WOKING'S senior team got their season off to the best possible start with a comfortable win in their first Southern Athletics League match of the season last Saturday in Basingstoke.

With a great mix of athletic talent, determination and great team spirit it proved far too much for the opposition who were blown away in the blustery conditions.

There were many fine performances on the day with a high number of wins with a number of athletes producing victories across a number of events.

The best all round performer of the day was George Hopkins who produced four personal bests and five wins in a very busy afternoon for him. He started with a personal best and win in the high jump with a leap of 1.85 metres, which was closely followed by a win in the long jump with another personal best of 6.36 metres. The third personal best came in the triple jump where he finished second with a leap of 12.72 metres, being beaten into second place in the final leap. The final personal best came in the Javelin where he won with a throw of 48.82, beating team mate Roy Chambers by just 1cm with Roy winning the B competition.

He also won his specialist event, the pole vault, and won the B string 110 metre hurdles.

His older sister Katie also had a busy afternoon – after finishing third in the 400 metres hurdles, she then went on to comfortably win the 400 metre flat in 59.22 seconds and also won the B string 1500 metres.

Another all round specialist, Kaspars Kazemaks, was on fine form all afternoon. He started with a dominant performance in the 400 metre hurdles where he won by a huge distance and completed a double hurdles win by also winning the 110 metre hurdles. He also won the B string Pole Vault and was third in the shot putt.

In the women’s shot putt, Eleanor Gatrell followed up her British Masters record in her county championship win from the week before with a win plus second places in the Discus and hammer.

In arguably the strongest events of the day, in the men’s 100 metres Thomas Leacock was just outside his best ever time and just two-hundreds of a second behind first place to finish second in 10.85 seconds, with Jake Etherington winning the B race in 11.15 seconds. Thomas also filled the same position in the 200 metres, running an impressive 21.95 seconds.

In the longer sprint there was a comfortable B string win in the 400 metres for Ricky Beak in 51.07 seconds, his second fastest ever time, with Ian Horlock enjoying a comfortable win in the 400 metres hurdles B race.

In the endurance events there were a number of strong performances, with the star performer being Martha Collings in the women’s 1500 metres where she won comfortably by more than 20 metres.

There was a fantastic double win in the 3,000 metre steeple-chase with Connor Trierse and Ben Rolfe showing impressive form to win both the A and B races very comfortably.

There were further wins for Florence Baulk in the B string Hammer. She also finished second in the javelin and picked up valuable points in both the hurdle races, as did Harry Findlay in the B string high jump with a leap of 1.70 metres, whilst there was a third place in the hammer and a win in the men’s B Hammer from the father and son team of Rory and Paul Kelly.

The relays produced an exciting end of the day event, with both the men’s and women’s 4x400 metre teams finishing in second place. The men’s team only narrowly missed out on first place to a very strong Southampton team, with the women’s team of Katie Hopkins, Florence Baulk, Lauren Chadwick and Martha Collings just holding off Southampton for second place.

The men’s 4x100 metre team of Jake Etherington, George Hopkins, Thomas Leacock and Kenny Ball finished in third place.

Final team score:

1st: Woking 344 points

2nd:Southampton 291.5

3rd Basingstoke 290 points

4th Epsom and Ewell 287.5 points

5th Eastbourne Rovers 213 points

6th City of Salisbury 197 points