Thames Valley Harriers make history by winning silver medals at Southern Championships
PUBLISHED: 17:33 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:34 17 April 2013
Debutant Sheena Murphy-Allport rounded off a superb team performance as Thames Valley Harriers won their first women’s road relay medals in the club’s history.
Murphy-Allport, representing TVH for the first time, was handed the responsibility of the final leg in Saturday’s national six-stage road relay championships at Sutton Coldfield.
She did not disappoint, returning a time of 17 minutes 58 seconds to clinch sixth place – and second among the entrants in the Southern Championships, which were incorporated into Saturday’s race after last month’s snow wiped out the original event.
Emily Loughnan gave the Valley a flying start as she completed the undulating three-mile course in eighth place with a time of 16:57 before handing over to Katie Mellor (17:44).
Lisa da Silva ran a solid leg of 18:12 and Tracy Barlow produced her fastest ever three-mile time of 17:58, with Anna Critchlow (18:23) lifting the team by four places to seventh overall.
Murphy-Allport’s run gained TVH another place and ensured that they took silver in the Southern Championships behind Aldershot, Farnham and District.
The men’s team were unable to match that result in their 12-stage championships, although they did finish a creditable 23rd overall and 10th in the Southern event – an improvement of five places on last year.
Mohamud Aadan got the TVH challenge under way with a dazzling run of 26:07 in third place – the team’s fastest long leg time on the day and the eighth best overall.
Ali Yahye (16:38) kept the team in contention before Chris Hartley (27:20) made further inroads and Mohamed Mohamed (15:07) and Chris Smith (27:17) lifted them to eighth place.
Debutant Dan Allport (16:15) maintained that position and Sean Renfer (30:11) ran well despite an asthma attack, with another newcomer, Paul Heaphy, quickly settling into his stride to clock 16:23.
With conditions worsening, Peter Scannell (30:30), Mark Haskett (15:19), Steve Norris (30:07) and Simon Baptist (17:55) ensured that the Valley finished strongly.
In the Young Athletes relays, TVH’s under-15 girls (Isabel Dye, Morgan Mills and Madeleine Turner) were the pick of the bunch, recording their best ever result in the competition as they finished 12th.
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