Dec & Jan 2002

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Last updated 2February 2002

Press Releases for December 2001 & January 2002

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29 January 2002

Blackheath Harriers, Bromley's endurance athletes were tested to their limits at the South Of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields. Gale force winds, torrential rain, thick mud and surface water meant it was an achievement just to finish a race, but the Club not only had athletes compete in 9 out of 10 races they also enjoyed some notable success.

In the Senior Men's 9 mile race 1999 Champion Dave Taylor took the runners up spot in 51.42 just one second behind the winner in a field 812 finishers.

Another former champion, Tim Dickinson finished 11th and with Rory Byrne 43rd, Roy Smith (still recovering from Chelsea's mauling at the hands of a rampant Tottenham the previous Wednesday) 48th, John Morland 89th and Jonathan Murray 92nd the team finished 5th out of the 64 Clubs who closed the requisite 6 runners. Many didn't.

The Club were the first Kent team to finish and with Giles Clifford 138th, Nick Gasson 144th, Pat Calnan 162nd, Dave Ellison 182nd, Mark Watling 205th and Mark Ellison 222nd it also won the Camden Cup for being the first Kent team to finish 12 runners. Brendan McShane was 285th.

The Senior women were also the first Kent team to finish led home by Jennie Butler who achieved her highest ever position in the race. She improved on last years 21st position to place 10th. Karyn O'Mahoney took 80th despite twisting her ankle on the opening lap with Anne Cilia 174th, Carolina Jones-Baldock 185th and Kate Pratten 186th.

Best performance in the other age groups came from Andrew Rayner who was 12th in the Junior Men's race, one place ahead of Harrow's Adam Bowden who was 6th in the European Cross Country Championships.

William Bolton showed he is fast returning to form as he came in 30th while in the Junior Women's race there was a promising run from Cath Castledine who, like Rayner, was the first Kent runner home.

Similarly Ray Perkins was the first Kent runner in the under 17's race as he continued his successful season in 33rd. Michael Leal was 137th. Bryony Proctor placed a useful 78th in her first year of the under 15 girls race while for the boys Chris Place was 163rd with Tom Beech 203rd and Dale Willis 204th.

Rebecca Taylor led the under 13 girls home in 19th place with Claire McNamara 97th. The boys team finished 13th overall with Daniel Brewer 32nd, Tom Corbett 88th, Michael Thorpe 115th, Tom Doig 140th, Robert D'Angelo 162nd and Richard Bolton 181st.

The previous weekend Katy Benneworth picked up a silver medal at the South Of England Indoor Championships at Bedford. She was second in the under 20's long jump with a leap of 5.31. The Club welcomes new members of all ages and abilities. For further details please contact Dave Liston on 01322 663 504.

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22 January 2002

Katy Porter showed that she is having few problems in adapting to Senior competition as she finished second in the 60 metre hurdles at the South Of England Indoor Championships at Bedford. The Blackheath Harriers, Bromley athlete who gained a Junior International vest last year and won the junior title for the previous two seasons timed a useful 8.8 seconds which promises much for the outdoor season where she will concentrate on the 400 hurdles.

There was disappointment, however, for reigning Senior Men's champion Mohammed Sillah Freckleton. Looking to complete a hat trick of victories, he found himself disqualified in the heats for allegedly knocking hurdles down with his lead leg.

There was frustration also for Daniel Plummer who ran 6.9 in the 60 metres semi final before withdrawing from the competition with a niggling injury.

First year junior Fabian Collymore timed 7.2 in the heats of the junor men's 60 metres.

Outdoors at the South Of The Thames Cross Country Championships at Wimbledon the Club had only three finishers and so were unable to complete a team. Brendan McShane was first home in 75th place with Graham Coates 104th and Bill Clapham 158th. A number of Heathens were also in action at the Kent Schools Championship at Mote Park Maidstone. Dan Snow finished in 17th place in the Senior Boys race while Chris Daniel placed in the mid 20s.

The Club will have athletes competing in all age groups at the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill this Saturday. In the Senior Men's race former individual champions Dave Taylor and Tim Dickinson are both set to compete giving the team a good chance of winning team medals.

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15 January 2002

Blackheath Harriers, Bromley have received a major boost with the signing of a new sponsorship deal. Sportswear manufacturer Nike have agreed to support a Club scheme providing coaching in local schools and this funding has been equalled by Sportsmatch, a business sponsorship incentive scheme administered by the Institute of Sports Sponsorship on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Under the scheme, the Club will provide 25 schools in the Borough of Bromley with six week blocks of coaching in Athletics.

The Club already help organise and fund the Borough's London Mini Marathon Trials and sponsors the Borough's Primary schools track and field and cross country championships.

This latest programme begins at a time when cuts in funding of Norman Park track, a key facility for the Sport in Bromley, are being considered. The worst scenario would be that the track could be forced to close. However, even a reduction in the Council grant to Norman Park Track Manangement, whose efficient administration of the facility is held in Athletics circles as a model of good practice, could have a detrimental effect on the Club's Development policies.

Officials and Club members are currently lobbying Councillors to seek assurances about the future of the facility. Cuts in opening hours; increases in prices for individuals and organisations; and reduction in spending on equipment and maintenance would threaten to put Athletics in the Borough into a spiral of decline.

With a record number of athletes and schools now using the track many believe that, in the medium term when it requires resurfacing, it should be upgraded to an 8 lane facility. Blackheath Harriers, Bromley compete at the highest level of Club Athletics in the country in the British Athletics League and National Junior Athletic League but are unable to host fixtures at Norman Park in these prestigious competitions because there are only 6 lanes, making it impractical for fixtures with 8 competing clubs.

One youngster who started his career as an under 13 at the track had a successful weekend at the Birmingham Indoor Games. Joe Godsell timed 1.56 for 800 to equal his outdoor best, the 2nd fastest under 20 athlete of the day.

Most impressive performance, however, came from Akinola "Lash" Lashore in the 60 metres. He won the final in 6.74 seconds after clocking 6.65 in his semi final which makes him the fastest in the country this season. His time meets the qualifying standard for this years European Indoor Championships which take place in Vienna in March and was two hundredths of a second quicker than Birchfield's young sprint sensation Mark Lewis Francis, the current World and European Junior champion over the 100 metres.

Three other Heathens made the 60 metre semis with Gavin Neblett, Daniel Plummer and Mensah Elliott timing 6.87, 6.88 and 6.95 respectively. A niggling injury prevented Elliott from competing in the sprint hurdles in which he has already achieved the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games.

Another three of the Club's internationals were in promising form. David Moulton clocked 1.52.72 for 800, Dave Taylor 3.54.61 for 1500; and Alloy Wilson 22.29 for the 200. In his first year in the Under 20 age group Fabian Collymore won the 200 in 22.16 and was 2nd in the 60 metres in 7.05.

Also indoors some of the Club's youngsters had a successful day in the latest Sportshall Athletics meeting in Dover. Alex Al Ameen was the individual winner in the under 13 boys competition and with Joe and James Mercer and Mark Akpofure the Club also won the team event. Sophie Robinson was 3rd in the under 13 girls event while there were also good performances from Emily Godley and Hannah Shomade.

Meanwhile outdoors 73 finished the Club's Veteran and Open 10km cross country race which incorporated a match against the Bank Of England. First home was Roy Smith in 36.00 with County champion Nick Kinsey the leading veteran in second and Nick Gasson third. Second veteran was John Morland in 4th overall with Welsh International Mark Watling third.

Karyn O'Mahoney was first woman home in 47.30 followed by Anne Cilia and Carolina Jones Baldock. Brendan McShane won the handicap competition which was included in the event with David Brookes second and Club auditor John Copley third.

In the evening the Annual Punchbowl event celebrated the 75th year of the Club opening it's premises in Hayes. For more details about the Club, results and details of the Club's 40 nationally ranked athletes in 2001 visit the website at www.bandbhac.org.uk

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8 January 2002

The winter cross country season began in earnest at the County Championships at Sevenoaks with athletes from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley winning individual and team medals across the age groups.

Hopes of a win in the Senior men's race were dashed with winter colds claiming a number of casualties, but a spirited team performance saw the Club still take the silver medal position.

At 39 years old, Roy Smith's 7th position was his highest ever placing in the event while at the other end of the age scale 20 year old Peter Tucker marked his first appearance in the Senior ranks with a fine 11th place. Rory Byrne (12th), Jonathan Murray (14th), Scott McDonald (26th) and Pat Calnan (27th) completed the scoring team.

Like Smith all three scorers in the Senior Women's team achieved their highest ever placings which helped them to third place, the first time they have achieved team medals in these Championships. Jennie Butler also picked up an individual medal as she finished 3rd, while Siobhan Budd, now back from her studies in Italy, pulled through strongly in the closing stages for 4th.

Club Vice President Anne Cilia completed the scoring in 28th just clear of Carolina Jones-Baldock in 30th with Alison Jelly 37th.

It was silvers all round in the under 20 age group with Cath Castledine, back from Birmingham University, in the women's and Andrew Rayner in the men's, both taking runners up spots. With William Bolton 10th and Matt Hill 12th the men also took 2nd in the team competition.

Eve Bugler just missed out on a medal in the under 17 girls race as she finished 4th while Ray Perkins led the boys team home in 9th place supported by Dan Snow (20th), Chris Daniel (31st) and Michael Leal (36th).

In the under 15's Tom Beech was 28th with Dale Willis 30th and Stephen Leach 32nd and despite being in her first year in the age group Bryony Proctor achieved an excellent 11th place in the girls race. Her brother Duncan picked up a team medal in the under 13 boys race as he finished 21st helping the Club to a good 3rd place. First home was Danny Brewer in 6th, thus securing selection for Kent in the Inter County Championships next month, while Michael Thorpe closed 16th with Tom Corbett 26th and Robert D'Angelo 29th.

Highest placed individual of the day was Rebecca Taylor in the under 13 girls race. The Newstead Woods schoolgirl retained the title she won last year running 45 seconds faster in the process and finishing 40 seconds clear of 2nd place. Remarkably she still has another year in the age group and will be looking for a hat trick of victories next year. Claire McNamara finished 14th.

The Club also had winners at two other County Championships. Dave Taylor retained the Surrey Senior Men's title competing for his second claim Club Herne Hill Harriers while in the Lancashire Championships Tim Dickinson continued his successful return from injury with a 22 second winning margin.

Both Taylor and Dickinson are former winners of the Southern Cross Country title and are both set to compete in this years event at the end of January, giving optimism that the Senior Men may be able to regain the title they have won seven times in the last nine years.

Away from the mud and cold a number of the Club's track and field stars were in action at the Windsor Indoor Open Meeting. Best performance came from England International Lash Lashore who clocked 6.7 seconds for the 60 metres in the first race of the day. Levi Edwards and Alloy Wilson timed 7.1 and there were 7.3s from Dwayne Bovell, Mohammed Sillah Freckleton and Neil Simpson.

The Club welcomes new members, male and female, of all ages and abilities. For further information please contact Dave Liston on 01322 663504.

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31 December 2001

Dan Ayrton completed a successful years running with an invitation to compete in the British Gas Great North Meeting in Newcastle. The 20 year old athlete from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley lined up against world cross country champion Mohammed Mourit and newly crowned European champion Sergiy Lebid in a 30 strong field. Staying up with such company was never going to be an option, but Ayrton held his own against some of the best athletes in Britain to finish 26th in a time of 30.00 for the 9km course.

The previous weekend he was in action at the Rochester relays helping the Blackheath team to retain the title they won last year. His time on the third leg of 11.27 was the second fastest of the day, with only Olympic 1500 metre man Anthony Whiteman of Medway And Maidstone quicker. Roy Smith brought the team home 3rd on the opening leg in 12.14 before Anthony Draper edged up to 2nd with 12.05. Ayrton came home neck and neck with Maidstone And Medway on leg three before Welsh 1500 metre international Joe Mills timed 11.55 to take the squad to victory.

There were also some notable performances in the B team where Peter Tucker finished just behind Smith on leg one with 12.15 and fast improving Nick Gasson clocked 12.54 on the anchor leg. Neil Ayrton, father of Dan, timed 13.42 and Rob Willliams 14.02 to complete the team.

Smith was also in action the day before at the Club's Yacht 5 mile handicap race at Hayes. His time of 27.59 proved the fastest of the day with Dave Ellison second with 31.30 and Mark Ellison third in 32.18. Fifth fastest and quickest woman was Jennie Butler who timed 32.42. Winner of the handicap was 58 year old Tony Pontifex who fooled the handicapper by shedding a stone in weight over the previous month, romping home over two minutes clear of the field. Simon Lloyd took 2nd with Mike Gasson 3rd.

A small group of Harriers travelled to Belgium to compete in the Gaston Roelants 10km road race in Brussels. The cold and icy conditions meant times were slow with Pat Calnan first home in 34.42 in 14th out of 817 finishers. Ken Daniel was 65th in 39.47, while junior David Griffin was 78th in 40.37 just 2 seconds clear of his father Con who was 81st in 40.39.

The Club welcomes new members of all ages and abilities. Those making New Year resolutions to progress from fatness to fitness should visit the Club website at www.bandbhac.org.uk

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18 December 2001

Michael Skinner capped his most successful ever year in Athletics when he represented an England under 23 team at the Reebok Cross Challenge in Edinburgh. The 22 year old runner from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley has already gained international vests both indoors and outdoors on the track but this was his first selection for cross country. In a strong field he finshed 14th in 27.47.

Skinner has been a member of the Club since he was a 10 year old and the Club's current youngsters also enjoyed success this weekend as they remain top of the Parkwood cross country League, despite fielding a depleted squad for Sunday's match at Canterbury.

Best performance of the day came from Rebecca Taylor who, after finishing 2nd for Kent in the Southern Inter Counties Championhips the previous weekend, returned to winning ways with another gun to tape victory.

She was ably supported by Clare Sapsed and Claire McNamara while in the boys race the first home was Robert D'Angelo in 7th with Richard Bolton 13th.

Earlier Ian Rowswell showed he will be a useful addition to this age group when he finished 5th in the under 11's race.

Bryony Proctor continued her promising season in her first year in the under 15's age group as she finished 4th, backed up by Caroline McQuillan.

For the boys Dale Willis was 12th with Stephen Leach 13th giving them 2nd in the team race.

After an excellent 19th in the Southern Inter Counties last weekend Ray Perkins led home the under 17 boys team in 4th place with Dan Snow 5th and Chris Daniel 6th, while in the under 20 girls race Kate Bugler finished 4th.

Two of the Club's athletes feature in the recently published National under 13's track and field rankings for the year. Alex Al Ameen is placed 5th in the 80 metre hurdles and 7th in the 75 hurdles. His Club Record of 28.04 in the discus puts him 7th in the country and there are now two generations of his family who currently hold Club Records. His uncle Rob Farish still holds the under 17 1500 metre record of 3.53.20 set in 1981. Alex Sims lies equal 21st in the under 13's 100 metres with his 12.9 clocking.

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11 December 2001

In a change from cross country, athletes from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley have ventured on to the roads and indoors with some impressive results. At the Portsmouth Victory 5 road race Dave Taylor and Michael Skinner both featured prominently in a race that also contained an Inter Area match, thus ensuring a high quality field.

Taylor, who finished 4th in the Commonwealth Games marathon in 1998, came in 7th place timing 23.42, 24 seconds down on winner Rob Denmark, the former Commonwealth 5,000 metre champion. Skinner took 14th place with an excellent 24.10 for his debut over the distance.

Dan Ayrton and Andrew Rayner travelled to Cardiff to compete at the Welsh National Indoor Arena and both came away with new personal bests. In a rare excursion over 800 metres Ayrton made a huge improvement to clock 1.55.0 and then just 10 minutes later lined up with Rayner to race over 3,000 metres. He was rewarded with another new best as he timed 8.32.56. Rayner was equally pleased with his performance as he sliced over half a minute off his best to time 8.35.83 in his last race as a junior.

Meanwhile on the country older members of the Club were in action at the Kent Veteran Championships at Tunbridge Wells. Nick Kinsey comfortably retained his over 40's title. The former British record holder for the Iron Man triathlon looked relaxed throughout timing 33.34 for victory. With Tim Soutar 5th in 35.05 and Con Griffin 7th in 35.19 the Club won the team award.

In the over 50's race track thoroughbred Ken Daniel found the heavy conditions not to his liking and had to settle for 5th place just two seconds off the bronze medal position. Peter Hamilton was 10th and Mike Cronin 14th which gave the team second place.

In the Clubmans race Rory Byrne took 3rd place with Scott McDonald 5th but the Club failed to complete a team.

Three of the Club's youngsters were in action in the Southern Inter Counties Championships at Bury St Edmonds. In the under 17's race Ray Perkins celebrated his call up to the Kent team with an excellent 19th place.

Eve Bugler was 6th scorer in the girls race while her sister Kate, back from her first term at Oxford University, placed midway in the under 20's race.

More young Heathens competed in the latest round of Sportshall Athletics at Tunbridge Wells. Most successful was the under 13 girls team of Hannah Shomade, Sophie Robinson, Emily Godley and Serita Solomon who placed second overall. It was a double celebration for Solomon who was also runner up in the individual competition.

There was more success in the age group as Alex Al Ameen was 3rd individual in the boys competition with Mark Akpofure also showing great promise in his first Sportshall competition.

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4 December 2001

Athletes from Blackheath Harriers, Bromley enjoyed success across the age groups at the latest round of Kent League races at Danson Park.

Joe Mills showed that he is fast getting back to his best form as he finished 2nd in the Senior Men's race. He was backed up by Roy Smith in 4th, a rejuvenated Jonathan Murray in 10th, and veteran John Morland in 28th and, with 16 runners in total, the Club finished 2nd in the 4 to score and 3rd in the 12 to score competitions. They are now 2nd in the League with one match remaining.

It was 2nd also for Jennie Butler in the Senior Women's race, and, following her wins in the opening two fixtures, she remains the top individual.

Carolina Jones Baldock's 23rd place was her highest ever in the Kent League as was Alison Jelly's 29th, while Kate Pratten made a promising debut in 37th with Sarah Cummings 38th. The team finished in 5th place and now lie 2nd overall.

Best performance in the younger age groups came from Rebecca Taylor in the first race of the day. She led from gun to tape in the under 13 girls race with the promising Clare Sapsed a useful 17th.

There was a big breakthrough for Michael Thorpe in the under 13 boys race as he scored an excellent 3rd place and with the efforts of Tom Corbett in 10th and Robert D'Angelo 19th the team achieved 2nd place.

Like Thorpe, Bryony Proctor achieved her highest ever Kent League position as she finished in 5th place in the under 15 girls race and, with support from Caroline McQuillan in 14th and Lauren Baxter in 25th, the team took 5th place.

For the boys Daniel McKeown was 19th with Dale Willis 23rd. Eve Bugler was back to her best in the under 17 races. Following her 2nd place in last weeks London Heathrow Games, she took runners up spot again, a four place improvement on the last race at Margate.

Ray Perkins led the boys home in 15th with Dan Snow 17th and David Griffin 22nd while in the Under 20s race Matt Hill finished in 4th place.

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