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West Norfolk athletes step up to plate in London

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West Norfolk AC sent a strong contingent across all age groups to last weekend’s Eastern Region Indoor Athletics Championships.

Athletes competed over the two days against some of the best in the region at The Lee Valley Centre in North London.

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Rahim Benson, Nathan Protheroe and Matthew Bailey really stepped it up, bringing home the medals.

Under 20s-man Benson followed up on his county gold from the previous week with a regional silver, this time in the long jump with a leap of 6.24m.

Benson was also jumping well in the triple jump and was laying in second place before he had to withdraw due to injury.

Fellow U20s athlete Protheroe ran a strong 8.89 in the 60m hurdles to bring home a fantastic silver medal.

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Senior athlete Matthew Bailey had a great run in the 60m hurdles, finishing in a time of 8.84.

It was a closely-contested race, but he came away with the bronze medal.

Bailey also ran well in the 60m flat race where he finished third, just missing out on qualification for the final in a season’s best time of 7.48.

James Greenhalgh was due to run 60m on the Saturday but due to some injury issues decided to run only in the 400m on the Sunday.

Greenhalgh qualified for the final after running a storming heat in 52.75, but withdrew from the final due to leg cramps.

There were plenty of top performances, personal bests across the other age groups.

Under-20s woman, Hannah Greenhalgh ran on Saturday in the 60m in 8.66 and again on Sunday in the 200m, with a personal best time of 28.77.

The under-15 girls were represented by seven athletes competing.

Ruby Schwarz made two finals, qualifying third in her 300m heat and second in her 200m heat.

She went on to finish fifth in both the 300m in a time of 47.20 and a personal best run and in the 200m final running 29.15. Elizabeth Wood ran in fourth in her heat of the 300m in 49.81.

Wood also ran in the 800m, finishing eighth in 2m.53.01.

Abby Watson was fifth in her 300m heat just behind Wood in 50.25 and leaped 1.35m, equalling her personal best to finish sixth in the high jump.

Millie Bastion had a solid day over three events – third in 300m heat in 49.65 and two personal best performances finishing fourth in 200m heat in 31.23 and eighth in the high jump 1.30m.

Poppy Tunmore jumped 1.20m in the high jump and finished a solid fifth in the 800m in a time of 2m.42.47, just a fraction off her personal best time.

Lily Teasdale, competing in her first major championships, ran 10.02 in the 60m flat race and 13.31 in the 60m hurdles race.

Also, Bethany Barrett of Dereham AC, who trains with the hurdles group at West Norfolk, finished fourth in her 60m heat in 9.02.

Barrett also made the final of her main event, 60m hurdles, after a strong personal best run of 10.35 in her heat to end up fifth in the final.

U17s 60m first year hurdlers, Rachel Chapman and Alfie Williams, both ran the same time their races, running in at 9.93.

They were both personal best performances. Chapman also ran the under-17s women’s 60m flat race in 9.0 sec.

Williams competed in three other events over the two days.

In the shot put, Williams came fifth with a throw of 11.27m after juggling two events.

On Sunday, Williams competed in the long jump with 4.96m and had a 200m run in 26.61. There were three athletes in the masters’ age group – Neil Watson, Ben Collison and John Greenhalgh.

Watson ran in the 300m against club mate Collison to finish in third place and qualified for the final in a time of 44.5.

Collison was fourth in 46.42.

The big showdown took place in the 1500m race, just 30 minutes after their first event.

Collison got the better of Watson, finishing in a very good fourth place with a time of 4m.52.7.

John Greenhalgh was eighth in 5m.18.1 and Watson came in ninth in 5m.20.

Five Ryston athletes took part in the same event.

David MacQueen had a fantastic day on Saturday in the under-13 boys.

He was up against tough and plentiful opposition in all three of his events but he managed to set a new 60m PB to win his heat, and then match that time of 8.56 secs to come away with bronze.

That was not his only personal best on the day – he also long-jumped 4.30m, beating his previous best by 16 centimetres, which was good enough for fourth place.

He also came fifth in the shot with 5.72m.

Also taking part on the Saturday were Robert MacQueen (under-17 men 60m, 7.76 secs) and Bea Honeybone (under-15 girls’ shot, over 7.5m).

On the Sunday, Gareth Hunt came away with two silvers from the senior men’s high jump (1.70m) and triple jump, as well as a season’s best in long jump of 5.79m.

Thea Howlett (under-17 women) opened her 2018 season with a 4.78m long jump and 44.9 secs 300m, missing out on the final by one place.

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