Weekend News Report - 4th/5th May 2019

Busy Few Days for Club Athletes

Despite the cold and windy conditions across the Bank Holiday weekend, the Summer track and field season is in full swing for Club members. A variety of competitions took place from Wednesday through to Bank Holiday Monday.

On Wednesday evening at Watford, Phoebe Barker ran 4.29.76 for 1500 metres, which was just outside her personal best for the distance. Then on Thursday in the USA James West ran 3.42.41 for 1500 metres, which puts him eighth on the 2019 UK rankings, including times set during the indoor season. Two days later he also ran 1.49.77 to win an 800 metres, which is ranked inside the UK's top twenty times this year and was not far away from his personal best. Also in the USA Chris Olley showed good form to finish second in a very congested 1500 metres in 3.48.72 at Portland.

On Friday evening the club's veterans' teams were having their first fixture of the Southern Counties League at Eltham, with both the men's and women's squads taking the wins, from five other clubs each. Highlights included Ben Reynolds winning the 3000 metres in 9.36.1 and beating all the other runners, from the over 35 age group upwards, despite having turned 55 in January. Nicky Buckwell was impressive winning the over 60 age group women's 400 metres in a club record of 81.2.

The British Universities and Colleges Championships took place at Bedford across three days from Saturday to Monday, with the highest placed Tonbridge athlete being Dom Brown, who finished 6th over 800 metres. He raced the heats on Saturday, ran 1.53.62 in Sunday's semi-final, before recording 1.54.73 in the final on Monday. Kieran Reilly and Miles Weatherseed also successfully progressed through three rounds in the 1500 metres to finish 8th and 9th.

On Saturday Nicole Taylor set the fastest ever Tonbridge AC women's time in a parkrun, running 16.33, at Bromley, over the five kilometre course.

On Sunday, Tonbridge AC hosted the UK Youth Development fixture, for the under 17 and 20 age groups and finished second of the five teams in the South Division One match. There were numerous A-string wins from the team. In the under 20 men's age group David Fullbrook won the Shot Putt with a personal best of 11.64 metres, whilst Joseph Nicholson won the Hammer with 40.92m.

Asha Root was very busy in the under 20 women's age group, competing in all of the sprints, including a win in the 400 metres in 58.60.  Elizabeth Heslop won the 1500 metres steeplechase, taking twenty-five seconds from her pb, with 5.58.20. Kirsty- Ann Ebbage scored maximum points from winning both the Shot Putt with 10.52m and the Discus with 35.16m.

Rebekah O'Brien won the High Jump, in the under 20 age group, with 1.55m and won the under 17 women's 300 metres hurdles in 47.96. Also in the under 17s, Katie Goodge won the 1500m in 4.46.13 and Samantha Stubbs the High Jump with 1.60m. The under 17 women also produced the club's sole relay victory in the 4 x 300m. Josh O'Brien won the under 17 men's 400 metres hurdles in 73.84 and Lewis Swaby competed in multiple events, including a High Jump win with 1.80m.

One of the highlights of the day was a win for Fraser Gordon in the 1500m steeplechase in 4.51.22, despite taking a heavy fall and soaking at the water jump, with 500 metres to go.

Fraser Gordon recovered from his steeplechase on Sunday to win the Hildenborough five miles road race on Monday in 26.29, with Dan Bradley second in 27.45. Antonia Skerritt was the second female home in 33.46, whilst Lily Slack won the Junior 2.5 mile race.