Ryston Runners AC got their 2015 track and field season off to a cracking start on Saturday with a decisive win in the Southern Athletics League Division Two fixture at Lynnsport.
A team which featured a few new faces among the familiar campaigners amassed a good points tally by covering every event bar the women’s B string Pole Vault, and with some significant successes in many areas.
New names in the men’s team included Richard Watson (200m,800m), Anwar Bouilouta (100m) and Callum Stanforth (1500m), as well as a return to the track in Ryston colours for Matt Pyatt, also in the 1500m, with himself and Stanforth repeating their battle royal from the Ryston Mile Challenge of a fortnight ago, and with the same outcome.
James O’Neill made his usual significant contribution on the track, with a devastating burst on the last lap of the 5000m making tidy work of that event. Chris Balmer’s B string win over the same distance made it one of the four “doubles” on the day. The Simmonds brothers contributed a further couple, in the Shot Putt and Discus, these events being two of Robert Simmonds’ five individual event wins in the field. Gareth Hunt joined him in making the Pole Vault the other double win.
Gareth himself, as well as being team manager, covered a mixture of track and field events, as did Dan Yellop, who won his Shot and Javelin competitions as well as not letting the fact that, as a nearly-Master, he was the only sprinter in the match not in the U20 or U17 categories. Already a Master, David Lane notched up useful points in the Triple Jump, after, in the spirit of these matches, helping to rake the competition pits first.
The women’s team was, like the men’s, led by example by the TM: Rebecca Tuff covered six field events herself. She only missed out the horizontal jumps, which were covered by newcomers Holly Chen and Poppy Wood and the more seasoned Jess Roffe. Jess was also busy in sprints and over hurdles, while Poppy plugged away at the longer distances.
Other younger blood making a useful contribution was provided by Hannah Brown (sprints and a High Jump win), Frankie Hall, remarkably fresh after running her first marathon a mere fortnight ago, and Annie Rooks, whose sprint finish in the A string 1500m confirmed her potential as a middle distance runner, and making that event a double win for Ryston with Frankie in the B string.
Lorena Latisaite showed courage and determination by tackling hurdles and steeplechase, new events to her ever-increasing repertoire. She was joined in the latter event by Laura Allen, who entered Hammer and Discus.
All these great efforts yielded a points tally of 324, with the second placed team, Hunts AC, on 290.
The team managers hope this support can be replicated during the season in away matches, and thank all members who turned up at Lynnsport to officiate, support and help.