Windy Woodford blows away personal bests in NAL Premiership

Written by Alex Seftel

Premiership Division Fixture 2B – Woodford

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Remarkable wind speeds of +7.4 m/s led to some extraordinary times in the second round of the National Athletics League Premiership in Woodford.

Blackheath and Bromley’s Luke Dorrell profited to improve his all-conditions best from a previous 10.35s to a rapid 10.13. Shaftesbury Barnet’s Krishawn Aiken was a fraction behind in 10.14, bettering his windy 10.25 from last year, with six out of eight athletes running faster than ever before, even if the conditions blew the legal wind limit out of the water.

Dorrell’s performance came very close to making NAL history too, with 10.11 being the 100m best achieved in windy conditions by Olympic champion Darren Campbell in 1999.

Darren Campbell set the NAL’s best ever all-conditions 100m time, with Deji Tobais’ wind-legal 10.21 the official record. Photo: Mark Shearman

There was just the +5.3 m/s wind for the women’s 100m as Team Scotland Commonwealth Games squad member Rebecca Matheson ran 11.78 for home club Woodford Green with Essex Ladies’ after Darcey Kuypers (B&B) clocked 11.56 (+4.6 m/s). Dorrell and Kuypers achieved similar results of 20.54 and 23.75 in the 200m.

Such conditions did nothing to stop Blackheath winning the fixture overall with a score of 501.50, ahead of Woodford on 483 and Glasgow Jaguars on 421.

The wind had started behaving itself by the time that Tom Wilcock (Newham and Essex Beagles) ran a strong race to beat Edson Gomes (SBH) in a fastest ever 13.67, compared to the Portuguese international’s 13.80 (+1.7 m/s).

Another Newham win came through Katie Head, who was more than eight metres clear of the competition as she recorded a 67.27 hammer throw, while UK triple jump champion Georgie Forde-Wells (Woodford) was 81 centimetres in front by the end of her competition on her NAL debut, with a best leap of 13.28.

That was followed by Shaftesbury Barnet’s Greg Thompson hurling the discus out to 57.93, before British silver medallist Kirsty Law (Sale Harriers) was once again a place ahead of Blackheath and Bromley’s teenage star Zara Obamakinwa.

19-year-old Obamakinwa, who broke the UK under-20 all-time record to clinch bronze at Sportcity last weekend, threw 54.14, with Law ahead on 54.61.

Birchfield’s Craig Murch got the better of Ben Hawkes in the hammer by virtue of a best of 70.98 compared to Hawkes 67.00, with Murch’s club-mate Adele Nicoll winning the shot put with a furthest mark of 15.74 after retaining her British title a week ago. Swansea’s Patrick Swan took 12 points for the Welsh club with 17.26.

In the 400m hurdles, Hayley McLean (SBH) took maximum points in the 400m hurdles in 58.05, just after Woodford Green with Essex Ladies’ Jack Lawrie had won the men’s equivalent on the club’s home soil in 52.33. McLean then triumphed in the 400m in 54.99.

Lawrie finished the day by combining with international steeplechaser Phil Norman to win the 4x400m relay, with Glasgow Jaguars taking 12 points from the women’s 4x400m.