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Ryston Runners members clinch podium places in EMAC Track and Field League final at Milton Keynes

Having pulled together for the Round Norfolk Relay the previous weekend, Ryston Runners members found themselves competing in far smaller groups over a variety of events this weekend.

The greatest number found themselves at Milton Keynes, battling for honours in the EMAC Track and Field League final.

Weather conditions were dreadful and very wet, but team manager Helen Reed was delighted to oversee the bringing away of medals by both Ryston teams, silver for the women and bronze for the men.

Ryston Runners team and officials (17393976)
Ryston Runners team and officials (17393976)

When early placings were announced the women were first and men were sixth, but the women then started sliding down, in part due to losing team member Shelley Brown to a nasty hamstring injury in the 1500m, and the resultant depletion of the W35 part of the team.

Everyone continued to give it their best, however, despite a sunny hot morning giving way at lunchtime torrential rain and hail.

The track was awash and the high jump mat made for some very soggy landings.

Personal bests from Jamie Bransgrove in 1500m and 3000m and Matt Hitchcock in the triple jump contributed some sparkle to the men’s team effort.

The addition of Steph Pain to the women’s team this season bore fruit in the final as she won the pole vault, javelin, and long jump in the W35 category as well as bagging top-three places in her numerous other events.

Ryston ladies with their silver medals. (17393952)
Ryston ladies with their silver medals. (17393952)

Gaye Clarke covered seven events and was placed no lower than third in all of them.

The other individual win of the came from the evergreen Marlene Simmonds in the shot putt.

Liz Blakie proved her worth in the field with top three places in the triple and long jumps, as well as a third in the 2000m walk.

Gill Hart found a renewed talent in the sprints, Katy Tuncer contributed her usual reliable displays, while Rosemary Jackson and Linda Marshall covered the longer track races.

Sue Smith battled out every event that she was asked to cover, and team boss Reed made an appearance in the 800m, hammer and medley relay as Ryston nabbed silver by two points.

For the men, Paul Oakes also completed seven events, and placed in the top three in all of them, with one of the team’s two outright wins coming from him in the M60 javelin.The other came from Mac Tuncer in the high jump.

Ryston men with their bronze. (17393966)
Ryston men with their bronze. (17393966)

Consistent efforts from Daniel Yellop, Paul Harrison, Stephen Aish, Malcolm Tuff, Tony Savage, Jeff Reed, Andy Simmonds, Ken Bowman, Keith Morris, Paul Firmageresulted in a heady celebration when it was revealed they had taken the bronze medals by four points.

Paul Firmage also spent much of the day representing the club as a track judge, and Neil Borrmann finished the season having fulfilled the same role for Ryston in the field.

n See page 66 for more pictures.

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