Weekend Report - 16th/17th September 2017

Tonbridge Men and Women Win Opening Cross Country Fixture

Tonbridge Athletic Club’s men’s team started their cross country season where they left off last February, with a win. Seven months ago it was the iconic English National Championships, whereas on this occasion it was the relatively low key Blackheath and Bromley Relays, at West Wickham. The women’s team also sped to victory.

The relays date back to 1963, with Tonbridge men’s teams now making it eight  consecutive victories in a row. The strength of the squad allows the team manager a chance to pitch a couple of good four-man teams against each other and this resulted in a reasonably close race, with just 24 seconds between the two top Tonbridge teams, after the four legs of four kilometres.

Ben Cole ran the opening leg for the winning team coming home in 12.51, behind Corey De’Ath’s 12.34. These two posted the two fastest laps of the entire race. Alasdair Kinloch (12.57) handed over from Cole and took his team into the lead, ahead of Dan Bradley (13.44). Sam Crick (13.38) held off the challenge of James Puxty (13.17), before Jamie Bryant (13.11) extended the lead from Julian Rendall (13.37). Dartford Harriers were third, with another Tonbridge team coming home fourth, ahead of Blackheath.

The women’s race was a close call on the opening leg, with Nicole Taylor (14.11) finishing just ahead of club mate Phoebe Barker (14.13), who was running for Sevenoaks School. Kiri Marsh (15.47), Vita Milana (16.50) and Sasha Houghton (16.49) secured the team win, whilst Taylor’s split remained the fastest female leg of the day.

Tonbridge had seventeen men’s and women’s teams in the race, plus another nine in the separate under 13 and 15 age group event. Fraser Gordon ran the outright fastest lap in this race, with 12.03, whilst Katie Goodge was the third fastest girl, with 13.39.

This coming weekend all the age groups are in action at Crystal Palace, in the South of England Road Relay Championships.

Photos from the event can be viewed here.

Videos are available here.

Church Makes Decathlon Comeback

Having been sidelined for long periods over the past year, Lewis Church, Tonbridge Athletic Club’s young decathlete, stepped back into multi event action at the weekend. Competing in his first decathlon since May 2016 Church notched up a total of 7068 points to become the first ever Tonbridge athlete beyond the seven thousand marker. Church was competing in the Kent Championships at Erith and won the event convincingly with a series of marks that included four personal bests, four seasons bests and a Tonbridge club record in the High Jump.

The first day started with a 100 metres in 11.80, followed by his first Long Jump in competition this year. His 6.70 metres was not far down on his personal best, but he followed up with a Shot Putt pb of 12.71 metres. Then an outstanding High Jump concluded with a clearance at 2.02 metres, which broke his own club record for the event, adding two centimetres to his best from two years ago. The day ended with a 52.30 for 400 metres, which is another event that he was competing in for the first time this year.

Day two, on Sunday, commenced with 15.34 for the 110 metres hurdles, only  a fraction behind his pb set last year, before he moved onto the Discus, in which he set another pb of 41.84m.  The Pole Vault followed, where he equaled his best from this year of 4.20m and then in the penultimate event he threw the Javelin a new best of 49.42m. He rounded off the ten events with his first 1500 metres of the year in 4.39.13.

Church will be hoping for a consistent and injury free Winter of training now so that he can build on this performance, which puts him inside the UK's top ten for the year. Alex Hookway, his team mate, completed his first ever decathlon and finished fourth of the eight competitors with 4793 points.

Samantha Stubbs won the silver medal in the under 15 girls pentathlon, scoring 2785 points. This included 75m hurdles in 12.58, a Long Jump of 4.65m, Shot Putt of 7.67m, High Jump 1.56m and 800m in 2.34.19. Results cane be viewed here.

The Kent under 13 championships were also held at Erith over the weekend, where all the Tonbridge medals came from the girls. Lucinda White won the Javelin with 34.81m, from Caitlin Ebbage (27.02m). Roles were reversed in the Shot Putt as Ebbage won with 9.89m to White’s 9.00m for silver. White also took bronze in the Discus and silver in the 70m hurdles, whilst Ebbage won silver in the Discus. Jessica Daly was third in the 70m hurdles with 12.18, whilst Olivia Breed ran 3.59.12 to finish second in the 1200m. Results can be found here.

There were also a few medals won by the club’s veteran athletes. Emma Wood won the over 40 women’s 400m in 60.06, with Mark McAllister second over 100m in the over 40 men’s 100 metres in 12.29.

In the over 50s, Phil Coleman won the 1500m in 4.47.92, whilst Richard Christian won both hurdles events, recording 18.82 over 100m and 71.91 over 400m. Jason Cannon was second in the 100m flat in 13.58. The vets' results can be found here.

ESAA English Schools Combined Events Championships

The English Schools' 30th Combined Events Championships were held at the Princess Royal Arena in Boston over the weekend, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September 2017, where a number of Club athletes competed for their counties.

Rebekah O'Brien and Maisie Rixon competed for the Junior Girls Kent Schools team, winning bronze in the pentathlon, with O'Brien coming 4th overall in her age group with a score of 3041. Kent also finished first in the Senior Boys Decathlon on 16815 points, well ahead of Nottinghamshire.

Emily Ghose won the 44th Race Walk Senior Girls event for Kent in a time of 26:59.87.

Complete results are available here.