Paddock Wood AC opened their account in the Southern Counties Veterans League at Norman Park on Friday with sixth place in men’s Division One and second in women’s Division Two. The men were just four points behind top London club Cambridge Harriers and the lack of a B-string 3000m runner and no M35 pole vaulter proved an insurmountable barrier to a higher position. The women’s team comprised two athletes until Julie Woods declared a few hours before the start of the match. Second place to Bromley Veterans was a good start to the season but Ashford AC and Blackheath & Bromley Harriers “B” failed to appear and the former, in particular, could well enter the fray at the next match.
In the men’s match the industrious Mark Woods amassed 14 of the club’s 35 points in the M50 400m (2nd); triple jump (3rd); pole vault (4th) and hammer (5th). The Trevors (Simms and Crysell) had a brace of 5th places in the M35 400m and Crysell celebrated his recent elevation to M50 status with a new M50 club record for triple jump (9.10m) while competing in the M35 event (3rd). Club coach David Perman (M65) showed his versatility by heaving the M35 hammer 13.06m for 5th and Les Percival recorded a pair of 3rd places in the M60 400m and triple jump. Back on the track, Yann le Roux gave team manager Alan Newman a few more grey hairs (if that’s possible) by nearly missing the start of his M35 3000m before tearing round the track in a hastily borrowed club vest for a decent 10:24.3 debut (6th), with more clearly to come. The final act was the M50 3000m and in the absence of younger volunteers Alan Newman (M60) was 5th.
With no W35 runners competing the women’s team was always going to struggle. Liz Duffin won the hammer and was second in the triple jump; Julie Woods won the W50 hammer and was second at 400m and Sue James (W65) made it a hat trick of hammer victories at W60 level and was second in her 400m. The next match is at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford on Monday 15 May. More mature runners, throwers and jumpers are required if we are to make any impact in this fun and friendly league. If you would like to get involved speak to any team member or team manager Alan Newman.