NAL relay team
Credit: James Rhodes

NAL athletes on top form at Loughborough International

The National Athletics League team finished third in the Loughborough International yesterday.

Although triple jumper Jude Bright-Davies and 800m runner Angus Harrington were the only outright winners in NAL colours, consistent placings throughout put the team just behind hosts Loughborough in the standings, with England well out in front. Hurdler Edson Gomes and shot putter Sophie Merritt also took match wins behind guest athletes.

Teams from GB Juniors, Wales and Scotland also helped ensure there was strong competition for those selected from among athletes who have competed for their clubs in the league.

A sixth-round 16.18m from Bright-Davies took him ahead of Tokyo Olympian Ben Williams, who was competing for England. The Thames Valley Harriers thus added 19cm to his PB.

Harrington, who was a late replacement on the team, came through with a stunning late burst to win over two laps with 1:50.51 from GB Juniors’ Sam Reardon.

In the discus, Shadine Duquemin’s season’s best of 56.20m left her second behind UK No.1 Jade Lally. The Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier has the England Commonwealth Games standard from last year and this was the second best mark of her career.

Another Shaftesbury thrower on form was Merritt, whose 14.45m in the shot put her second to Ireland’s Michael Walsh, who was guesting in the match.

Ireland was represented too in the high jump, on this occasion by Pippa Rogan, who was in the blue of the NAL. The Thames Valley Harrier was second with 1.78m, a height shared with winner Lauren Evans of Wales.

Edson Gomes of Portugal and Shaftesbury Barnet had his best run of the season as he clocked 14.02 for third, although this was enough for maximum points for the league behind guests Alex Al-Ameen and India’s Thingalaya Siddhanth.

The team’s Chukwuemeka Osammor of Sheffield & Dearne was close to his best in the discus as he threw 55.77m for third.

The 4x100m relay team clocked 46.89 for second behind England and the men’s equivalent were third in their race in 40.43.

Likewise, Liverpool Harrier Emily Dibble was within a metre of her PB when she went out to 50.29m for third in the javelin.

NAL’s Che Richards (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) had a best of 7.51m in the long jump as he placed third behind Harrow’s guesting Jack Roach and England’s Jacob Fincham-Dukes.

Chris McAlister is used to winning in the league for Thames Valley Harriers but on his occasion had to settle for third in the 400m hurdles behind England’s Jacob Paul and Loughborough’s Josh Faulds, although his 50.36 was a season’s best.

Birchfield javelin thrower Benji Pearson was out to 69.93m for third for the league behind England’s Joe Dunderdale and Loughborough’s Daniel Bainbridge.

Also third in the blue vest was Trafford’s Jazmin Moss, who trimmed her PB to 23.84 in the 200m. 

Bolton’s Hannah Kelly was just seven hundredths outside her PB as she finished third n the 400m.

The league thanks Yorkshire-based Fastrax for supplying the team vests.

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Below pictures by James Rhodes


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