Muckelt makes his mark but City struggle

City of Portsmouth's Michael Muckelt
City of Portsmouth's Michael Muckelt
Ali Watson  and Katy Bradley scan finishing tokens for first time parkrunners Rebecca Howell and Jess Gwynn

Gallery: Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun 149

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Michael Muckelt picked up the man-of-the-match award but couldn’t help City of Portsmouth escape Southern Athletics League woe at the weekend.

With a severely-depleted squad for their second match of the season in Ware, the Mountbatten Centre outfit struggled to keep pace with the standards they set on the opening day.

Back then, they soared to second place in the division one table after an impressive victory on home soil.

However, with injury and unavailability taking its toll on team selection, they had to make do with a fourth-place finish in their latest outing.

A points total of 140 saw them finish well adrift of winners Enfield & Haringey (222), runners-up Herts Phoenix (181) and third-placed Stevenage & North Herts (166).

It also means City are now playing catch-up in terms of league placings, with them sitting seventh in the overall table.

However, on an individual level, there were still plenty of positives to return home with ahead of this weekend’s Hampshire Championships.

And Muckelt will be among those most pleased after his all-round display.

His 53.96cm effort in the men’s A-string javelin saw him take maximum points in that discipline and record a seasonal best distance going into the counties.

The 18-year-old’s winning throw was more than two metres further than runner-up Conor Martin’s (Herts Phoenix) finest effort and places him ninth in the under-20 UK rankings.

Meanwhile, a distance of 5.61m in the long jump (A string), which earned Muckelt third spot, and a height of 1.50m in the high jump, which secured a fourth place, helped him be the highest points earner amongst the competitors on the day.

Joining Muckelt in the winners’ circle were team-mates Tom Farres (pole vault A), Lauren McCarthy (3,000m A), Vicki Harfield (long jump A), Matthew Bartlett (100m B), Helen Lockyer (1,500m B), Mark Hargreaves (3,000m steeple chase B) and Steve Davey (pole vault B and discus B).

And youngster Farres will have been delighted with his day’s work after he smashed his pole vault PB to claim another important victory in his fledgling career. He jumped an impressive 14.10m to add 28cm to his total.

McCarthy’s 10min 55.09sec, Harfield’s 5.17m, Bartlett’s PB of 11.7, Lockyer’s 5.32.5, Hargreaves’ PB of 14.43.6, and Davey’s 3.40 and seasonal best of 34.15 in the discus also bodes well for the future.

Chris Tandi (11.5) and Hollie Fudge (13.4) also hit form with seasonal bests in the men’s and women’s 100m, while Ellie Czura also impressed as she clocked a time of 2.26.4 on her senior bow in the women’s 800m A race.

City’s next match is in Bromley on June 18.