Downham Market Ryston Runner Gaye hurdles to Euro Masters silver

West Norfolk Sports Awards 2015
Sportswoman of the year award Gaye Clark
West Norfolk Sports Awards 2015 Sportswoman of the year award Gaye Clark
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Ryston Master athlete Gaye Clarke did not return from the European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, empty handed, as she might have feared earlier in the year while battling to recover from knee surgery during late 2016.

Despite adverse wind conditions she bagged a silver medal in the 80m Hurdles W55 category, some compensation for not being able to compete at her usual level in the previous week’s Heptathlon, in which she placed seventh.

Gaye also competed in the High Jump, but couldn’t achieve her usual form, and ended up in 8th place.

Meanwhile, the Ryston Masters track and field squad sealed their domination of their EMAC T&F League division despite fielding only seven competitors in the final qualifying match of the season at Peterborough.

Jan Manning practically covered the whole W35 category single handed, though with support from Hayley Hawes in the 400m. Linda Marshall took on the majority of the W50 events, with Marlene Simmonds, who dominated all the field events for the W60s, dropping down to throw the javelin.

Jane Ashby won the W60 mile. Liz Blakie and Sue Smith completed their 100pc record in covering the race walks.

As well as their 20-point win in this match, the Ryston women ended the season with a total over four matches of 510 points, over double that achieved by the second placed team, and enthusiastic about their participation in the final at Bedford in early September.

They will not be joined by their male counterparts this year as despite a fantastic effort they fell short of qualifying by a frustrating 5.5 points. This was largely down to the lack of available/willing participants in the M35-49 category.

Others did rally to team manager Helen Reed’s call for support. Only recent recruit Jamie Bransgrove competed in his own M35 in his debut match. David Lane and Stuart Howlett supported him in the field, dropping down from their own M50, with Stuart making his Triple Jump debut and placing second M35, while David won this event in their own category.

Stuart had already notched up another of the three outright wins secured by Ryston M50 competitors with a dominant Javelin; while Malcolm Tuff took the M50 mile.

Tony Savage ran the less familiar (for him) 400m. Martin Simmonds and Jeff Reed covered the M60 programme between them, while Paul Firmage and Keith Morris complete the squad with their customary duet in the racewalk.

l On Sunday, Ian Milburn was 91st out of 406 senior men in the Gloucester Marathon in memory of his grandparents, covering the hilly course in 3:37:55.

l Of the 6,000 finishers in Run Norwich 10K on Sunday, Ryston Runners were (place/name/time): 747 Jonathan Hawes 48:44, 841 Ian Bruce 49:25, 923 Shaun Hamer 49:51, 1871 Jason Hawes 56:07, 1876 Juliette Meek 56:08, 3397 Andrew Green 65:53; 1234th Andy McNamara, 52:05.

** West Norfolk AC veteran teams travelled to Peterborough last Monday evening to compete in the final league match of the EMAC series.

The small women’s team finished the evening and the series in sixth overall. Katrina Wasteney stormed to victory in the 2km Walk in a time of 12:54.3 and finished third in the mile (6:18.6). Nicky Neill won the 400m (67.3s) by some distance, was 2nd in the discus (17.01m) with a season’s best and third in the javelin (13.83m). Louise Rice completed the points scoring holding on to third in the 100m in 16.3 seconds.

With absentees due to holidays a depleted men’s squad secured fourth overall in the series, beating much larger clubs in the process.

A herculean effort from John Greenhalgh in the M50 category meant he covered all seventh events by himself and also joined the relay team. He finished third in the Triple Jump (7.86m); fourth in the 400m and High Jump; 5th in the 100m, Discus and Javelin; and 6th in the mile.

In the M35 Ricky Bailey chased his partner round the 2km walk in 15:05.9 to finish 6th. Allan Williams was consistent in coming third in the Javelin (25.67m) and third in the Discus (22.90m). Similarly, James Collings who came third in both 100m (13.0) and triple jump (8.50m).

Neil Watson, returning from injury, was surprised to gain a PB in the mile coming home 6th in 5:51.2. Watson was also fourth in the high jump (1.35m) and 6th in the 400m (65.1).

In the final event of the series the relay team of Bailey, Collings, Greenhalgh and Watson finished fourth with a barnstorming leg by Collings propelling the team past three opponents.

By Neil Watson

as well on the evening