Weekend Report - 28th/29th January 2017

Two Team Golds for Tonbridge at Southern Championships

The Club came away from the South of England Cross Country Championships on Saturday, with two team victories and a bronze medal, from the ten races.

It was the under 15 boys and under 17 men, who took the team plaudits, whilst Nicole Taylor’s 8th place in the senior women’s race also stood out.

The under 17 men had their first three scorers in the top ten from 183 finishers, with James Puxty 5th, Bede Pitcairn-Knowles (7th) and Dan Seagrove (9th) all running well. It then meant a wait for the final scorer Dan Blades, who hung on bravely to finish 37th and clinch the team title by nine points, from Aldershot.

The under 15 boys have been not only very consistent all season, but seem to be getting stronger. James Kingston has hit his best form for the championships and finished in 6th ,from around 300 starters. He was backed-up by Fraser Gordon (14th), Toby Emm (30th) and Adam Van der Plas (31st) to give the team a convincing win from the 36 clubs.

The under 20 men claimed the bronze medals, but only by a single point and should be much stronger come the National Championships at the end of February. Tim Faes was the first scorer in 12th, having his best race for a while and he was followed in by Jamie Goodge (19th), Alasdair Kinloch (33rd) and Declan Greaves (46th).

The senior men’s team finished 4th of 69 teams, as more than a thousand runners completed the nine-mile course. Max Nicholls ran strongly throughout to place 14th, followed closely by Ben Cole (17th) and Corey De’Ath (22nd). Julian Rendall (59th), Jamie Bryant (71st) and Dan Bradley (72nd) all had good runs.  Tonbridge will be hopeful of a good showing at the National event, since the team should be even stronger, with a few others to come into the squad.

Nicole Taylor’s 8th place equaled the highest ever position by a Tonbridge lady in the senior race. Chloe Bird (52nd) and Sasha Houghton (120th) also had excellent races, with Lucy Pitcairn-Knowles (247th) completing the scorers. The team was 17th of 63 clubs, which is the best Tonbridge performance, at the championships.

The under 13 boys were disappointed to miss out on team medals as they finished 4th, from 37 clubs. Matthew Taylor was on form in 6th, whilst his brother Henry Taylor (25th) had possibly his best performance to date. Olukorede Fasina (49th) and Cameron Dymond (60th) completed the team, as they missed out on a podium position by 11 points.

The under 15 girls finished an excellent 5th in their event, from 28 clubs. Katie Goodge (27th), Vita Milana (38th), Meghan Watson (67th) and Rebecca Smith (71st) were the four scorers as 270 finished the race. Smith was making her debut for Tonbridge. Unfortunately Tonbridge were one runner short of a full scoring team in both the under 17 and under 20 women’s races, due to illness.

The under 13 girls’ placed 14th, with Maddie Wise having a fine run once again in 6th, as Alex Evans (36th), Aimee Holdstock (187th) and Amber Crush (215th) all scored for the team.

More images from Mark Hookway can be viewed here.

Tonbridge Runners Excel Indoors

Across the weekend there were some excellent performances from our middle distance runners, at a variety of indoor events.

James West and Dominic Brown represented England in Vienna, Austria , in what ended up being a very rough 1500 metres race. West described the race as extremely messy, as runners battled for position and in the process Brown was pushed off the track and didn’t finish. West went onto very nearly win the race, being pipped on the line and losing by just 0.03 seconds. To add to his frustration his time of 3.42.81, was less than a second away from the British Athletics qualifying time, for the European Championships.

In the USA there were impressive runs over one mile indoors, by three Tonbridge athletes, who have grown up together. Robbie Farnham-Rose won his third race of the season, this time cruising to a win in 4.04.63 in South Carolina, on Friday. Ryan Driscoll scored a win in Seattle in 4.10.99, after a slow start to Saturday’s race, whilst Luca Russo was 4th in Arkansas in 4.07.97.

Chris Olley had his first ever race on an indoor track in Germany, where he raced 3000 metres at Sindelfingen.  He won the race by nine seconds, producing a second half well inside four minutes to record 8.12.76. He will be back home for the British Universities Championships later in February and then racing for Tonbridge at the National Cross Country Championships.