Local athletics looks to be on right track
EVENING TELEGRAPH reporter runs the rule over the local athletics scene - and he likes what he sees . . .
AS 2011 draws to a close, the local athletics scene appears to be as strong as it’s been for several years judging by the number of current internationals the area possesses.
Locals represented their country on the roads, cross-country and in track and field - both indoors and out - in 2011 and over a wide age span with youngsters, seniors and masters all doing the area proud.
Peterborough Athletic Club’s Max Everest made his international debut in a year that also brought English Schools glory. He finished second for England in the 100m hurdles at the British Schools International and there’s no reason why he can’t go on to become a senior international in future under the guidance of Roy Thickpenny.
Everest floats effortlessly over the hurdles and seems set for a bright future while clubmate Joel Grenfell would surely have joined him at that British Schools International had he not picked up an injury in his final training session before the English Schools.
The long jumper needed to finish second at Gateshead to secure an England debut and his superb form prior to his injury suggests that would have been little more than a formality.
Another to earn an international debut on the track this year was March ace Glen Watts who represented England in the steeplechase at an end-of-season meet in France to join twin brother Dan as an international - former Evening Telegraph Sportsman of the Year Dan having travelled to the World Cross-country Championships with Brirtain as a junior.
Spalding’s Emily Moss made her England bow earlier in the year, also on the track albeit indoors, while two local aces have their eyes on next year’s Olympics Games in London.
March star and reigning Evening Telegraph Sportswoman of the Year Louise Hazel made yet another championship appearance in 2011, performing well at the World Championships in Daegu just a year after winning the Commonwealth heptathlon title.
Hazel already has the Olympic qualifying mark while Deeping hurlder Julz Adeniran made an impressive return to the sport this year and is now firmly in the mix for a spot in the 110m hurdles.
After a two-year absence to concentrate on his law degree, Adeniran re-established himself as one of the country’s best this year.
Aaron Scott became an England international on the roads when competing over the half-marathon this year and the Stamford ace also enjoyed plenty of local successes.
Training partner Philippa Taylor helped England to victory at the British Masters Cross-country International in Glasgow where two of her new Nene Valley Harriers team-mates - ex-werrington Joggers John Herbert and Michael Moore - were reserves for England.
Herbert, who made his England debut at the same meeting last year, won the open race while Moore - who enjoyed a superb year and won the Cambs Road League - was second.
Spalding’s John Pike enjoyed overseas success when winning a 10k in Cyprus this year and would surely have made the England team for Glasgow had he been aware of the selection procedure.
Werrington Jogger Paul Halford represented Wales at that meeting in another successful year that saw him make his Welsh senior debut at the Commonwealth Ultra Championships, having early been crowed Welsh marathon champion with his first sub-2.30 performance in London.
Local veterans also did well on the track this year and Nene Valley Harrier Andrea Jenkins was the most successful. The highlight of her hugely successful year was her 10 gold medals at the LSW World Long Throws Championships in Hungary while husband and wife Wendy and Rod Dunn continue to represent Britain in the sprints and walks respectively.
Let’s hope 2012 brings just as much international recognition for local athletes.
MARCH ace Glen Watts (above) finished second for Shaftesbury Barnet in the Metropolitan Cross-country League at Ruislip on Saturday, clocking 26.02 to finish 10 seconds away from victory.
SPALDING’S Emily Moss made a rare 5k outing on Saturday when finishing 12th overall and third woman in the Bushy Parkrun 5k.
The England international clocked 18.20 while a BRJ contingent lined up over the same distance in the Cambridge Parkrun as usual.
Giles Corby led them home in 25th position when recording a fifth personal best of the year over this distance.
BRJ results: 25 Giles Corby 20.27, 27 Andy Barber 20.35, 48 Andy Matson 22.18, 200 Esther Cotton 32.15 (1st WV65-69), 211Tony Goldsmith 33.21, 212 Cameron Smith 33.21, 213 Sarah Hall 33.25, 217 Suzie Hall 34.19.
NENE Valley’s annual Christmas Paarlauf competition again proved to be a roaring success.
More than 100 competitors took part in the random pairs event which requires a wrapped Christmas present as entry.
Rob Lornie and David Desa teamed up to win the senior event over 5000m while Dan Corrigan and Kieran Jack emerged victorious in the Under 15 race over 3000m.
Oliver Oakley and Nathan Smith took the spoils in the 1000m race for Under 11s. The winners’ reward was first selection of the gifts!
NENE Valley Harrier Ruth Jones followed up her victory in last week’s Frostbite Friendly League by finishing fifth overall and second woman in the Bedford Parkrun 5k.
Jones, who also finished third woman in the Nene Valley 10 earlier this month, clocked 19.04.
RISING STAR: Max Everest made his international debut in 2011.