City raise the bar with classy display in British Athletics League

Harrison Pocock, wearing 13, ran a 400m personal best. Picture: Mick Young
Harrison Pocock, wearing 13, ran a 400m personal best. Picture: Mick Young
Dion Donohue is sent off at Doncaster. Picture: Paul Currie

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A shock promotion charge is now on the cards for City of Portsmouth after another good showing in the British Athletics League.

Team manager Paul Farres was pleased with a third-place finish in the second national division four match at Reading.

We set ourselves a task of just remaining in that division and at the moment we are in second place, which is a promotion place

Paul Farres

After finishing runners-up in their opener, City remain second in the table.

It’s a great start and they can now begin to dream big after initially setting their sights on staying up.

Farres said: ‘We are chuffed to bits really.

‘We set ourselves a task of just remaining in that division and at the moment we are in second place, which is a promotion place.

‘When we got to this league we managed to pick up a few higher-claim athletes which is nice.

‘Hopefully, if we can go up again, we could pick a few more up.’

It was the club’s young talents who led the charge in Reading.

Under-20 trio Harrison Pocock, Tom Farres and Leslie Parkes all recorded impressive personal bests.

Pocock ran a fast 400m to record a comfortable A-string victory with a time of 49.13sec.

Tom Farres went to new heights of 4.60m as he won the A-string pole vault.

And Parkes produced a remarkable performance as he picked up the heavier hammer used by the senior men and launched it to 46.14m, for second place in the A string.

Boss Paul Farres added: ‘The under-20s impressed for us again.

‘Tom won the pole vault and Harrison set a very good personal best, in conditions that were not calm.

‘Leslie is with Havant but he has come to us as and got a new best in the hammer.

‘That’s quite something because he’s an under-20, so he doesn’t normally throw the hammer of that weight.’

Jamie Gabbidon recorded a 10.73 time to win the 100m A string and Mutara Sheriff won the B string in 10.90 for a fine City double.

Alex Teuten, Steve Davey, Adam Akehurst and Charlie Craddock all delivered top performances for the team.

Davey recorded a new best of 36.44m to win the B-string discus, while Akehurst won the B-string pole vault (3.60m) and picked up points across a wide variety of events.

Craddock, meanwhile, went into battle in unfamiliar events for him – doing the 400m (59.3) and the 400m hurdles (68.97) to pick up valuable points.

Teuten won the 5,000m with a 14min 54sec time, while in the 1,500m Thomas MacSwayne (4.04.61) and Matt Gordon (4.10.68) recorded third-place finishes.

Michael Muckelt threw 54.75m to take second place in the javelin.

It was a good boost for the team to have Muckelt back in action.

Paul Farres said: ‘Mike stopped doing the javelin due to a shoulder problem and became a weightlifter.

‘But he came back to throw a fabulous javelin and we are very grateful.’

City have nine league points from two matches in the six-team league.

Leaders Newquay have 12 points, with Havering third on eight.

The next meeting is on Saturday, July 11 in Exeter.

Meanwhile, Tom Farres and Pocock will compete in the South of England Under-20 Championships at Lee Valley, London, this weekend.