Weekend Report - 11th/12th November 2017
Driscoll Leads Tonbridge to League Win
Ryan Driscoll led the team to victory in the third round of the Kent Cross Country League, on Saturday, held at Footscray Meadows, near Sidcup.
The Tonbridge men's team had swapped wins with Medway and Maidstone in the first two fixtures, but came out on top, on this occasion. Driscoll had been part of the squad that had captured the National relay title the previous weekend and on this occasion was faced with a high-class opponent in the form of Jake Wightman, of Dartford Harriers. Wightman raced the 1500 metres at this year's World Championships and had won two Diamond League track races, during the course of the Summer track season.
The two were locked together for the first half of the ten kilometre race, but it was Driscoll who applied the pressure and came home in 32.12, to win by 29 seconds. Jamie Bryant continued his excellent form in third, with 33.08. Alasdair Kinloch was 8th and Julian Rendall 11th, as 263 finished and 22 clubs scored. Tonbridge also won the twelve man to score category.
Olivia Breed was the other individual winner for Tonbridge, as she made it three victories, from three starts, in the under 13 girls league. Both Lily Stewart (13th) and Annabelle Hales (14th) had their best races of the season, as the team placed second.
Tonbridge won both of the under 17 age group team events, with good packing. In the girls' race the scorers were Clara Tyler (5th), Tilly Hall (7th) and Steph Puxty (10th), whilst in the men's race James Kingston (3rd), Dan Schofield (4th) and Toby Emm (6th) did likewise. The first runners home for Tonbridge in the remaining races were Adam Jeddo (8th, under 13), Katie Goodge (6th, under 15) and Fraser Gordon (2nd, under 15). There was no senior ladies race at this fixture.
Tonbridge athletes also had some fine performances at the British Cross Challenge event, at Milton Keynes, on Saturday.
Chris Olley was 5th in the senior men's race, against some top class opposition, whilst Nicole Taylor was 9th in a similarly high quality women's event. Phoebe Barker was fifth in the under 20 women's race. Photo courtesy of Richard Owen.
On Friday evening, at the Kent Athletics Awards dinner, James Puxty was presented with the Kent Young Athlete of the Year trophy, having won the National under 17 men's cross country title and the English Schools 3000 metres championship.
Pete Mason's contribution to Tonbridge AC was recognized when he won the Kent Coach of the year award. Mason has been coaching many of the young distance runners, over the past fifteen years, with a good number having developed into the senior rankings.