Weekend Report - 1st/2nd July 2017

West Produces Another Top Class Performance at the British Championships

Tonbridge Athletic Club had nine middle and long distance runners, a hurdler and three walkers competing at the British Championships, at Birmingham, over the weekend. The championships also doubled as trials for the Great Britain team to compete in this year's World Championships, at the London Olympic Stadium.

Of the Tonbridge contingent only race walker Tom Bosworth has qualified for the GB team, although James West has an England, Commonwealth Games qualifying standard at 1500 metres. However, there is more to do, if he was to have a realistic chance of selection, when the team is announced in October.

West qualified for Sunday’s twelve-man final, through Saturday’s heats of the 1500 metres. With four men in the final, having already achieved the World Championships standard, it was one of the most competitive races of the weekend. Like so many championship races, the final proved to be a slow, tactical affair, before picking up considerably in the second half. West ran the last 800 metres in 1.53 to finish a superb sixth in 3.49.19. The first four home were all Scots, so West was second Englishman, to Olympic finalist Charlie Grice, who was fifth.

Ryan Driscoll, also had a terrific championships, as he finished 7th in the 3000 metres steeplechase in 8.53.00, which is his second fastest ever time. He was with the leaders for much of the race and even got back in touch, despite a fall at one of the barriers, around halfway.

Sean Molloy was very unlucky to miss the eight-man 800 metres final, by just one position, when he ran 1.50.23. With four heats on Saturday, only the winner automatically qualified for the final, plus four fastest losers. Molloy, unfortunately missed out on a final place by just 0.28 seconds.

Dominic Brown, Luca Russo and George Duggan could not progress beyond the 1500 metres heats, with the latter two having their first ever experience at the championships. Likewise Joe Fuggle was eliminated in the heats of the 400 metres hurdles. Ashley Gibson and Nicole Taylor finished 16th and 20th, respectively, in the women’s 5000 metres and Chris Olley was disappointed with 18th in the men’s race, over the same distance. Links to results, photos and videos can be found on the results page.

Kent Young Athletes League

On Sunday the Tonbridge team finished a very close third, of the eight teams, in the Kent Young Athletes League Division One, at Ashford. Blackheath won, with Medway and Maidstone second with 563 points, just ahead of the 562.5 scored by Tonbridge.

Under 15 boys’ wins came from Fraser Gordon (1500m, 4.17.9), Lewis Swaby (80m hurdles, 12.1) and Theo Daviron (Pole Vault, 2.70m). In the same age group, for the girls, there was another Pole vault win for Catherine Davies with 2.70m.

Both under 13 wins came from the girls, as Caitlin Ebbage won the Shot Putt with 8.93m and Caitlin Milborne the Javelin with 33.40m, which was a personal best. Links to results from Divisions 1 and 2, and videos can be found on the results page

Other News

Also on Sunday there were two Tonbridge distance runners towards the front of the field, at the Bewl 15 miles Trail Race. Greg Cole was 6th in 91.55 and Dan Bradley 9th in 93.04, in a field of more than eight hundred finishers.