Elise breaks club record in fine Hastings AC display

Hastings Athletic Club's squad in the Southern Athletics League match at Horsham
Hastings Athletic Club's squad in the Southern Athletics League match at Horsham

Elise Lovell set a new club record as Hastings Athletic Club achieved a good second place finish in its latest Southern Athletics League fixture.

International multi-eventer Lovell broke a long-standing Hastings AC women’s 400m record with a time of 56.9 seconds in Horsham last weekend.

Lovell, who despite her versatility had never previously ran a 400m race, won all four of the individual events she competed in, as well as the two relays.

A number of other athletes in a small Hastings AC team produced fine performances in very warm conditions.

On the women’s side, Rosa Pitt won the A string 100m and 200m by quite some way, and was part of the triumphant relay teams. Jolie Arter won the B string 100m and 200m with a PB over the longer distance, while Riz Maslen came second in the A string 5,000m.

New boy Jordan Paolo enjoyed a terrific debut for the club. He won his 100m race in 11.7s and 200m race in 23.3s, as well as helping the 4x100m relay team finish second, just 0.1 seconds behind the winners. The team was completed by Jason Jeffery, Alexander Cowley and Steve Baldock.

It was a day of second places for the versatile Baldock, who was also a runner-up in the 400m (54.6s), 400m hurdles (64.6s) and 4x400m relay. Jeffery, Marcus Ramnarine and Ryan Morrissy also featured in a 4x400m team which was a mere 0.6 seconds from victory.

Ramnarine ran 62.4s to come second in his 400m, while Mike West returned from injury to come third in his 100m race in 11.7s.

Jeffery competed in his usual multitude of events in his penultimate match as men’s team manager. Highlights included winning his 100m race in 11.9s, clocking the fastest split in the 4x400m relay team with 53s and coming third in the 200m in 24s.

Moving on to the middle distance events and Morrissy produced a season’s best 2:08.1 to come third in the 800m, as well as coming second in the 1,500m in 4:44.2. Ramnarine finished second in his 1,500m race in 5:06.1.

As for the field events, promising talent Cowley was 2cm off his PB with 1.68m in the high jump and won his long jump event with 5.25m. Wayne Martin won the pole vault with 2.85m and his shot event with 8.08m.

All these efforts helped Hastings AC amass 179.5 points to finish ahead of Swale Combined and Thanet AC, and behind only Kent AC.

With just one of the season’s five matches to go, the battle for promotion from Division Three South East remains very close. Hastings AC will have home track advantage for the final match on Saturday August 19.

Talented young Hastings AC member George Pool, meanwhile, represented Sussex at the English Schools’ Championships.

The 15-year-old recovered from falling twice in the under-17 boys’ 1,500m semi-final to clock a respectable time of 4:12.

Hastings AC has a Youth Development League fixture in Erith this coming weekend.