Weekend News Report - 8th/9th June 2019

West And Taylor Headline Weekend Action

James West and Nicole Taylor headed the club's performances over the weekend, with two top class performances. James West ran his second fastest ever 1500 metres at the Portland Track Festival in the USA, when he recorded 3.37.22 to finish third in the elite men's race. West is at the University of Oregon and was disappointed to miss out on the National Collegiate Championships, after a disqualification for a false start at the Regional qualifying event a couple of weeks ago.

West is currently ranked second on the UK rankings for the year, sandwiched between Josh Kerr and Chris O'Hare. His focus is now on trying to achieve the World Championships qualifying standard of 3.36.00 and compete in the British Championships at the end of August. Before then he will be racing over one mile at the Anniversary Games, in the London Olympic Stadium, in July.

Nicole Taylor produced another terrific performance, on Friday evening, when she won the England Athletics Championship women's 10,000 metres in 33.31.35. Pulling away over the second half of the race, she won by around 200 metres from international Tracy Barlow. Taylor's time improved her personal best and Tonbridge club record by twenty-two seconds. Also setting a big pb Ben Cole finished 6th in the men's race in 30.01.60.

The club's men's team competed in the first match of the British League season, at Bedford, on Sunday and came away with a fine second place from the eight clubs. Tonbridge were promoted to Division Three last year, following their first season in the league and will be hoping to challenge for promotion again this year.

Lewis Church, Harry Kendall and Alex Hookway scored in multiple field events, with Church capturing the sole non-track victory in the Shot Putt, with 12.59m. He also secured one of the track victories for the club in the 110 metres hurdles with 15.14, a fraction away from his best.

Tonbridge scored good points throughout the track programme, with A-string wins at 400m, 800m 1500m and steeplechase. Lewis Collins won the 400m in 48.71, whilst Kieran Reilly (1.54.95) and Ryan Driscoll (1.59.28) won the A and B, separate, 800 metre races. Driscoll was back less than an hour later to convincingly win the 3000m steeplechase in 9.16.95, with Michael Ellis (10.01.09) maximising the points with a B-string win. Dom Brown won the 1500 metres in 3.54.44, after a final lap in 56 seconds, with James Kingston setting a personal best of 4.06.33 to win the B-string.

Jack Lennard ran 10.85 and 22.00 to finish 2nd and 4th over 100m and 200m, respectively, with Anton Bachorski running 11.06 and 22.56 to take 1st and 2nd place finishes in the B-string races. James Puxty was 2nd over 3000m in 8.54.18, whilst Jamie Goodge won the B-string in 8.59.55.

At the Yew Tree Staplehurst 10k road race, on Sunday, James Price was the overall winner in 35.50, whilst fellow Tonbridge AC members filled the first three women's places. Liz Weeks (40.11) led home Claire Day (40.15) and Jacqui O'Reilly (41.52).

Tonbridge AC had plenty of young athletes in action at Ashford on Saturday, competing in the Kent Schools Championships. Amongst the winners were Meghan Watson (senior 1500m steeplechase), Zac Nwogwugwu (Inter 100m), James Davies (Inter 400m), Fraser Gordon (Inter 1500m), Lewis Swaby (Inter 100m hurdles), Josh O'Brien (Inter High Jump), Keira Rose (Inter 300m), NoƩmie Thomson (Inter 1500m steeplechase), Samantha Stubbs (Inter High Jump), Ben Nolan (Junior 100m), Caitlin Ebbage (Junior Discus), Lucinda White (Junior Javelin), Albert Kreuzberg (Year 7 800m and Javelin), Lily Slack (Year 7 800m), Millie Lewis (Year 7 Javelin).