Phoenix athletes take on county challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:43 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

Twelve of Herts Phoenix Under 17s donned their county vests to represent Hertfordshire at the Inter-Counties match last weekend at Basildon. Taking on Essex, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Middlesex was always going to be a tough call but those ath

Twelve of Herts Phoenix Under 17s donned their county vests to represent Hertfordshire at the Inter-Counties match last weekend at Basildon.

Taking on Essex, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Middlesex was always going to be a tough call but those athletes selected, following their fine performances at the County Championships in May this year, all acquitted themselves well. Indeed there were a number of excellent performances and personal bests to light up the damp and overcast afternoon.

First up for the boys was Richard Humphries in the hammer circle. Richard had been throwing well of late and set a new personal best of 48.98m with his first throw. He then went on to pepper the 49m mark with a series of good efforts and with his fifth throw improved his personal best to a massive 52.45m which also broke the club record. This gave him second place and shows that he is coming into form at the perfect time with the National AAAs next weekend and pushes him back up to 13th in the national rankings.

In the 800m both Joe Gaynor, A string and Thomas Barfoot, B string, were up against some high quality opposition and both ran well to finish sixth with times of 2:04.49 and 2:07.20s respectively, collecting good points for the team.

Andrew Walshe - running up an age group - performed with his usual composure, also finishing sixth in a good time of 53.14s.

In the girls match there were a number of excellent performances and personal bests.

Katie Caulfield, fresh from her England international call up, comfortably won the long jump with 5.77m, a jump close to her best and went on to run a solid 200m, an event she rarely runs, in a personal best time of 26.68s, taking third place.

Claire Humphries showed a welcome return to form in winning a very close and exciting 80m hurdles in a season's best time of 11.50s which will take her back up to seventh in the national rankings. Claire also took sixth in the A string 100m with 12.85s and was partnered by Lottie Cullen who, having just returned from holiday, took fifth in the B string.

In the 300m Deborah Willis, recently selected to represent the East of England at the UK School Games at the end of August, took third with a time of 43.19s and Chloe-Anne Currie came fourth in the B string triple jump with 9.24m.

Hannah Lloyd, also selected for the UK Schools Games and up against some top opposition, finished third in the 300m hurdles and recorded a new personal best of 45.75s, another athlete showing that she is peaking at the right time of the season with the national championships at Birmingham next weekend.

Eloise Meakins won the Javelin A string with a fine throw of 36.63m and Millie Phelan recorded good performances in both the high jump (1.55m) and shot put (8.03m) B strings.

Finally the 4x100m relay team of Humphries, Holman (of St Albans), Phelan and Caulfield, finished in fifth place to round off a good day for the Herts Phoenix contingent and to help the girls team to finish in 4th place in the match.

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