A magnificent seven for men

ILFORD Athletic Club s men s team dug deep for a magnificent win in the final Southern League, Division One match of the season. The victory means that the squad have reached seventh in the league, the highest position since 1998, and the third best in 22

ILFORD Athletic Club's men's team dug deep for a magnificent win in the final Southern League, Division One match of the season.

The victory means that the squad have reached seventh in the league, the highest position since 1998, and the third best in 22 years.

The performance of the day was a stunning attempt on the club's 42-year-old 4x100m record.

With the match sealed before the final few events, head coach Craig Burrow decided to focus on the short relay with the top squad of Antoine Green, Jordan Kirby, Healson Ihuoma and Aaron Balogun.


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The team recorded 43 seconds to beat Enfield, and finished just one tenth of a second behind the club's all-time best.

The squad started off strongly in the hammer with a good throw of 40.18m for Wesley Clarke and 33.18m for Craig Burrow.

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Multi-eventer Sam Malekout and Healson Ihuoma combined for heights of 2.40m and 2.80m respectively in the pole vault, before Ihuoma joined Nathaniel Senior in the long jump for a double win to push the Ilford team into an early lead.

Senior was also looking for more, but was pleased with his season's best effort of 6.10m, as well as a high jump win, a pb in the shot and a fine triple jump effort.

Elijah Collins recorded a fine win in the 400m hurdles with 1.04.4, he also won the triple jump and placed second in the high jump.

Antoine Green took the 400m hurdles A race number for the first time, winning with 1.03.6. In his premier event, the 110m hurdles, he broke the tape in 16.7.

Exceptional

Ilford were expected to score well in the sprints, and the exceptional talents of Aaron Balogun and Jordan Kirby didn't disappoint.

Balogun looked near his best, with wins in the 100m with 11.0 and 200m with 22.1, both worth more with a following wind. Essex junior Kirby also scored a double victory with 22.5 in the 200m and a tie for first in the 100m of 11.2. The sprints squad was also strengthened by new talents, Ken Nwosu and Avemick Mayemba, running in the non-scoring events for 11.8 and 11.9 respectively in the 100m, with a fine 24.2 in the 200m for Mayemba.

Debutant Chidi Muoghalu started off strongly in the 400m, but faded towards the end to record 57.7. He was joined by regular stalwart Dewa Collier, who ran well for 1.00.8.

By the midway point, the team led by five points from North Devon, helped by a personal best from Ihuoma in the javelin (41.72m) and a win in the B string for Malekout in the same event (39.10m). Burrow narrowly overcame the 12-metre barrier in the shot putt, with 12.04m for second.

Ilford began to pull away in the 5,000m as Devon failed to present any competitors. Ilford's Gary Chandler and newcomer Chris Burgoyne recorded times of 15.59.5 and 16.31.4 respectively as Burgoyne snatched second place.

Despite a disappointing 1,500m, full points in the steeplechase (Malcolm Muir 10.48.6 and Matt Maple 11.00.0) and a strong throw from Burrow in the discus (38.46m), left Ilford with a comfortable lead with just the relays to go.

The 4x400m squad of Nwosu (56.1), Chidi Muoghalu (56.0), Collins (55.1) and Balogun (50.1) left nothing on the track with a good third place with 3:37.3, leaving Ilford with a final score of 136 points, 27.5 points above nearest rivals North Devon.

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