Blackheath and Bromley avoid relegation with third place in season’s final athletics

PUBLISHED: 11:01 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:01 12 August 2014

Blackheath and Bromley finished in third place in the final British Athletics League Division One match of the season at Lee Valley.

Not only did Saturday’s result ensure that they avoided relegation, it also left them in third place overall for the season, their highest position in the league since 2001 when they were relegated from the top division.

Although the club were fourth before the last match, so close were the standings that any two of six clubs in the eight team division could have been relegated. They weren’t was because of some fine individual performances and a good team spirit which ensured every A and B string was filled even if those competing were not doing their main discipline.

Jermaine Olasan was a perfect example of this. He won his specialist event, the long jump with a leap of 7.28. Then, knowing that the club had its three best triple jumpers unavailable, he volunteered to take one effort in this competition as well. He ended up taking all six jumps and finishing in 2nd place in the competition, improving his personal best by over half a metre to 14.39.

Likewise another volunteer Duayne Bovell jumped a seasons best of 12.64 in the B string and the two joined Kieran Daly and Tremayne Gilling in the 4x100 team which ran a seasons best of 41.57 to finish second .

Earlier Kieran and Tremayne had won both strings of the 100 metres in times of 10.60 and 10.87 despite running into headwinds of -1.1 and -5.2. For good measure Dan Putnam recorded the fastest non scoring 100 of 10.89.

Kieran and Dan then finished 2nd and 3rd in their respective 200 metre races in 21.60 and 21.75 and Dan would have gone quicker but for an Achilles injury.

The Club’s other winner on the track was Alex Bruce Littlewood who took the honours in the 1500 after a titanic battle down the home straight with Windsor’s Alex Tovey. Just 25 minutes separated this and the 3000 metres which saw Alex back on the track again to finish third.

Likewise youngster Will Fuller, who had interrupted a family holiday to come back to compete for the team. He was 4th in the B 1500 and then, with the B string athlete stuck in traffic and unable to make the start, he was 6th in the 3000 as well.

Back in the field Mark Longhurst had his first outdoor pole vault competition of the season following injuries either side of his exams. Still not on a full run up, he cleared 4.40 to win the contest on countback and looks like he can go still higher. Under 20 Max Hodson equalled his best of 3.40 in the B string.

Jon Pairman also equalled his best in the high jump with a leap of 1.75 while there also personal bests for Louis Mascarenhas (discus 45.68), Georges Vacharapoulos (800 1.55.22) and Alex Pope (Hammer 42.70).

In addition seasons bests were recorded by Steve Timmins (shot 13.75) and Richard Davies, who had endured a six hour car journey down from Leeds the previous day (400 51.23).

Busiest man of the day was Mark Cryer who started the afternoon with a win in the B string long jump with 6.75. He was also in action in the high jump, 110 hurdles, javelin and the 4x400. Craig Morten was also part of this 4x400 after having also competed in the 400 hurdles and 400. He hadn’t been supposed to be running the relay but the injury to Dan Putnam meant he was called into the quartet after he had left for home.

Will Ruiz was another to go out of the way to compete for the club. The youngster landed back from holiday at Gatwick at 10am and despite only an hour a half’s sleep was on the track at 2.50 to race the 800.

Richard Webb also competed on the way back from a holiday break in the West Country. He was 5th in the A string steeplechase.

B string runner Alex Gibbins had a remarkably good run given the circumstances. After the gruelling training for, and the racing of, the London Marathon, he injured himself doing the gardening. Having missed racing on the track all summer, he committed to run at Lee Valley but contracted food poisoning from a takeaway curry the previous weekend. Unable to eat anything substantial for most of the week, he felt sufficiently recovered by Thursday evening and was able to take third place in a very respectable 10.13.50.

Team captain Ed Harrison has little time to train now because of work commitments. During the week he had been helping with the construction of the facilities for the V2 festival. Understandably tired from the heavy labour in the blazing heat, he still scored important points in the 400 hurdles and 110 hurdles.

After being promoted to the division last year, third place in the table represents a most satisfactory season and the team will be looking to build on this success in 2015.

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