• Gill Barber

South of England U15s/U20s Inter-County Championships

Updated: Jan 10

A total of 7 Cambridge Harrier athletes were selected and travelled to Oxford on Saturday 1st September to represent Kent County at the above event. It was always going to be a hard match with a total of 19 counties taking part, although not every event had a full quota of athletes, but I have to say the athletes from Cambridge did not let the side down and indeed excelled and ended up with some great individual results and valuable points for their respective teams. Overall the Kent U20s team came first with the U15s team coming second with a matter of just a few points separating first and third places, it really was that closely contested.

First off and starting the morning’s events on the track was Jade Fitt in the 400m hurdles, a straight final, and after a steady start she held her nerve, stayed strong and didn’t panic when she was overtaken in the early part of the race. Coming off the final bend she pushed herself into second place with the leader in sight on the home straight, (who was a good few metres ahead of her), and with a massive effort on Jade’s part, she chased her down and took it right to the finish line, (thanks for the heart attack! this is becoming a bit of a habit!), it was really close and the results took a while to come through as the officials examined the finish, but eventually they were announced with Jade winning 1st place in a time 65.88 in what was a very exciting race, well done Jade!

Fuad Busoir was up next on the track for the men’s 400m hurdles, which was also a straight final. He held his form well round the track and ran a strong steady race as he came away with an extremely creditable 3rd placing and time of 59.25, great points for the U20s team.

Kacey Walters was first up in the field in the U15s high jump. We were hoping for as close to her recent PB of 1.62m as possible, but she managed to go one further and ended up winning 1st place with another new PB of 1.63m, (which she jumped in 1cm increments from 1.60m). Well done and really good consistency. The look of utter shock on her face was a picture as the announcer commentated on her progress in the final stages of the match, just slightly taken aback! Well that’s one way to get over her shyness!

The 200m sprint heats were up next with Prince Mulamba taking part in the 2nd heat which he won comfortably as he sailed through and into the finals a good few metres ahead of his closest rival and in a time of 23.46. The final proved to be just as exciting with Prince, (a really strong finisher), coming round the bend slightly behind, and then overtaking the other sprinters to absolutely power it down to the finish line, a spectacular display of sprinting and a well-deserved win with a time and new PB of 23.09 “But I’m not really a 200m sprinter!” he commented after his heat, I beg to differ! Great result!

Lara Atkinson was our next athlete up on the track for the 1500m, having just arrived with literally minutes to spare for her event (having fallen foul of the M25’s 4 hour traffic delays caused by an earlier accident), but despite the adversity she still managed to get a fantastic seasons best time of 4.50.00 and 5th placing. Well done Lara, great way to end the season!

Ayanna Henry, our U17 high jumper was up next, having been asked by the Kent selectors to jump in and compete at the very last minute and having just returned from holiday to cover the U20s women’s high jump event where she finished in 5th place, well done for stepping up at the last minute, and although I know she was slightly disappointed with her final result, did well nonetheless and contributed valuable points to her U20s team.

Last up, but by no means least, Paige Macheath (who was also one of our athletes who’d had an awful 4 hour journey to Oxford) took part in the U20s javelin event, and despite her lack of training (which had taken a backseat to her studies for the past few months), she still managed to pull off a fantastic throw of 38.72m metres earning herself 2nd place and a great new PB to end the season with, fantastic result, (hopefully that made up for her horrendous journey!).

All in all very positive, hard fought for and very spirited performances by all 7 Cambridge athletes taking part, I have to say I had a bit of a lump in my throat too, so very proud of all of you.

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