Weekend Report - 11th/12th March 2017

Barker in Great Britain Team for World Championships

Phoebe Barker has been selected for the Great Britain under 20 team, for the World Cross Country Championships, after finishing fifth in the trial race, on Saturday. She will travel to Kampala, Uganda for the global event, as part of a team of six, to compete on 26th March.

The trials were included within the UK Inter Counties Championships, held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough. ┬áBarker’s fifth place was the highest position of the Tonbridge runners at the championships, which saw more than thirty represent their county. Teams from all over the UK compete across the age groups, with typically eight runners per team and around three hundred finishers in each race.

Barker was always in a chasing group, as Amilia Quirk of Berkshire built a commanding lead. However, some confusion arose, with about a third of the six kilometre race remaining as Quirk veered off course and despite being first across the line was disqualified. Barker gave it her all, to finish just fourteen seconds behind the eventual winner, Anna MacFadyen, of Scotland.

Nicole Taylor, racing in the colours of Sussex, finished a superb 12th in the senior women’s race, having had a race long battle with club mate, Ashley Gibson, who ended up 18th. Similarly, the senior men equipped themselves well with Corey De’Ath (21st), Ben Cole (25th) and Max Nicholls (26th), being the first three Kent scorers home in a field of three hundred.

Tonbridge provided all four scorers for Kent in the under 17 men’s race, as the county won the bronze medals. James Puxty was 9th, Dan Seagrove 35th, Bede Pitcairn-Knowles 44th and Dan Blades 51st.

Fraser Gordon had an exceptional run in the under 15 boys’ event, placing 12th, despite having another year in the age group. He also helped the Kent team to win the championship, in this age group.

Away from the cross country scene Emma Wood’s performance over 400 metres, at the British Indoor Veterans Championships, caught the eye. Wood won the over 45 age group race in 60.10, which was her fastest time since being a national champion as a teenager. Her performance is the second fastest ever UK, in the age group, indoors and less than three tenths of a second away from the age record.

Multi eventer Richard Christian picked up silver medals in the over 50s 200 metres and Triple Jump and was 3rd in the 60 metre hurdles.

On the roads Greg Cole placed 5th in the Lydd 20 miles event, with a new personal best of 1.56.44.

This coming weekend sees plenty of the club’s athletes in action at the English Schools Cross Country Championships and also the Kent Indoor Championships, at Lee Valley.