A steeplechase double for Colchester Harriers duo of Rogers and Huggins

Colchester Harriers relay teams

Colchester Harriers relay teams - Credit: contributed

Colchester Harriers’ latest venture in the Southern League, anchored to the bottom of Division One, took them to urban Kent and a meeting at Norman Park in Bromley.

Although Harriers finished third, of the four teams, it gave them two vital match points to ensure another battle in the next fixture at Braintree.

But frustratingly, due to circumstances out of their control, Harriers are unable to maximise the advantage of a home fixture at the Garrison track as originally planned.

Last weekend, team manager Linda Garnham looked to cover as many events as possible with the available athletes, to ensure no loss of precious points against the hosts, Blackheath & Bromley, who have British League status, and Radley AC, a team in the running for the title.

Team Portsmouth were also in action.

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The middle and long distance runners where the highest source of points for the club with Nicola Rogers and Molly Huggins securing an ‘A’ and ‘B’ double in the 1,500m steeplechase, both with personal bests of 5mins 18.87secs and 6:03.80 respectively.

For the men, Chris Sellens took the ‘B’ string 2,000m steeplechase to complement Rob Smith’s fine PB 6:46.42.

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Smith was second in the ‘A’ race, while Sellens also added a second place in the 5K with Scott Filmer adding a ‘B’ win.

Another Peter West-coached athlete, Sara Ivory, had a runaway win in the 3,000m in a personal best of 10:36.9, with Joy Huggins adding three points for second in the ‘B’ string.

Rob Clarke battled for second place in the ‘B’ string 1,500m, with experienced Ian Vickery competing in the ‘A.’

Denise Morley returned to competition with third place in the 800m, a position replicated in the ‘B’ by Molly Huggins.

The latest addition to the team, Mairead Murphy, an Irish International multi-event athlete, scored an impressive win in the 100 metre hurdles in 15.33secs, along with a ‘B’ javelin win and runners-up spot in the 200m.

Regular high points scorer Catherine Holdsworth achieved wins in the javelin (34.19m) and shot (11.43m), and scored vital points in the discus and hammer.

From the men’s side, the only ‘A’ win came from Rob Earle in the hammer (51.58m). He also secured second place in a close discus competition.

Matt Rose was the highest points scorer for the team with a personal haul of 15. The highlights were a big PB in the discus (32.41m) and two second places in the 110m and 400m hurdles.

Not far behind in the points haul was Nicola Martell-Smith with 11, with a win in the high jump (1.50m) included. And to add to his fine steeplechase PB, Rob Smith secured 10 points.

There were many younger age group athletes fighting the battle against relegation from Division One, who will have found the competition hard going.

But this is the standard of competition which is vital to maintain, to support their progress.

Once again the team owe a huge debt of gratitude to their officials who gave up precious time, to ensure the effective running of the events in support of the points haul.

In the final analysis, hosts Blackheath won with 220 points, followed by second-placed Radley (203), Colchester Harriers (158) and Portsmouth (139).

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