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Apl & May 2001

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Last updated 1 June 2001

Press Releases for April & May 2001

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29 May 2001

Two Championship records, three major Championship qualifying performances, four Club records, and over a dozen personal bests made it an outstanding weekend for athletes of Blackheath Harriers, Bromley at the Inter County Championships at Bedford and the South Of England Under 20 Championships at Watford.

At Bedford, Jonathan Barbour's time of 10.24 in the 100 metres was a new Championship record as he beat Olympian Marlon Devonish for the second week running. It was just inside the qualifying mark for the World Championships but will not count as the windspeed of +2.5 was just above the legal limit.

In the 200 he finished in 4th place, the same time as the third placed athlete, and his time of 20.95 in the heat was actually the fastest time recorded of the day. Mensah Elliott dipped under 14 seconds for the first time this season in the 110 hurdles as he finished in third in 13.98; and Levi Edwards leapt 6.91 in the long jump but failed to progress beyond the qualifying pool.

Star of the weekend at Watford was Dwayne Grant who was in sensational form winning both the Under 20 men's 100 and 200 titles. The John Powell coached athlete broke Mark Richardson's Championship record in the 200 metres as he stormed to victory in 20.9 and he returned the next day to win the 100 metres in 10.50. Both performances were inside the qualifying time for the European Junior Championships.

There were three new Club records set as athletes from the Mike Davies and Herbie Kuentslinger coaching stable had a field day in the throws events.  Karim Chester broke the under 17's hammer record for the third time this year launching the 5kg implement out to 58.55 to win the gold medal. In the under 20's discus Emily Oliver's 34.06 was good enough to take bronze; while in the under 15's shot Vicky Thomas bettered her old Club Record three times with her furthest putt of 10.42 leaving her one place off third.

Southern Indoor Champion Katy Porter returned from injury to place 2nd in the under 20's 100 metre hurdles and there were also medals for Fabian Collymore (under 17's 200); Ian Allerton (under 17's 400); and Neil Simpson (under 20's 400).

Amongst those achieving personal best were Harriet Robinson and Clare Cooper (U15 75 hurdles); Joanna South (U15 200); Anita Oliver (U17 discus); Ian Allerton (U17 400) and Dan Ryan and Chris Daniel (U17 800).

A number of athletes from the Club have recently received awards from Sportsaid on the recommendations of UK Athletics. Katy Porter, Samantha Singer and Nange Ursell have each received National Awards of 500 while Jake Aust and Fabian Collymore have both received London Awards.

The Club always welcomes new members of all ages and standards. For further information please contact Dave Liston on 01322 663504.

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22 May 2001

Sprinters from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley were out in force at the Aqua-Pura International Meeting at Loughborough laying the foundations for a season in which they aim for glory at the major championships. National under 23 100 and 200 metre champion Jonathan Barbour will have attracted the attention of the Great Britain management as he bids for a place at the European Under 23 Championships. His time of 10.36 in finishing 2nd in the 100 metres was just 8 hundredths shy of his best as he claimed the scalp of Olympic 200 metre representative Marlon Devonish.

He followed with a win in the Invitation 200 metres in 21.08 which proved faster than clubmate Julian Golding in the main race. Golding, himself a former European Under 23 title holder at 200 and the Commonwealth champion clocked 21.17 for 3rd place despite having the tighter inside lane which will encourage him as he targets a place in the British team for the World Championships in Edmonton.

Dwayne Grant is looking for selection for the European Junior Championships and he started his domestic racing with a win in the Invitation 100 in 10.74. A member of the Great Britain junior 4x100 team who struck gold at last years World Championships, he teamed up with his colleagues from Santiago to time 39.55 in the relay as they finished 2nd to the Great Britain senior team.

Blackheath team captain Mensah Elliott was 5th in the 110 hurdles in 14.29 and a cold ridden Michael Skinner was 9th in the 1500 in 3.47.4.

It was also a busy weekend of League competition with the Club continuing it's bid for promotion from Division Three of the Southern Womens League.  The team finished 2nd in a tight match at St Albans, just 8 points behind winners Hastings. Many of the Blackheath performances would not have been out of place in a Division One match showing that the teams only weakness is a lack of depth and a shortage of athletes in some of the more technical events.

It was promising, therefore, to see Zoe Morell return to competition with a 2nd place in the pole vault to add to her other 2nd in the 800.

"A" string victories came from GB junior international Sam Singer who ran a seasons best of 57.8 in the 400; and from Jennie Butler, who, although experienced on the road and country, made her track debut. She celebrated with a runaway victory in the 3000 in 10.27.4, her first win ever on any terrain.

Louisa Guthrie had two useful 2nd places in the sprints as did Emily Oliver in the discus and hammer. In fact the Blackheath athletes rarely finished lower than 3rd in their events with many personal bests being set. Perhaps the highlight was Harriet Robinson's 4.88 leap to win the long jump to add to her victory in the 75 metre hurdles.

The clash of fixtures meant a weakened team being fielded in the McDonalds League match at Ealing the next day, yet the enthusiastic efforts from experienced and novice athletes alike left team manager Michelle Bovell confident that the team could build on their 4th place and win the next match at the start of July. Best performance came from Sandra Alaneme with wins in the high jump, long jump and shot.

More successful were the Boys who won their match at Croydon by 56 points. The Club won both Man Of The Match awards. In the field Karim Chester broke the Club record in the hammer for the 2nd time this year with 57.26 while Fabian Collymore received the track nomination for his 22.5 in the 200.

Other under 17s to impress were Guillaume Rulens who set a new best of 1.80 to win the high jump with Will Edet making it maximum points in the B string; Joe Sweeney who ran 4.15.6 for 2nd in the 1500; and Colin Smith who timed a useful 62 seconds on his debut in the 400 hurdles.

Dennis Sawyerr ran a Grade One of 24.2 in the 200 in the under 15s while the 1500 duo of David Fenlon and James Poole both set personal bests. There was more success in the metric mile in the under 13s with Danny Brewer winning in 5.07.9 while in the sprints both Joe Mercer and Alex Sims won individual events before helping the relay team to victory.


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4 May 2001

Blackheath Harriers, Bromley could set some sort of record in this weekends British Athletics League Division One match at Copthall by fielding a team with the largest age span in the history of the competition. Seventeen year olds Joseph Godsell and Jake Aust are set to make their League debuts while at the other end of the age scale 67 year old grandfather Gordon Hickey is ready to make a return to National League competition in the shot. Hickey holds the UK over 65s record for the event and has been pressed back into service to compete against current Olympic and Commonwealth internationals because of the injuries and unavailability of a number of the Clubs top throwers.

The fixture features the leading eight teams in the country but, with the match being in early May when some athletes are still away warm weather training; and the clash with the British Universities Championships in Glasgow; Clubs will be fielding weakened teams.

Blackheath are no exception but still have some useful athletes in action. Akinola "Lash" Lashore and Michael Champion both go in the sprints; former World Junior 400 metre finalist Alloy Wilson makes a welcome return to competition; while AAA's senior indoor long jump bronze medallist Mark Awanah will be in action in the field. He teams up with fast improving Levi Edwards. One of the Clubs best events seems likely to be in the 110 hurdles where Mensah Ellliott, ranked 4th in the country last year, will be looking to build on some promising early form abroad.

The Blackheath team captain has recently returned from America where he ran 14.33 for the hurdles in a meeting at Long Beach. This was into a -3.1 headwind and would suggest that it won't be long before he goes under 14 seconds this season.

Still out in the States are Julian Golding and Jonathan Barbour both of whom have clocked useful times over 200 at Fullerton. Commonwealth Champion Golding timed 21.04 to show that he is over the virus that affected him in Olympic year, while AAA's under 23 champion Barbour recorded 21.47.

While the track season is about to kick off in earnest the outstanding Kent Womens and Young Athletes Cross Country League results have been confirmed. The last of the four races was cancelled because of the foot and mouth crisis and after some discussion it has been decided that the Final Results should be as at the end of three matches.

This leaves the Club with two individual champions and two team victories. Jennie Butler was Senior Womens champion while Dan Ayrton took the Junior Mens title having been unbeaten in all three fixtures. In fact the Junior men completed a clean sweep in Ayrton's age group with Will Bolton second and Matt Lucht third and won the team award.

The Clubs other team win came in the under 13 age group where Tom Beech was third individual. The Clubs youngsters will also be in action this weekend with the first round of the McDonalds Young Athletes League at Tonbridge on Sunday, while the Club will be hosting the Ted Pepper 10km on Bank Holiday Monday starting at 11.00 from Langley Park School For Boys.

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1 May 2001

On a hectic weekend, Blackheath Harriers, Bromley successfully negotiated the conflicts of the overlap of the winter and summer seasons to produce an impressive set of five team results from four different venues.

Pride of place went to the womens section who competed in the National 6 Stage road relay at Sutton Coldfield for the first time in the Clubs history while at the same time launching their summer campaign in Southern Womens League Division Three with a two point victory in their match at Abingdon.

In the relay at Sutton Park the team finished in 26th position and were the 7th Southern club a one place improvement on the Area Championships at Milton Keynes earlier in the month, despite fielding a weaker team. Kent Womens League cross country champion Jennie Butler brought the team home in 16th on the traditionally strongest opening leg and Karyn O' Mahoney kept her composure on leg two despite being overtaken by former World Cross Country Champion Sonia O Sullivan. Teenagers Hazel Barker and Gemma Viney maintained the Club's presence in the top half of the field with veterans Anne Cilia and Cath Messent, last minute call ups to the squad, guiding the team home.

The result from Abingdon showed the track and field team's promotion ambitions look well founded. Twenty-eight individual wins, fifteen personal bests and two new Club Records were the reward for an outstanding effort by a weakened squad.

Among many highlights, the most notable was Sandra Alaneme's debut in the triple jump. She had never competed in the event before but, after a quick practice session, won the event with a leap of 10.61 breaking the Club record and achieving an English Schools qualifying standard.

She also won the high jump and shot and there was also a hat trick of wins for Katy Benneworth in the 100 metres, 80 hurdles and long jump; and from Clare Cooper in the under 15s long jump, 75 hurdles and 100 metres.

The other Club Record came from Victoria Thomas in the under 15s shot where
she won with a putt of 10 metres to add to her win in the discus. Other good throws performances came from the Oliver sisters Emily and Anita while on the track Internationals Katy Porter and Samantha Singer both had double victories in the senior hurdles and sprints as did Joanna South in the under 15s age group.

Back at Sutton Park the mens' team were also in action in the 12 stage event finishing in 29th. Highlight was the appearance of Mark Steinle just one week after finishing as first Briton in the London Marathon. He timed a useful 26.41 but was upstaged by Dave Taylor who ran an outstanding 26.14 in difficult windy conditions. Other good runs came from under 23 Internationals Michael Skinner and David Moulton who timed 14.40 and 15.42 on short stages. Skinner's was the 9th fastest of the day. The Club only had 11 runners at the Southern Championship but thanks to the efforts of athletes such as Bill Foster turning out when not fit, the team were the 8th placed from the clubs from the South Of England.

Elsewhere it was business as usual in the Kent Boys And Colt League. The Club has won the League for the last 18 years and started 2001 with another victory. Dennis Sawyerr impressed with a double win in the under 15s sprints and Brendan Earley opened his season with a useful 56.5 victory in the 400 metres.

The unders 20s were also in action the the National Junior League where the best performances came in the sprints. Fabian Collymore, competing against athletes up to three years older than him took 4th and 2nd in the 100 and 200 with George Isodo and Jack Wilkie taking 1st and 2nd in the B events. Isodo and Wilkie then teamed up with Dwayne Bovell and Mark Awanah for a rousing win in the 4x100. There was also a good 2nd place in the 4x400 for Awanah, Jake Aust, Neil Simpson and Ian Allerton.

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24 April 2001

Mark Steinle bounced back from the disappointment of his Olympic debut in Sydney last October when he finished 6th in the London Flora Marathon. In Australia, a stomach upset reduced him to a crawl in the second half of the race, but on Sunday he excelled himself in probably the highest quality big city marathon in the world.

Five of the starters had bests of inside 2 hours 7 minutes and the field included three times winner Antonio Pinto; eventual winner Abdelkader El Mouaziz; and Paul Tergat, the fastest ever over the half marathon distance and five time winner of the World Cross Country Championships.

Undaunted by the quality around him, the 26 year old athlete from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley stayed with the leaders as long as he could and when the field split just before halfway, maintained his strength and concentration to finish in a new best of 2.10.46.

His reward was automatic selection for the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada in August; a new Blackheath Club Record; and the satisfaction of claiming the scalp of Abel Anton, twice world champion for the distance.

Steinle one day aims to win the London race. The last Briton to do so was Eamonn Martin in 1993 in a time four seconds slower than Steinle in 2001. That year Mark finished 63rd in the World Junior Cross Country Championships, while Tergat, who finished 2nd on Sunday, was 10th in the senior race.

 Ultimately the dedicated training and support of those around him which has been the foundation for his progress in the last eight years could see him achieve his goal.

Nick Kinsey was one of the highest placed veterans in the field as he finished 91st in 2.36.03 while the first female home for the Club was Natalie Brightwell in 3.57.20. Club President Mike Peel continued his unbroken run of London Marathon finishes. He has completed every one of the 21 races, one of only 38 people to do so. Those inspired by Sundays race may enjoy the Club's Open 10km road race on Bank Holiday Monday the 7th of May. The race starts at Langley Park School for boys. For an entry form contact Richard Coles on 01329 220817. Steinle is a former winner of this race.

This weekend the Club will be in action at the National Road Relay Championships in Sutton Coldfield. Blackheath will be fielding a team in the womens 6 stage race for the first time and hoping to build on the excellent 8th place that they achieved in the Southern Championships at the start of the month. Only Siobhan Budd will be missing from the Southern team as she cannot get back from Barcelona. Her place goes to Kate Bugler who joins Jennie Butler, Karyn O Mahoney, Gemma Viney, Cath Castledine, and Hazel Barker in the team.

The Club will also be fielding a mens team in the 12 stage event despite failing to finish in the Southern Championships. They have been awarded a discretionary place and aim to justify the faith placed in them. Subject to recovering from Sundays race Mark Steinle will be in action and the squad is also boosted by the return of former Southern Cross Country champion Dave Taylor and new Great Britain indoor international Michael Skinner.

The Club are holding a coaching day at Norman Park on Tuesday 29th of May for youngsters in year 6 and above. The day aims to introduce youngsters to the various track and field disciplines in a fun environment. For further details please send a SAE to Dave Liston at 70 Sermon Drive, Swanley, Kent. BR8 7HT.

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17 April 2001

Blackheath Harriers, Bromley started the summer track and field campaign with a win in the Kent Womens League Division Two match at Norman Park. A mixture of rain, hail and wind and a clash with the Easter Bank Holiday left a somewhat depleted team sheet but the efforts of those that did compete gave the Club victory by nearly 100 points.

For the Seniors Kate Bugler and Karyn O Mahoney translated their good winter form on the roads and cross country into wins in the 800 and 100; and Angela Zihute, Caroline Stephenson and Napthali Morris enjoyed their first competitions for nearly 7 months.

Katy Benneworth showed the benefits of some consistent winter training with a winning leap of 5.16 in the under 17s long jump and followed with a 12.7 win in the 80 metre hurdles, a time which was faster than all the athletes in the Division One match. Harriet Robinson did the same in the under 15s age group winning the long jump in 4.37 and taking the 75 metre hurdles in 12.6 seconds; while training partner Clare Cooper was also in winning form in the javelin to add to her 2nd place in the 100 metres.

The most encouraging aspect of the afternoon was the performance of some of the athletes new to the team. Venita Akpofure caught the eye with a win in the under 15s 200 metres and she also set a new best of 13.3 in the 100 non scoring. Emma Mason made a big impression on her debut in the under 13s age group. Her throw of 14.43 in the javelin was particularly noteworthy adding to her promising 12.02 in the discus. Serita Solomon set new bests of 1.20 and 10.8 in the high jump and 75 metres, while Sophie Robinson clocked a useful 23.0 for 2nd place in the 150 metres.

The afternoon finished on a high with wins for both the under 13s and under 15s 4x100 metre relay teams, both in times quicker than the Division One match.

Numerous Club Records were set last summer but few would expect any to go as early as April. No on had told Karim Chester as, after a winter of hard training under Mike Davies, he added nearly two and a half metres to the Under 17s hammer record at the Tonbridge Open Meeting. His throw of 56.40 is possibly the furthest in his age group in the country so far this year.

Martin Airey ran a useful 1.23.9 in the Senior 600 metres and there were new bests in the under 17s age group for Tom Robinson (3.30 in the pole vault) and Andrew Johnson (15.1 in the 100 hurdles).

Stephen Leach had a promising debut over 3000 timing 11.45.5 and Alex Al-Ameen set new best of 16.97 and 1.30 in the under 13s discus and high jump. His brother Richard enjoyed his debut in the discus and shot competitions throwing 11.32 and 5.74.

On the roads Tony Brightwell finished 2nd overall and first over 50 with a time of 22.23 in the Avery Hill 3.65 race. Further down the field Bill Clapham showed he is set to make a big impression in the over 70s age group finishing 18th in 27.54.

This weekend Club members of all ages will be in action in the Adidas London Marathon and Mini Marathon. In the main event Mark Steinle makes his bid for automatic selection for the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada; while further down the field a host of runners will be looking for personal bests and looking to raise funds for the Clubs nominated charity, the MacMillan Cancer Relief Fund.

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10 April 2001

The women's section of Blackheath Harriers, Bromley made a small piece of Club History when they competed in the South Of England 6 Stage Road Relay for the first time, and were rewarded for their efforts on the traffic free course at Milton Keynes with an 8th place and automatic qualification for the National Final in three weeks time.

Thirty five teams entered the event and with many Clubs putting their best runners on the first leg, Birmingham University student Cath Castledine ran a sensibly paced race to close in 23rd position. She handed to Jennie Butler who showed no adverse effect to a recent leg injury, carving her way through the field to move the team up to 12th with her time of 20.11 being the 3rd fastest of the stage and the 21st fastest overall time of the day.

The investment in a plane ticket to fly back a sun tanned Siobhan Budd from her studies at University in Barcelona paid dividends as she moved the team up to a heady 5th position. Despite running well, Karyn O Mahoney slipped to 8th on leg four against some strong opposition and steady performances from Gemma Viney and Hazel Barker on stages 5 and 6 achieved the target of a top 10 position, a result which promises much for the future with three members of the team still in the under 20 age group.

In contrast, there was disappointment in the men's 12 Stage event where the Club, who won the event just two years ago, failed to finish a team. A plethora of injuries and prior engagements meant only 11 athletes were available and the team had to pull out after the penultimate leg while in contention for a National qualifying position.

There were, nevertheless, some encouraging performances from a group spanning an age range of over 30 years. Four enthusiastic juniors benefitted from the Senior competition with Dan Ayrton and Peter Tucker running strong long legs and William Bolton and Andrew Rayner on short stages. Symptomatic of the shortage of athletes was the appearance of 50 year old war horse Ken Daniel in his first run in the event for 12 years, but his time of 19.06 was quicker than many younger runners. Elsewhere there were solid runs from Pat Calnan, Giles Clifford, John Morland and Richard Parrott on long stages.

Another promising aspect of the afternoon was to see the number of athletes who have joined the Club as youngsters developing to compete at Senior level. This looks set to continue with 40 new members elected at the most recent Committee meeting and the Club agreeing a three year sponsorship deal to support Primary School athletics in the Borough. In liasion with the Bromley Primary Schools Athletics Association and the Bromley Primary Schools Cross Country Association, the Club will support 6 track and field events and 2 cross country events each year.

A number of the Clubs youngsters were in action at the Hercules Wimbledon Open Meeting at Crystal Palace registering some promising performances prior to the start of summer League season. Under 17 thrower Karim Chester set new bests in both the discus and shot with throws of 39.47 and 11.98 gaining 2nd places in both events. There were two medals also for Anita Oliver in the same age group as she threw a useful 25.50 for silver in the discus to add
to her bronze in the shot.

Other medal winning performances came from Dwayne Bovell, 2nd in the under 17s 100 metres in 11.4, and from Venita Akpofure, 3rd in the under 15 girls 200 metres.

The Club welcomes new members of all ages and standards. For further details
please contact Head Of Development, Dave Liston on 01322 663504.

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3 April 2001

Blackheath Harriers, Bromley recovered from a disaster on the opening leg to finish an excellent 5th in the Wellington International Relays in Ostend. Run on the same course that hosted the previous weekends World Cross Country Championships, the race consists of 12 legs of distances varying between 200 and 1200 metres which often leads to a melee on the opening stage.

As the runners set off on the opening 800 leg Steve Cooper had the baton knocked out of his hand and had to turn back to pick it up off the start line. He managed to claw back one place by the changeover. From there the fortunes of the team improved with best individual run coming from Michael Skinner who moved up a dozen places on one of the 1200 metre legs. Equally encouraging were the performances of three of the younger members of the team. Joseph Godsell (800), Jake Aust (400) and Ian Allerton (400) helped edge the team up to 5th place as the Club finished just 15 seconds behind the winning team.

Closer to home the Clubs youngsters won the overall trophy in the Parkwood League at Canterbury. This is a cross country league but, because of the waterlogged conditions and the Foot And Mouth epidemic, the final event of the season, the relays, were run around the perimeter roads at Kent University.

Best individual run of the day came from Daniel Ayrton who was the fastest under 20 of the day timing 3.55. He was part of an A team of Tom Beech, Michael Leal and Ray Perkins who finished 5th. 7th and 9th places from the B and C teams showed good quality in depth and there was an excellent run from Tom Corbett who recorded a time of 4.32. William Bolton was 3rd fastest under 20 with a 4.03 clocking with Matt Lucht just behind in 4.06.

There were more good results from the girls with Aimee Boyle and Kate Bugler running the third fastest times in the under 13 and under 20 age groups.  Their efforts, along with those of Caroline McQuillan and Hannah Williams, helped the team to third place. Promising debuts from Jennifer Caffrey and Natalie Wiggins and strong runs from Bryony Proctor and Rachel Stokes meant the B team finished less than a minute behind.

All these efforts meant that the Club retained the overall boys and girls League title for another year with Invicta East Kent in second. The boys won their title and the girls finished third. To add to the celebrations there were more notable runs from the team members of the future as Richard Bolton and Claire McNamara finished 4th and 3rd in the under 11s races. The afternoon finished with the celebrities race with boys team manager Julia Leach just pipping new president Mike Peel on the line.

The Club travels to Milton Keynes this weekend for the Southern Road Relay Championships. Mark Steinle has his last race before the London Marathon in the mens 12 stage event and although a number of athletes will be missing the presence of a number of the Clubs junior squad should ensure qualification for the National final at the end of the month.

A small piece of Blackheath history will be made in the womens 6 stage event as the Club has entered a team for the first time. Siobhan Budd flies back from her studies in Barcelona especially for the event to join a promising squad made up of Inter Counties team gold medallist Jennie Butler, Karyn O'Mahoney, Gemma Viney, Cath Castledine and Hazel Barker .

The Club welcomes new members of all ages and standards. For further details
please contact Head Of Development Dave Liston on 01322 663504.

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