Years of dedicated work by coaches and athletes through Covid finally started to pay off as our Under20/Under17 team had their first proper Youth Development League match for nearly three years. Competing at home the forty strong team led in the early stages of the meeting but slipped back to second and then third before rallying back to second and nearly pipping Medway and Maidstone to the win at the end of the day (final points score 1st Medway 685.5, 2nd Cambridge 673). In our wake were Herne Hill (3rd with 528), Dartford (4th with 517), Team Sussex (5th with 389), Bexley (6th with 385), Holland sports and Reigate (7th with 246) and 8th (Victoria Park, Highgate and London Heathside (8th with 223).
With the top two teams getting promoted at the end of season this was a good strong start to getting us back up where we belong with some of the best teams in the country.
Individually there were a huge number of PBs in some warm spring sunshine and a nice following breeze for the sprinters.
Under 20 Men
Dejaune Lingard showed the benefit of a good winter’s training at Oaklands college cruising to wins in the 100 and 200 in 10.71 and 21.56 respectively. This was the first race of the outdoor season and bodes well for his campaign to go the European Youth Championships in Jerusalem latter this year. Team captain Shaquille Fernandez Folkes looked good in his first outdoor 400 winning comfortably in 52.76 whilst Angus Vosper secured big PBs in both the 3000m (9:17.21) and 800 (2:14.31).
Under 17 Men
The club’s sprinting strength in depth showed with wins in both A and B-string 100 and 200 care of Javan Gordon and Divine Akinlolu whilst Dante Legister moved up to run in the under 20 age group and won both B-strings there. Daniel Nyong moved his 400 PB down to 53.17 whist Josh Baker cemented his position in the UK’s top ten javelin throwers with a four metre PB of 50.99m. Orin Vitalis had a busy day and managed to jump PB of 5.79 in the long lump straight after a 400 hurdles PB of 63.08 then ran a 400 flat PB of 54.15 to win the the Under 20 B-string race.
Under 20 Women
Co-team captain Chichi Cooper battled to a great win in the 200m and earned herself a huge PB of 26.30. To this she added second place in the shot put, 3rd in the 100m and a win the triple jump though the 200m effort put paid to her performance in the latter. Our other co-captain Amira Mohammed Hassan added good points in the B-string 100, B-string triple jump and javelin and was heading for a big PB in the 100 hurdles before a disagreement with the 8th hurdle!
Under 17 Women
Hannah Bridge had another good series of throws in the shot put event with three puts over 14 metres and a best of 14.29. In the discus she broke the 30m barrier for the first time with a 4th round throw of 30.06. Elsewhere in the field Katie Marsh’s last round effort of 38.84 should move her into the UK top 10 for javelin . On the track Faith Assah and Zafirah Alebiosu ran well in the sprints (both sub-13 and sub-27 seconds) and had good back up from Ciara McGinty and Janaii Coote. Keziah Olaleye competed in her first 300 hurdles race after two year of preparation and ran away from the field to win in a UK top ten time of 46.38 then added a win in the 80 hurdles. Sisters Maja and Nikol Croft contributed good points in the long, triple and high jumps before joining forces with Keziah and Inez Rice to win the 4x300m.
Katie March, javelin win with 38.84m
Next match in this series is at Erith on Sunday May 29th.