more of a struggle, but James Moroney’s 3rd place in the A 800m (1:58.40) showed his potential moving up from the 400m and it was a great pleasure to see Craig Price back in the K&P vest (4thB – 2:02.20), although he might have more in the tank if he reins in his first lap a little! In the 1500m, U17 George Corcoran produced another good run (4:30.08 – 4th A) and might well be knocking on the door for BAL selection when our HCA’s are unavailable. Talking of which, HCA Will Clark looked in good shape taking 4th in the A 3K for his 1st Claim club Epsom, while K&P’s multi-eventer Bilen Ahmet (in Achilles colours this time) produced a gutsy run in the 2K Steeplechase, earning the points that edged the Oxbridge club ahead of WSE&H for the trophy. I’m sure Mr Barrington will have made a mental note, just in case…
In the Sward, K&P also missed some of their regular scorers, but others really stepped up to the mark on the day. The most exciting story of the entire meet centred on Felix Hatton’s return to competition after a career-threatening injury requiring major surgery to his throwing arm. The fact that he went on to win the Javelin comfortably is remarkable, but given that he threw an astounding 70.52, just outside his pb, and as a result now sits in 3rd place in the National Rankings is not just a testament to his talent, but also to his character and the huge support his family has given him through injury and rehab. He was ably supported by Mike Clarke, who won the B with a pb 43.91, and by father, Les Hatton (V60), throwing a creditable 38.25 (n/s). Gareth Cook and Kyle Stevens were pressed into action for all 3 heavy throws and really delivered. Gareth won the A Hammer (48.85) and the B Shot (11.94), with a 3rd in the A Discus for good measure. Kyle won the A Shot (14.11) and the B Hammer (46.60), with a handy 2nd in the B Discus too. Kyle’s long lay-off from Hammer competition led to some interesting technical innovations and a lot of mirth and merriment in the circle before he got it right… he’ll be hoping he won’t have to resort to trick-throws in the BAL! In the jumps Maurice Joyce (V60) cleared 2.40 to win the battle of the Vets and pick up useful A points. Maris Kuklis (2nd A) and Humphrey Waddington (1st B), both comfortably High Jumped 1.80 and looked capable of more. Humphrey also won the A Long Jump, which was running concurrently, with a 6.97 pb off a shortened run-up, with James Heptonstall winning the B string despite a niggling injury which also limited him to a B win in the Triple Jump, where Patrick Hillyer (U20) just took his scalp with a 12.31 effort to come 6th in the A string.
So, once again K&P start the year with some silverware. This bodes well for the season ahead, where the BAL team will need to scrap hard for every point. Happily, we have several big performers still to come in and strengthen the team, and of course we’ll be glad to have K&P 1st claim Bilen Ahmet back for the Pole Vault too, after loaning him back to Achilles!
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