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YDL upper: 4th in match 4 and overall

The YDL upper team came fourth in the final fixture, at Ashford on Sunday 28 July, confirming 4th place overall in division 1B. The match result was the same as the league positions, with the Basildon Beagles composite team winning from Team ATIP and Tonbridge, with Cambridge Harriers finishing 5th. The match was a microcosm of the season, in which promotion and relegation were almost certain after just 2 matches, with the team locked in fourth throughout the fixture.

A relatively small team was more than competitive in the events they contested, with almost the entire team tasting victory at some point in the afternoon (with those that didn’t placing second). The only double A string winner was Tolani Alaba who took the U17M 100m into a strong headwind (11.23 -2.0), backed up by Sikiru Onigbanjo in the B string, before twice improving his PB in the pole vault to win in 3.35. The other A+B string combined successes were Matthew Adum-Yeboah (22.35) and Winfred Hakeem in the U20M 200m and Precious Hamilton (37.15) and Abigail Allen in the U20W DT. The top ranked field performance was Simbiyat Sikiru’s 49.99 in the U17W hammer.

Comeback of the day came from Videsh Weerakkody, who fell just before the finish of the 400m (and after some time on the ground staggered across the line to gain his points). He ran a well-judged race in a tight 800m to move from sixth to first in the last 50m (1:59.55). Top individual scorer was Thomas Finch who won the 2000m steeplechase unopposed in a PB having contested all the U20M throws alongside Charlie Reid, whose B string wins in the DT and HT were also PBs. Other A string winners included Eloise Lewis in the U20W 200m and Denesha Rocastle in the U20W triple jump.

While the team’s match and league position was fixed early in the day, the athletes were determined to round out the day with some impressive relay performances. The U17W team finished runners-up in both the 4x100m and 4x300m, but their sprint relay time of 52.09 was the fastest by a club team in this age group in 3 years. The same quartet: Kyra Boyce, Mary John, Rennay Dobson and second claim athlete Sophie Anderson set a club best time of 2:59.06 in the 4x300m relay. The U20W 4x100m team of Temi Olusesan, Rhianna Buaku, Denesha Rocastle and Eloise Lewis took a comfortable win in 50.9. A combined mens 4x100m team of Sikiru Onigbanjo, Tolani Alaba, Winfred Hakeem and Matthew Adum-Yeboah missed out on sole ownership of a disputed club record in the under 20 men’s race due to a photo-finish fail, but their time of 42.0 equalled the hand-timed best ever performance originally set in 2009 (by a team that included 3 athletes who had sprinted for Great Britain in major age group champs the previous month).