A depleted representation from Ryston Runners AC travelling to a bleak and cold St Ives for their opening Eastern Masters Track and Field League fixture.
Only six female athletes were available, with two of them being the sole representatives for the club in their respective age groups: Jan Manning W35 and Gill Hart W60. Gill alone amassed multiple points by winning all her events, including the unfamiliar Shot Putt, while Jan impressed in her first-ever EMAC match, which saw her claim second in the 3000m as well as useful points in the other, shorter, track events.
Gaye Clarke was back on the team after a year of mainly officiating rather than competing in this league, of which she and Ryston’s Paul Harrison are now the administrators. She netted wins in the W50100m, Hammer and Long Jump, and a second place in the Shot, before anchoring the 4X100m relay team to victory with a superb on-the-line effort.
Sue Smith, revelling in her return to competition after her battle with cancer, joined Liz Blakie in securing maximum points in the 1000m Walk, and also competed in the Shot. Liz won the W50 400m as well as gaining useful points in the 3000m and Long Jump. Helen Reed not only managed the team but competed in and officiated the Hammer. This gallant half dozen athletes won the match outright, with more than twice the points total of the next placed team.
The eight Ryston men were soon reduced to six, when Carl Manning had to pull out after two laps of the 3000m with a muscle injury, and Paul Oakes hit his head after a dodgy landing in the Pole Vault. Fortunately Paul had already managed to clear 2m 60 for third place and some points, but the absence of this duo meant that only one relay team could be fielded, and others had to cover extra events.
Paul Firmage, who also officiated, and Keith Morris were only able to compete in the 1000m Walk, so David Lane, Tony Savage, Paul Harrison and Jeff Reed amassed the majority of the points that saw Ryston finish in sixth place, meaning an uphill battle to qualify for this year’s league final.
The next fixture is a home match at Lynnsport so maybe more athletes will be available.
By Gareth Hunt
On Sunday several Ryston junior athletes took part in the EYAL as part of the composite Team Norfolk. This event saw the third club record of the season go, to Thea Howlett in the Under-17 Girls’ Long Jump, clearing 4.92m for third.
It was a successful day for the U13 Girls. Lily May Collison set personal bests (PB) in everything she took part in: 15.3secs (100m), 32.4secs (200m) and 3.22m (Long Jump). Bea Honeybone won both the Long Jump (3.89m) and Javelin (22m ) as well as setting a new PB in 100m (15.6secs). Lily Teasdale set a new PB in 200m with a time of 34.6secs. Kirsten Baker in her first race for the club did well in the 800m (2:57.7).
Mia Moore started her maiden U15 season well, dipping under 30 seconds in the 200m (29.9) and running 47.1 secs in the 300m. Saffron Teasdale set two new PBs in the field: 1.20m High Jump and 14.84 Discus. In the U17 Girls Gabby Clare fared well in Long and Triple Jumps.
Kit Howlett set a new Discus PB which is set to put him in the top 20 in the UK U13B Rankings with a throw of 19.11m. He also set a new 100m PB with 14.3 secs. Also setting 100m PBs were Ryan Wood and George Evans, running 15.7 and 17.0 secs respectively. Liam Clare in the Hurdles took third in 14.6 secs; Harry Wakefield third in the 1500m in a PB of 5:20.0.
In the U15 Boys Robert MacQueen set a pair of PBs in the 100m (12.6/3rd) and 200m (25.7/3rd). Charlie Wakefield set a new 800m PB to take third in 2:13.7, also running a PB of 27.9 for 200m. Joe McNulty ran a 200m PB of 28.5secs.
l There were five new qualified officials added to the Ryston ranks. Sue Smith, Keith Morris, and Jenny Took all did the Field Judging course, while Rebecca Tuff and Andy Green did Timekeeping.