Weekend Report - 7th/8th January 2017
Runners Start New Year in Fine Form
Tonbridge Athletic Club’s distance runners had an excellent start to the new year over the weekend, both indoors and outdoors.
At the Kent Cross Country Championships, held at Brands Hatch, on Saturday, the club’s teams won seven of the ten titles that were available, whilst there were four individual wins, from members.
Lucy Reid captured her first ever Kent Cross Country title, as she returned to top form in the senior women’s race. Reid has been with the club through the age groups and has been close to victory on a few previous occasions. This time she had a race long battle with Amy Clements, of Kent AC, but played a patient game, to only take the lead in the last third of the eight kilometre race and win by eighteen seconds. This reversed the order from the South of Thames Championship, before Christmas. Reid led the Tonbridge senior women’s team to silver medals, with the help of Chloe Bird in 8th and Sasha Houghton, showing her best ever form, in 15th.
The senior men’s team put on one of the most dominant team shows in the history of their race, as they placed twelve in the top twenty six of the 210 finishers. They easily won both the six and twelve to score trophies.
The top six men had quite a battle for the medals and George Duggan took the lead with one of four laps remaining, of the twelve kilometres. However, he was passed late on by reigning champion John Gilbert (Kent AC) who won by just eight seconds. A close third was Tonbridge’s Ben Cole, with Alex Howard fourth. Max Nicholls (6th), Nathan Marsh (11th) and Dan Bradley (13th) completed the main scorers.
Tonbridge athletes won both under 13 titles, with Maddie Wise capturing the girls’ event and Matthew Taylor the boys’. Taylor led Tonbridge to a clean sweeo, as he was followed home by Fin Croll, Olukorede Fasina and Henry Taylor, from 85 finishers. Wise helped Tonbridge to silver medals from nine clubs in the girls’ race, as Anais Fernandez-Laaksonen (9th) and Ella de Munck (11th) scored.
Tonbridge completed five wins from five male races, with victory from the under 15s, under 17s and under 20s. The under 17 men filled the first four places, through James Puxty, Bede Pitcairn-Knowles, Dan Seagrove and Dan Blades. In the under 20s Ally Kinloch returned to form to take the silver medal behind GB international Will Fuller. Miles Weatherseed had an inspired run for third and Toby Ralph’s 8th place completed the scoring. James Kingston (4th), Fraser Gordon (5th), Adam Van der Plas (8th) and Toby Emm (9th) won the under 15 team contest.
The Tonbridge under 15 girls had their best performance of the season so far to win the championship title, through Katie Goodge (3rd), Vita Milana (5th) and Lizzie Miller (8th). Likewise the under 20 women seem to be getting stronger as the season progresses and won their event with Kiri Marsh (3rd), Alice Ralph (4th) and Polly Pitcairn-Knowles (5th) scoring.
The under 17 women’s team was not at its strongest and finished fifth, the scorers being Grace Fleming (11th), Clara Tyler (16th) and Abianne Coates (17th).
Tonbridge AC also had two individual wins at the Sussex Cross Country Championships, at Bexhill, on Saturday. Nicole Taylor won the senior womens race and Jesse Magorrian won the under 17 men’s event.
West and Barker go well for Great Britain in Edinburgh
James West and Phoebe Barker made their Great Britain team debuts at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country meeting on Saturday. West ran the third leg for the winning GB senior team in the 4 x 1km relay, handing over to Laura Muir, in the televised event.
Barker was fourth scorer for the GB under 20 women’s team,as she placed 10th in the under 20 women’s race, over four kilometres.
West then travelled to Sheffield on Sunday for the British Milers Club Indoor Meeting, where he raced over 3000 metres. He showed that he is probably in the best shape of his life by winning in 7.58.94. He now has to consider his options for the remainder of the indoor season, whether at this distance or 1500 metres. Nineteen year old Tom Holden was close to his outright personal best with 8.13.74 in the same race. Dom Brown also won in Sheffield, with a 1500 metres indoor pb of 3.49.59.
Indoor gold medals for Tonbridge athletes
Three Tonbridge AC members captured gold medals at the South of England under 15 and 17 indoor championships, at Lee Valley, over the weekend.
Asha Root won the under 17 women’s 400 metres in 59.31, which was an indoor best. In the under 15s Rebekah O’Brien won the High Jump with 1.58 metres and Maisie Rixon the Shot Putt with 9.45 metres.
On Sunday Tonbridge AC host the latest of their junior one mile cross country races, at Tonbridge School. Entry registration is at 2pm, at the cricket pavilion, on the lower fields, with a medal awarded to each finisher. Ages are from four to twelve years old - details can be found here.