A cool rainy afternoon in Eastbourne

We’ve started the summer season

The 2016 summer season started at Eastbourne on Saturday with our senior mens and ladies team in action. The weather wasn’t very favourable, especially when it rained hard just as we started to judge the ladies javelin.

Both the ladies and the men team were missing a few athletes – more so the men than the ladies – but 6 under 17 athletes appeared for the first time in the senior league. James Hulme earned a couple of third places in the sprints with some very respectable times while Ben Beard and Jamie Allbeury did the 400 metres and the relay (see later).

Among the girls new to the league Emmie van Lieshout earned 2 first places in the B string sprints (with Abby Beswick producing 2 wins in the A string races). Amber West and Freddie Clemo had their first go at the pole vault and both did enough to earn second places. Amber then went on to win the B string triple jump (with Sarah Rusling winning the A string) while Freddie Clemo took on both the 800 and 1500 metres alongside Tara Deeley.

The 2 Sarahs – Rusling and Killick-Bird – were kept busy all afternoon. Sarah K-B, as she often does, got our track events off to an excellent start when she won the 400 hurdles – taking 0.1 seconds off the senior ladies club record set by Rachel Phipps in 1981. She came back to win the A string sprint hurdles and high jump, and was probably hugely surprised to find that she had also won the B string discus.

As well as winning the triple jump Sarah R earned B string wins in the high jump and the shot (with Abby making it a double win in the shot) – with a pair of second A string places in the long jump and javelin to complete her afternoon. The javelin also saw a B string win for Tara.

The men found things a lot harder although there was an early double win in the hammer with Phil Spivey back over 50 metres and Eddie Vermeer. Daniel Rusling produced a good 1.50 metres for second place in the A string high jump before going on to come third in the A string long jump – with Phil Rogers second in the B string. Ryan Spivey earned a second place in the A string javelin and on the track Lincoln Campbell wasn’t fully fit in the sprints.

At the end of the day the girls won the 4 x 100 relay (Amber, Abby, Sarah R and Emmie) and finished the day with a win in the 4 x 400 relay (Tara, Emmie again, Sarah K-B and Hannah). Unfortunately the men weren’t able to repeat the success of the ladies in the relays. The 4 x 100 saw us disqualified with 2 faulty take-overs (and 2 red flags – some sort of record ?), and there weren’t enough fit athletes for the men to field a 4 x 400 team.

Overall third place (out of the 5 teams competing) was probably what we were expecting – and that’s what we got. Home club Eastbourne ran away with the match with close on 300 points with South London second on 230 points. We were a little behind them with about 190 points but 100 points ahead of Thanet and Medway Park Phoenix.

Forthcoming matches

At this time of year matches come thick and fast. This coming Saturday 23 April  the under 13 and under 15 athletes – that’s those in school years 6, 7, 8 and 9 – have their first match at Gillingham.

And then the following weekend on Sunday 1 May the under 17s and under 20s – school years 10 and above – go to Southampton for their first match. So far the number of athletes who have confirmed that they will be going to Southampton is disappointingly small.

Tuesday 3 May sees the under 13s – school years 6 and 7 – take the short trip to Crawley’s K2 stadium for their first match in the Sussex League. There will be no training for 7 o’clock athletes that evening – as all these athletes will need to be at K2 – and we may have to cancel training for older athletes on that evening as most of the coaches will be at the under 13 match at K2.

Annual membership renewal time

Many of our members have now paid their annual membership fee. But if you haven’t done so then please pay it this coming week. If you have not paid in the next week or so you may well not be allowed to come to our training sessions and your training place will be offered to those on our waiting list.

A reminder of the fees:

Senior athletes £43

Junior members £38 (if you’re still at school or in full-time education)

Family membership is also available.

These amounts include the payment to register you with the governing body for athletics in the UK. Please note that, under new rules set by the UK governing body, you will not be allowed to compete until you pay your annual subscription.

What’s happening over the next week ?

Tuesday April 19 – training for all at Imberhorne.

Thursday April 21 – training for all at Imberhorne.

Saturday April 23 – match for under 13s – school years 6 and 7 – and under 15s – years 8 and 9 – at Gillingham. First event 11.30.

Saturday April 23 – Academy training at Imberhorne from 11 to 12.

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