Weekend Report - 7th to 9th July 2017
Puxty and Scopes Win English Schools Titles
James Puxty and Alfie Scopes won Senior Boys English Schools titles at the weekend. The championships are the pinnacle for schools athletics, with athletes qualifying to compete for their county. Puxty, who attends Skinners School and Scopes, who is at Judd School, competed in the 3000 metres and Discus, respectively.
Scopes won his title on Friday, the first day of the championships, throwing 48.74 metres, less than a metre behind his personal best. In a close contest he won from Sam Woodley, of Hertfordshire and Oliver Massingham, of Norfolk. Just 1.16 metres covered the top three throws. Scopes has had some terrific tussles with Woodley, in particular, this season, beating him in the National Championships, when they placed second and third, but with Woodley winning the Southern Championships.
James Puxty would not have been considered the favourite prior to the 3000 metres final, but produced a terrific victory, running 8.32.87, covering the first half in 4.24 and the second in 4.08. He had a battle all the way down the home straight with Jeremy Dempsey, of Hertfordshire, with his Tonbridge team mate, Alasdair Kinloch finishing third.
Joe Fuggle finished fourth in a top class Senior Boys’ 400 metres hurdles final in 53.61 and the only other top eight placing by a Tonbridge athlete was Rebekah O’Brien’s 8th in the Junior Girls’ High Jump, with 1.60 metres.
The Tonbridge men’s and women’s squads had a close battle, with Croydon, the host club at the Southern Athletics League match, on Saturday. The two clubs finished in a tie, both with 202 points and ahead of both Ryston and Norwich.
There were women’s track wins for Jess O’Hara (400m, 60.4), Joanne Ware (100m hurdles in 15.6), Polly Pitcairn-Knowles (400m hurdles, 77.5) and Meghan Watson (1500m steeplechase 5.56.2). Ware also won three other events ; High Jump 1.58m, Long Jump 5.27m and Triple Jump 11.10m.
The club’s top two multi eventers, Lewis Church and Harry Kendall made a significant impact on the points score. Included in the performances Kendall cleared over seven metres in the Long Jump, for the first time in his life, with 7.06 metres, to take maximum points. He also won the Javelin with 54.35m. Church, who has had a steady start to the season, after a foot injury, is regaining fitness and won the Pole Vault with 3.35m and Discus with 39.44m.
On the track, there were wins for Anthony Bryan in the 100 metre in 11.3, Kieran Eland in the 400 metres with a 50.3 personal best, Jamie Bryant in the 3000 metres in 9.03.0 and Michael Ellis in the 3000m steeplechase in 10.13.5.
On Friday evening the Tonbridge over 35s squad competed in the latest fixture of the Southern Counties Veterans League, as both the men and women aim for the final, in early September. The women secured their final place with a victory over the five other division one teams, whilst the men placed third, but still remain in overall second place in their league.
Amongst many good performances were Ian Crawley winning the over 50 age group, Pole Vault and equaling the Tonbridge age group record with 2.90 metres. Simon Fraser won the over 35s, 400 metres in 55.2 and Andy Howey the over 50s, 3000m in 10.12.2. Sasha Houghton was in impressive form and although she scored maximum points in the High Jump it was her second place in the over 35s, 3000 metres that caught the eye. She took eleven seconds from her own personal best and improved the Tonbridge over 35,40 and 45 records in one go. The fulll veterans report can be found here