AN EXCELLENT 5TH PLACE
IN NATIONAL FINAL
Every year athletes competing in the National Junior League
for athletes Under 20, have their performances
converted to a points basis similar to the way Decathlon and Heptathlon events
are scored. Where athletes take part in three events in each of three out of
the four league meetings, their points are accumulated and the top eight men
and top eight women are invited to compete against each other at the National
Final of the League.
Ipswich Harriers has a proud tradition in this event known
as the National Junior League “Grand Prix”.
Harriers who have previously made the final include Jason McDade who went twice, winning the overall final at his
second attempt. Laura Seston who won the women’s
final in the same year that Jason won. Finally Charlene Snelgrove
tried to win the hard way by choosing 100 metres, 800 metres and 1500 metres at
the same meeting. From memory I believe Charlene came 6th in the
In the 2007 season Ipswich Harriers had two women qualify
for the final. Georgina Malster ended the season in 4th
place and Kerry Dixon in eighth. Sadly for Kerry, the final came too late and
she had already left the country to take up her place in college in the States.
Georgina, however, went to Derby
on 9th September and competed in the Long and Triple Jumps and 200
metres. After a relatively calm morning, a stiff breeze blew up which swirled
around the Moorways Stadium. So tricky was the wind
that the referees switched the Long Jump around after the Men’s competition and
yet still some of the women jumped into a head wind. It certainly meant that
the sprinters had to battle down the home straight.
Not all the Grand Prix finalists were doing the same events
so Georgina competed with the 16 athletes from the eight
league finalist clubs in the Jumps but ran against three of her fellow
finalists in their own 200 metres. Georgina finished the
race in third in a time of 27.1 seconds. Her jumps at 4.76 metres and 9.82
metres for the Long and Triple respectively were down on her personal bests but
when the results were declared Georgina
was called forward to receive a trophy, sponsored by Athletics Weekly, for
finishing the day in 5th place. An excellent performance against the
countries top junior athletes. The winner was Amanda Ranger of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers who was competing for her club
in the final and actually won the Long Jump and was third overall in the Triple
Jump. Amanda is an outstanding athlete and made it a double first for her club
with the Men’s Grand Prix being won by her club colleague Chris Scott who had
competed in Hammer, Shot and Discus.
Despite these two victories it wasn’t enough to stop
Blackheath and Bromley winning the National Junior League title ahead of Enfield,
Haringey and Hounslow with Shaftesbury Barnet in
third. The expected challenge from Sale Harriers and Birchfield
never materialised on the day.
“It was an amazing day”, said a slightly disappointed Georgina,”
I never thought I would be competing with so many of the top athletes in the
country. I really want to come back next year and I know I can be up there
challenging! My run ups were awful today but I will work on them and I will be
From a spectator’s point of view, it is fantastic to see the
Ipswich vest competing with the rich and heavily
Well done to Georgina and to Kerry and to all you Under 20s
Harriers, the gauntlet is down lets see how many we can get there next year.