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Downham Market Ryston Runners Hannah and Thea shine at County Schools Championships

Hannah Brown
Hannah Brown

On Saturday there were some excellent performances from some of Ryston’s female junior athletes at County Schools Championships.

Hannah Brown won the Senior Girls 200m and 400m, including setting a new club record and achieving the English Schools qualifier in the 400m with a time of 58.6secs.

Thea Howlett number 36
Thea Howlett number 36

Thea Howlett won both her events in the Inter Girls taking 1.9 seconds off her PB in the 300m to run 42.8secs, and clearing 5.08m in Long Jump.

Naomi Darkins won the Pole Vault with 1.90m.

Holly Chen was second in both the Shot and 100m.

Mia Moore was fifth in the Junior Girls 800m in 2:43.8.


On Sunday a contingent of Ryston Runners travelled to Great Yarmouth for the second East Anglian League match of the season. Against tough opposition plenty of high finishes were achieved and personal bests set.

The Under-13 Boys had a good day in the sand pit, with Liam Clare long jumping 4.29m and David MacQueen 4.20m. Liam also ran a PB for third in Hurdles while David set a new 100m PB (14.4s), also finishing third. Ryan Wood took 0.8 seconds off his 100m PB with 15.1s as well as throwing just shy of his best in Shot with 4.96m. Kieran Bell finished third in 200m in 31.7.

In the U13 Girls, Lucy Oakley smashed her Shot Putt PB by 1.3 metres throwing out to 4.90m, and also set a new PB in 100m (15.0). Lily Teasdale set a 200m PB with 34.5 and Lily May ran well in the 100m with 14.8s.

Robert MacQueen won the U15 Boys 100m, equalling his PB of 12.3 sec. Charlie Wakefield ran a superb 1500m to win his age group in 4:32.5. Saffron Teasdale long jumped 3.14m and threw the Discus 14.55m, both just shy of her PBs.

Lindsey Clare threw a new PB in Hammer of 15.85m and Gabby Clare achieved 3.88m in Long Jump. Gareth Hunt, returning from injury, high jumped 1.70 and ran 200m in 25.2, both good enough for second.

In the U11’s Riley Bell performed well, with the highlight coming in the long jump, a PB of 3.13m.

l Three senior athletes on Saturday conquered the Norfolk 100K Challenge event organised by Positive Steps.

Covering some testing terrain, including four miles of shingle bank, in increasingly warm conditions, the event, from Castle Acre to Beeston, proved too much for at least a third of the starters.

Phil Thompson put Ryston’s name on a trophy, by finishing 4th overall/3rd male competitor, in 11 hours 11 mins. Andy Smith toughed it out to complete in 14 hours 24 mins to claim third place in the M50 category, while his wife Karen finished half an hour later (14h 54m), 35th out of the 47 who survived the whole event, and 4th W45.


It was a warm, but windy night for the second Eastern Masters Track and Field League match at Lynnsport.

The Ryston Runners women’s team put on another amazing show. Tanya Daniels made a return from injury, winning the hurdles and high jump and coming second in the 200m. Jan Manning came second in 1500m (PB) and threw a javelin for the first time, claiming a respectable 4th place. Hayley Hawes made a debut appearance and was an asset to the relay team.

Gaye Clarke won High Jump, Hurdles, 200m and second in javelin. Liz Blakie, Sue Smith, Linda Marshall, Wendy Fisher, Marlene Simmonds, and Gill Hart made up the winning team that have now extended their lead in the NW Division of the league.

The men’s team finished the last match in sixth place in the division so they were fighting for points. Making his debut in track and field was Matt Allen. He and Malcolm Tuff led the 1500m, both scoring full points in their age groups and inspiring Jeff Reed to a PB while coming second in his category.

David Lane scored in six events. Paul Firmage, Keith Morris, Paul Harrison, Carl Manning, Chris Chapman and Shaun Mann helped lead the team to victory. The men’s team now stands fourth in the league and has closed the gap significantly.

Three Ryston teams were on the track for the 4x200m with a real battle between the Men 50-50 team and the Women 35-49. The women won, but all three teams came first in their categories. Thanks to the many club members who helped, and especially to young members Hannah Fisher and Victoria Borrmann who ran the refreshment table all night.


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