Sweet Sixteen as League’s Top-Spot Club Take Olympic Spirit to Heart!
The entire British nation has been rightly captivated by the past two weeks of World-class sport, with ‘legacy’ being very much the watchword of the 2012 Olympic Games. One Athletics Club that already has that mantra very much at its heart is Harborough AC; and the endeavours of the global extravaganza have been well-aped by those bedecked in the yellow and black tricot, especially so during the period of The Games.
At the final Senior track and field meeting of the year – held at the Hereford Leisure Centre – there were no fewer than 16 event victories for HAC athletes, all topped off by success in the Women’s 4x100m relay. Top podium positions were returned by Roy Barber (in the ‘A’ String 100m), Michael Burke (‘B’ 1500m and 3000m), David Ward (‘B’ 400m Hurdles), Jake Watson (‘A’ 3000m Steeplechase), Darren Tucker (‘A’ Javelin), and Andy Wilkinson (‘A’ Pole Vault) in the Men’s events. And by Lianne Brooks (‘B’ 400m and 100m Hurdles), Sarah Ward (‘A’ 100m Hurdles and ‘B’ 400m Hurdles), Emily Taylor (‘A’ 400m Hurdles), and Karen Brooks (‘A’ 800m and 1500m); the former of Karen’s double also representing a further levelling of the FV50 Club Record that she has now reduced by some 2.8s in the last 12 months!
In total at the meeting, there were top-three place finishes for the Club in 44 of the 52 events contested: a record not even a certain Monsieur Bolt can match! And, as such, it came as no surprise to find the name of Harborough at the top of the day’s overall standings, with the accumulated total of 293 points nearly 100 ahead of the competition! That result also ensured that the Club confirmed it’s place at the top of the League, and the overall League title.
Speaking at the end of the day, track and field Captain, Lianne Brooks, said: “It’s been a really great season for us on the track and, with over twenty Club members helping represent us over the four matches, has also helped expand the appeal to a good portion of our runners. A number of Club Records have been set, and I think it’s fair to say that everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of competition this year. I’m already very excited thinking ahead to next year, and seeing how much more we can achieve!”
Earlier in the week, in the equivalent Veteran’s competition, a sixteen-strong Club contingent tripped to Leicester’s Saffron Lane track. Three individual wins (Darren Tucker in the MV40 Shot Put, Andy Wilkinson in the MV40 Pole Vault, and Karen Brooks in the FV50 3000m) and an additional ten top-three spots (including two excellent third-placed returns from Anne Knights on her first outing of the season, in the 200m and 800m) gave the combined team fourth spot overall on the day, and fifth in the final League standings.
On the harder plain of the roads of the Midlands, the well-raced Ady and Jackie King added another four to their collective tally. For the Joy Cann Memorial 5 Mile, Ady placed 25th in 29:00, with Jackie crossing the line in 39:00, for 264th of the 437 runners. That was followed – just two days later – by the well-renowned Blisworth equivalent, where Ady was classed as third MV40 (15th overall), in a time of 29:07. Jackie, meanwhile, dug deep for 130th place, in 40:05. This past weekend, they then took on the Hermitage 10km, alongside Adam Brooks, all three acquitting themselves superbly. There was also the Wellingborough ‘5’; where Ady took 15th spot of the 300-strong entry field, in a time of 28:45 (just two seconds off his PB), and Jackie clocked 38:59 for 148th. On that route, they were joined by Ray Lack (188th, in 41:58), and Dave Oram (261st, in 50:27).
The Meerbrook 15km is well-noted for both its tough climbs and incredible scenery – the latter fully justified by the hard graft taken to conquer the former! For the 2012 race, 247 runners endured and enjoyed in equal measure, with two HAC members amongst them. In the event, Adam Brooks just headed Matt Driver; Brooks registering a time of 63:55 for 19th, with Driver just six places back (in 66:41). That reversed the order of the Littleport 10 Mile of a week earlier – where Driver had pipped Brooks, 37:38 to 39:06, for 11th and 14th respectively. Also on the trails – this time around those of Braunstone Park – were Yvonne Barber and Anne Knights, for the 5km Braunstone Parkrun. Barber clocked 31:21 for 127th, with Knights in 140th with 33:38.