id941-BAL Nat 2 M2 Bromley July 4th Report

Written by PW   

Here is Peter Waddington's resume of a successful day in the sun at Bromley.

Full results on the Noticeboard at Kingston - and also at www.bal.org.uk(via Useful Links on Main Menu on this site) - or - www.thepowerof10.info - or - www.topsinathletics.info

British Athletics League National Division 2, Match 2 Bromley, July 4th 2009 Report by PW

After our misfortunes in Cardiff, the Senior Men bounced back with a performance that must rank as the best since K&P re-entered the BAL in “the modern era”. The sun shone brightly in Bromley, but a strong headwind made the conditions testing for sprinters and distance runners alike, and our athletes rose to the challenge with a fine 3rd place finish out of the 8 clubs in Division 2. The fact that this placing was achieved without several of our big guns is a testament to the spirit of the team and was helped by fine performances from our newer recruits alongside the ever-reliable veterans of past campaigns.

Unusually, it was in the Field that we looked most vulnerable, as redoubtable thrower Gareth Cook’s name was added to the long list of absentees. Fortunately, team manager David Barrington was able to call on the services of new recruit Andy Wheble to plug the gap and he proved a very capable substitute, winning the B Discus and coming 4th in the B Hammer. In the A HT, Kyle Stevens rediscovered his form with a fighting 49.92m effort that actually places him top of the K&P rankings this season, which may come as a surprise for Gareth when he gets back from South Africa! Kyle’s 15.21m Shot Putt (1st – A) also gave him the edge over Nick Owen, who had to settle for winning the B and 2nd place overall (14.62m) this time. The club is very lucky to have two such accomplished performers and their personal battles are always a pleasure to witness. Nick also picked up a useful 4th place in the A Discus, despite being a little down on his Cardiff distance. Maybe he prefers paddling in a rain-drenched circle…? Chris Dack was similarly below his Cardiff form in the Javelin, moving down a couple of places in the A, but Mike Clarke showed an improvement, moving up a couple of places in the B, and is now obviously getting on a bit better with his new spear!

Chris Dack made up for his JT disappointment with 3rd place in the B High Jump, where Matt Field was unlucky to slip to 5th in the A (1.85m) on count-back. Ironically, despite Matt’s disappointment with a 6.19m Long Jump, it earned him even better points with 2nd place in the B. Chris Hall led the horizontal jumps squad well in the absence of our specialists, with a very creditable 6.60m LJ (6th – A) and 5th place in the Triple Jump with a pb-equalling 12.92m. In the B Triple Jump, U20 Patrick Hillyer did not look out of place on his BAL debut, and although he was disappointed with his distance, his 3rd place yielded excellent points for the team. Elsewhere, Bilen Ahmet was undoubtedly feeling under-used with only the Pole Vault to focus on, but he could be happy with 3.40m (5th – A) when carrying an ankle injury that appeared to inhibit his run-up. In the B PV,M65 Maurice Joyce turned his veteran status to advantage, taking =3rd amidst an inexperienced field.

On the Track,K&P proved pretty awesome over the hurdles. Danny Eckersley set the tone with a gutsy 2nd place in the A 400H (55.47) and a sub-55 looks achievable for him before the end of the season. Tom Parry backed him up admirably, having rushed over from Leatherhead between important school functions. The team is indebted to him and his father for making the effort, and his excellent B win (56.56) clearly showed that it was worth it. The 110H exactly mirrored the 400H, with Matt Field coming 2nd in the A (15.09) and indeed he looks certain to smash the 15 second barrier (on electronic timing), when not encountering a -2.5 m/s wind. In the B race, Chris Hall won (17.03) not only the race, but also the bragging rights over his coach Richard Holt (Blackheath & Bromley). Richard is actually 2nd claim K&P and brings his considerable expertise to coaching several of our BAL athletes. He will have been proud of the K&P team effort, despite having “brought the wrong vest” on the day and then finding that his pupil was meting out the lessons in his race!

Elsewhere over the barriers, we had more of a struggle, with Mike Maranzano and M40 Andy Robinson finding the conditions and competition tough in the 3K Steeplechase. Both finished creditably in sub-11 minutes and would have been rewarded with more points for their level of effort in the previous race at Cardiff. Our other distance performances were even more of a revelation, with Tom Beedell running a well-paced 5K pb (15.30.41) for 5th in the A, and Will Clark finishing 6th in the B (15.56.59). Sadly injury prevented Jud Hough from running as a guest and giving us 3 sub-16 5K performers in K&P vests! We hope he’ll be there for the next one. At 1500m Craig Price gave everything in the B, but found the pace a little too hot, although on debut, U20 HCA Luke Caldwell showed he had both talent and an astute tactical brain to finish 4th in the 1500m A with 3.58.08. He will undoubtedly benefit from more outings at this level. In the 800m, we picked up two good 4th places through an improving Jamie McCullagh (1.53.61 – A) and Michael Hobson (1.56.40 – B), the latter showing that he is over the viral problems that inhibited him at Cardiff and is capable of even more once he gains greater experience and tactical nous in this kind of race-hardened company.

K&P also had some good placings in the sprints against strong opposition, although the headwinds made the times look less impressive than the runs actually were. Justin Green, in typical pugnatious style, finished 5th in the 100m and 4th in the 200m. U20 Jordan Smith-Bent finished 7th in the B 100m, but looks capable of challenging the leaders if he can nail the start, and Chris Hall managed 4th in the B 200m, despite his punishing workload elsewhere; so he also should be “up there” when relieved of his jumping duties. Jamie McCullagh came 5th in the B 400m (50.50) which, under the conditions, looks like a return to form, and our HCA U23 international Toby Ulm, used his hurdling strength to reel in the field of the A race as the speedsters turned into the wind on the straight, finishing 2nd (48.36). Once again,the team is very grateful to him for turning out, and wish him all the very best for the European U23 championships in Kaunas,Lithuania,where he competes for GB over 400H in a couple of weeks time.

Weather and workload took its toll on our relay squads, but 4th place in the 4x100m (43.03) and 7th in the 4x400m was enough to see Kingston & Poly finish 3rd (290pts) on the day, behind Herne Hill (1st) and hosts Blackheath & Bromley (2nd). It’s a wonderful achievement and every team member should be congratulated alongside TM David Barrington for his skilful selections, but such is the level of this competition that even this result only lifts us to 6th place in the table. We do at least now have a 4 point cushion over Swansea (7th) and 5 points over Leeds (8th), below us in the relegation places. The next match is a home fixture for Leeds, where they will be looking to win, and we will need everybody out and performing to consolidate our position and keep our noses clear of the drop-zone!

(It would be most unfair not to state that the contributions of all 3 members of the Waddington Family had a substantial impact on the day's affairs - Ed/TM).

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