Hastings Athletic Club made a cracking start to the Southern Athletics League season.
The Ark William Parker Academy-based club made the most of home advantage to convincingly win its opening Division Three South East match of 2019.
Showcasing their newly-laid track and brand-new field equipment, Hastings AC amassed 281 points to comfortably outscore London City AC (161), Thanet AC (117) and Lewes & Haywards Heath (64).
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Despite many club athletes resting ahead of the following day’s Brighton Marathon and 10k races, Hastings AC now has such a pool of talent that it was able to provide two scoring athletes for almost all events, with many victories.
Hard work over the winter and spring led to new personal bests for many athletes.
On the men’s side of things, Jordon Pola won his 100m race easily in 11.3s and Martyn Reynolds, on his debut for the club, ran 12.3s, putting him second overall in the club rankings this year.
Pola also won the 200m with a PB of 22.8s, while Mike West returned to fine form after injury last year with a good run of 24.4s.
In the 400m, Ryan Morrissy almost matched his PB with 55.7s, followed closely by team-mate Oscar Tomlinson. Tomlinson achieved PBs in both his field events, recording 1.55m in the high jump and 11.02m in the triple jump.
Kazuhiro Nomura had a fierce battle with a London City AC athlete in the 400m hurdles and was just pipped at the line by less than a second with 58.2s. He also clocked a long jump PB with 5.66m, as did Reece Lincoln with 4.08m.
Ethan Hodges smashed his previous 800m time by five seconds to take the win with a storming 2:06.6 and Ryan Morrissy was just one second behind in second place.
Hodges also knocked seven seconds off his quickest 5,000m time as he flew round in 16:49. Rhys Boorman took the win in the men’s 5k with 16:17.
Joe Body was not far off his PB in winning the 1,500m in 4:14.2. Jonah Davies ran a blinder, smashing his PB by an incredible 16 seconds with 4:44.
Lewis Courtnage had a great day, winning the 2,000m steeplechase in a new PB of 6:44.6 and coming second in the high jump with a PB of 1.60m.
In the field events there were strong performances by Wayne Martin, Steve Baldock and Rob Phipps in the pole vault, shot and discus. Noah Judah, up from the youth team, threw a fantastic 36.22m in the javelin.
In the women’s races, there were some solid performances and quite a few PBs.
Delicia Pascall was second in the 100m in 12.9s, matching her PB, and won the 200m in 26.9s. Lauren Williamson also put in a strong performance in the 100m.
Harmony Cooper ran a super quick 63.9s for the 400m and Olivia White wasn’t far behind her in 64.7s. White also jumped an excellent 8.49m in the triple jump, bagging second place.
In the 800m, Cooper and Shannon Hopkins-Parry, up from the youth team, put in solid runs to take second and third place respectively. Hopkins-Parry was very close to her long jump PB with 3.61m.
Becky Smart took the win in the 1,500m, followed closely in second by Riz Maslen. Sophie Markwick won the 3,000m, with Karen Murdoch third.
Amy Moore stole the show by taking on both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles in 22.0 and 79.4s respectively. Also putting in a great effort in her first race for the club was Kelly Crowe, who won the women’s 2,000m steeplechase.
In the field events, Kim Martin and Jayne Gray threw PBs in the shot. Martin took second place with 7.37m and Gray third with a huge increase of 7.14m.
There were also PBs in the hammer as Gray threw 17.78m and new club member Natalina Bonassera 13.80m. Both women also put in good performances in the javelin.
Lauren Williamson took the overall win in the discus with a great throw of 19.74m and Gray produced a solid throw to take fourth place.
Hastings AC won the men’s 100m and 400m relays, and the women’s races over the same distances.
The men’s 100m team of Reynolds, Nomura, Dylan Bolton and West won by two seconds in 47.4s, and the 400m team of Nomura, Hodges, Isaac Elam and Morrissy finished eight seconds clear in 3:45.1s.
The women’s 100m team of Lucy Knight, Hopkins-Parry, Williamson and Pascall won by three seconds in 56.40s, while the 400m squad of Olivia, Smart, Moore and Cooper finished a huge 45 seconds clear in 4:31.
The next match is at Tooting on Sunday May 19.