Weekend Report - 14th/15th April 2018
TAC Cements Position as UK's finest
The Club’s men cemented their current position as the best distance running squad in the UK on Saturday, when they captured the National 12 stage road relay championship for the first time ever.
The victory added to the previous wins, over the past few months, in the National Cross Country Relays and the National Cross Country Championships, whilst they also represented Great Britain at the European Club Cross Country Championships.
Saturday’s race, held at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield is the the sternest test of a club’s depth of high class runners and has been regarded as maybe the most prestigious of all club events. A total of sixty-nine teams started the race, having qualified through the regional championships. Teams of twelve alternated long stages of 5.38 miles and short laps of 3.17 miles, totalling over 50 miles of racing, for more than four hours.
Ben Cole led the team off on the ultra-competitive opening leg and recorded 26.29 to come home in 6th. Dom Brown took over and was soon gaining on those in front, eventually coming home in 2nd, with a 15.34 clocking. Charlie Joslin-Allen (27.09) and Jamie Goodge (16.12) helped continue the progress, as Tonbridge took the lead after four stages.
The race had developed into a battle at the front with former winners Highgate Harriers, who went into the lead on stage five, where George Duggan clocked 27.10. Ally Kinloch (15.48) closed Highgate’s lead to just a few seconds, at the half way stage, before Max Nicholls produced a storming 26.45 stint to put Tonbridge ahead. Jamie Bryant consolidated the lead with a 16.10 lap, before Chris Olley moved Tonbridge almost two minutes clear with 26.29, on stage nine.
Kieran Reilly (15.44) and Ryan Driscoll (27.17) increased the lead a little more to give Sean Molloy (16.37) the luxury of running a controlled anchor leg and bring the team home. Highgate finish second with the defending champions, Swansea, in third.
The Tonbridge women’s team, was weakened by significant absences, but finished a creditable 22nd, of 54 teams. This race was over six stages, including just two long laps and the team’s splits were Maria Heslop 31.18, Polly Pitcairn-Knowles 21.11, Lucy Thompson 21.44, Alice Wood 37.14, Charlotte Cohen 22.00 and Ellen Pitcairn-Knowles 21.57.
The Club won the first league meeting of the season on Saturday, as they hosted the Southern Athletics League fixture at Tonbridge School. The league is for combined men’s and women’s squads and Tonbridge won the match with 223 points, from Eastbourne Rovers 199, Croydon Harriers 191 and St Albans 160.
The top ranked performance from a Tonbridge athlete came from Harry Kendall, who cleared 2.01 metres to win the High Jump, which was his first ever time over two metres and just a centimetre short of the club record.
Jack Lennard ran 100 metres in 10.8 to finish second and then came back later to win the 200 metres in 21.9, both times being personal bests. Tonbridge athletes produced seventeen A-string wins across the course of the afternoon.
Results can be viewed here
League Positions are available here