City on march towards promotion

City of Portsmouth captain Sam Vaile
City of Portsmouth captain Sam Vaile
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City of Portsmouth moved a step closer to promotion with victory in their latest match of the Southern League.

The Mountbatten Centre-based side showed why they are one of the favourites to progress from division two west with a stunning show of strength on home soil.

And to prove the area is a hotbed for athletics talent, host club Havant finished runners-up thanks to a record-breaking run from Corin Reynolds.

The 23-year-old University of Chichester student broke the division two record for the 800m, claiming victory ahead of City’s Emma Gilmore in a time of 2min 14.1sec.

Reynolds added to that achievement with a first place in the 400m in a time of 58.3, while Havant also enjoyed victories from the likes of Matt Gordon (16:05.04) in the men’s 5,000m A string, Rhys Hawks (19.8 and 67.6) in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and Amy Bream (5:49.7) in the 1,500m steeplechase.

But the day well and truly belonged to City, whose performances earned the highest praise from ladies’ manager Charon Baggaley.

‘I think I can speak on behalf of men’s manager Alex Teuten and myself, and say how proud we are of all the men and ladies who filled in to ensure all the events were covered,’ she said.

‘On behalf of the ladies’ team, special mention must go to Carol Dawkins and Gemma Donovan, who learnt how to pole vault on the day, and Chloe Campbell, who joined myself to brave the water jump in the steeplechase.

‘Ros Stansbury was invaluable, helping to cover field events, and Sam Vaile showed her quality by helping to drum up athletes for the ladies’ team and gaining a PB in the 800m.

‘Meanwhile, Alex Teuten was hardly off the track, competing whenever he was needed, leading the men’s team by example.’

Teuten earned his stripes with first-placed finishes in the 800m (1:59.8) and 2,000m steeplechase (6:28.2), while his individual achievements for the men’s team were bettered only by 17-year-old Michael Muckelt and Nick Thorn.

Muckelt proved victorious on three different occasions on Saturday, winning the B-string high jump (1m 60cm) and long jump (6.38m) and the A-string javelin (57.02m).

Thorn, meanwhile, celebrated success in the 400m A (52.3), and the B-string 800m (2:06.6) and 1,500m (4:33.8).

Adding to the men’s team total, Jamie Gabbidon enjoyed a double in the 100m and 200m, while Tony Hooker earned special praise for his first in the B javelin.

‘Tony won’t mind me saying this, but he’s not the strongest member of the team,’ said Teuten.

‘However, he really delivered for us on Saturday and I’m really pleased that all his efforts were rewarded.’

For the women’s team, captain Vaile and Hollie Fudge proved untouchable in the sprints.

Vaile, who was also a winner in the long jump, claimed victory in the 100m with a time of 12.5sec, and claimed a new personal best in the 200m (25.8). Fudge bagged victory in both B-string disciplines.

Elsewhere, there were good A-string wins for Emma Montiel in the 1,500m and 3,000m, Claire Netley (400m hurdles), Jess Shuttleworth (100m hurdles and triple jump) and Charlotte Walden-Day (shot).