Harriers’ fate out of their own hands after final League Meeting

Colchester Harriers finished in third place at the final Southern Athletics League Meeting at Milton Keynes on Saturday 19 August.

Going into the meeting fifth from bottom in Division one, with the bottom four clubs in the league to be relegated, the Harriers had to sit and wait it out to see if they have done enough to secure their place in the top division.  With an extremely depleted team, Colchester performed courageously with many athletes doing more than three or four events.  But by mid-week and with all official results calculated, Harriers were delighted to discover they had finished in 10th place, securing them in the premier athletic division once again.

It was the sprints where the Harriers really shone with Man of the Match Charlie Dobson gaining victory in the 100m and 200m with a new wind assisted personal best of 10.65s in the 100m. On the women’s side, it was another Man of the Match award for sprinter Rebecca Jeggo who ran her best ever time in the 100m of 12.08s and followed up her victory with another in the 200m.

Following on from Charlie’s success, middle distance runner Paul Clifford was determined not to let the man of the match winner get all the plaudits. He gained a double victory in the 400m and 800m of 51.84s and 1.57.87s respectively. He was excellently backed up by Michael Major on his Harriers debut who secured victory in the B String 800m with a time of 2.00.42s and followed this up with a solid second place in the 400m just an hour later.

Staying on the men’s side, there were victories for Paul Cooper and Thomas Mitchell in the A and B string Javelin while Michael Smith, Thomas Mitchell and Anthony Barraclough all secured new personal bests in the 2000m Steeplechase, Discus and Pole Vault.

To add to the individual success on the men’s side, there were double victories in both sprint relays as the men finished the day on a high.

On to the women, the emphasis for the day was certainly on filling as many events as possible despite the alarming lack of athletes and they certainly did not disappoint.

In the throws, Phillipa Davenall, despite carrying an injury for most of the season, managed to compete in all four events of the Shot Put, Discus, Hammer and Javelin alongside her teammate Catherine Holdsworth.

Stacey Eyers did the middle-distance triple with courageous runs in the 400m, 800m and 1500m. Stacey somehow found the energy to gain a new personal best of 61.20s for her 400m.

Lucy Mapp, Nicola Martell-Smith and Samantha Hart took up the challenge of filling as many events as they could with an amazing 14 between them. Among all of this were three new personal bests for Samantha Hart in the 800m, Triple Jump and 2000m Steeplechase.

All in all, it was a brilliant team performance from the Harriers considering the sheer number of athletes not competing. The team spirit shown in all of this year’s meetings demonstrates that with all of their athletes available, the Harriers will be on top form next season as they continue to compete against the best clubs in the South of England.

Footnote:

In the end other results went in the Harriers favour with the club finishing 10th, avoiding relegation by 3 places (although only on match points). The full table can be viewed here

https://www.southernathletics.org.uk/2017.html