Weekend Report - 23rd/24th September 2017
Tonbridge Close to Win at Major Relay Championships
Tonbridge Athletic Club’s men’s team couldn’t quite pull off another major title win on Sunday, when they finished second in the South of England Road Relay Championships, at Crystal Palace. After six stages of five kilometres, they were just thirteen seconds behind the winners Highgate Harriers, with reigning champions Aldershot third, from about a hundred starting teams.
Charlie Joslin-Allen led the team off with a solid start on the very competitive opening stage, coming home 10th in 15.00. Alasdair Kinloch (15.36) dropped one place before George Duggan’s 14.48 split took Tonbridge up nine places to second. With a strong second half to come hopes were high for a Tonbridge victory.
Corey De’Ath (15.02) took the lead on the fourth stage, but the Highgate runner came by at the finish. Ryan Driscoll (15.24), only just back after a break, closed in on Highgate at halfway of the penultimate stage, but then lost ground, coming home about two hundred metres in arrears. Chris Olley took off on the anchor leg and closed substantially on the leaders, recording 14.37, which was the third fastest split of the day.
The Tonbridge B team finished 18th to gain a top twenty five placing, which qualifies them for the National Championships. The runners were Jamie Bryant (15.39), Jamie Goodge (15.54), Cameron Payas (15.53), James Puxty (15.55), Sam Crick (16.12) and Harry Paton (16.03).
The senior womens team put in a very solid performance to finish 11th in a race of four stages of four kilometres. The team consisted of Phoebe Barker (12.44), Grace Fleming (13.59), Kiri Marsh (13.57) and Nicole Taylor (12.45).
The closest that Tonbridge came to further medals was in the under 13 girls race, where they finished fourth. Sophie Slack (10.18), Annabelle Hales (11.09) and Olivia Breed (10.09) made up the team, with Breed’s time being the 7th fastest of the race.
The under 17 men were also well in contention in their race, placing fourth. The race was over four stages of four kilometres. James Kingston led off, followed by Simon Coppard, Dan Schofield and Toby Emm. The under 13 boys were 8th, under 15 boys 10th, under 15 girls 14th and under 17 women 15th.
Tonbridge also had over 40 age group mens and womens teams. The men were 15th and the womens final position was awaiting confirmation at the time of writing. The highlight was Maria Heslop’s opening leg for the women’s team of 12.52 on the four kilometre circuit, being the fastest age group split of the day.