Weekend News Report - 30th June /1st July 2018

Olley And Driscoll Both Finish Fifth At National Championships

The Club had a record number of qualifiers for last weekend’s British Championships, at Birmingham and they came home with some excellent results. The two-day meeting was televised on BBC and acted as the trials for the European Championships, that take place in Berlin, in August.

The Saturday timetable featured mainly qualifying heats, but also the finals of the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase and 5000 metres, where Tonbridge had strong contenders. The high temperature and breezy conditions affected times over the weekend, but didn’t seem to deter Chris Olley and Ryan Driscoll.

Chris Olley was having his last race in the UK for a while, before attending the University of San Francisco, for a year’s post graduate study. He was in the 5000 metres final, alongside twenty-six other athletes and was always to the fore. The pace picked up considerably over the final mile, as the leaders stretched out. Olley covered those last four laps in 4.18 to finish a superb 5th in 13.55.70, in a race won by Marc Scott in 13.47.00. It was a personal best by eight seconds for Olley, who was one of just two athletes who set their best marks on the day.

Following in the next race, the 3000 metres steeplechase, Ryan Driscoll also placed 5th in 8.45.62 to improve his own Tonbridge record by four seconds. The race was won by Zak Seddon, of Bracknell, in 8.33.12, whilst the other Tonbridge athlete, Alex Howard, finished 10th.

Nicole Taylor put on one of the bravest efforts of the weekend, on Sunday, as she led the women’s 5000m final for many laps. Taylor managed to slip away from the main field and at one stage had a lead of eight seconds over the other twenty-two competitors. She was caught by the pack with 800 metres remaining and finished 12th in 16.33.85.

Lucy Reid also had a superb run to finish 11th in 16.29.90, whilst Ashley Gibson completed an unprecedented trio of Tonbridge athletes in the final, finishing 16th in 16.57.45.

Tonbridge had two other finalists, both in the men’s 1500 metres, as James West and Dominic Brown qualified through Saturday’s heats. West ran 3.44.49 in his heat and then finished 7th in the final in 3.48.48, after a slow and tactical affair. Brown had the unusual experience of being allowed to compete in the final, having fallen in his heat, after an advertising stand had blown into his path ! He then had an excellent run in the final to finish 10th in the thirteen-man field with 3.49.93.

The other Tonbridge athletes competing included Jack Lennard (100m), Lewis Collins (400m), Sean Molloy (800m), George Duggan (1500m) and Kieran Reilly (1500m), aswell as the walkers Tom Bosworth and Guy Thomas.


Max Nicholls was on international duty for Great Britain at the European Mountain Running Championships, held in Macedonia. Nicholls finished 12th of 78 starters and was the third scorer for the Great Britain team. Great Britain took the silver medals from the eighteen competing counties.

The Tonbridge under 17 and 20 age group squads produced a good performance on Sunday, when they finished second of the six clubs in their UK Youth Development League match, at Croydon.

This coming weekend the Tonbridge men’s team compete in the third match of the British Athletics League season at Bedford.

2nd July: National Preparatory Schools Championships

Athletes from the Club's javelin squad competed in the National IAPS finals in Birmingham on Monday 2nd July.

The squad came away with three Golds and a Silver, so half the golds on offer were won by Tonbridge athletes. Results were as follows:

U14G Lucinda White Gold 38.63m (New CBP)

U13B Felix McCardle Hodge Gold 42.53m (New Club Record and extends his lead at top of TPo10)

U12B Zac Moore Gold 33.56m (new PB)

U14G Caitlin Milborne Silver 34.82m