Twin Pronged Attack by Harriers
In the searing Bedford heat on Sunday last, Ipswich Harriers Junior Men and Women contested the third National Junior Athletic League meeting. Harriers finished in fourth place behind the home club and the Divisions two leaders Basildon and Team Cambridge.
Harriersí points were boosted by the 8 menís events covered by the Pattle twins and the 8 womenís events by the Malster twins. Georgina Malsterís 5.29m Long Jump was outstanding and beat all the other competitors by half a metre.
In the Menís half of the match, there were strong performances from Will Goldsmith in the 100m and 200m, Tom Love in the 400m and 1500m. Daniel Palmer also ran well in the 800m and 2000m Steeplechase as did Elliot Palmer in the 3000m.
After disappointment at English Schools, Under 17 athlete Joe Bloomfield stormed back to form using heavier implements than usual. He threw the Hammer 46.98m, the Discus 35.57m and Putt the Shot 11.80m for 2nd place in each event.
Matt Byam, David Mills, Simon Gardiner and Laurence Smith added valuable points with gutsy performances giving the Men 4th place.
In the Womenís half of the match it would be fair to say that it was here that the dayís real excitement was to be found. At the last take over in each of the two relays, the Ipswich team was a long way down in second place. In the 4 x 100m relay, Nicole Sadler showed why she had won the individual sprint double by tearing up the home straight to beat Team Cambridge by just 0.3 seconds. Even greater excitement was to come in the 4 x 400m relay when after solid performances by the Georgina and Gemma Malster and by Kerry Dixon, Becky Welbourn took over the baton probably 25 to 30 metres behind Team Cambridge. With an incredible last leg of 56.9s (three seconds faster than the individual 400m and incidentally faster than every Ipswich man in their 4 x 400m relay) Becky overhauled her opponent to win by 5 metres.
Individually, Nicole had won the 100m A race in12.3s and the 200m in 25.0s with Becky winning the 100m B race in 13.0s and Georgina the 200m B race in 26.4 s. Kerry Dixon had a win in the 400m Hurdles A race in 69.1s and third place in the High Jump with 1.50m.
Giving her usual all round solid performances, Kerry Fuller accumulated excellent points with a second place, two third places and a fourth place in the 100m Hurdles, Hammer, Shot Putt and Discus A competitions respectively.
Competing for only the second time in this Under 20 age group competition, 15 year old, multi-event specialist, Katy Sealy took fourth place in the Javelin A competition with a throw of 29.14m, first place in the Long Jump B competition with 4.79m and second place in the High Jump B event with a leap of 1.45m.
Overall the Ipswich Harriers women finished third behind Basildon and Team Cambridge.
In the conditions and with so many events not covered by athletes, fourth place was a good result for Harriers. In the final meeting at Cambridge on 13th August, the women should be boosted by the return of Charlie the Cheetah (a.k.a. Hayley Todd) after her efforts at the Suffolk Youth Games.
Maybe if the middle distances were covered better, a higher finish might be possible.