The first Southern Athetics League match of the season on Saturday 25th April at Eltham proved to be a tough opener for Herts Phoenix men, facing strong opposition in Cambridge Harriers, Bexley and Enfield & Haringey.
With some notable absences in both the track and field, many athletes showed their team spirit and versatility in filling in events.
There were 2 victories for the men, the first coming from youngster Robert Green who was making his SAL debut. Robert came out victorious in the B string 400m with a new pb of 52.22. The other win came from Steve Prosser who excellently judged his 1500m and finished with a pb of 4.21.26.
A new crop of Herts Phoenix youngsters showcased their potential, with sprinters Eden Davis placing 2nd in the 100m A string (11.3) and Luke Smith placing 2nd in the 200m A string (23.12). Nathan Burke - another debutant jumped well in both Triple jump and Long Jump making a season’s best in the latter.
It proved to be a tough day for the throwers with a high standard being set by the competing clubs. Jason Kingwell and James Grove battled hard throughout the day in the heavy throws, James coming away with 3 season bests and Jason placing top 3 in both the Shot Put and Hammer.
David Stephens once again helped the team out massively by competing in 6 events and picked up a PB in the 2000 Steeple chase (8.13.18). Anthony Bryan also picked up valuable points completing the distance double of 800/ 1500 and also the High Jump.
There were solid season openers for Aaron Cooper in the 800m (2nd– 1.59.3), Ian Tobin (LJ 2nd – 5.84, 100m 4th – 12.01), Peter Townsend (5k 2nd – 16.49.02), Alex Cloona (400 4th –55.73), debutant Mark Oddy (200m 4th – 26.59) and Louis Walshe (5k 3rd– 18.18.70).
The team finished in fourth place with 146 points
The Herts Phoenix men now look forward to their next match on May 31st when they compete in Match 2 at the University track in Cambridge, hoping to improve on their season opener.