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Latest from IEK Senior and Vet Track & Field Team Manager

SOUTHERN MENS LEAGUE- DIVISION 4 SOUTH - ASHFORD Invicta hosted this match at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford confident that their small but versatile team could do well even though some athletes were contesting events they had never done in competition before. Particularly successful in this respect was Terry Hawkins who won the ‘B’ string pole vault (2.00m) having only tried it for the first time a week earlier. Terry then surprised even himself by winning the ‘A’ shot (9.20m) the ‘B’ discus (22.24m) and hammer (20.82m) after only one coaching session. Terry then returned to more familiar territory on the track and the jumps, coming 3rd in the ‘B’ 100m (13.7) in ‘A’ long jump (4.84m) and in the triple jump (9.42m) while also running both the 4x100m (59.2) AND the 4x400m (4:55.7) relays, finally collecting points in the javelin. Tom Sutton also had a very busy afternoon coming 4th in the ‘A’ 100m (13.3) and 200m (26.4)... 2nd in the ‘A’ 800m (2:15.0) and gaining points in the ‘A’ 400m (63.8) plus running in both relays. Tony Weston could only contest a limited number of events before rushing off for a family function but, as always, he gave 101% winning the ‘A’ pole vault (3.00m) and comimg 2nd in the ‘B’ long jump (4.29m). Peter Bowell came 3rd in the ‘A’ 3,000m S/C (12:14.7) and also ran in both relays. Mike Gore has still not recovered from injury but very bravely competed in the ‘B’ 3,000m S/C for 3rd in 12:50.8. Team Manager John Gilbert came 2nd in both ‘A’ hammer (26.98m) and discus (23.41m), 4th in the ‘A’ javelin (26.41m) and won the ‘B’ shot (8.30m) and gained some additional points in the ‘B’ triple jump (6.33m). Invicta were a comfortable 3rd place in the match and with one remaining fixture at Hastings in early August can expect to finish mid-table in the division. For a team often comprising mainly 40+ veterans, this is a real achievement in open age competition. SOUTHERN COUNTIES VETERANS AC - KENT LEAGUE-ERITH INVICTA SO NEAR... Invicta East Kent went to Erith for their final fixture in the Kent Veterans Track & Field League knowing that they had to stay in 2nd position to gain promotion to the 1st division. As in most of their matches this season, we were at a considerable disadvantage by having only 6 athletes to compete in the range of events and age groups being contested. The team behind Invicta in 3rd place, Medway & Maidstone, fielded a much larger squad and it was clear that Invicta would have to struggle for every available point if they were to clinch promotion. In the 50+ age group, Tony Weston won the 400m (62.2) and triple jump (8.99m) before collecting valuable points in the 3,000m (14:24.4) and hammer (11.50m). In the 35+ Peter Bowell ran 64.5 and 10:54.6 in the in the ‘A’ string 400m and 3,000m. Richard Hudson contested the ‘B’ string in the same events, recording 75.2 in the 400m and 14:30.5 in the 3,000m. Mick Rendell placed 3rd in the 35+ triple jump (8.08m) and 4th in the hammer (16.57m). Eddie Broad ran strongly for 3rd in the Over-60 3,000m (12:06.9) and in the same age category John Gilbert won the hammer (33.67m). Despite the efforts of all Invicta team members, at the end of the match Medway & Maidstone finished 2nd, just 1 point ahead of Invicta in 3rd. This moved them up to joint 2nd place with Invicta on league points and because they had accumulated more match points than Invicta over the 6 fixtures they gain promotion. Invicta’s natural disappointment was tempered by the knowledge they have competed with distinction during the season and will re-double their efforts to gain promotion next season through an emphasis on getting more veterans in the club to support the team.