Weekend News Report - 2nd April 2018

A Fast Start to the Outdoor Track Season

The Club hosted their first track and field meeting of the year at Tonbridge School Track on Bank Holiday Monday, with nearly five hundred athletes entering the events. The wet, windy and cold conditions didn’t put many off, but hampered fast times or good distances being achieved.

Jack Lennard was exceptional on the day as he stormed to the senior men’s club records over both 150 metres and 300 metres in 16.4 and 35.0, the latter being his first over the distance. Lennard had a terrific indoor season and the 24 year old hopes to follow up with success outdoors, in what will be only his second Summer track season.

Steve Tester set three new record times in the men's over 35 age group coming 2nd in heat 19 of the 150 metre races in 17.3s, producing a time of 1:28.7 in the final 600 metre race, then ending the day with 37.7s over 300 metres.

Simon Coppard was the fastest of all the 600 metre runners on show, as he won the final race over the distance in 81.6, whilst his training partner, James Puxty, won the fastest of the eight 1500 metre races in 4.02.8. Sophie Slack, despite only being in the under 13 age group, was the fastest of the Tonbridge females competing and ran 5.11.8.

The throwing events were probably affected even more by the rain, but amongst the performances were those of under 17, Kirsty-Anne Ebbage with a 10.40m shot put and a 31.61m javelin throw. Guy White put the shot 10.91m, in the under 17 boys age group. Under 20 competitor David Fullbrook cleared 1.75m in the High Jump.

On Friday Maria Heslop set a new over 50 women’s 10 miles record of 60.22, at Folkestone, as she won the women’s race. The time is the third fastest ever by a British woman, in that age group. Heslop should be in action at the forthcoming Paddock Wood Half Marathon, before tackling the London Marathon.

There were also two outstanding performances, over the weekend, from Club runners, who are at university in the USA, where the outdoor track season gets going earlier. James West ran 5000 metres in 13.52.29, which was a personal best by nine seconds, whilst Alex Howard ran 8.56.78 for 3000 metres steeplechase. The times would have ranked both of them firmly inside the UKs top twenty last year, at the respective events.