Weekend Report - 22nd/23rd April 2017

Fennell first home of the Tonbridge marathoners

The most prominent athletics event in the UK at the weekend was the London Marathon and Tonbridge Athletic Club had ten members on the start line, with all of them completing the twenty-six miles.

Steve Fennell, better known as an 800 metre track runner, paced the race well to come through and finish 121st, in 2.33.44, in what was his debut at the distance. He overtook club mate Julian Rendall late on in the race, as Rendall recorded 2.36.35. Greg Cole also ran strongly with a time of 2.38.36. The first female for Tonbridge was Antonia Skerritt, who ran 3.23.01 in what was her debut at the distance.

The junior mini marathon races, held before the main event, are run over the final three miles of the marathon course. Tonbridge had four runners in the British Road Championship events, representing the eight-man South East teams. Phoebe Barker was 6th in the under 17 girls’ race in 16.34, James Puxty 7th in the under 17 boys in 14.34, Fraser Gordon 18th in the under 15 boys race in 15.31 and Maddie Wise 34th in the under 13 girls event in 18.30. Olukorede Fasina, representing Greenwich, was 7th in the under 13 boy’s London Borough race in 16.55.

The TAC Masters were also in action - please click here for their report

Youth Development League (U13/U15)

The first YDL Meeting of the season kicked of with the U13 and U15 squad travelling to Reading. On what started as an overcast and slightly windy day turned into bright sunshine and good conditions for the athletes.

Most notable performances of the day were 1st in A and B string for the girls U15 high jumpers, Rebekah O'Brien (1.60) and Sam Stubbs (1.55) both girls consistently jumping these heights. Lewis Swaby was the only U15 boy winner of the day with a high jump of 1.71 and only narrowly failing on one of his attempts at 1.74. Sam Stubbs was also the winner of the B string 75m Hurdles.

Good points were scored in the U15 girls 300, with Eliz O'Donnell running a well paced 300 to pass a couple of girls in the home straight to finish second taking 0.49 off of her PB to finish second in the A string with a time of 44.80. Katie Burgess had a real battle in the home straight eventually overhauling the Croydon athlete to win the B string in a time of 45.30 and this was after taking 2nd in the A string 800 earlier in the day.

We continue to pick up good points in the Pole Vault with the Catherine Davies taking maximum points in the A string with a 30cm improvement on her PB to clear 2.70 and Maria Bragin taking second in the B string.

Maisie Rixon running the A string 100 and 200 took 2nd in both races with PB's, winter training has gone well and a good start to the season. Katie Goodge secured 2nd in the A string 1500 with a time of 4.50.8 just 0.1 of a second outside her PB.

One of the highlights of the day was the girls and boys 4x300 with the girls Katie Burgess, Lucianna Anderson, Maria Bragin and Eliz O'Donnell finishing in second. Katie had a very good start putting the girls into first position at the change over to Lucianna who held her position with Maria just losing a place to second. On the last leg the Croydon runner passed Eliz with 120m to go to put them into third but it was a hard fought battle down the home straight with Eliz just taking beating the other girl to secure second position on the line.

The boys 4x300 wasn't as tough as the girls race and they finished comfortably in second place. They led from the start with Sam Ward leading off and Theo Daviron and James Mardon holding onto first place. Unfortunately for Fin Croll on the 4th leg he was up against the individual winner of the 300 and didn't have enough of a lead to hold onto first place but a galliant effort especially as he had just landed back in the country that morning.

The U13’s had a good day with lots representing the club for the first time. Most notable performances were A string wins for Lily Stewart (800m) and Lucinda White (javelin), and then B sting wins for Louis Procter (75m hurdles), Jessica Daly (150m), Olivia Breed (800m), Olivia Wittenberg (1200m), George Thomas (1500m) and Caitlin Ebbage (javelin).

Phebe Foster and Jessica Daly smashed their pb's over the hurdles and they can only get quicker as they learn the event more. George Thomas jumped an incredible 1m45 in the high jump, with able support from Felic Gollan who cleared 1m20. There were some gutsy runs in the middle distance with Monty Cunliffe and Sam Breed fighting well in the home straights to gain good points in 800m. Indianna Winter had a good debut in shot and javelin with some solid throws. Dylan Bran and Dan Redfern had another tough 200m races and the both showed determination to finish well.

There were lots of personal bests for the U13’s and the improvements were significant from Easter Monday. The experience gained was invaluable and an insight of where to aim in the future. It also provided valuable lessons in learning how to compete at as high level.

Great performances throughout the day by all those that took part and everyone contributed to the team finishing in third place behind Reading and Croydon.

Reading - 587.5
Croydon - 512
Tonbridge – 480
Herne Hill - 447
Bedford - 446
Chelmsford - 413.5

News from Elsewhere

There were some more good performances Stateside last weekend, with Ryan Driscoll improving his 1500 metres best to 3.46.29 in California, whilst Luca Russo ran 3.47.46, in Arkansas. Robbie Farnham-Rose ran his first ever 5000 metres, in Alabama, where he finished fourth in 14.26.25.

There were also a couple of open meetings in the last week. On Sunday, Joe Fuggle and Zak Skinner competed at Gillingham and both ran personal bests in the 400 metres of 50.63 and 51.51, respectively. Skinner was also just one centimetre away from his outdoor Long Jump pb with 6.30m.

At Watford on Wednesday there were a few Tonbidge athletes in action, including George Duggan who opened his outdoor season, with second place in the 800 metres in 1.54.12.

This coming weekend sees a number of the club’s members competing in the British University Championships, at Bedford and at Luton in the UK Youth Development League for the under 17 and 20 age groups.